Food Stamp Challenge

President & CEO Dave KrepchoThis September, Second Harvest Food Bank’ of Central Florida’s President & CEO, Dave Krepcho, chose to participate in our Food Stamp (SNAP) Challenge! For one week, Dave and his wife will live on a budget of $86 a week, which equates to around $2 a meal.  Read about the challenges they faced in affording healthy foods vs high carb/calorie foods, their struggle to keep within their budget, the anxieties they felt, and about their meals this week below!


Dave Krepcho: SNAP Challenge Day 1

Dave Krepcho: SNAP Challenge Day 2

Dave Krepcho: SNAP Challenge Day 5

 Dave Krepcho: SNAP Challenge Final Day




Food Stamp Challenge LogoIn September 2012, Central Florida Chefs took the Second Harvest Food Stamp Challenge.

Increasingly, the public has been looking towards chefs to set an example for good and healthy eating in our country. Due to this fact, these local chefs are participating in our SNAP Challenge to help increase exposure to the SNAP program as well as shed light on the necessity of it. A huge thanks to all the chefs for offering to take the challenge during Hunger Action Month!


Click below to read about their experiences:

– Chef Marco Colon, Chef at Universal Studios
– Chef Jamie McFadden, Executive Chef and Founder of Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events
– Chef Hari Pulapaka, Executive Chef & Co-Owner of Cress Restaurant

– Chef Ed Colleran, Executive Sous Chef at Universal Studios
– Scott Joseph, Restaurant Critic

Coming Soon: Chef Kevin Fonzo from K Restaurant.

Outlines for the Challenge:

1. Each chef picked a day or week to participate in the SNAP Challenge.
2. Chefs had $6.67 to spend on food for an entire day. This is the equivalent to the amount a person that receives food stamps has for each day.
3. Chefs could not accept free food from friends or family members.
4. Chefs could not use food that was already in their home (common spices and condiments are allowed).
5. Following the Challenge each chef filled out our question/answer.

Our Chefs:

Jamie-McFadden1. Chef Jamie McFadden from Cuisiners

Executive Chef/Founder Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events

Twitter: @orlandocaterer


Chef Jamie’s “Fresh Approach” Cooking style and attention to detail has proven to be the perfect ingredients in creating a very exciting and successful career path.

In 1990 he began to build his reputation as an award winning chef working at various high profile restaurants including his own restaurant, Mimi’s Café & Wine Bar. In 1998 he founded Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events and just celebrated 14 years in creating unforgettable events. In early 2011 Jamie introduced Central Floridians to his version of a tasting bar with his “bar J me” concept. To date this experience has received high marks in the press. In September 2011, the Orlando Sentinel stated “barJme reinvents chef table” and “dinner at the kitchen counter may never be the same”.

Other career highlights include preparing two Central Florida inspired meals at the James Beard House in New York City. Appearing and Cooking on NBC’s “Today Show” “Dinner in the Sky” segment with Bravo’s 3rd Season “Top Chef” winner Hung Huynh. Teaching at the Walt Disney World, Disney Institute. Participating in cooking events including Alexander Valley Vineyards and Gundlach Bundschu Wineries both located in Sonoma California, the Destin Charity Wine Auction, and the Culinary Vegetable Institutes Annual Food and Wine Celebration in Milan, Ohio.

In 2007, Restaurant Forum named Chef Jamie one of Central Florida’s Top 20 Chef’s. He is the only caterer to receive this award. Most recently, The Orlando Business Journal named Jamie one of Orlando’s “40 Under 40” which recognizes the rising young professionals who are shaping the economy of Central Florida.


Hari-Pulapaka2. Chef Hari Pulapaka from Cress Restaurant

Executive Chef & Co-Owner

Challenge Day: From Sept. 11th-18th

Born and raised in Mumbai, India, I came to the United States on August 12, 1987 with a gleam in my eye, the promise of a higher education, and $500 in my pocket. Twenty five years later, I am living a dream. I am happily married to my soul-mate Jenneffer, who is a successful physician with her own private practice. In 2004, seeking new challenges, I followed my life-long dream of being a  professional chef by enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando full-time at night while working as a full-time faculty of Mathematics at Stetson University by day. I graduated from culinary school at the top of my class and opened my own restaurant 3 years later with Jenneffer. Today, in addition to being an active, tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Stetson University, I am also the Executive Chef and Co-Owner (with Jenneffer) of Cress Restaurant in downtown DeLand, FL. I am also a certified executive chef as recognized by the American Culinary Federation. Cress is a vibrant successful restaurant that opened in August 2008. In addition to being the Executive Chef at Cress, I am also its Chef de Cuisine, Kitchen Manager, web site developer and administrator, social network administrator, and run the line every night. Meanwhile, I also fulfill all the responsibilities of my academic position at Stetson University and teach full-time. Needless to say, I take advantage of every waking moment of every day following my personal, academic and culinary passions to the best of my abilities.

Twitter: @cressrestaurant



Chef-Kevin-Fonzo3. Chef Kevin Fonzo from K Restaurant

Chef Owner

Challenge Day:  September 19th

A native of New York City, Chef Kevin Fonzo received his culinary training starting at the young age of fifteen while working in a country inn in upstate New York.

He furthered his education at “The Culinary Institute of America” in Hyde Park, New York, graduating with honors, and interning in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina at the site of the Heritage Golf Classic.

Following graduation, Kevin landed a job as part of the opening team at “The Peabody Hotel” in Orlando, Florida. At twenty one years of age, Kevin became one of the youngest managers in Peabody history to run their own outlet. He quickly was promoted to Chef of the Italian restaurant, “Capriccio”, where he earned the “Best Brunch in Orlando” award from “Glamour Magazine” and was featured on Orlando’s Noon Day News.

After a six year tenure at the “Peabody Orlando”, Kevin was scouted by Bob Amick of the “Peasant Restaurant Group” in Atlanta, Georgia to bring the “Chef” title back to their restaurants. During his stay with the “Peasant”, Kevin appeared in “Cobb Magazine” and “Atlanta Live! At Noon”. While in Atlanta, Kevin worked for Thomas Coohill and Jean Banchet of “Bistango” and “Ciboulette” coveting the title “Best Restaurant in Atlanta” from “Gourmet Magazine”. Fonzo then moved on to menu designer/kitchen developer for the “Phoenix Brewing Company”, where he was featured in “Brew Magazine”, “Brewpub”, “Nations Restaurant News”, “Southern Living”, “Atlanta Magazine”, and “The Atlanta Constitution”. In his spare time, Kevin volunteered his time for the Local Food Bank and “Share our Strength” for the “Taste of the NFL” held in every Super Bowl city. He worked side by side with such great culinarians as Susan Spicer, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, and Alan Susser.

Knowing Orlando was “home” for Kevin, he returned after seven years in Atlanta. He quickly found employment in a little restaurant called “Café Allegre” in Orlando’s College Park neighborhood. Falling in love with the restaurant and area, Kevin bought “Allegre” in 2001 and changed the name to “K Restaurant and Wine Bar”. It became one of Orlando’s first “Chef owned and operated” restaurants. K was the one of the first establishments to showcase local ingredients, have a menu that changed daily to reflect the seasons, and offer a full cheese list.

As the owner of K for the past 12 years, Kevin has won almost every award in Orlando from “Neighborhood Gem” to “Best Restaurant in Orlando”. As one of “America’s Top Restaurants” in Zagat, his restaurant has been featured in “Bon Appetit Magazine”, “Nation’s Restaurant News”, “Orlando Leisure”, “Florida Trend”, ”The Orlando Sentinel”, and Kevin was added into “Orlando’s Dining Hall of Fame” from “Orlando Magazine”

Kevin was also honored by The James Beard Foundation in 2010 by being nominated for “Best Chef Southeast”. Kevin has been invited two times to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

A fervent supporter of the local community, as well as local ingredients, Kevin has generously donated time and money to such organizations as “March of Dimes”, “Hope and Help”, “The American Cancer Foundation”, “Share Our Strength”, and “Second Harvest Food Bank” to name a few. Kevin also teaches local schoolchildren the importance of gardening and cooking at “The Orlando Junior Academy” where he assisted in the starting of “The Edible Schoolyard at O.J.A” which is affiliated with The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California under Chef Alice Waters. For this accomplishment, Kevin was invited to meet Michelle Obama and tour the White House gardens as part of the “Chef’s Move to School” program.

Kevin resides in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, Florida in a home very close to his restaurant pursuing his love of cooking and gardening.

Twitter: @cheffonzo




Chef-Ed-Colleran4. Chef Ed Colleran from Universal Studios

Executive Sous Chef

Challenge Day: September 21st

Universal Orlando Resort over 22 years, originally from Boston, moved to Orlando in 1990 to open Universal Studios and currently the Chef of Universal Studios Theme Park.

Board Member of Second Harvest Bank

Orange County Schools and American Culinary Federation “Chefs in Schools Program” First Lady Michelle Obama initiative

Twitter: @UniversalORL



Marcos-Colon-Thumbnail5. Marcos Colon from Universal Studios

Restaurant Chef of the Latin Quarter at Universal Orlando Citywalk

Challenge Day: September 10th

Age 33, has worked at Universal Studios for 10 years. Originally from Staten Island, New York, currently works as a restaurant chef at the Latin Quarters at Universal Orlando Citywalk.

Twitter: @UniversalORL



Scott-Joseph-Portrait6. Scott Joseph

Restaurant Critic

Challenge Day: September 12th

Twitter: @ScottJoseph