As a culinary student, Matt Lepisto was taught the value of giving back. “I knew I would someday give back to the community using my talents,” Matt said, but admits he had no idea what form that would take. The answer came quickly … as a featured chef at the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota’s (LFM) Lupus Food and Wine Classic.
Matt was no stranger to lupus, his uncle was diagnosed with the disease when Matt was young boy. Throughout his life, he met others with lupus yet was surprised by how little information existed. Fast forward a decade and a half, Matt was approached to participate in the annual food and wine event for LFM. “These feelings just all came together, I just felt I had a connection,” he said, and quickly agreed to participate.
Wanting to go beyond LFM’s already established event, Matt’s created Hops for Hope, a beer pairing dinner, at Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, where he is a chef. Hops for Hope launched in 2015, and this year’s event, happening this coming Friday, is sold out.
For Matt, the event provides a venue to support LFM, while raising funds for research, awareness, and educational programs, and to showcase his culinary skills that go way beyond the typical bar menu. Now the father of a three-year old, he is fully aware lupus can strike anyone, including his little loved one, and wants to be a part of the search for a cure. Expect more tasty fundraising from this chef in the future!