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Bay Area Chefs Pledge to Raise $1 Million for Fire Relief

Chefs will give back with ChefsGiving

Multiple Wildfires Continue To Ravage Through California Wine Country Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

ChefsGiving seeks to raise $1 million for fire relief

More than 100 restaurants in the Bay Area and beyond are gearing up to give back with a weeklong fundraiser, ChefsGiving, to be held from November 13 to 19. Participating restaurants are asked to commit to raising $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000 through a special menu or event. The goal: To give at least $ 1 million to the Tipping​ ​Point​ ​Emergency​ ​Relief​ ​Fund​, which directly supports low-income communities affected by the North Bay fires, and to Restaurants Care,​ an emergency assistance fund for restaurant workers that was formed by the California​ ​Restaurant​ ​Association​ ​Foundation​ in response. It all culminates in a Gala on Sunday, November 19.

So far, participating ChefsGiving restaurants include: Atelier Crenn, Manresa, Mourad, The Slanted Door, Robin, Outerlands, The Riddler, La Folie, Foreign Cinema, Donato Enoteca, The Restaurant at CIA Copia, La Costanera, Shakewell, La Marcha, Dumpling Time, Navio at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, and fast-casual spots like Sweetgreen, 4505 Burgers & BBQ, Souvla, and Media Noche.

Getting Saucy

It’s award season for The Golden Gate Restaurant Association, whose Saucy Awards are now in their second year. The inaugural winners included Ravi Kapur of Liholiho Yacht Club 
for Chef of the Year, Belinda Leong of b.patisserie 
for Pastry Chef of the Year, and Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza of 
State Bird and The Progress for Restaurateurs of the Year. This years nominees for Chef of the Year include Jordan Keao (‘aina), Brioza again (for The Progress), Srijith Gopinathan (Taj Campton Place), and Melissa Perello (owner of Octavia and Frances). The Saucys are also accepting ballots for the people’s choice award, so nominate a restaurant, and get tickets to the awards gala, held at the Herbst Theater next Monday, November 6 at 7 p.m.

The health of Healthy SF

The Chronicle is checking up on SF’s Health Care Security Ordinance, which took effect almost a decade ago in 2008, requiring that businesses of 20 or more employees contribute money to their employees health care expenditures. Restaurant customers often encounter Healthy SF surcharges on their bill: For the record, SF Businesses aren’t required to impose those surcharges that way, it’s just an expedient method some elect to use. Thanks in part to the Healthy SF program, more San Franciscans are insured than ever before, almost 97 percent. But a big chunk of money pooled by employers under the ordinance is essentially going to waste, or at least stagnant. There’s $160 million in funds, intended to help cover what insurance does not, that hasn’t been touched. Along with the fact that thousands of accounts have been inactive, this “suggests that many workers are not using their accounts fully or at all. The average amount in each individual account is $1,478, the Public Health Department says, but the average annual claim amounts to less than a third of that, $441.”

Sonoma Pride supports county fire victims

Another fire relief effort is getting underway, Sonoma Pride, organized by Russian River Brewing Company owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo and Sprofessional cyclist Levi Lepheimer. They’re raising funds through a Sonoma Pride labeled beer and donations in exchange for raffle tickets to cut the line for the coveted Pliny the Younger beer.