Time to catch up
Please join the Zanmi d'Ayiti Facebook page and help make a difference in the lives of Haitians struggling to recover from the disastrous earthquake. The benefit is March 12, and folks such as Daniel Boulud, Tony Bourdain, and myself are looking to you to help support this cause. It’s in NYC, but if anyone can attend, donate, or buy items at the auction, please do so. The need is tremendous.
On a similar note, I’m happy to report that my friend Mauricio in Chile, my pals in Collanco and Concepcion, and Mauricio’s entire circle of buddies in Santiago are safe and well after the shocking events of the past few days. More on Chilean relief efforts in the coming days. Both disasters are horrific occurrences, but isn’t it amazing what a difference a little GNP makes in the lives of the survivors.
Regionally, where heartbreak hit much closer to home, 50 Twin Cities restaurants and businesses are getting together on March 14 to raise dough for our own local losses: Heidi’s and Blackbird.
“Fork the Fire” will allow diners to contribute at local restaurants that are running specials in honor of the fallen favorites. For more information visit, forkthefire.org. HUGE props to Vincent, Molly, Sue Mac, Elli, Alex, Anoush, Desta, Russ, and all the others who are making this possible. No one shows up quicker and in more force than the restaurant community in times of trouble—what an amazing group of committed comrades. I plan on going to one of the participating eateries for dinner that night and showing my support—you should too. Just think how great it would be if we could sell out all the restaurants that day and make a difference in the lives of so many who lost so much.
One thing I want to mention to all those curious e-mailers inquiring about the charitable component of this fundraising event: FTF is not tax deductible (as of this writing). According to one of the organizers, the donations will be split equally between each restaurant and the organizers will be working with the individual owners to distribute funds where needs are the greatest.
The other question I keep hearing is how the organizers will figure out how to weigh and assess need, and will all the employees who need financial help be able to get it? How much and how will this be vetted? Well here’s my take on this typically I like to know where my dough is going, just like you do, but in this case, I trust the organizers. It’s that simple. They are working hard making the event happen, and I believe these smart, committed folks will figure the other parts out as they head downstream.
The most important thing to do RIGHT NOW is make a reservation at one of the participating restaurants. If you can't make it out that night and just want to make a donation, please do so: Blackbird and Heidi's Benefit Fund, Central Bank, 2120 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., 55405.
Interested in seeing more street-food carts, vendors, and food trucks in our cities? I am. And thanks to the heads up I got from my pals at Chef Shack we have a means to an end. Head on down to Minneapolis City Hall on March 22nd at 1:30 p.m. and let your city government know how you feel about supporting a vibrant street food life in Minneapolis.