I was driving downtown the other evening and was stopped at a light near Marion and Western, deep in thought, presumably about what I would cook for dinner, when I looked to my right and was struck by what I saw. A long row of tents lined the North wall of the furniture store, Dania. I had just come from the roaring fireplace at my parent’s house on Bainbridge, and here these destitute folks were all gathered together for warmth; a feeling of guilt washed over me. How sadly ironic, I thought, that these people created a make-shift tent community against a store whose sole purpose is to make people’s homes more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
It’s easy to feel powerless in these situations, or to drive home and forget about the whole thing. Homelessness is insidious, and with the economic downturn, the number of homeless in Seattle has proliferated to 8,000 men, women and children. What can I do? I wondered. And then my answer came like magic.
The following Thursday, my friend told me about a three-course dinner for only $24.95 that she was attending that evening and boasted that Chef Matt Costello of Inn at Langley was the guest chef. I was all ears. She went on to say that the restaurant hosting him was called FareStart; I’d never heard of the restaurant so I pressed her for more info. She told me that FareStart is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged adults, and that every Thursday night a different guest Chef works with the students to prepare a three-course meal for over 200 guests at the FareStart Restaurant. These students are no novices in the kitchen; they have gone through a 16-week intensive training program at FareStart that combines hands-on food-service training with classroom instruction, preparing them for jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry. What’s more, guests not only get a three-course gourmet meal, but all of the proceeds (including gratuities) from the evening go back into the program to fund future student services and training. With budgets being tight due to the economy and the fast-approaching holidays, this seems a perfect way to dine out sans guilt plus the added bonus of creating tangible positive change in our community.
Three-course Guest Chef Night meals are $24.95. Price does not include tax, beverage, or gratuity. Wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.Vegetarian options are also available. Contact: 206-267-7601 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations are strongly suggested.
Attire: The atmosphere of Guest Chef Night is festive, but not formal. Business casual attire is appropriate.
700 Virginia Street (7th & Virginia, Downtown)
Seattle, WA 98101
Click here for driving directions and parking info