ChefsGiving Week & Gala Raise $750K To Support Fire Relief

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Liam Mayclem and Leslie Sbrocco
Liam Mayclem and Leslie Sbrocco

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Although the recent fires were an example of harrowing devastation, the strength and spirit that has risen from the ashes is an inspiration. Case in point: last week’s ChefsGiving, a culinary extravaganza—that quickly came together in less than four weeks—raised a projected $750,000 for Northern California fire relief. ChefsGiving was organized by two local food personalities, Liam Mayclem and Leslie Sbrocco, and consisted of two distinct events.

Dominique Crenn and Liam Mayclem
Dominique Crenn and Liam Mayclem

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

The first was a week long fundraising event where restaurants offered special items or menus and donated the proceeds from these sales to the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund and Restaurants Care. From November 13-19, many of the Bay’s most prominent restaurants like Rich Table, Slanted Door, August (1) Five, Tosca, Bluestem Brasserie, and Foreign Cinema served ChefsGiving menus. Diners were notified of the deal upon arrival at the restaurant and encouraged to participate in the fundraiser. Chef José Andrés donated proceeds from a week of dinners at his Las Vegas restaurant, Bazaar Meat and chef Russell Jackson of New York’s Subculture Dining donated a dinner as well. Dominque Crenn was the chair of the ChefsGiving chef and restaurant committee and she alone raised $16,000 from two nights of special menus at her eateries, Atelier Crenn and Petit Crenn. “We are thrilled at the turn out and the enormous giving spirit shown by our community,” Crenn said in a statement. “The restaurant participation was beyond our hopes and dreams with more than 127 restaurants signed up.”

Atmosphere at the ChefsGiving Gala
Atmosphere at the ChefsGiving Gala

Photo Credit: Lucas Francisco for Drew Altizer Photography

The second event was a gala that took place on Sunday, November 19 at the Ferry Building. The sold out crowd of 1,050 guests packed into the second floor grand hall (above the marketplace) to eat, drink, and give back. Profits from tickets, wine sales, and live and silent auctions were all given to the aforementioned charity partners. Auction lots included dinners at Crenn’s farm that brought in $30,000 and a two-night trip for four to Las Vegas with chef Hubert Keller, which raised $10,000. Hundreds of wines, from prestigious makers like Dom Perignon, Unti, and Opus One, were poured, while 30 food vendors served cheese, foie gras, charcuterie, and more. Cocktails from 11 of SF’s top bars were also available to guests when they arrived at the party.

Dan Costa, Jessica Record and Liam Mayclem
Dan Kosta, Jessica Record and Liam Mayclem

Photo Credit: Lucas Francisco for Drew Altizer Photography

“In all my years of producing or chairing galas, the community spirit and the positive energy was felt by all in ways that I have never seen at a fundraiser before. The good energy in the room exceeded all expectations,” gala chair, Debbie Zachareas, said of the evening. Some of the industry folk pouring wine were directly affected by the wildfire. Winemaker Dan Kosta, formerly of Kosta Browne and now of AldenAlli, spoke candidly with Haute Living about losing his home to the fires. When Kosta’s neighbor knocked on his door that fateful Sunday night at the start of October, he first thought ‘it’s too late to go drinking,’ but he opened his door and saw the night lit up orange by the fire, and he knew he had to grab his kids and get moving.

Sam Mogannam, Amy Reynolds, Stuart Brioza and Ravi Kapur
Sam Mogannam, Amy Reynolds, Stuart Brioza and Ravi Kapur

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

The party was packed with familiar faces from the restuarant industry. Chefs Ravi Kapr (Liholiho Yacht Club), Sam Mogamman (Bi-Rite,) and Stuart Brioza (State Bird Provisions and The Progress) were awarded the inaugural ChefsGiving Humanitarian Award for their efforts to provide aid to those affected by the fires. Roland Passot, Andrew Freeman, Tucker Taylor, Michael Franti, and Hooman Khalili were some of the notables who came out to support the cause.

Shirin Aryanpour and Shab Farzaneh
Shirin Aryanpour and Shab Farzaneh

Photo Credit: Lucas Francisco for Drew Altizer Photography

Kristen Green, Rebecca Hopkins and Gwyneth Borden
Kristen Green, Rebecca Hopkins and Gwyneth Borden

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Debbie Zachareas
Debbie Zachareas

Photo Credit: Lucas Francisco for Drew Altizer Photography

ChefsGiving Gala
ChefsGiving Gala

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Ravi Kapur and Jeanne Armstrong
Ravi Kapur and Jeanne Armstrong

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Atmosphere
Atmosphere

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Andreas Altamirano and Rose Titcomb
Andreas Altamirano and Rose Titcomb

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Charlotte Mayang, Amanda Cambria and Jen Lazorik
Charlotte Mayang, Amanda Cambria and Jen Lazorik

Photo Credit: Lucas Francisco for Drew Altizer Photography

Liam Mayclem and Leslie Sbrocco
Liam Mayclem and Leslie Sbrocco

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Michel Notten and Bebe Notten
Michel Notten and Bebe Notten

Photo Credit: Lucas Francisco for Drew Altizer

Cecilia Chiang
Cecilia Chiang

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Sara Agah Franti and Michael Franti
Sara Agah Franti and Michael Franti

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Pete Sittnick, Kathy Sittnick and Hooman Khalili
Pete Sittnick, Kathy Sittnick and Hooman Khalili

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Reza Esmaili and Joel Teitelbau
Reza Esmaili and Joel Teitelbau

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Hubert Keller, Chantal Keller and Walid Mando
Hubert Keller, Chantal Keller and Walid Mando

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

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