Habitat for Humanity International supporters from around the country converged in Greenville July 20 for the official launch of chef Roshara Sanders’ partnership as celebrity ambassador.
This is the first celebrity chef partnership for Habitat for Humanity International, which is based in Atlanta.
Chef Ro, as she is known, won the Food Network competition “Chopped: Military Vets” that aired on Nov. 10, 2015, and is now a private chef in New York City. She is a decorated Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and attended the Culinary Institute of America following her deployment. She has also been named one of the NBCBLK28, 28 black young innovators changing the world all under the age of 28.
Greenville was chosen for the launch of this partnership in part because of the city’s growing national profile as a foodie destination, its strong local Habitat brand, and a familiarity with Carl Sobocinski and the work he’s done to put Greenville on the food map.
The Loft at Soby’s was the site of a special dinner on July 20, planned and prepared by Chef Ro and the staff at Soby’s for Habitat supporters and friends. The event served as a platform for the chef known for her international activism to introduce her upcoming trip to Malawi on Nov. 17. Habitat International will be constructing orphanages there, and she will be preparing group meals.
Chef Ro says she approached Habitat about a partnership a couple months ago because she was looking for a way to get involved in the organization.
Chef Ro grew up in a Habitat home in Bridgeport, Conn., and is the embodiment of the success Habitat for Humanity seeks to encourage with each home built, said Allison Green, director of cause marketing and workplace giving for Habitat International.
“Habitat is very empowering — they empowered me — so why not give back to them?” Chef Ro says.