Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
It makes sense that a team of taco chefs would join together to help feed the hungry. So much variety and easy eating fosters mingling – the perfect event menu.
How do 28 taco chefs raise $82,000 in a single night to feed the hungry? They throw a taco night fundraiser for 700 guests!
Actually, much credit for the April 2015 fundraiser, the 22nd Annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night, goes to Share Our Selves, a food pantry non-profit that collects retrievable food from caterers, restaurants, bakers and grocery stores. That food is then redistributed to low-income Orange County residents who need it.
To organize this event, Share Our Selves had to find and manage 28 wild and crazy taco chefs – plus corporate and beverage sponsors, with Tres Sietes Tequila supplying the margarita bar and Barley Forge Brewing Co. – all of whom donated food and staff to serve the revelers. The event was held at the Share Our Selves facilities in Costa Mesa, California.
It is no surprise that such an event would continue to draw people and funds for the cause. This is because tacos have risen in popularity for events for several reasons:
Ideal event fare – Long gone are the days of the sit-down fundraising event (nice place settings but you’re stuck talking to four or five people all night while someone drones on from a podium). Today’s fund- and friend-raisers are about mingling, networking and milling about – easily done with just one hand holding the food. Food stations are awesome but with 28 stations sponsored by Orange County taco caterers as well as restaurateurs, there’s a very distinct theme that raises expectations and sells more tickets.
Variety of taco ingredients and flavors – How can 28 restaurants as well as taco cart catering companies be in the same place at the same time? It’s really possible that all served different flavors, different ingredients and distinctly different tastes. Chef Dustin White (Orange Hill) filled his with smoked wild boar; used a pickled slaw on mole rojo chicken tacos and traditional tzatziki and mango relish on a beef chapli taco; Andrew Gruel (SLAPFISH) offered a crispy lobster roll taco; and Carlito Jocson and Adam Fierman (Yard House) brought their vampire tacos, made of cheese crusted flour tortillas, bacon chorizo and carnitas. That’s just a sampling.
Universal appeal – With so much variety, tacos can basically satisfy the pickiest of palates.
Great pairings with beverages – A margarita bar is a natural fit with a taco event, and those signature drinks come in as great a variety as what the taco catering team had to offer. A cool cerveza, however, is more to the liking of many as the craft beer movement continues unabated – for good reason!
Non-profit fundraisers have always been the hotbed of creativity, perhaps due in part how so many companies – many of them competitors in certain respects – come together to unite for the cause. The Share Our Selves event, for many years running, proves that to be the case.