With the ongoing stress of working behind the line, many chefs are constantly looking for ways to relax. For New York City restaurateur and executive chef Michael Chernow, he has found that release through running.
“I made a pivotal decision over a decade ago that I was going to be a better person and put aside the trivial things we all deal with that I had convinced myself was okay,” Michael Chernow explained. “I was going to take life seriously and appreciate it for everything that it has to offer. Running has helped me on the journey to accomplish just that.”
So, the co-founder of the Meatball Shop and the visionary founder of Seamore’s will lead City Harvest staff members and food service professionals in the annual New York City Marathon. The annual event is slated for the streets of New York on Sunday, November 4th. Chernow has also found that his marathon training has become a resource for finding solutions and innovation for his restaurant empire. “I came up with the idea for the Meatball Smash sandwich during a run,” he noted.
Throughout Chernow’s career he has spent his time as an active member of the City Harvest Food Council, where he works to combat food waste and help every New Yorker become food secure.
Michael Chernow started working in restaurants as a teenager on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and built a successful career culminating in the opening of The Meatball Shop in 2010 with childhood friend Daniel Holzman. A passionate fisherman since childhood, Chernow took his love of fishing and his culinary expertise to open his other restaurant, Seamore’s, where he showcases under-utilized and sustainable seafood in a variety of accessible and crave-worthy dishes.
City Harvest is New York City’s largest food rescue organization. They help feed the more than 1.2 million New Yorkers who are facing hunger. In 2018, they will rescue 61 million pounds of food and deliver it, free of charge, to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens and other community partners across the five boroughs. City Harvest programs help New Yorkers access to nutritious food that fits their needs and desires; increase their partners’ capacity; and strengthen the local food system, building a path to a food-secure future for all New Yorkers.
This year, City Harvest is commemorating its 35th anniversary. Thanks to so many partners, including top chefs and restaurateurs like Chernow, the organization has been able to rescue 700 million pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste and deliver it to New Yorkers who need it most.
Throughout its anniversary year, City Harvest has hosted several events, including the organization’s signature fall tasting event, BID 2018, which will be held on October 4th. The proceeds of that event will be used to meet a goal of raising enough funds to help feed over 19,000 New Yorkers in need for a year.
Earlier this summer, Michael Chernow co-hosted City Harvest’s annual Summer in the City. The event was held at the acclaimed Frank Gehry-designed, IAC HQ building in New York City and hosted tasting tables from some of the city’s finest chefs and mixologists to help raise funds to provide meals for hungry New Yorkers.
“I like the added benefit of staying fit, but the most important part for me is the element of it being a bit of a moving meditation,” Chernow continued. “The practice keeps me grounded, both literally and figuratively. Some of my best thinking has come from long runs. If I ever feel the need to take a deep breath, I know it’s time for me to go on a run. It has been an amazing salve for the anxiety that I feel in this industry that I am in. I go for a run and I always end feeling much better.”
“I’m very excited about City Harvest selecting me as their team captain for the New York City marathon,” Chernow concluded. “It has enabled me to combine two things that are so very important to me – City Harvest is a charity centered on food that I could align with from my industry and I love to run.”
To learn more about Michael Chernow, follow him on Instagram.