TORONTO — As a collective, the GTA’s food and wine community is an amiable bunch that thrives on collaboration. Sure, there’s a healthy, friendly competition between restaurateurs and chefs in the region, but rivalries are always shunted aside when a worthy project is in the works, especially if the greater good is the goal.
Add in an incredibly fast-moving medium to help spread the word and a massive charitable undertaking can move from idea to reality in a quick and unending series of 140-characters-or-less bursts.
“A bunch of us on Twitter saw what happened in Haiti and we recognized the need to raise some funds for the rebuilding and everything that’s going on down there,” said Suresh Doss, one of the co-organizers of Eat, Drink and Give. “I had individual conversations with people on Twitter and we knew we wanted to do something, so we came up with the concept of a social mixer with food, wine and auction components. That’s how Eat, Drink and Give was born.”
Doss, the editor of the popular foodie website spotlighttoronto.com and a prodigious tweeter, was even taken aback at just how fast the social-networking tool helped bring the event together. A week later, Roy Thompson Hall had donated its space and as of this past Saturday, 18 wineries, a gaggle of high-profile food and wine experts and about 10 restaurants were onboard. And new contributors are joining each day.
“We have assembled a really great variety of restaurants, including Buster Rhino’s, which is an amazing barbecue shack out in Whitby, to the likes of Langdon Hall and Auberge du Pommier,” Doss said. “It’s a pretty kick-ass group of participants.”
On Tuesday, Feb 9, Doss’ emergency relief fundraiser will kick off 6:30 p.m. at Roy Thompson Hall; all proceeds raised will go to Doctors without Borders. “MSF is very grateful to the staff, volunteers and donors of Eat, Drink and Give for their generous support and hard work,” said Dina Meghdadi of MSF Canada.
Two hundred early-bird tickets were available for $75, with the remainder sold for $100. There will also be 100 V.I.P tickets available for $150, providing attendees the chance to experience some aged vintages and premium wines. Tickets for the fundraiser are available at eatdrinkandgive.com, but they’re selling fast.
“As soon as the chefs, restaurateurs and wineries saw this event was going on, they wanted to donate their time, their space and their products,” Doss added. “One after the other, everyone wanted to participate. The support from the industry has been tremendous.”