Cooking on a budget with a bare cupboard isn't easy, but some of Silicon Valley's finest chefs are taking on the challenge.
West Valley Community Services is again hosting Chefs of Compassion: Cooking for a Cause Dinner, a unique event that challenges well-known chefs in the region to prepare a four-course dinner with ingredients found solely from the Cupertino-based nonprofit's food pantry.
The event is tonight, Friday, Sept. 13, and tickets are still available. There will be a reception at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 6 p.m. The event will be held at Lexus of Stevens Creek, 3333 Stevens Creek Blvd., in San Jose. Tickets are $125 for individuals and $1,250 per table of 10.
Participating chefs include Dinari Brown of Spencer's for Steak and Chops in San Jose, R.J. Subaba from Cin-Cin Wine Bar and Restaurant in Los Gatos, Manuel Martinez of La Viga Restaurant in Redwood City, and David Nelson from Crunch Catering in San Jose.
Earlier in the summer, the chefs dropped by the WVCS food pantry to look for ingredients and plan their dishes. During the Sept. 13 dinner, chefs will randomly choose their course by drawing from a hat.
Chefs are able to use any of the items found in the food pantry, and all items in the recipe must have a food pantry origin. Oil, flour, sugar, herbs and seasonings are the only exceptions. Chefs will work with the WVCS catering team to replicate their dishes the day of the event.
Judging will be done on a five-point scale for taste, appearance and creativity. A popular choice award will be given to the chef who received the most votes from event attendants. Judges include Carolyn Jung, editor of FoodGal.com, Linda Zavoral, food and restaurant columnist with the San Jose Mercury News, and Tracy Lee, CEO of Dishcrawl.
West Valley Community Services is a private nonprofit, community-based agency that has been providing direct assistance and referral services to the West Valley communities of Santa Clara County for 40 years, including Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, West San Jose and the unincorporated mountain regions of Silicon Valley.
The nonprofit's food pantries in Cupertino and Los Gatos are stocked by Second Harvest Food Bank, local grocery stores, bakeries, and community donations.
Tickets can be purchased by phone at 408-255-8033, ext. 305, or online at chefsofcompassion.org.