A chef’s recipe includes generosity

Chef Raffaele Ronca of Ristorante Rafele in Manhattan recently competed on the Food Network on behalf of St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation in Yonkers. Photograph courtesy of Philippe Reynaud/Downtown Magazine NYC.
Chef Raffaele Ronca of Ristorante Rafele in Manhattan recently competed on the Food Network on behalf of St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation in Yonkers. Photograph courtesy of Philippe Reynaud/Downtown Magazine NYC.

Did you catch the season premiere of “Chopped” on the Food Network earlier this month?

If so, then you already know there was an exciting local connection.

Four chefs, including Raffaele Ronca of Ristorante Rafele on Seventh Avenue South in Manhattan, competed in the “Knife Strife” episode, with Ronca capturing the competition.

Ronca, an Italian-born chef, was competing for the children of the St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation and donated his $10,000 prize to the Yonkers foundation.

Ronca has been a supporter of the foundation – which serves children who have complex medical, educational and rehabilitative needs – since last year after visiting at the suggestion of a close friend (and member of its Capital Campaign Committee).

“Raffaele was immediately drawn to our children,” says MaryLou Pagano, vice president of Institutional Advancement for the St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation.

When Ronca was asked to be a contestant on “Chopped,” he says he knew that he wanted to compete for the foundation.

“When I first visited, I had been feeling a little down,” he says. “Then I met all these kids and I realized that my problems were nothing. I knew that I wanted to make a difference and I said that if I won ‘Chopped,’ that the winnings would go to help these children… $10,000 is a lot of money and I know it can make a change in their lives and ease their pain.”

For more, visit setonpediatric.org.

– Mary Shustack

1 Comment

  • Frankie McGrace says:

    The only thing more amazing than this chef’s food is his generosity! If you have not eaten at Rafele yet, GO! It is like taking a trip to Italy. Food is so fresh and authentic.

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