Today, New York chef Sara Jenkins describes, for The Atlantic, “The Dark Side of Benefit Dinners: A Chef’s Perspective.” It’s an honest perspective, and a timely one given that the benefit season is ramping up. (Speaking of ramps, Sara explains exactly why she’s sick of them — and I’m not talking about the ramps on the loading dock, where chefs may be seen in their civvies, off-loading the “gourmet” goods at special events.)
I’ve seen my share of benefits where chef-celebs and their hired hands work like dogs to put on the dog — in the name of charity (bless ’em). I’ve seen it from the fancy front-of-the-house with a glass of champagne in hand, as well as from the not-so-pretty perspective in back. So I thought I’d post Sara’s take on the subject, and ask if any local chefs, restaurateurs (or others) who regularly offer their time and talent in the name of doing-good care to weigh in on the subject. Anyone? Uncomfortable speaking out in a public forum? Feel free to shoot me a private e-mail.
Seattle chefs plating a course in a crowded hotel hallway at a benefit dinner (left). Never bite the hand that feeds you soup-with-bacon to go, at a gala benefit in NYC.