What a deliciously generous city we live in, where chefs and restaurateurs repeatedly answer the call to support nonprofit organizations through dining-related events. From Eté du Vin to Dining Out for Life, talented culinary professionals help fuel and feed Nashville's philanthropic machine.
But a group of home cooks has found a way to help their community from their own kitchens, and they're hoping to encourage other food-lovers to follow their lead. Three years ago Susan Goodwin cooked up a plan to help raise money for people in need. She gathered a group of friends to prepare a feast at which they passed the hat. And so was born Wine Dine Donate, a monthly series of dinners raising money for Second Harvest.
Three years later, WDD has raised $4,000 for the food bank, and the group has been featured in Cooking Club: Great Ideas & Delicious Recipes for Fabulous Get-Togethers (Sasquatch Books; May 2009), by Dina Guillen and Michelle Lowrey.
This weekend, the group will host their own launch party to celebrate their inclusion in the book. Two dozen attendees will sit down to a "Southern Spring Picnic" including Applewood-smoked "Coca-Cola ham" with Jack Daniels glaze, chicken Tetrazzini, cranberry salad, deviled eggs, sweet potato salad, wild rice salad, cornbread, biscuits, broccoli salad, green beans, fruit pie with ice cream and Texas sheet cake.
"The book-launching is a wonderful reason for us to celebrate all we have accomplished," Goodwin said. "We hope that by spreading the word about WDD, it might result in other people forming their own WDD cooking club and developing even more supporters of Second Harvest."