The Vidalia Onion Committee Teams up with the National Turkey Federation to Host Inspirational Foodie Events in Key Cities
May 05, 2016
Vidalia, GA (May 5, 2016) — The Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) is hitting the road this season by teaming up with the National Turkey Federation to host blogger dinners and food truck events featuring the 13-year old inspiration and aspiring food truck chef Lucas Hobbs.
Lucas Hobbs was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January, 2015. He is now in remission but during his hospital stay he became inspired by the movie Chef and The Food Network. When the Make-A-Wish Foundation came calling and asked Lucas for his wish, he requested a food truck to feed the doctors and nurses who cared for him along with the pediatric cancer patients that had become like family.
His wish came true and one event spiraled into multiple food truck events around Minneapolis that garnered national attention and helped feed thousands. In addition to hospital personnel and patients, trucks visited the local police station and a homeless shelter. Lucas appeared on Rachel Ray Show and various regional and national news outlets and Sallie Mae awarded him a $10,000 scholarship. And by summer of 2015 Lucas was cancer free and by fall 2015 Chef Lucas Food was born with the mission to do good with food.
Inspired by his story, the Vidalia Onion growers felt that Lucas embodied all that we aspire to do by making people happy with food, but also inspiring people to have fun with food. To that end, the VOC worked with Chef Lucas Food to create similar food truck events as part of their marketing program and consumer outreach in markets that will include Minneapolis and Nashville during May and June.
“We were moved by Lucas’ story and his mission to do good with food and we felt it was a perfect tie-in for our V*Inspired campaign this year,” said Susan Waters, Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion
Committee. “We like to think of Lucas as our Chief Inspiration Officer and know that not only are we inspiring a new generation of cooks and consumers, but we are supporting his efforts to raise funds to serve pediatric cancer patients and their families via restaurants and chef-designed meal kits for cooking at home.”
In addition to the Chef Lucas events, the VOC along with the National Turkey Federation, will be hosting food influencer dinners in New York, Minneapolis and Nashville that will include food bloggers, local media and dietitians. Food influencers are invited to a farm-to-table themed restaurant which includes a custom four-course dinner that features Vidalia onions and turkey.
“The VOC hosted a blogger dinner in Atlanta last year and the event was so successful, we decided to take this concept on the road this season, said Waters. “Turkey complements Vidalia onions on the menu and the chefs really get creative with the recipes, plus we have an opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with the bloggers. It’s a win, win event.”
About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.
"The only thing better than the onions in Vidalia is the people. They’re great cooks, and friendly."- Chef Bobby Flay, "Postcard from Vidalia, Georgia" Bobby Flay Cooks American