Chef shows ‘Farm to Fork’ cooking is do-‘Able’

Warren Farmers Market hosts ‘Able Chef,’ featuring fresh produce dishes

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published June 22, 2016

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WARREN — Chef Chuck Sansone has enjoyed cooking since he was 14. Last year, his life changed dramatically when the vehicle he was driving was hit from behind by a van traveling 50 mph.

The crash shattered his T-11 vertebrae and left him unable to walk, at least for now.

But that hasn’t stopped him from working as a chef and sharing his love of cooking with others.

Sansone will be featured on the “Farm to Fork with the Able Chef” cooking show scheduled on select dates at the Warren Farmers Market this summer. The next show will be recorded at the market on June 26, and segments recorded throughout the summer will be featured on TV Warren.

“I’m trying to really focus on my 35-plus years in the business and help people who might be having a little bit more of a challenge,” Sansone said. “That’s how we came up with ‘Farm to Fork with the Able Chef.’”

Sansone, 53, previously worked as a regional café manager for Hudson’s department stores and has spent the past 11 years working for Continental Corporate Services, specializing in catering, corporate dining and special events.

He said the goal of the “Farm to Fork” show is to spotlight simple dishes that are easy to prepare using the freshest seasonally available produce.

“Our goal is trying to pair anything that’s local in Michigan in terms of the season,” Sansone said. “Everything’s for a reason. There’s some reason why I think God has me in this position now. I’m helping a lot of other people trying to cope with things like this.”

Sansone said the long-term prognosis is “optimistic” that he’ll regain his mobility. Until then, he’s content to help others learn to cook with their own disabilities.

Dave Malkiewicz, owner of Barrier Free Plus, is helping him to do that by supporting the show.

Barrier Free Plus, a barrier-free home modification contractor, is one of the show’s sponsors through a partnership with Warren Parks and Recreation and its director, Henry Bowman.

“We’ll do ramps, roll-in showers, stair lifts, things like that,” Malkiewicz said. “That’s why Henry thought it was a good blend for us. We got kind of excited about it. It’s the kind of thing we do all the time.”

Bowman said Sansone is a “total inspiration” for anyone who has ever struggled to overcome a physical challenge.

“You see Chuck and you immediately feel better,” Bowman said. “When he gives from his heart and shows people how they can move forward with their disabilities, you feel it all the time with him. He’s unbelievable.”

“Farm to Fork with the Able Chef” shows are recorded at each Warren Farmers Market at 10:30 a.m. on the fourth Sunday of the month. The market will run weekly from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 30.

In addition to craft and produce vendors, food, and entertainment, the market offers free yoga at 9 a.m. each week.

Upcoming entertainment includes “Night Flight” on June 26 and “Shotguns and Violins” on July 10. The market will host the “Get Out and Walk with Roscoe” program for kids on July 10 and July 17.

The Warren Farmers Market is held at City Square next to City Hall, on Van Dyke Avenue north of 12 Mile Road.

For a full schedule or for more information, visit www.facebook.com/warrenfarmersmarket or call (586) 268-8400.

“Farm to Fork with the Able Chef” and other programming is available online at www.vimeo.com/TVWarren.

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