It’s been six months since the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and three months since a cap installed plugged the well that had been spewing oil into that fragile ecosphere.
But how many years it will take to get that body of water and its surrounding wetlands back to normal, is anyone’s guess.
To lend a much needed hand, Chef Guillaume Bienaimé of Marché in Menlo Park, organized the “Bay for the Gulf,” an event that will take place 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at the beautiful Rosewood Sand Hill resort in Menlo Park.
Proceeds from the gala event, which will feature more than a dozen chefs, artisans and wineries, will go to the “Save Our Gulf” initiative of the Waterkeeper Alliance, which will help support the seven Gulf Coast Waterkeepers directly impacted by the oil disaster.
Bienaimé was prompted to act after befriending Pietro Paravanno, a local fisherman here who is also the president of the Institute for Fisheries Resources. It also spurred him to visit Louisiana recently to see the area for himself.
“The oil spill forever changed this unique eco-system, and way of life for so many who live in the bayous and surrounding areas. For many families who rely on the waters of the Gulf as their means of survival, it’s crucial that everything that can be done to clean up the area is done,” said Bienaimé. “The Bay for the Gulf gala, with the collaboration of the amazing chefs, wineries and restaurants that are participating, is a way for those of us in the Bay Area to show support for the people working day and night to clean up this mess.”
A silent auction will feature such items up for bid as rare wines and extravagant dining experiences.
Tickets are $150 each.
Contest: One lucky Food Gal reader will win two tickets to the gala. Contest is open only to those who can make it to the Menlo Park event on Oct. 24. Deadline to enter is noon PST Oct. 17. Winner will be announced Oct. 18.
How to enter?
Whether you’ve been to any of the states ringing the Gulf of Mexico or not, tell me what you love most about the food or a dish from that region. The best answer wins the pair of tickets.
Here’s my own answer to that question:
“One of my fondest food memories comes from New Orleans, which I visited years ago with my two great gal pals, Lori and Barb. It was the first visit there for all of us, and one of the first places we high-tailed it to after landing was Cafe Du Monde for its famous chicory coffee and beignets. Who can resist fried dough, right? I remember taking a bite into those sweet, pillowy fritters as a cloud of powdered sugar exploded all over my lap, face and fingers. There’s nothing better than sharing memorable times with best friends. And the moment is even sweeter when all of you are covered in sugar, too.”