One of the restaurant community's most admirable attributes is its collective generosity. Here's an example: When news got out that Coup d'etat chef Tommy Begnaud was seriously injured in late March after being hit by an unlicensed and uninsured drunk driver, the team at Travail Kitchen & Amusements put out an all-points bulletin among its eating-and-drinking brethren, then set aside a date (Sunday, May 17) for a fundraiser in their Robbinsdale restaurant.
"[Tommy] had a GoFundMe me page set up by friends," said Travail's Megan Leafblad. "We were going to contribute to that and then thought we could throw a party, have a good time and raise a bunch more money. It was clear that his lost income and healthcare costs, etc., would far exceed the GoFundMe."
Throw a party, indeed. The roster of chef, bartender and restaurateur participants reads like a Who's Who of the Twin Cities dining landscape, including:
Jesse Held and Kim Tong of Borough/Parlour and Coup d’etat and the upcoming Monello/Constantine
Brian Werner of Heyday
Jack Riebel of the soon-to-open Il Foro and the upcoming remake of the Lexington
Adam Gorski of La Belle Vie
Travis Serbus of Lyn 65 Kitchen & Bar
Mandy Zechmeister of the Mill Northeast
Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza
Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Brasa
Tim Niver and J.D. Fratzke of the Strip Club and the soon-to-open Saint Dinette
Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing
Lucas Almandinger of the Third Bird
Steven Brown of Tilia
Erick Harcey of Victory 44
John Ng of Zen Box Izakaya
And hosts Mike Brown, Bob Gerken and James Winberg of Travail Kitchen & Amusements and Pig Ate My Pizza.
Their crews, too. Oh, and representatives from Bauhaus Brew Labs, the Fish Guys and Bittercube.
Great, right? "The common attitude of a cook, in and out of the kitchen, is when someone needs help, you help them," said Brown. (So true: Witness these three restaurant-driven fundraisers for Nepal earthquake victims).
The format: A potluck-style, all-you-can-eat (and drink) setup, with each chef/kitchen and bartender contributing one or two items to share.
Cost is $100 per head, and all proceeds will benefit Begnaud. Find ticket information here.