Claudette Bruck, a 2001 Good Neighbor Award winner, helped cook up a delicious fundraiser. Here’s how she described the event:
“I recently was asked to participate in a fun and successful fundraising event that I’ll bet others can duplicate.
“A dinner was held at Benihana Restaurant (Japanese food cooked at your table). Guests paid $75 to the charity to attend a ‘Celebrity Chef’ event. On a Saturday, the 20 celebrity chefs were brought to the restaurant for training. (I was one of the celebrity waiters, as an elected official in my city.) We were taught how to club the tails off the shrimp … season the foods … oil the steam table … heat the rice … serve the sauces … grill the steak … and make it fun.
“The next day was the event, and a ‘real’ chef was shared between two celebrity chefs, each of whom had their own steam table and about 10 guests.
“It was amazing how much we remembered the next day and how well we were able to replicate what the real chefs do … not only to prepare the food … but to entertain the crowd.
“As an example, when it came to grilling the steak, each guest asked how they would like their steak cooked. The celebrity chef gave serious consideration to each person’s request and then prepared all the steak the same way and distributed it with great laughter … identifying yours as rare … yours as well done … yours as medium, etc.
“For another trick, we pulled the rice from the cooler part of the steam table and brought it to the center where it was hot … moved the rice around to create the shape of a heart … then we gently put the large spatula under the rice and gently lifted and dropped the spatula dazzling the crowd with a ‘heart-beat.’
“We also placed the slices of onion one on top of the other to create a mound, then squirted water into the center with a squirt bottle, creating a mini-volcano … once again dazzling the crowd.
“This was a very profitable fundraiser, as, I believe the restaurant provided the food and the venue as a donation or at a very discounted price; so, it was almost all profit for the charity.”
Claudette Bruck, CCIM
2001 Good Neighbor
Multiple Choice Realty
Broward Partnership for the Homeless