Hungry No More
A CHEF-CURATED DINNER SERVES AS A DELICIOUS VEHICLE FOR GENEROSITY
Written by Shelley Skiles Sawyer / Photographed by John Haigwood and Kyle Ripley, Haigwood Studios
Many of us say a blessing before a meal, but few realize how much of a blessing that food in front of us actually is. Nearly 19 percent of Georgia’s population are unable to afford proper nourishment. With that in mind, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse and, Flavors recently joined forces to sponsor Chefs Cook for Hunger, the first of what they hope to be an annual event benefitting the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). “One in every five people in Georgia, which includes one in every four children, face hunger and food insecurity,” explains Chef Mary Moore, immediate past chair of the ACFB governing board, before the multi-course meal began.
Arriving guests mingled in Davio’s elegant private event space and sampled an array of passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by Davio’s chefs Matthew Rosekrans and Rodney Murillo and guest chefs Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun’s Restaurants, Gerry Klaskala of Aria, and Mary Moore of Cook’s Warehouse. A zesty Brut Blanc and a lively delicate pink Vino Spumante, both from Col de Salici, kicked off the beverage offerings donated and paired for the event by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
For the first seated course, Chef Klaskala presented a gorgeously composed salad of chilled Springer Mountain Farms chicken, roasted red peppers, French beans and tender lettuce with a tangerine-orange swath of Sun Gold tomato vinaigrette. The floral bouquet of the 2016 Calafuria Rosé from Salento painted the perfect palate picture.
“It tears at your heart when people go hungry,” says Klaskala, explaining the importance of the gathering. “Making sure that people are fed is one of the basic needs that must be met, and thankfully ours is a generous, giving industry.”
Speaking of generosity, it went both ways that evening as guests had the opportunity to bid on an array of items graciously donated by the participating chefs and sponsors. With the help of Rathbun’s unbridled personality and special guest emcee Christine Pullara’s charm, the live auction was soon underway. While tucking into amazing little fluffy pillows of heaven — hand-rolled potato gnocchi that Rosekrans served with organic mushrooms and a generous shaving of black truffles — hands shot up to bid on items including a Big Green Egg and personal lessons from Chef Rathbun on how to use it. “We know how to feed people and we want to give something back,” explains Rathbun, who has served on ACFB’s board for 14 years.
It was easy to find room for the evening’s final — and undeniably delicious — offerings. The 2015 Eroica Riesling from Columbia Valley, with its bright fruity aromas and subtle minerality, was the perfect partner for Moore’s caramel-laced peach upside-down cake served with toasted almond ice cream.
“Ninety-five cents of every dollar spent goes directly to the community,” explains Moore, referring to ACFB’s marvelous efficiency. The dessert was memorable, but perhaps the sweetest ending to the evening was the money raised to feed Georgia’s hungry which hopefully will diminish in numbers with continued donations of money, time, talents and product, one generous act at a time.
Get your calendar and your forks ready for the next Chefs Cook for Hunger event October 2018 (date TBA).
Excerpt is from an article featured in the winter issue of
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