MAYBE REVOLUTION CAN BE A DINNER PARTY: The editors in chief of four leading food magazines — Bon Appétit, Saveur, Food & Wine and Cherry Bombe — are teaming to create a charity initiative centered around what the magazines know best: food and entertaining. The initiative, which they are calling “Cook, Gather, Give,” encourages readers and social media followers to throw a dinner party and invite friends to donate to a charity in lieu of bringing wine or flowers.
The idea came when Cherry Bombe editor in chief Kerry Diamond was in the Bay Area earlier this fall during the massive fires in Northern California. Diamond was texting with Hunter Lewis, editor in chief of Time Inc. titles Food & Wine and Cooking Light, filing him in on some of the ways area chefs were helping the food industry, which was greatly affected. “We were, like, let’s loop in Sachs and ‘Rapo,'” Diamond said, referring to Saveur editor in chief Adam Sachs and Bon Appetit editor in chief Adam Rapoport.
“We just felt like there was something we could do with our collective audiences. When you look at all the natural disasters that have occurred this year and think about the number of restaurants, farms, food businesses that have been affected, it’s very sobering,” Diamond said. “So if the four of us could get together and do something, why wouldn’t we?”
Sachs came up with the tag line, and former Wired editor in chief Scott Dadich’s design firm, Godfrey Dadich Partners, came on board to help with the campaign’s design elements.
The campaign uses the brands’ social media and digital channels to raise money by throwing dinner or cocktail parties and then donate the proceeds to a worthy cause. A list of suggested organizations is available on the campaign’s web site. To launch the project, the editors are throwing their own dinner party, prepared by chef Ignacio Mattos, with the pastry chef Natasha Pickowicz and other guest chefs, at Sachs’ Brooklyn town house on Friday.
“We’re all editors, we aren’t on the business side. So we aren’t great at raising money or anything,” Sachs said. “But it’s really nice to ask and get a positive response from people who are donating money or resources or time. It’s great to remind each other about the hospitality and caring side of the food world.”
The party will raise money for José Andres’ World Central Kitchen, which has been feeding millions of people in Puerto Rico.
“If food media had a person of the year, José Andreas would win,” Diamond said.
“It’s part of the fun that we get to do something that’s purely for a good cause, and we get to do it together. It’s a strange thing that we all get to play host, but we usually don’t get to invite each other — at least, not for work things,” Sachs said. “Also, it’s just nice to show that the people behind these brands care more about doing some good than any sort of competition.”
Besides, it’s a positive end to what has felt to many like a pretty stressful year.
“This has been such a turbulent year in so many ways, that I think you just want to stay home and hide under the covers and order takeout,” Diamond said. “But we want people to get together in real life.”