Category Archives: Volunteering


I believe I’ve written about gratitude before, but it’s a concept that should always be in our awareness on a daily basis. Yesterday, I carried out a volunteer shift at Glide Foundation where I served lunch to those less fortunate. I had already signed up to do so about a week ago, however after a weekend of indulgence (read bubbles, bottle service, and Bret Michaels) I thought this might do me a bit of good. Looking back though, I admit – it’s not about me. I didn’t do this for this for the selfish act of feeling good about myself. Yes, you do achieve that high of helping others, but to those in that dining room it’s just another day in the life.

Glide Foundation

Check out a video I made here.

Yesterday was Burger Day at Glide. Here in San Francisco and beyond we have such an obsession with burgers. I’m guilty of it: KronnerBurger? I still can’t believe I have not been given my obsession with Chris Kronner’s hands resulting from the oodles of publicity and that bloody, bone marrow topped burger. Umami Burger – can you say truffle burger or bacon-wrapped scallop? Oh and who can forget the Most Expensive Burger made with Japanese Waygu beef, 10-herb white truffle butter, smoked Pacific sea salt, 18-month cheddar, shaved black truffles, a quail egg, and a white truffle-buttered roll.

Yet in the dining room at Glide, lunchgoers weren’t being asked if they would like roquefort, swiss, or gruyere cheese to top their burger. Add an egg for $1.50? Nope. Their cheese consisted of an orange substance with a gooey yet chunky consistency that most patrons scraped off.

Aioli wasn’t the spread of choice, Dijon mustard was not available, and chef was fresh out of housemade ketchup. Instead, guests were only given 1 packet of ketchup and 1 packet of mustard. We weren’t allowed to give them additional packets. In fact, we couldn’t give them any bags to take food, they had to use their own. How many times have you taken it for granted when asked by the server if you would like the remainder of dinner packed up in a biodegradable container for your to take home to enjoy later?

Sparkling or still water? If you dine at Glide on a regular basis, you have one choice: still water, from a garden hose, scooped out of a garbage bucket.

If you walk around the city on a daily basis, and have these homeless or less fortunate people ask you for spare change, you might be like me and simply ignore them. Fail to treat them like human beings. But they are just like us. They need fuel to carry on with their day. They are just trying to survive. Having their chair pulled out is a luxury. As is being called “sir.” Told to “have a nice day.” Or simply a “thank you.” When was the last time you expanded your world in that way?

Yesterday I felt like my heart expanded and grew with empathy. Yes, I will probably will go back to indulging in some way, but I will also remember my experiences and how these people are actual human beings too. Now I’ve volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank, but I’ve never seen the look in people’s faces when they are actually being satiated by the food they are receiving. This is on a completely different level than packing a box with cereal and being disconnected to the task at hand.

I said Grace with a gentleman yesterday as he sat down to enjoy his burger. He followed by saying the word “gratitude” to me. He reminded me to be grateful. I thought about that a lot yesterday and I continue to today…and I will continue to think about what I am grateful for the next day and the next. I encourage you to too. Because where ever you are in life, it’s important to be thankful. Remember that we are all blessed with the gift of life.


For more information on how to volunteer to serve a meal, click here.

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I did it, I did it!

I kept to my word. In my last post, I discussed food, our fascination with it, and giving back to those who aren’t fortunate to experience what we all have. So, I’m here to report that I actually did something about it.

Although it might not be until February 25th, I’ve volunteered myself to serve Saturday breakfast at Glide. Note to all of you out there: apparently the Saturday & Sunday shifts fill up fast! Here are the meal volunteer positions:

Monday – Friday Shifts
    Saturday & Sunday Shifts
Serve Breakfast: 7am – 9am

Serve Lunch: 11:30am – 2pm

Serve Dinner: 3:30pm – 5:30pm

   Serve Breakfast: 7am – 9am

Prepare Bag Dinners: 9am – 11am

Serve Lunch: 11:30am – 2pm

I also talked about donating to a cause greater than myself. Well, I’m here to report that I’ve set up monthly donations to the Bay Area Rescue Mission. Just $2.05 supplies Christmas Dinner to one person, and they expect to provide more than 144,000 meals to homeless and needy people in the Bay Area this time of year.

I did it, now you can do it to!

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SF Chefs 2011

I know that I’m a bit late posting on this (hello Ashley, where have you been?!), but I wanted to at least note that YOU MUST BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW for SF Chefs 2011. In its 3rd successful year, SF Chefs is a food/wine/spirit extravaganza that you simply do not want to miss where culinary-admirers, oenophiles, cocktail aficionados and anyone in-between descend upon Union Square to indulge to their heart’s content.

If you’ve [hopefully not] been a slacker like me, you might have missed out on some of the sold out events — however I think the real bread & butta’ are the grand tastings. It’s so fun to socialize, meet other like-minded foodies, sip some great wines and taste bites from some of the best chefs around. Keep an eye out and drool over culinary innovators and trendsetters such as Hubert Keller, Ty-Flo and Chris Cosentino.

Credit: Robin Jolin, courtesy SF Chefs

Once you’ve had your fill (and are feelin’ a little tipsy), be sure to kick back and check out some of the chefs demos that take place on center stage throughout the day. Or check out a seminar or two — I know The Secrets of the Sommeliers or The Real Restaurant Wives of San Francisco both look very intriguing.

One of my morning seminars last and food pairings at 10am!

If you want to skip the events all together but have been dying to check out hot spots like Dosa, La Mar or Ragazza, be sure to hit up SF Chefs Restaurant Week which kicked off yesterday and goes until August 7th.

The epic bread display from the inaugural year.

The tickets are a bit expensive for a twenty-something on a budget, so the seminars and/or SF Chefs Restaurant Week are two great ways for you to get involved. Alternatively, next year I would highly recommend volunteering some way — the past years I was fortunate enough to attend all events because of my previous jobs with Moet Hennessy and Andrew Freeman & Co. And hey hey, if you are a Visa Signature® cardholder, you even receive 20% off all tickets — score!

Hope to see all of you out there!

SF Chefs 2011. Click here for tickets and more info.

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Filed under Food, Restaurants, San Francisco, twenty-somethings, Volunteering, Wine