Get Your Tickets for Guest Chef on the Waterfront
We’re exactly four weeks out from the 7th Annual Guest Chef on the Waterfront, in which over 1,200 guests will feast on food and beverages from over 60 of the Seattle area’s best restaurants, breweries, wineries, and other purveyors.
“This event is our chance to give a big ‘thank you!’ to all the restaurants and chefs that support FareStart throughout the year,” says Christina Starr, FareStart’s marketing communications manager. “Lives are transformed at FareStart because of their support–when they hire FareStart graduates or volunteer to work with students at one of our Thursday evening Guest Chef Nights. They help FareStart have a positive impact on our community and we are so thankful for their support.”
I’ve long known that FareStart (winner of this year’s James Beard Foundation “Humanitarian of the Year” award) is a job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. When I first moved to Seattle twelve years ago, I did some volunteer work at one of the organization’s events. But only recently did I learn just how extensive the program really is.
The apparent focus of the 16-week program may be about culinary training, but it also teaches students how to survive and thrive in the working world. The funds from FareStart businesses provide for each student’s housing, transportation, and medical needs. Students also receive assistance with goal-setting, crisis management, life skills, and job placement. This holistic approach helps explain why more than 85 percent of FareStart’s graduates find employment within 90 days of program completion.
This is why I’m pleased each year to stuff myself silly as one of the judges at Guest Chef on the Waterfront. The judging panel picks winners in appetizer, entrée, and dessert categories, as well as the best overall dish. This year, I’m curious to see what last year’s overall winner, pastry chef Lorna Stokes of Cantinetta, will come up with as an encore. I’m also expecting big things from the likes of Dan Gilmore at Urbane and Joshua Henderson and Brian O’Connor at Skillet.
If you can’t make it to Guest Chef on the Waterfront, there are plenty of other ways to help support the cause. Those Thursday Guest Chef Nights are extremely popular; that’s not surprising, since you can score three-course meals from some of Seattle’s best chefs (who work with FareStart students to prepare the meal) for $24.95. There’s also service downtown for one of FareStart’s lunches (the menu includes sandwiches, salads, and a variety of specials). And if you’re as humbled as I am by FareStart’s contribution to the community but can’t attend an event, you can always contribute a donation.
Guest Chef on the Waterfront takes place on Wednesday, July 13, at 6 p.m. at Bell Harbor’s Elliott Hall on Pier 66 (2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66, Seattle). General admission tickets (21 and over) are $75 per person.