The Rev was full of festivities on Saturday as a premier cooking-focused social event returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
About 3,000 guests took the freeway to sample food prepared by chefs at some of the area’s best restaurants and to raise funds for the Indiana University Health Foundation.
The event, which typically takes place in May before the Indianapolis 500, was canceled in 2020 and postponed to a later date in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Aside from certain COVID-19 precautions, food served in individual disposable packaging, other areas of the highway are used to allow social distancing and the Larnell Alan masks made available for indoor activities , the guests didn’t seem to miss a beat of the fusion of glam and racing cultures seen in previous revs.
They walked the red carpet in a running-themed outfit; had hair and beauty touch ups at DryBar and Saks Fifth Avenue booths; kissed the bricks; made laps around the track; and took photos with the Indianapolis 500Borg-Warner Trophy.
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And to ease the transition between the live entertainment scenes and the DJ night at Yard of Bricks, revelers swapped their heels for flip flops and slippers during a shoe taping.
Of course, the highlight was tasting dishes from over 50 chefs, their offerings inspired by IndyCar drivers.
Just Pop Ins Mandy Selke and Carly Swift created popcorn flavors based on Alexander Rossis favorite snacks, pumpkin pie and ranch-flavored Doritos.
Chefs Ben Hardy and Sam Moehle of Gallery Pastry Bar and Gallery Pastry offered French macaroons and chocolate croissants, inspired by their rookie IndyCar pilot partner Romain Grosjean, who this year was Honorary President Rev.
Celebrity Chef Jeff McInnis of 2021, co-owner of Root & Bone restaurants, served a BLT of fried green tomatoes made with chili, bacon and tomato jam. He was paired with his boyfriend and driver James Hinchcliffe, the Reverend’s former honorary chairman.
Hinchcliffe was injured in an accident while training for the Indy 500 in 2015. He recovered and would score a pole position in the following year’s race (and would come in second in Dancing with the Stars ), thanks to assistance from the Rev funds programs.
Money raised supports IU Health’s statewide trauma and intensive care programs; providing care to drivers and customers of the IU Health Emergency Medical Center located at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Crystal Miller, president of the IU Health Foundation, said she expected Saturday’s event to bring in $ 600,000 to $ 800,000. Rev has raised over $ 5 million since its debut in 2014.
New this year was the addition of a live art exhibition hosted by the GANGGANG Creations Promotion Initiative, sponsored by the IU Department of Health Neurosurgery.
It’s a great representation of a unique Indianapolis neighborhood within our arts community. And it’s a great link between the arts and science, Miller said. There are many connections between art and healing.
The art installation added another element to the Revs connection of running, health and food, which expands to help communities facing the coronavirus pandemic.
Rev goes from a one-night event to multiple nights throughout the year that are an opportunity for the food community, the health community, and the racing community to come together, Miller said.
In early May, at a Rev event, four chefs served meals at the Wheeler Mission Shelter for Men in downtown Indianapolis.
This year, the organization is soliciting donations to support frontline healthcare workers and restaurants through its IU Health Foundation Fueling Rev Chefs & IU Health Frontline Heroes initiative. The money raised will be used to provide meals prepared by chefs to health workers.
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