Submitted by Toni Ansuini, General Manager
Second Harvest Food Bank runs a number of crucial programs that feed more than 240,000 people in Silicon Valley each month and as the recession continues, there is a higher need for funds. In the fall, Brocade in San Jose, CA, led a real team effort to raise money for Second Harvest.
Brocade CEO Michael Klayko is a huge supporter of the organization and this year drafted 49ers CEO Jed York to co-chair a massive fundraising drive that launched with the Second Harvest Pre- Football Season Kickoff. Bon Appétit at Brocade’s executive chef, Ryan Smith, was brought in to execute the play — lunch! — with the entire Brocade executive team serving.
The kickoff lunch was held in the BladeRunner café at Brocade, where meals were priced at $10 each, with a generous portion of each sale going to the cause. Meal sales raised a total of $7,000 and CEO Mike Klayko agreed to a personal match, bringing it to $14,000. After Brocade’s corporate match, the total amount raised was $28,000, enough to buy 56,000 meals for the food bank’s clients — an amazing win!
The day’s playbook of San Francisco-themed cuisine included fried soft-shell crab sandwiches with coleslaw and spicy rémoulade, garlic fries, and pulled pork sliders with smoked Gouda and caramelized onions. The biggest draw was the rustic San Francisco seafood chowder in a sourdough bread bowl packed with fresh clams, mussels, and bay shrimp prepared by Bon Appétit Line Cook Brett Wilks and served up by CEO Mike Klayko and Senior Vice President of World Wide Sales Ian Whiting.
The clam chowder sold out, but Ryan and Brett refused to be sacked. Swiftly huddling, they put together a delicious pot of cioppino to serve up for an extra point in the fourth quarter! An unexpected half-time visit by a few of the San Francisco 49ers cheerleaders, Sourdough Sam, and Bon Appétit’s own Chad McWilliams, who is executive chef of the 49ers training camp, energized the crowd all the more.
With an overall fundraising goal of $125,000 for Second Harvest’s holiday campaign, this team was well on its way to winning the championship!