Local Chefs Cycling Against Cancer

Chef Drew Vogel's Ride Cincinnati team raises money to fight breast cancer, and you can ride too

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Ride Cincinnati
Ride Cincinnati

Drew Vogel is one of those people who is immediately endearing without even trying. He is gregarious and enthusiastic, and after just five minutes of speaking with him, even a cold-hearted nihilist will be wholly enthralled and passionate about whatever it is he’s talking about. An adjunct instructor at the Midwest Culinary Institute and a cook at Jean-Robert’s Table, Vogel’s current passion project is the result of his wife Wendy’s breast cancer diagnosis in November 2011: A cycling team he started last year called Chefs Against Cancer that that raises money for breast cancer research by participating in the annual Ride Cincinnati charity bike race. 


He’s enlisted an army of local chefs, including Jean-Robert de Cavel and the Precinct’s executive chef, Arik Messerschmidt, to ride with him for the cause, and this year they’ve managed to raise more than $2,500. At last year’s race — the team’s first — some participants rode as few as 8.2 miles (“The Commis Chef”) or 18.4 (“The Potscrubber”). More experienced cyclers, like Jean-Philippe Solnom of the French Crust Café, rode the full 62.8 miles (“The Executive Chef”) and will being doing so again this year. “I’m a bigger boy,” laughs Vogel, “you know, not your typical bike-riding looking guy, and last year I rode 28 miles, which sucked, but it sucks way less than cancer.”

Wendy, thankfully, has been cancer-free for three and a half years. But even though their family has made it through the worst, Vogel says they’re still committed to raising money for research for a cure. “People helped us,” he says. “And we gotta give back.” 

This year’s race takes place on Sunday, June 14 — rides start at 6:30 a.m. at Sawyer Point — and if you want to pledge money or join the team you can visit http://tinyurl.com/chefride2015. Don’t worry if all you can cook is Ramen — you don't have to be a chef to ride with Chefs Against Cancer. Your registration fee ($45 adult; $20 child) gets you a T-shirt and a backpack. And if you don't have your own bike, Ride Cincinnati has partnered with Red Bike; email [email protected], let them know you're participating in the ride and the overage fee will be removed from your account.

If you don't want to ride, you can still pledge money. Go to http://tinyurl.com/chefride2015 and click "Donate Now," then type "Andrew Vogel" or "Wendy Vogel." Click the black "Donate Now" button to begin the donation process.

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