I am compelled by some unnameable force to nourish others – this is why I am a chef by vocation, and also why I try and devote at least a little part of my time, success, and earnings to giving back to the community. The primary way that I do this is participating as a caterer for nonprofit fundraising events that are as nourishing to humanity as my cuisine is to bellies!
Tomorrow, I have my largest annual fundraising event for a wonderful organization called Project Glimmer (project glimmer.org). Through what the site calls “a simple act of giving”, Project Glimmer gives at-risk teenage girls and women a little reminder that somebody, somewhere has taken the time to think about their individual needs. While the concept may at the surface seem so uncomplicated and effortless, even the smallest gift given with a pure and kind intention communicates a much, much deeper message to the recipient: You have value. You mean something to me. You deserve love. You deserve happiness. YOU are a gift, and this trinket is just a reminder.
Personally, I can’t think of anything more nourishing to the soul than simple acknowledgement of value and worthiness of another human being – so being part of this effort feeds my heart even more than I am feeding the attendees’ bellies!
Check out this year’s primarily plant-based menu, specially designed to delight the tastebuds while accommodating a multitude of potential dietary restrictions simultaneously. I’ll write more about why Equal Opportunity Eating and desgining delicious lowest-common-denominator meals are important to me another time – but for now, just imagine these flavors and colors on a brisk fall afternoon! Is this a menu that would nourish YOUR body and soul?
Project Glimmer Luncheon Menu 2014
Pretty Little Things
Gluten-free crostini with Meyer lemon whipped goat cheese and beet-pear-persimmon tartare
Vegetarian Nicoise bites – steamed purple potatoes stuffed with chopped green beans, kalamata olives, hard boiled egg, fresh oregano, heirloom grape tomatoes, and red wine vinaigrette. Sprinkled with homemade nori salt.
Ribbons, Jewels, and Gems
Roasted carrot & parsnip ribbons, pomegranate jewels, little gems lettuce, candied pepitas, and spiced apple cider vinaigrette
Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice
Moroccan inspired fresh chickpea tagine with apricots, heirloom tomatoes, and honey, cauliflower “couscous”, and fresh golden panisse
Remember – healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive!