Nick Saul is pleased to report that “The revolution will be tasty!”. The Executive Director of Community Food Centres Canada (a.k.a. CFCC) is very excited about Chefs for Change, a series of four collaborative Friday night dinners this winter in support of the organizations he heads up on January 23 and 30, and February 20 and 27 at Propeller Coffee Roastery in the West End of Toronto.
Saul epxlained to GFR that the dinners are a kind of extension of Restaurants for Change, the one night, nine cities, 25 restaurants fall fundraising event GFR reported on (here) in October. Saul says former The Stop CFC chef Chris Brown, who now heads Citizen Catering, came to him with the idea to create a series of chef-driven dinners in aid of CFCC. Brown had worked closely with Saul when the latter was E.D. at The Stop and missed the collaboration. Brown’s catering HQ is not far from the CFCC’s offices, and when Losel Tethong, proprietor of their local artisan coffee destination, Propeller, offered his space as a venue, Brown started calling all the chefs he knew who clamoured to get involved.
Apart from dozens of top Toronto and area chefs from Jason Bengerter to Lora Kirk, Brown is bringing in some far flung talent, as befites CFCC’s staus as a national organizations. Anthonio Park, Todd Perrin and Connie Desousa are coming from Montreal, St. John’s and Calgary respectively. A list of all chefs, and who’s cooking with whom and when, can be found at chefsforchange.ca. Saul says the plan is to spread the series around more Canadian cities.
As delicious as the revolution will be, Saul sees both the Restaurants For Change event and the Chefs For Change series of four dinners as more than a exercise in fundraising. “We want to support chefs who want to speak out about food justice issues,” he explains, “these are chefs who care about the four million Canadians who lack basic food security.” Saul cites the example of U.S. chef, restaurateur and broadcaster Tom Colicchio who is an outspoken defender of food stamp programs. “Chefs just want to feed people, it’s in there blood,” he says, before adding, “tickets are selling quickly, book now if you want to come.”