Cincinnatians know chef Jean-Robert de Cavel for his staple restaurants like French Crust Café & Bistro and Jean-Robert’s Table. But many do not know another side of his and wife Annette’s story. In June of 2002, the couple lost their firstborn daughter Tatiana to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, often referred to as SIDS.
SIDS is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than one year of age. Tatiana was one of the roughly 2,000 infants who lose their life to SIDS each year. Recognizing this, the de Cavels worked to transform their loss into a way to help others.
So Annette and Jean-Robert started a foundation that helps support education and research for SIDS: The de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation. They dream of a world where no parent will ever again know the tragedy of losing a child to SIDS.
“I think it’s a great cause [and] people don’t necessarily talk about it,” says Cincinnati restaurateur and chef Dan Wright, owner of Abigail Street, Pontiac, and Senate. “And the idea that there is this foundation that helps to do the research and actually gain knowledge on exactly what it is, is really important.”
After the tragedy, the outpouring of love and support from the Cincinnati community was extraordinary. Friends and restaurateurs came together for what was originally intended to be a one-time fundraising event in June 2003 that snowballed into the annual EatPlayGive brunch. The event brings together more than 30 local restaurants and business owners that give their talent to create an unforgettable brunch.
This year, participants are among Cincinnati’s finest, including Mita’s, Forno Osteria + Bar, Orchids at Palm Court, and many others. Proceeds help support the foundation, which gives to organizations like Cradle Cincinnati, Cribs for Kids, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Also, a portion of the Foundation’s proceeds are dedicated annually to the Tatiana de Cavel Memorial Scholarship Fund in their daughter’s memory. The award is given to one new student annually at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
The event is open to everyone to enjoy savory treats and scrumptious sweets prepared by some of the best chefs and foodies the Queen City has to offer. From live music to a silent auction, it is a truly family-friendly event that children enjoy just as much as the adults. “The more kids I see at the event the happier I am,” says Jean-Robert de Cavel. “I feel like that’s what it’s all about.”
To attend and help support the event, purchase tickets or donate an item for the silent auction. Additionally, monetary donations and corporate sponsorships are available. Contact Annette for more information on how you can help.
EatPlayGive, Oct. 13, 11 a.m.—2 p.m. eatplaygive.net