Local chefs cooking up fundraiser for Capitola workers; tickets now on sale

Piles of debris lie outside My Thai Beach on the Esplanade in the Capitola Village on Jan. 6.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With more than 100 employees unable to return to work due to prolonged restaurant closures, chefs from Reef Dog Deli, Trestles, Home and Shadowbrook are teaming up for a Feb. 6 gala.

This story was originally featured in this week’s Lily Belli on Food newsletter. Be first the first to hear about food and drink news in Santa Cruz County — sign up for Lily’s email newsletter here and text alerts here.

Some of Santa Cruz County’s most notable chefs are teaming up for a fundraiser to support Capitola Village restaurant employees who are out of work as a result of the recent storms. At the event Cooking for Capitola, chef Anthony Kresge of Reef Dog Deli in Capitola, whom I profiled in December; chef Nick Sherman and sous-chef James Manss of Trestles in Capitola; chef Brad Briske of Home in Soquel; and Shadowbrook executive chef Michael Cameron and pastry chef Linda Estrada are preparing a five-course tasting menu for an exclusive dinner at Shadowbrook on Monday, Feb. 6, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $300 per person and can purchased through Eventbrite. The ticket price includes local wines, and seating is limited to 84 tickets. The fair market value of each ticket is $150 per person, and all donations in excess of the fair market value — $150 per ticket — will be donated to Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and are tax deductible.

Pictures of structural damage only scratch the surface of the storm’s impact, said event catalyst Kresge: “Employees who used to occupy those buildings are now experiencing personal crisis due to the sudden loss of income. Cooking for Capitola is a way to showcase what our community does best by coming together and standing with those who need it most.”

All proceeds will be distributed to the more than 100 restaurant employees unable to return to work due to prolonged restaurant closures. This event is coordinated with Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, a local nonprofit organization that provides grants and resources to community organizations and manages charitable assets.

Addition donations in any amount may be made to the Santa Cruz County Disaster Fund, which provides financial support for Santa Cruz County organizations serving vulnerable populations on the front line of flood and storm relief and recovery efforts. Donations will be accepted as long as the need continues. New gifts will be matched up to a total of $75,000, thanks to an anonymous donor.

Cooking for Capitola info and tickets at cookingforcapitola.eventbrite.com. Find info and donate to the Santa Cruz County Disaster fund at cfscc.org/disaster.

FOR THE RECORD: This story has been updated with Cooking for Capitola details.