What was originally a party featuring 20 Northwest restaurants and 20 local breweries and wineries has mushroomed well beyond the symbolic number 20, but no one seems to be complaining. About half a dozen additional restaurants just announced include Robin Leventhal of Crave Catering and Top Chef fame, Lecosho's Matte Janke, Jeremy McClachlan of Salty's on Alki, plus new winery additions like Goose Ridge Estate, Kestrel Vintners and Rotie Cellars.
This, of course, is on top of the existing roster of Tom Douglases, Jonathan Sundstroms and Josh Hendersons. I kind of get the feeling that it's some sort of superhero team of chefs whom we've each seen fill bellies with incredible style on their own darn well, but united, they can stamp out hunger, erase homelessness and educate every child while hardly getting a stain of tomato sauce on their whites.
Ok, so maybe that would be a tall order even for the saintly folks of FareStart, but it does serve to remind us what this ingeniously delicious non-profit restaurant has been doing for the last 20 years and how it singularly has the unique ability to unite the area's vast and scattered culinary talent for a cause.
This is a place where a welfare mother of five dealing with domestic abuse finally found her passion and went on to open her own catering business and teach cooking to women in shelters; FareStart took in a recently-released convict with 19 felonies on his rap sheet and little hope for the future who is now working in restaurants and earning an honest living he's proud of.
The big anniversary bash is Saturday, June 9 from 6-9 p.m with tastes from all these great restaurants, cooking demonstrations, live music, a raffle, wine games, guest appearances and more. Tickets are $120 and all proceeds—yes, all—go to FareStart's job training and placement programs.
More information and tickets at farestart.org.