I hope you and your families are doing well and keeping safe. I know we’re all looking forward to getting back to normal, but because of the nature of our organization we may be one of the last to get approval. In the meantime, I wanted to bring you up-to-date on what we are doing to help our friends in the restaurant business. And we can all participate in this.
In March we made our annual contribution to Cincinnati State Foundation benefiting the Midwest Culinary Institute in the amount of $8,000. Over the past 12 years we have contributed over $77,000 to this fund, named after Irwin and Barbara Weinberg, and those dollars have benefited many students pursuing a career in the culinary arts. As we were making our contribution, the very business these students hoped to enter was being threatened more than ever by the worldwide pandemic.
We won’t know for a while just what impact this will have on the restaurant industry, but we do know it will take some time before things get back to normal. In the meantime some restaurants may fail and many people will be without a job. Had we known what we know today, we may have decided to direct a portion of those Cincinnati State dollars to helping make sure those students had a place to work after graduation.
At our May Board meeting the Cincinnati Bailliage Board voted to help some of the restaurateurs who have helped us the most over the years with our dinners. Those owners are: Jon Zipperstein (Embers, The Mercer OTR, Trio), Michael Forgus (Funky’s Catering, Pinecroft, The View, Transept), Jean-Robert de Cavel (Jean-Robert’s Table, French Crust, Frenchie Fresh, Le Bar a Boeuf), Shawn McCoy (Brown Dog Cafe), Jose Salazar (Mita’s, Salazar, Goose & Elder), Brad Bernstein (Red Feather, Postmark), and Wassim Matar (Phoenician Taverna). We’d like to help all our local restaurants but these have become friends of the Chaine over the years.
We will be donating a total of $5,000 to these seven owners, a gesture of goodwill and support during this tough time. This money will be recouped from the silent auction we have at the Haynes Farm. In addition, we will be asking our members to patronize these owners over the next couple of months, either by carryout or dine in, and we will assign each of the owners a week dedicated for that purpose. You can choose any of the restaurants within a their group during that week and we hope you all will be able to participate so that our 100 plus members will make a meaningful impact. We’ll start next week and you’ll receive an email at the beginning of each week naming the owner’s restaurants and reminding you to send some business their way.
Finally, we are working on some possible virtual events to bridge the gap until the 10 plus gathering limitation is lifted. Stay tuned for those invitations.
Vive la Chaine!