Mark Duesler, Chef Consultant/Program Advisor
On Sunday May 21st, the PG&E Food Service Technology Center was invited by The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards to help support their booth at the 30th annual Meals On Wheels’ Star Chefs and Vintners Gala donor event at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion in San Francisco.
For those not familiar with Meals on Wheels, it is a program dedicated to providing seniors with friendly visits and nutritious meals. Their mission is to fight against senior neglect and malnutrition. As a way to help fund the project, they hold the Star Chefs and Vintners Gala annually, which has become a culinary who’s-who event for San Francisco. The Bay Area’s biggest chefs and winemakers come out to give donors an extraordinary culinary experience as a show of appreciation. It starts with a reception featuring small, savory bites paired with local wines and moves to a plated dinner prepared by some of San Francisco’s finest chefs. This year’s event included dishes from Stuart Brioza of State Bird Provisions and Thomas McNaughton of Flour and Water among many others. All in all, the event raised nearly $3.2 million for Meals on Wheels, which will result in some 640,000 prepared and delivered meals for seniors across San Francisco.
This was a rare opportunity for the PG&E FSTC to gain exposure with some of San Francisco’s premier restaurants that may not know of the FSTC’s various consulting services like our new equipment demo program, Try Before You Buy, and our upcoming educational seminars, which are free to PG&E customers. The event was a fantastic way for us to give back to the community, while also having a chance to work alongside the chefs and operators we look to serve. It also gives us a chance to find out what challenges or projects they are working on. Whether it be to save money on energy, streamline their operation, or tackle labor and consistency issues, we can offer viable solutions or resources to point them in the right direction.
Anyone who knows restaurant operators, knows that time is of the essence and being able to meet with them before and after the event was extremely valuable. As a former chef at Wente, I’m fortunate to still have such a strong relationship with the organization and the chef team. The ongoing FSTC connection with Wente has been a real gateway into finding and helping restaurants understand the mission of the FSTC and what we can do to help them save energy and money. As such, we are looking forward to supporting more events of this type in the future.
For more pictures from the event, please click here.