Heritage is offering delicious bowls of ramen, all for a good cause. (Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
Here's an irresistible call to action, folks: Help a brilliant chef do good work, just by eating his food! Heritage chef Joe Sparatta will be putting together his beautiful bowls of ramen — house-made noodles, smoked Autumn Olive Farms pork dashi, nori, kimchi, soft-boiled egg, short rib or pork belly — all for $10, and all proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. You’re vegetarian? No worries; he’s working on a veggie broth, too. Not a ramen fan? S’ok. Bartender Tim Quinn will be slinging some hyper-creative, ramen-inspired cocktails made with event sponsor Belle Isle’s moonshine. Don’t drink? Still covered! Marty Key of Steady Sounds will be DJing. If you’re a non-drinking vegan who hates music, I don’t know what to tell you, except possibly my therapist’s contact info.
Sparatta was just named one of Richmond’s Finest in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s annual community leader star search, and he's committed to donating a minimum of $2,500 to the Foundation by the end of June. [Ed. note: Richmond magazine is a sponsor of the Brewer's Ball, a Richmond's Finest event, to be held June 16.]
“I want to raise as much as I can," Sparatta says. "It’s a terrible disease. The target is $2,500. I want to hit $10,000.”
Ramen pop-ups are just one part of his fundraising strategy, and the first one happens on Sunday, March 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. Beyond the pop-ups, donations can be made online via his CFF page. The CFF’s Finest award is bestowed upon professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who use their influence as industry leaders for the betterment of the community.
“He’s done a lot of community outreach, and he’s also helped to unify the culinary talent here in Richmond, to open a working dialogue," says Emilia Sparatta, a Heritage co-owner and the chef's wife. "Heritage has donated 10-person private dinners to fundraisers for the SPCA and the Richmond Ballet. The person who gets the SPCA dinner also gets to have a cocktail named after their pet added to our menu. And Joe and Lee [Gregory, of The Roosevelt and Southbound] always participate in the progressive dinner fundraiser that [Stop Child Abuse Now] does, with different courses are held at different houses.” In addition to all of this, Sparatta is cooking at a national Meals on Wheels event in Baltimore next month.
Can’t make the first ramen pop-up on March 20? Keep an eye on the Heritage Facebook page for monthly updates on dinners to be held in April, May and June.
Heritage is located at 1627 W. Main St. Sparatta's first ramen pop-up is slated for Sunday, March 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. Richmond magazine is an event sponsor of Richmond's Finest.