FareStart executive chef Wayne Johnson calls the new alliance "an incredible honor" — and if you've got a pile of cash to spend, an incredible dinner hosted by Pépin awaits.
The charming miracle of French food known as Jacques Pépin will visit Seattle later this month to kick off a partnership between his charitable foundation and our marvelous local nonprofit FareStart. Pépin is lending his prodigious expertise to the curriculum for FareStart’s new apprenticeship program; FareStart, of course, has provided restaurant-industry job training for Seattle’s homeless and underprivileged for decades (and won a James Beard Award for it).
If you’re financially blessed and care to throw your moneybags behind this extremely good cause, an absurdly great-sounding dinner awaits. On April 30 at FareStart Restaurant, Pépin and his daughter Claudine will host “Flourish: A Chef’s Dinner to Transform Lives,” with courses prepared by a hell of a chef lineup: Roland Passot of San Francisco’s La Folie, Bocuse d’Or Medalist Philip Tessier, Holly Smith and Junko Mine of Cafe Juanita, John Sundstrom of Lark, Shaun McCrain of Copine, Thierry Rautureau of Luc/Loulay, and Tom Douglas. The least expensive tickets (which were $375!) are sold out, but premiere seating and VIP spots (which include a reception with Jacques and Claudine — swoon!) are still available.
Local food hero Wayne Johnson — executive chef of FareStart as of last year — is all aflutter about the partnership. “When I first met Jacques Pépin at the French Culinary Institute and saw how influential he was to so many chefs — including me! — I was inspired to share that passion,” he says. “It’s an incredible honor to have him and his foundation involved with FareStart. His joy for cooking and teaching others aligns perfectly with what we’re trying to instill in our programs.”
FareStart’s been kicking butt and taking names since Johnson took over — they also recently announced an Amazon.com donation of South Lake Union space and equipment for five new eateries for the new apprenticeship program, which could double the number of those benefiting from the organization’s job-training programs over the next decade.