Sunday night, Raleigh will host one of the most lavish dinners likely to be found anywhere in the country, prepared by a roster of more than a dozen chefs running some of the South’s most exciting restaurants, all in an effort to recover from the losses of Hurricane Florence.
The Sunday Supper, called Come Together for the Coast, will be held Oct. 7 at the newly opened Dillon, bringing together the likes of Scott Crawford, Vivian Howard, Ashley Christensen and Colin Bedford to raise money for the North Carolina Community Foundation’s disaster relief fund.
The dinner is the most ambitious fundraising effort so far by area chefs, but food-related fundraising has been going on since the rain stopped falling. Happy hours and dinners and dishes were organized during the storm to raise money for a number of charity groups.
Crawford helped organize Sunday’s dinner, saying the Triangle was lucky, but so many friends and neighbors to the east are struggling.
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“This hit close to home,” Crawford said. “I realized how easy it was to lose everything. We were preparing for revenue loss from the storm, but we were lucky. I knew I needed to step up.”
Initially Crawford aimed to raise $50,000 from the $250 ticketed event, but between the dinner, which will include a silent auction, and a second event in November, he puts the number closer to a half-million dollars.
The Nov. 11 Sunday Supper is a repeat of the “community table” event organized for Hurricane Matthew relief. Organizers expects a 1,000 diners to share one long table in the middle of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Tickets for that meal are $25.
Who’s cooking at the Dillon
Chefs for the Dillon event include:
▪ Colin Bedford of Fearrington House Restaurant
▪ Daniel Benjamin of Lucettegrace
▪ Ashley Christensen of AC Restaurant Group
▪ Scott Crawford of Crawford and Son
▪ Richard Fong of O-Ku
▪ Sunny Gerhart of St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar
▪ Steven Greene of Herons
▪ Vivian Howard of the Chef & The Farmer
▪ Matt Kelly of Mateo
▪ Cheetie Kumar of Garland
▪ Beth Little John of the Players’ Retreat
▪ Vansana Nolintha of Bida Manda
▪ Jake Wood of 18 Seaboard
▪ Giorgios Bakatsias of Giorgios Hospitality & Lifestyle Group
▪ Boulted Bread
Drinks will come from Pinetop Distillery, Great Wagon Road Distillery, Outerbanks Distilling, Queen of Wines, Fullsteam Brewery and Brewery Bhavana.
For tickets, visit: thesundaysupper.com.
What’s been raised so far
Immediately after the storm, The Durham hotel and restaurant hosted the first major fundraising dinner. Chefs Andrea Reusing, Matt Kelly, Bill Smith and others raised $8,000 for the NC Field farmworker emergency fund, which helps displaced migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the state.
Ashley Christensen organized and hosted two happy hours at her cocktail bar, Fox Liquor Bar, which together raised $21,000 for the NC Community Foundation. Prominent chefs like Howard Cheetie Kumar of Garland and Vansana Nolintha of Bida Manda made bar snacks and bartenders from popular bars like Gallo Pelon and Alley Twenty-Six mixed drinks. The first night, Durham chef Matt Kelly brought a cured ham from his Spanish restaurant Mateo, eventually auctioning off what was left, plus the ham stand for $1,000. The second night, Avett Brothers cellist and Raleighite Joe Kwon brought a signed drum head from the band, fetching $2,000.
So far the most successful fundraiser has been a small private dinner cooked by Christensen and celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. Christensen posted on Instagram that she reached out to Lagasse for some fundraising help and the next week he was in Raleigh. The dinner brought in $124,000, from $1,500 a head tickets, private donations and corporate matches, with donations going to the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina. The food bank said that amount of money will provide 620,000 meals.