An appetite for adventure and action

LIVING IN THE KITCHEN

NOT JUST LADIES WHO LUNCH! ‘Food for Cause’ is already 12 successful events old and looks set to draw more participation and appreciation.

Food for Cause was born early last year with Namee Oberst and Nilima Parker as founders. “As women we were constantly bonding over food — meeting over great lunches and dinners, talking cuisines and exchanging recipes. We  wanted to do something for the less privileged around us. So, we decided to combine our passion for great food with a social cause. That is how ‘Food for Cause’ was born,” explains Namee Oberst, a Korean-American and former corporate attorney from New York. Nilima Parker has a background in sales and finance at a leading MNC in Sydney.  

 The event — lunch or dinner — is oragnised at a volunteer host’s house. A representative of the charity attends the event and gives a brief presentation. The guests/ participants buy tickets: Each meal is priced at a fixed amount. The complete amount is handed over to charity.

 A fun get-together, opportunities for socialising, superb food, cooking demos, and copies of recipes are the attractions for participants, who include plenty of men! The universal concern when it comes to charity is whether it will reach the right people. ‘Food for Cause’ understands that. So they give only to recognised charitable foundations and registered charities.

News of upcoming events is communicated through the group’s website. The chefs and hosts for each event — who set up the venue and donate the ingredients — are drawn from the local community of neighbours and friends. And they all have these characteristics: A passion for food, a love for entertaining, and a generous spirit. Many members of ‘Food for Cause’ are foodies and have also been host/chefs. Namee has hosted and cheffed three events so far. Besides Nilima and Namee, there are six women and all these eight form the core group. They are Dimple Shah, Arati Nagaraj, Jaya Mehrotra, Poonam Kumar, Gautami Parekh, and Rachana Reddy.

 The cuisine varies from event to event. Tunisian, Thai, Moroccan, Russian, Mexican, and Indian cuisines have been big hits.

Organising a big get-together, liasing with sponsors, selecting and vetting a charity, and then raising and donating money, all take much time and effort.

Corporate lawyer Sajai Singh, who hosted the latest meal and cheffed it too along with his elegant mother Rani Krishna Kumari Singh, says: “I find it wonderful that I can combine my love for entertaining with meaningful work for the underprivileged.” 

Shubaprada Alse, Marketing Co-ordinator of ‘Save the Children’, who attended the latest event as the charity’s representative found it heartening to see the organised effort for the less fortunate.

 For the core group which anchors it all, the experience has been gratifying.
Rachana says there is “lots of hard work involved but the rewards in terms of being able to do good for the deserving, make it all worthwhile”.

Gautami says, “It is amazing that one meal can generate so much assistance for the less fortunate.”

‘Food for Cause’ is already 12 successful events old. And the crowd is getting bigger at each get-together. The members’ collective efforts for the underprivileged looks set to draw much more participation and appreciation. After all, who doesn’t love a great party and a good cause?

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