Food & Drink

A Meal for Amiel Celebration

Credits: Sandy Morrison
Credits: Sandy Morrison

ANDOVER, NJ - The A Meal for Amiel Celebration was held on Sunday, February 8 at Perona Farms in Andover.  People gathered for a full day of events to celebrate a young life and healthy living.

Amiel Wehrli had just turned 11 when he died in December of 2013 during a tragic accident.  His Dad, Florian Wehrli gathered 14 of his chef friends and Vicky Quo, Katie Radler, Thomas Valle and Braden Hirsh, to pull together an incredible, locally inspired benefit dinner last night.  All proceeds will be used to build a greenhouse which will serve as a classroom at the Frankford School in Frankford, NJ.

Florian Wehrli said, “Amiel left us way too soon. He would be so proud to know that his he helped inspire this dinner and the greenhouse.  He would love to know that this greenhouse will give his friends a chance to learn how to grow, prepare and enjoy good, healthy food.”

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Tom Valle, the Frankford School Principal noted, “As an educator, nothing brings more joy than to witness aspirations becoming realities and that is exactly what we all had the privilege of witnessing at ‘A Meal for Amiel.’  

“Chef Wehrli provided an ambitious vision for this event that included three main goals:

  • To raise funds for a school greenhouse,
  • To provide students a hands-on opportunity to learn about foods and nutrition, and
  • Simply to have fun together.  

“Without a doubt, Chef Wehrli's vision became a reality and provided more joy than we could have ever hoped for.  Tonight, our community gathered together for meal that we'll never forget and celebrated in a manner that was truly worthy of Amiel.”

Dan Rothman, Regional Chef for Whole Foods in the Northeast Region, commented, “What a tremendous honor and privilege to band together with such a great group of chefs and volunteers. I always enjoy giving through culinary philanthropy. When we are able to support such a meaningful cause through A Meal For Amiel while providing great local food in the heart of winter it does not feel like work at all. It was a truly magical night.  It was amazing feeling all the energy of the kids in the kitchen and from the dining room full of guests from the community. It is also so amazing for the Avondoglio family to welcome us with open arms into their beautiful facility and provide their flip notch hospitality staff.  I can't wait to see the educational greenhouse take root.”

George Mandakas from Big Bang Kitchens said, “The chefs here often work together to support the community but tonight is special.  We're here to support one of our own and his family to remember and celebrate Amiel.  I can't imagine a better way to do that than being here as family and friends, and helping create the perfect, perpetually giving memorial that this greenhouse will embody.”

Branden Hirsch, the Frankford Schools Superintendent, asked the Frankford School teachers how they are going to use the greenhouse. Their responses included wanting to use the greenhouse to allow their students the opportunity to explore how decisions they make today will affect not only themselves, but communities all around the world.  They want to develop community service initiatives to raise awareness and develop practical solutions to challenges.  They will talk about nutrition, locally grown foods, organic foods and foods that have fewer limited pesticides.

Donations to support the greenhouse can be made through:

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