By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jun 25, 2020 at 3:01 PM

Local chefs will once again be creating delicious dishes using McDonald's ingredients at this year’s annual Unwrapped fundraiser to benefit SHARP Literacy.

But those dishes will be delivered in a very different way. Due to restrictions on large group gatherings, SHARP literacy has transformed their annual culinary fund-raiser into a unique drive-thru experience.

SHARP Unwrapped To Go, which will take place at South Second, 838 S. 2nd St., on Thursday, July 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will still feature chef-created dishes for guests to enjoy. But those dishes will be ordered and picked up at the event’s socially distant drive-thru "window."

Participating chefs for this year’s event will include Alexa and Matt Alfaro of Meat on the Street; Jeff Badders of MOVIDA and Don’s Grocery & Liquor; Chef John Korycki of Harbor House and Chef Brian Taborski of Saz’s Hospitality Group.

Unity Through Diversity

Taborski, who has participated in SHARP Unwrapped since 2018, originated the event’s theme, which will be "Unity Through Diversity." The theme will guide the participating chefs to create their dishes to celebrate the cultural diversity of Milwaukee that is at the heart of SHARP Literacy.

"With SHARP Unwrapped, the expectation has always been for chefs to create completely new dishes that literally create art with food," noted Taborski in a release on the event. "Now, working with the diversity-inspired theme, we’ll collaborate on a cohesive meal that will provide a fresh twist on Milwaukee’s varied ethnic flavors in a way that will remind us of our strong, multi-cultural community."

Unwrapped auction

In addition to supporting SHARP through their time and talents, participating chefs and other local restaurants throughout Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties are providing restaurant experiences through a virtual auction that will take place alongside the drive-thru event.

The auction will go live on July 23 and close on July 30, the night of the event.
Additional information about the Unwrapped To Go virtual auction will be shared on the SHARP Literacy Instagram and Facebook pages, as well as online in the weeks ahead.

All proceeds from the event and auction will suupport SHARP Literacy, an organization that focuses on improving literacy skills of urban elementary students in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Racine schools. Due to school closures in recent months, many of these students will face a six-month learning loss when and if they return to traditional classrooms in the fall, making SHARP’s work more important than ever.

Funds will support SHARP’s innovative classroom and online STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programming that is helping to bridge the learning gap for these students, and inspiring them to become lifelong learners.

"SHARP Unwrapped has become one of Milwaukee’s most anticipated events of the year, but in the interest of safety for our guests and volunteers, we needed to use the same creative, problem-solving skills we teach our students to reimagine the event in a whole new way," said Lynda Kohler, president and CEO of SHARP Literacy.

"While this isn’t the way we had planned to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Unwrapped, we are truly excited about creating a memorable and special way for the community to support SHARP at a time when it is critically important."

Get your tickets

Individual tickets for SHARP Unwrapped To Go begin at $50.00 and can be purchased online.

SHARP donors who are not able to pick up their meals at the drive-thru on July 30 are encouraged to donate a dinner to the family meal program of Ronald McDonald House Charities. This program allows up to 70 families per night to enjoy a meal after spending a long day at the hospital.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.