Chef noted for creating opportunities makes his own connections to Prospect Lake

Vikram Vij knows the power of connection to place, as evidenced through his restaurants and the loyal staff that bring them to life. Vij, celebrated chef, author, restaurateur, television personality and supporter of the sustainable food movement, joined Power To Be to tour our first-ever site, the 78-acre former Prospect Lake Golf Course.

Power To Be empowers people with challenges and disabilities to get out into nature. Many of our participants have barriers to this access. In the same vein, years ago Vikram and his business partner Meeru Dhalwala hired two all-female kitchens. This is a rare phenomenon in a challenging industry. Vikram and Meeru provided the support and access, and through this staff were empowered and thrived. There is synchronicity here, for Power to Be and Vikram’s legacy, as we also believe in long-term commitments for enduring positive impact.

For our organization, participants, community partners, donors and really, for anyone who values time in nature and believes, like Power To Be does, that everyone belongs in nature, Prospect Lake is a game changer. We will be able to serve our participants in a way previously unimaginable. Our vision for what we can accomplish and who we can help empower stretches further, beyond the horizon.

A highlight for Vikram on his tour of Prospect Lake was the Fire Pavilion, one of the impressive HeroWork Radical Renovation projects. This is a large round, heady scented cedar structure with a sod roof that opens in the middle for the propane fire pit to send stories and good vibes to the skies. Visionary, Vikram conjured eloquent images of cooking, eating, and connecting in this magnetic space.

The lease of Prospect Lake holds obvious benefits and potential: having a stunning and vast property to run multiple programs, hosting educational events, empowering countless individuals who may have thought and been told that “they couldn’t” in terms of outdoor pursuits. But the underlying beauty and strength that may be less readily apparent is the very real sense of place for all of our people. This did not exist before. To be able to physically return to the same place you went on program last time and the time before. To forge a relationship with a very specific place in nature. It is truly immeasurable, as is our gratitude for having the opportunity to share the space with Vikram. Thank you.

The tour was a precursor to an intimate five-course fundraising dinner with Vikram and Painted Rock Estate Winery, an excellent way to build up an appetite on a particularly hot day.

Photo credit: Ed Watson/Watson Media