To try Sara's recipe for cold cauliflower soup with curried crabmeat, click here.
As people in the food business, we get bombarded with requests to donate our time and food to benefits. Benefits for cancer, benefits for the homeless, benefits for three legged dogs in China, benefits for the hungry (I always think it's weird to gorge yourself to help the hungry but hey, whatever it takes right?). It goes on and on. And fall is the height of benefit season, and it seems to have gotten excessive.
The idea used to be to throw a party, get some press for the cause, some press for the participating chefs and industry people, and raise some money. But there are some very dubious causes receiving money out there, and it's never clear how large a percentage of funds raised actually go to the cause being featured. Recently I was asked to do a benefit for Slow Food (really?). I am all for Slow Food, but I am not sure they need money as much as victims of natural disasters or terminal disease.
I was raised to believe in giving back to my community and to the general world community, and I believe in doing so. Some events I wholeheartedly endorse. Every year for the past six years I have participated in a great all-female event to support an organization called SHARE, which helps women with ovarian and breast cancer. The money really does go directly to the cause, plus I love that there's one night every year when most of the famously rare female chefs in New York gather under one roof. In the spring, I do the Taste of the Lower East Side, which benefits the Grand Street Settlement house, an organization that has been helping economically challenged residents of the Lower East Side since 1916. I love supporting the community I work in so directly.