Sharon May, owner of Raleigh’s infamous Relish Cafe, is reminded of the “pay it forward” movement when she thinks about A Place at the Table. When asked about why she’s impassioned by A Place at the Table, she said, “It’s like the Starbucks thing when people pay for the car behind them, I would like to be able to do that on a regular basis. So, I would pay extra so somebody else could come in and not need to pay.”
We are so fortunate to have met Sharon along this journey. It is Raleigh restaurant owners like her who are helping to bring our mission to life before we’ve opened our brick and mortar restaurant. Our executive director Maggie Kane is a frequent diner at Relish Cafe and that’s how she met Sharon, a kind soul who we now consider a great friend. After Sharon heard about our mission, she jumped at the chance to help us plan and host an event at her restaurant. And it was, as we had hoped, a great success.
Last Saturday, our volunteers and board members served more than 250 hungry diners who braved record-breaking temperatures to stand in line for a pay-what-you-can brunch buffet prepared by Buku’s Sean Degnan, Todd Ohle and Tony Hopkins. With a suggested donation of $10 per plate, our patrons could not believe the immense value they got for their money! It wasn’t just any ordinary brunch buffet. It was stocked full of amazing, chef-prepared dishes like mouth-watering red velvet waffles with fried chicken, maple-espresso glazed pork belly, and chorizo and sweet potato hash. The dessert bar included homemade macarons, cookies, and even cupcakes. We can’t thank the amazing team who helped prepare, cook and serve this delicious meal enough!
While Relish served as the “bones” for our pop-up brunch this past week, it isn’t the first time it will help a local nonprofit and it won’t be the last. On October 1st, just under month away, Relish is hosting its first annual Mac-and-cheese Throwdown and Bartender Showdown. That’s right folks — you heard it here: Mac-and-cheese and alcohol: what a perfect combination! Some of Raleigh’s greatest chefs will come together to see who can cook the BEST mac-and-cheese while the proceeds from the evening benefit The Hope Center at Pullen, an organization dedicated to providing support for Wake County children aging out of foster care to transition successfully into adulthood. A Place at the Table will be present supporting The Hope Center and Relish and, of course, to grub on some mac-and-cheese! We’ll see you again at Relish’s table.
See the below flyer for more details about the throwdown and be sure to purchase your tickets today!