Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Go By the Hat Store, Things Just Got Real.......

Fight Hunger with Food. And Beer.

So here's how it's going to go down.

Sunday, October 14
Brookeville Restaurant

Five Courses of Jacked Up Grill Classics

Beer Pairings From Local Breweries

Support Hungry Neighbors via the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

Donation Suggested: $50 per person

Who knows what a carbon footprint is?  That's how much "carbon based" energy or resources you burn up when you do something. For example, if you go to Disneyworld, you can theoretically measure how much oil, gas, plastic, coal and whatever else it cost the world for that trip to happen, and that is your carbon footprint. Now there are gigs out there that let you supposedly negate your carbon footprint by buying interest in clean energy and recycling and rehyrdation of mummies and cuddling unicorns and stuff like that, and then you feel better about that tenth trip down Space Mountain and that fifth burrito in Little Mexico at Epcot. The concept has been a revelation to me lately.

What is your food footprint? I am a big guy. It's no secret to both of you who read this blog that we like our food over here. I like to eat out, and I REALLY like to cook, and by the time you add up all the groceries and the gadgets and the charcoal (and the beer), a lot of money gets involved. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But last month, a few days before hosting a large dinner party, my wife and I went on a trip to DC for our anniversary. We ate at a fancy restaurant, and we had the time of our lives, but at some point it hit me that about 30 feet from where I sat eating my butter poached steak, there was a guy with a cardboard sign begging for change. How rotten must it feel to have a pang in your stomach from lack of calories, when you can see a guy your age through the window eating a $50 steak? That upset me. Now I don't think it's wrong to be successful. I don't think it's wrong to indulge in anything, especially food. However, the concept of my own food footprint got right up in my face after that.

Hunger affects so many more people than you know. In fact, statistics say you KNOW someone who is skipping a meal so they can pay their power bill. Or pick up their prescription. There are kids out there who think boiled potato night is like Christmas. Nobody likes to get a guilt trip laid on them, but THIS IS REAL. We all need to eat. It's the great equalizer for us. So let's stop pretending it's too big a problem, or that it's someone else's problem, or that there are enough soup kitchens that people can go to, or that we gave enough at the office. Let's stick it to empty stomachs right now, and I'll even give you a good time for your troubles.

The good folks Jennifer and Harrison Keevil of  Charlottesville's own Brookeville Restaurant have been generous enough to let The Jacked Up Grill take over their kitchen and dining room on Sunday October 14 for a Dinner To Fight Hunger. This is just me, an amateur, cooking the best locally sourced dishes I can come up with, but I promise I haven't seen anyone spit any of my cooking out lately, and you may even be surprised. There will be five courses, and each will be paired with a craft beer from one of our excellent breweries.

How does serving all this food to a bunch of white folks help starving kids? Good Question. The only thing we ask for attending is a donation of $50 per person, which will go directly to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. If you don't know their story, look them up here. This outfit serves MILLIONS of meals per year, and they are EXTREMELY good at it. There are 20 seats available for this dinner. EVERY PENNY of your $50 is going directly to the Food Bank. The folks there can turn each dollar into FOUR meals, and our goal is $1,000, so unless you need serious math help, that means 4,000 mouths will be fed with what we do on October 14. I'd say if I burn the shrimp that night, it will still taste better than that steak did in DC.

Food is good. Food makes people happy. That's why I cook. I know $50 ain't no joke to lots of us, including me, but I promise you the food will be worth it, and you will meet some incredible people. But think about what you're doing to help your neighbors. If you leave Brookeville that night thinking your money wasn't well spent, let me know, but if I have learned anything in my life, I have learned that the most rewarding things you can do are the things that cost you something. You won't regret it, and you can enjoy every bite knowing that someone else is going to eat well because of what you did.

Plus, at the last dinner I did, everyone got free stick-on mustaches, so there you go.

Seats are filling up fast, so if you want to attend, email me at, and I'll put you on the list.

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