On the eve of Hurricane Sandy, 350 enthusiastic and supportive individuals gathered for the second annual Ultimate Tailgate Event. A fundraiser for Lovin' Spoonfuls, one of Boston's most innovative non-profit organizations, this year's event was an evening dedicated to the incredible team behind the wheels of this organisation. Without a doubt, it was one of the most special events I have been to in a while.
Before going any further, I should say a few words about what it is exactly that the team behind Lovin' Spoonfuls does. In January 2010, Ashley Stanley, Lovin' Spoonfuls founder and executive director, put in motion a team with the intention of redistributing foods that would otherwise be thrown away and wasted, to those in need. With 40% of food being wasted each year in America, there is no doubt that much can be done to reverse this trend. By setting out each day in one of their two trucks, the team behind Lovin' Spoonfuls is able to redistribute some of what restaurants, groceries, bakeries and other wholesale food producers cannot sell to homeless and crisis shelters around the city of Boston.
The event was held at Sam's at Louis, by the Seaport. Only a small part of it was held indoors, most of it actually happened outside on the lawn, under cover of a tent. Being outside on a night like Sunday evening gave the whole thing a very powerful feeling, like we were all there to celebrate something extra special. The sound of the winds coming in added an element of intrigue but overall, it felt like we were all just a bunch of friends hanging out with good food, wine (courtesy of MS Walker) and all for a good cause.
As I mentioned earlier, part of the evening happened indoors, there was a football themed photo booth and a bar inside. Most of the excitement however, happened out in the tent, where some of Boston's top chefs had created Tailgate themed dishes for guests to enjoy. One of my favorites was the lobster roll by celebrity chef, Steve 'Nookie' Postal. The chunks of lobster in this deliciously buttered and pan-toasted roll were large and succulent. I am not usually a fan of lobster rolls, but after eating this one, I totally get it.
I must admit however, I started the evening off with an ice cream sandwich from the Flour team. It was the first table I saw and how could you possibly resist a ginger molasses cookie with pear ice cream!? They also had servings of their delectable sticky bun bread pudding...what a table.
Throughout the evening it was also a pleasure to see Jamie Bissonnette from Coppa and Toro (for two very meat inspired restaurants, it was ironic to see him serving up a spicy tofu bocadilla), Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers as well as Will Gilson and other great names in Boston's food scene. Again, the support at this event was so genuine, Chef Will actually spent most of his time battling the winds outside as he was shucking his oysters fresh for all guests.
By the end of the night, amid all the delicious food, good music and entertaining live auction hosted by TVDiner's Jenny Johnson, Lovin' Spoonfuls more than met their goal and with over $80,000 raised, there will be a third truck on the road.
From the day I first heard about Lovin's Spoonfuls, I knew it was something special, and participating at an event dedicated to its future development was a real treat for me. I so look forward to keeping in touch with the up and coming pursuits of this organization.