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Gourmet Lunches Benefit Needy

01 October 2010  

Harvest Bounty Dished up Today

cupcakesChef Bryan Nowicki is at it again, raising money to help low-income residents in Yavapai County by serving the public a bountiful feast through the Open Door program of the Coalition for Compassion and Justice.

Dias de las Muertos is the theme today at the monthly “Lunch with Chef Bryan,” served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Ester Hall at Prescott United Methodist Church across the street from Sharlot Hall Museum.

Local residents are invited to enjoy Chef Bryan’s delectable specialties prepared with the help of local homeless residents trained by this long-time respected, four-star chef. Those coming are asked to contribute a donation to help Open Door supply assistance with utility and rental payments, hot meals, food boxes, diapers, showers and other assistance for low-income residents in Yavapai County.

Today’s menu consists of Roasted Squash Soup, Spinach Salad with dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles, Roasted Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Smoked Ancho Chili Beans, Local Harvest Tarts, Pumpkin Cupcakes and Pastries with local produce.

The public also will have the opportunity to learn more about Chef Bryan's Holiday Gift Pack Showcase of delectable homemade chocolate goodies for holiday gifts and celebrations, and Chef Bryan also will be taking reservations for holiday event catering.

Those attending last month’s feast praised the chef and his workers for the tasty fare dished up, the camaraderie at the luncheons and even some of the lessons learned while dining.

“I’m really enjoying the food here,” said David La Master, a Yavapai College student studying philosophy and nutrition with goals of becoming a chef himself.

“One of the things I learned about this lunch is all the vegetables kids hate, you can actually teach them to enjoy if you just make them with the right ingredients,” he said. “For instance, he made asparagus with tarragon sauce and blue cheese crumbles. He used layering of the flavors in such a way that I liked asparagus for the first time ever.

“For dessert he made dark and white chocolate cupcakes and a pear and apple tart,” La Master said. “They were amazing! The best part about the cupcakes is they have that gooey center in the middle and the tart was baked to perfection.

A couple elderly ladies sitting nearby marveled at the concept of helping to feed the poor through cooking for others.

“It’s just great, it really is,” said Doris, who chose to keep her last name confidential. “I’m just wondering who this chef is and why he decided to do this for the community.”

Chef Bryan says it’s his way of giving back to the community and that his years of working in fine dining resorts and restaurants gave him the knowledge of being able to provide good tasting food to the public and those dealing with homelessness who come to get free meals at Open Door.

Grace Burford of Prescott said the luncheons “are a nice way to meet others in the community while supporting a good cause.”

“This is my first time here,” Burford said at last month’s luncheon. “I really enjoyed it. I met these lovely ladies across the table. The food was fabulous and it’s for a good cause.  The Coalition for Compassion and Justice is a really wonderful organization. They’re doing a lot in our community and I just wanted to support that.”

City of Prescott Management Analyst Joe Brehm also attended last month’s luncheon. He said the city has teamed up with Americorps and two Americorps workers are working with the homeless in the city through this program.

“This is a great opportunity to meet some of the folks in that community and some of the service providers,” Brehm said. “We want to have boots on the ground and put a face to a name.

“It was a fantastic lunch,” he said. “It was the first meal I had of his. Chef  Bryan is just amazing. If the line didn’t go out the door, I would have jumped back in line for seconds. I got a biz card from him and I’m looking forward to booking him to cater one of my personal events.”

Americorps volunteer Sam Robson added, “We appreciate your donations to CCJ to help those in Prescott who are struggling with poverty.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations to CCJ above the price of a meal are tax-deductible.”

Grace Burford of Prescott said the luncheons “are a nice way to meet others in the community while supporting a good cause.”

“This is my first time here,” Burford said at last month’s luncheon. “I really enjoyed it. I met these lovely ladies across the table. The food was fabulous and it’s for a good cause.  The Coalition for Compassion and Justice is a really wonderful organization. They’re doing a lot in our community and I just wanted to support that.”

City of Prescott Management Analyst Joe Brehm also attended last month’s luncheon. He said the city has teamed up with Americorps and two Americorps workers are working with the homeless in the city through this program.

“This is a great opportunity to meet some of the folks in that community and some of the service providers,” Brehm said. “We want to have boots on the ground and put a face to a name.

“It was a fantastic lunch,” he said. “It was the first meal I had of his. Chef  Bryan is just amazing. If the line didn’t go out the door, I would have jumped back in line for seconds. I got a biz card from him and I’m looking forward to booking him to cater one of my personal events.”

Americorps volunteer Sam Robson added, “We appreciate your donations to CCJ to help those in Prescott who are struggling with poverty.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations to CCJ above the price of a meal are tax-deductible.”