Chef’s heart is at Camp Swift - Profile

Chef’s heart is at Camp Swift

MARILYN HAWKES | Staff Writer | Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 10:00 am

Chef Craig Leeser has what many would call a dream job. As the head chef of Arizona Catering (owned by Jewish community member Mitch Katz), Leeser oversees day-to-day catering operations, which sometimes include cooking for a slew of famous people. During the Super Bowl, he whipped up food for Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon at Comerica Theatre, Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias at US Airways Center, as well as for Rihanna at a Direct TV party. He’s cooked for Eric Clapton, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Barbra Streisand, Harry Connick Jr., Justin Timberlake and Sir Paul McCartney, and the list goes on. But ask him where his heart is and he’ll tell you – cooking at Camp Swift, a camp for inner-city children ages 8-11 run by Jewish teens from across the Southwest. The campers are predominately Hispanic, Native American and African-American children from the Greater Phoenix area. (The camp takes place at Camp Daisy and Harry Stein in Prescott.)

Leeser will present a cooking demonstration at the Jewish Genetic Diseases Center of Greater Phoenix “What’s Cooking in Your Genes?” luncheon on Feb. 25. Rabbi Aaron Melman, a congregational rabbi and board member of the Chicago Center for Jewish Genetic Disorders, will also speak (see details box).

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