Guest chef warming up for food centre dinner
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | Feb. 21, 2019|
Aaron Walker, of McKecks Tap and Grill, is the guest chef at the Minden Food Centre’s annual guest chef dinner this Saturday night.
The centre’s Marilynne Lesperance said it’s their fourth guest chef dinner. The first one was with Jamie from the Riverside Inn in Norland. The second with Greg Turner and his sons from The Peppermill Steak and Pasta House in Carnarvon. Last year featured Suwan from Suwan’s Thai restaurant in Minden.
“Each year the dinners raise about $3,000 when the raffles are included,” Lesperance said. She said some Minden businesses have donated gifts to be raffled at the dinner, which will be held in the Minden Community Kitchen, at 24 Newcastle St., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.
Lesperance said it is a major fundraiser for the charity.
“The only time that more money was raised was at the road toll last year in the pouring rain,” she said. She added that this is the time of year when they are getting over the cost of their Christmas hampers, and coming up to April, their donations are lower.
“So, this is a real boost for us in the kitchen and the food bank and also to help with the cost of the new lift we are currently installing.”
Lesperance said the food bank’s biggest challenge going forward is maintaining the programs and services they provide to the community, especially when they are so dependent on volunteers.
“We are proud of the kids cooking program, the disaster relief, the dinners by donation and the 100 meals a week that we make that are distributed through the food bank,” she said.
“We currently source food at reduced cost, or free all the time, and share it with all the food banks in the county but it takes a lot of work to keep that up, but we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish in four-and-a-half years in the Masonic Lodge building.”
She said that considering they get no government funding and are totally dependent on donations, the past year has been better than expected and allowed them to offer more choices to families with kids.
Walker said he’d been talking to Lesperance for about a year about becoming this year’s guest chef.
“Through my work with Food for Kids, I am well aware of the food security issues throughout the county and the vital work that Marilynne and the other volunteers do within the community. I believe in supporting agencies that assist our neighbors in need locally,” he said.
Walker said the menu will include roasted chicken stuffed with caramelized apples and cranberry, flatbread with prosciutto and arugula, and they’re still planning dessert. Tickets are available at Pharmasave and Sassy Digs in Minden. All proceeds go to the Minden Food Centre.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.