One of the best parts of being a blogger is the opportunity to learn about ways in which I can use this blog to promote good. The other night I attended a Hearth Shares dinner at Brasserie Jo. Hearth Shares kicks off today, and you can learn more about this initiative to end homelessness below.
This holiday season, Boston diners can once again give meaningfully with as little as a $1 donation at area restaurants through Hearth Shares (www.HearthShares.org), a local fundraising initiative to end homelessness. The program offers restaurant goers the opportunity to easily add a voluntary donation of $1 or more to their bill. Launched in 2014, the program has raised $80,000 to provide support for the Boston area homeless community. Supported by Citizens Bank, 100% of proceeds from Hearth Shares will benefit Hearth, Friends of Boston’s Homeless and a select group of other nonprofits working to end homelessness in the Boston community.
Boston Chefs and Restaurateurs Ming Tsai, Jeffrey Gates along with Chef Chris Douglass, Chef Nookie Postal, Chef Jamie Mammano, Chef Jeffrey Fournier, Chef Nicholas Calias and many others have signed on to support Hearth Shares at their restaurants. They follow in the footsteps of Fergus Henderson, Gordon Ramsay, Angela Hartnett and Ashley Palmer-Watts who support the program’s London counterpart, StreetSmart in their restaurants. Since 1998, StreetSmart has raised over $10 million for homeless programs in London and has over 500 participating restaurants.
WHEN: November 20, 2015 – December 25, 2015
WHERE: Participating restaurants in Greater Boston include 51 Lincoln, 80 Thoreau, 224 Boston Street, Aquitaine Boston, Ashmont Grill, The Backroom, Battery Park, Beat Hôtel Brasserie, The Beehive, Bella Luna & The Milky Way, Blue Dragon, Blue Ginger, Brasserie Jo, Cinquecento, Commonwealth, Estragon, EVOO, Gaslight Brasserie, Juniper, Isabella Restaurant, L’Andana, The Local Newton, The Local Wayland, The Local Wellesley, The Merchant, Metropolis Café, Mistral, Mooo…, Ostra, Sorellina, South End Buttery, Sweet Basil, Sycamore, Tavolo, Teatro, Waban Kitchen, and Za Restaurant Arlington & Cambridge.
The dinner was very special, in a private room at Brasserie Jo, and gave us the opportunity to learn from representatives of Hearth, Citizens Bank, and Friends of Boston’s Homeless. The commitment to making a difference for Boston’s homeless, and in particular the elderly homeless, was such a passion of these people, and I got to discuss the issue in depth with the President of Hearth, which houses homeless elders in Boston. The simple act of acknowledging the homeless as human beings can be life-changing, and the work these people are doing both made me feel incredibly grateful but also driven to do something to make the world a better place.
Everything we ate was incredible, starting with Pastrami Salmon, Dried Dark Rye, Sauerkraut Bon-Bon, Salmon Roe.
Fresh butter and baguettes for everyone at the table added that bit of French flair and flavor that I love about Brasserie Jo.
My phone, may it rest in peace, failed for most of the meal, so I don’t have many photos. I now have a new phone and hope to not have any problems in the future. The wonderful menu created for us was as follows:
· 1st Course: Roast Beet, Pickled Shallot, Hazelnut, Goat Cheese Mousse Salad
· 2nd Course: Green Circle Chicken, Parsnip, Chanterelle Studel, Heirloom Carrots
· 3rd Course: Baked Alaska, Pumpkin Meringue, Apple Cognac Genoise, Cinnamon Ice Cream
Brasserie Jo’s chef came out to talk to us and to let us know how important Hearth Shares is to the restaurant. Getting guests to opt in is a bit of a competition, and Brasserie Jo really encourages its staff to promote the initiative.
I am so happy that I was able to attend this dinner. I am hoping to volunteer at Hearth in the near future. With all going on in the world, this event and the Hearth Shares initiative is a true reminder that most of us are good and want the best for each other. If you are in Boston and planning on dining out in the next month, please consider one of the Hearth Shares restaurants!