SONOMA (KPIX) — Tyler Florence has organized a lunch for 1,000+ people at a long table that straddles the Napa and Sonoma County lines. Some paid as much $1,000 for a ticket. Other donors paid for first responders’ and fire victims’ tickets. All proceeds to fire victims.
Imagine setting a Thanksgiving table so long, it crossed county lines. That’s where some generous donors sat down together in the wine country to raise money for wildfire victims.
“You’re going to be part of something extraordinary today, unlike anything we’ve probably ever done before,” Paula LeDuc told guests.
When wine country caterer Paula LaDuc says that you can guess something big is about to happen. But in this case, you had to see it to believe it.
Guests paid $500 each to take part in a truly impressive Thanksgiving feast. All the proceeds will go to relief efforts in the counties affected by the fires. In fact, the table was set exactly on the border line of Napa and Sonoma.
“Five hundred people at one table? In the middle of a vineyard? Biggest dinner party I’ve ever been to,” said one guest.
Famed Bay Area chef, Tyler Florence, organized the meal and welcomed in camera crews to film the party for an upcoming documentary on the fires.
On the menu, comfort food: turkey, lamb and risotto with plenty of local wines. But serving hundreds of people in an outdoor setting was a challenge for even a master chef.
“We’ve thrown some really special dinner parties…this is the biggest thing, the hands-down most important thing I’ve ever done in my career,” said Florence who owns the Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco.
“Important” because of the special guests in attendance. Donors were encouraged to buy a seat for a local first responder.
“You don’t expect of people to do that because it IS your job,” said Josh Menzies, a Bodega Bay firefighter and paramedic. I’m truly grateful for the appreciation that everyone has.”
“Salute…our first responders…” said guests as they raised their glasses for a heartfelt toast.
And that was the idea — everyone at the same table giving thanks — wine country style.