The Chicago Journal

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Mario Fabbri on His Recent TEDxLakeShoreDrive Talk, “Delicious Recipes to Save the Planet”

Food waste is a huge problem, and American households are some of the worst culprits. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, food waste is responsible for 8% of gas emissions. For this reason, Mario Fabbri took it upon himself to shed light on food waste and its dangerous and harmful effects on the environment. During a recent talk at TEDxLakeShoreDrive, he shared with the world his prized energy-efficient cooking techniques.

Mario Fabbri is a chef and the host of a groundbreaking vegan cooking show. He began his TV career on the top shopping network, QVC. Today, Mario hosts the cooking show Trying Vegan with Mario, where he teaches vegan recipes to athletes, doctors, and celebrities. This laudable figure grew up in Chicago, working at his dad’s Italian Sausage factory, where he anticipated taking over for his father one day. However, his plans changed when he learned how detrimental the commercial meat industry could be to the environment.

Revolutionary chef Mario Fabbri was nineteen years old when his whole perspective on the food industry altered his life forever. At that time, he was a college dropout who had to live off of instant ramen, egg sandwiches, leftover sausages, and whatnot. As a matter of fact, he could not care less about his health because he thought he felt good about the stuff he was putting in his system. 

Just when carrying out a healthy lifestyle started to slip his mind, Mario Fabbri witnessed one of the most incredible transformations when his friend lost about a hundred pounds by switching to a nutrient-dense plant-based diet. At that moment, he knew that it was time for a change. Several years later, this cooking show host stands as an esteemed speaker of his TEDx talk, “Delicious Recipes to Save the Planet.”

In his talk, Mario Fabbri shared some of the advantages of going vegan. “Portobello mushrooms are way more energy efficient than growing beef. A pound of these mushrooms requires only 1.8 gallons of water to grow while a pound of beef needs 1,000 gallons of water,” he explained. “Browning bananas are sweeter than yellow bananas. They are even great for dessert recipes,” the cooking show host added. 

On a mission to make the world a healthier place, Mario Fabbri takes significant strides toward the forefront of the industry, one delicious recipe at a time. Immensely fueled by his desire to save the planet, he teaches his best vegan recipes on his cooking show, Trying Vegan With Mario. In each episode, he invites a celebrity, athlete, or doctor to cook with him. Previous guests include Shark Tank host Mr. Wonderful, celebrity chef Gaz Oakley, and platinum recording artists Krewella. 

In an interview, Mario Fabbri was asked about what led him to give his TEDx talk. “I was motivated to give my TEDx talk because TED talks have inspired me in so many ways. I remember watching the famous TED talk, “Schools Kill Creativity,” and how it made me start to think more creatively. Had I not seen that talk, I would have never created my own cooking show,” the chef shared. “In the same way, I hope that my talk can inspire someone else to think differently and make a positive impact on their lives,” he noted. 

As can be gleaned from his journey, Mario Fabbri has proven that anyone is capable of making a difference in this world. True enough, his TEDx talk, “Delicious Recipes to Save the Planet,” is all about empowering individuals and reminding people that they can make a change. 

Learn more about Mario Fabbri and his recent TEDx talk here

E-Commerce Business Owner Fadi Amso Shares His Journey From Console Grips to Photography

Most people are under the impression that being young allows them to take their time doing what they love before they take life seriously. Even when they have goals of building a name for themselves, not many take the time to prepare for their journey. However, not everyone chooses to waste their youth. Some younger people are aware that their future is in their hands and that the sooner they start preparing, the better. Fadi Amso is among those who chose to build his career early.

Fadi Amso is a nineteen-year-old e-commerce owner and aspiring filmmaker based in San Diego, California. Amso was able to build up his brand even when he was attending high school. At fifteen years old, Amso already envisioned himself accomplishing big dreams. Determined to realize them, he set it upon himself to start early. While his peers enjoyed life and set up goals for the future, Amso spent most of his time contemplating how he could set off on his goal. 

During his senior year, Amso would come home from school feeling completely exhausted. As his future inched closer, his mind went into overdrive, juggling too many thoughts. As a means of escaping his struggles, Amso delved into video games. It was through video games that he came up with his idea for an e-commerce business — grips.

Most console players use their controllers excessively, wearing out the button stickers and leaving nail scratches on the joysticks. There is also the problem of dust, fingerprint smudges, or scratches on the controller itself. Fadi Amso devised thumb grips so other gamers could play with increased comfort, control, and handling while their sweaty palms no longer got in the way. He would name his business Sweet Grip.

Sweet Grip was a venture that set Amso in the right direction despite the uncertainty in his actions. The e-commerce business led to generating a huge revenue that he continues to run today. Amso would follow up his business with Amazon FBA a year after his breakthrough. Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) is a service that provides sellers like Amso with storage, packaging, and shipping assistance. With Amazon’s established clientele, it was easier for the young entrepreneur to kick the business off.

When Fadi Amos was sixteen years old, he came home from school one day and decided to buy a camera. Looking up Craigslist, he found a camera for $300. Once it arrived, Amso took an interest in photography and videography. He started posting his shots on Instagram and built a portfolio that people enjoyed. Amso decided to turn his hobby into a business, creating high-quality photos for brands around San Diego.

Whether it’s Sweet Grip or his photography, Amso always strives to deliver his best for his clients. Even for a last-minute request, he goes out of his way to do what he can for them. Four years following his breakthrough, Amso plans on starting and operating multiple e-commerce businesses. His long-term goal is to build a team so he can continue providing his service globally. Additionally, Amso foresees long-term investments with owning properties.

To connect with Fadi Amso, you may follow him on Instagram.

Evette Vargas Reveals Her Journey From Struggling With Her Identity to Finding Refuge in the Arts

Before becoming an award-winning writer, director, producer, and storyteller, Evette Vargas was just another girl finding her place in the world. Born in the Boogie-down Bronx, she would later move to New Jersey at seven years old. Her family settled into the heart of a white suburban neighborhood. There she struggled to find comfort in her Latina heritage. Evette wanted to fit in with her friends who were predominantly white and at some point wanted to change her name to Jenny. However, she was never white enough for her white friends. Eventually, Evette lost her hood accent and found it difficult to be around other Latinos.

As she struggled with her identity, Evette Vargas found refuge in art. Her hobbies of drawing, painting, writing, and dancing once again became an outlet that lit her up and helped her find her voice. Evette was finally able to stand out. Her creativity expanded, and she would gravitate towards the urban scene with graffiti and deejaying. It was no different at home as she and her family allowed imagination to rule, and stories were loudly shared at the dinner table.

After high school, the highly-gifted Evette would delve into graphic & fashion design and spend a semester abroad in Paris, where she started a long-distance relationship with a French pastry chef. She would later work for Calvin Klein and Donna Karen as a fashion designer, but she yearned for her greatest passion — storytelling. Fortunately, Evette found herself attending NYU Tisch on a scholarship. There she was able to utilize her talents to their full extent, directing music videos, commercials and working as an advertising art director. Evette’s senior thesis film won the best of NYU, generating a lot of buzz and bringing her to Los Angeles.

Finally earning the opportunity to live out her dream, Evette Vargas utilized her skills to secure work in several major studios’ digital departments. A few years later, she would create a digital production company with her husband. Business was going well as many major names became their clients. The work allowed Evette to be creative, but she could not find the time to write her own stories. Yearning to share her stories once more, Evette went into grad school and earned an MFA from UCLA in Screenwriting and Television Show-running.

In 2019, Evette Vargas started mentoring five diverse screenwriters who dreamt of breaking into television. She organized a writer’s room setting where they broke a season arc of the Killing Eve series, wrote an episode of the arc, and concluded with a table read. While the breakthrough was something she already expected, the actors’ reaction during the table read was nothing short of positive as they shared their thoughts about the writers’ unique point-of-views. The writers and actors praised and encouraged Evette’s mentoring format, and she was excited about the prospect of making it come true, but at the time, her schedule left little room for her to invest in the project. Even when she had set up a series at MGM, Evette received support for the experience she gave the writers and actors. As an inclusion activist, she wanted to break down the barriers for underrepresented storytellers at all levels, creating The Writers Room 5050. 

Since creating her foundation, storytellers of different backgrounds were able to thrive in the writer’s room. Evette Vargas hopes that she will finally take her stories to the next level by showrunning her ideas and directing episodic television.

Learn more about Evette Vargas and The Writers Room 5050 Foundation by visiting their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.