PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Fundraising events typically draws large crowds, but this year that may look much different due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the reason, the non-profit Growing Gardens had to reevaluate it’s annual fundraiser.
The long-time summer dinner series has been referred to as “Chef In My Garden,” until recently it became “Chef In Your Garden.” This year, instead of being able to host a unique culinary experience in gardens across Portland, the non-profit has cooked up a new plan– bringing dinner to you.
Executive director of Growing Gardens, Jason Skipton says multi-course dinner baskets prepared by some of Portland’s top chefs will be delivered right to your doorstep– dessert and wine included.
“We didn’t want to just cancel, we really want to show our support for the restaurant industry that supported us for 17 years, so we started looking at take-out and then delivery,” Skipton said.
Akadi owner and chef Fatou Ouattara says this year has been challenging for businesses, which is why she is grateful to be one of five chefs invited to participate in the summer dinner series.
“This year will be different but the passion and excitement for cooking for people will still be there,” said Ouattara. She is planning to feature a West African vegan cuisine in her dinner basket. “I just hope they enjoy what we have to offer.”
In the past, the summer dinner series raised $60,000 for Growing Gardens, according to Skipton. He says those funds directly support the non-profit’s work in the community: to help build garden beds for low income families, improve access to healthy foods for youth and the incarcerated and offer virtual gardening consultations.
“It’s really about connecting with each other and connecting through food,” Skipton said. “Supporting our “Chef in Your Garden” concept and this new rendition of it with COVID-19… this is ensuring that we are still able to do all three of our programs… still today,” Skipton added.
Chef in Your Garden will kick off in August and run through October. Each date features a different chef, with a limited number of tickets available. For more information about Growing Garden’s fundraising event,” click here.