The business and philanthropic community came together last week for Hungry Hearts, a fun and unique fundraiser aimed at raising both awareness and funds for Our Place.
Five top local chefs used their culinary expertise and imagination in a competition to see who could create the most tasteful twist on soup and a sandwich – always a popular lunch at Our Place.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the community,” said Don Evans, executive director of Our Place.
“This strong support will enable us to continue with many of our life-transforming programs and services to assist people in crisis.”
Guests were invited to “vote with their heart” in crowning their favourite dish. In a finger-licking finish, Nicholas Waters and Toque Catering Company took home the Hungry Hearts Top Chef trophy by creating a gourmet combo of coconut black bean soup with chipotle crème fraiche, and a cubano sandwich: mojo marinated pulled pork with avocado, pickle and swiss cheese.
“Once people learn of all the wonderful ways Our Place helps the impoverished in our community, they really step up to help,” said Laura Walsh, director of development. “That couldn’t have been made more clear when the philanthropic and business community truly came together in a fun and unique way to help make our signature fundraiser a great success.”
The event, presented by PwC Canada and hosted at the Inn at Laurel Point, raised $185,990.
The generosity was a welcomed gift as Our Place has experienced a significant increase in demand for services. The meal program served more than 525,000 meals last year – a 50-per-cent increase over the previous year.
The other competing top chefs were: Takashi Ito of Inn at Laurel Point, Morgan Wilson of the Fairmont Empress, Kevin Gomes of Food for Thought Catering, and Jena Stewart of Truffles
Our Place is a unique inner-city community centre serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable: working poor, impoverished elderly, mentally and physically challenged, addicted and the homeless.