Stark Raving Chef Raises Awareness for Those in Need
You have probably seen me on the wall at the post office, on a milk carton, or Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen twice, ABC’s The Taste Season 2, or Food Network’s Rewrapped, Mystery Diners as well as other productions.
Name: Patrick Stark, “The Stark Raving Chef”
Title: Founder of the Mohawk Militia, Exec Chef for Harder Concepts, Guitarist for Amusé
What is your organization and what kind of work do you do?
The Mohawk Militia is a 501(c)3 charity creating awareness on food laws concerning cleanliness and GMO’s as well as the importance of having fresh, clean, non-processed food readily available to every child and citizen in the U.S. We raise money through events and my band Amusé “Taste of Sound” performances to provide seeds to grow fresh clean food and provide to these people in need!
How did you come up with the name Mohawk Militia?
Contrary to me having a Mohawk haircut, the Mohawk Indians are some of the best protectors of the land and environment. Their farming practices of crop rotation and cultivation are still the cleanest to this day. They respect the land as well as nature, continuing to "give back" what they harvested. And, you don't need a Mohawk haircut to join! (*grin) The word "Militia" was used because it is "a force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency." Hence, this group of philanthropic members assembled in an emergency to protect our clean food supply, educate the masses on what is going on with our food labeling, and help feed people fresh food in food deserts. When you put the two words together, you get "The Mohawk Militia."
How did you end up here today, and what motivates you to work on issues to help our kids grow up healthier?Honestly, I don’t like being lied to or even possibly killed. When my nephews were born, I did not want them to inherit my generation’s decisions with GMO’s. As I spent more time practicing in bands in South Dallas, the more I realized that there was a lack of grocery stores or places to buy fresh foods. At this point, I decided that this was going to become my “purpose” and came up with the Mohawk Militia to educate and provide fresh, clean vegetables to those in need.
How has your work impacted your community?
This year’s contribution from the 501(c)3 Charity Mohawk Militia is to “Youth with Faces Organization” at the Letot Center. I have teamed up with my friend Chef Charles Plummer & Chef TLC and created a culinary program for young females who have been in and out of juvenile detention. These young ladies (age 17 & under) have an opportunity to find a new passion as well as learn how to create and operate a business with their ideas. The program will purchase ingredients from local farms, including free range eggs from Bonton Farms. Their first venture is going to be creating…well, it’s a SURPRISE! The Mohawk Militia PROUDLY has helped with purchasing the opening inventory for their business. We also hope to purchase this year's NON GMO seeds for future product. We also proudly find partners to support and sell their craft!
How would you like to see your work expand to create a larger impact?
To see one day laws established to protect the cleanliness of our food, banning harmful GMO’s, as well as every person and child having clean, fresh, and unprocessed food readily available nationwide.
How are you working to change the environment to make it healthier and create a culture of health?
In a time in need of change, change starts with a healthy mind, body and soul. If we allow companies to lobby our lawmakers, they will control our food, drugs, and ultimately the “people”. Once we modify all the pure strains of animals and vegetation, there is no reversing it. If we cannot provide healthy clean food to our people, our society will continue in a downward spiral. Life starts with the fuel we put in our body. We are providing education, as well as the clean food to people in areas in need of fresh and clean food.
What are your biggest accomplishments in helping children achieve a healthy weight?
Teaching children the importance of having clean and non-modified food, as well as the importance to see everyone have clean and fresh food readily available. Our rising obesity rate and decline in productivity in education is believed to be tied to one’s diet. Life starts with the fuel we put into our bodies!
Our charity helps purchase seeds to plant clean NON GMO food, it is then taken to inner city community gardens (Food Deserts) with simple 2 -3 step recipes on how to prepare each ingredient in their box conducive to low income meals. The new program we are developing (above) with giving youth with a spackled past a path, and possible passion involving fresh local clean food, gives me goose bumps every time I think of it. It’s not just putting a Band-Aid on a problem, but an avenue that is solution.
What excites you the most about showing up for work every day?
Showing up and seeing the kids’ faces when arriving to work. For a lot of people and children, nobody cares or shows interest in them or their lives. Their smiles are priceless. Lastly, seeing someone who would normally reject the idea of trying a fresh ingredient enjoy the experience.
If you were starting out in your career, what would you recommend to your younger self?
I would tell myself that, “when I die someday, and I can’t take my cars, money, guitars, what did I do with my life? How will people remember me & what is my purpose? What is truly important to me and my impact on my family and community.”
What game or sport did you play growing up? And what was your favorite healthy food growing up?
I played basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and cross country. I also played piano and guitar. I studied hard to graduate school early and get out into the world. My favorite food growing up was fresh fruit and grilled vegetables. Salad didn’t come into play till later in the game for me.
Each week, our own Amy Stone speaks with a Leader to get a quick look at why he or she loves working to create healthy environments for kids. Want to take part? Visit Amy’s profile and contact her.