Lending an (Open) Hand for the Holidays

by Cara Brechler, Marketing Manager, Cisco-San Jose

Project Open Hand volunteer preparing dishes

The holidays are a time for celebration, but also a time to help those less fortunate. Project Open Hand, an organization that provides daily “meals with love,” groceries, and nutritional counseling for homebound and critically ill people in the Bay Area, found a way to combine the two at at their 20th annual holiday luncheon, Hand to Hand.

Bon Appétit team members joined them for the afternoon. Bon Appétit continues to be a staunch supporter of Project Open Hand, donating funds to the organization to buy a new peanut grinder and selling the tasty resulting spread at several of our cafés in the area to help raise money and awareness.

Held at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, the Hand to Hand feast featured an exquisite three-course meal with unique appetizers such as a green papaya salad with prawns, jellyfish, and chili vinaigrette, and entrees including curried garbanzo bean and aubergine stew with mango chutney and smoked tomato relish. The seasonal desserts were prepared by some of the Bay Area’s most talented chefs, such as Charles Phan from Slanted Door, Lisa Lu from Jardinière, and David Lawrence from 1300 on Fillmore, who donated their time and expertise to guarantee a first-class culinary experience.

In the spirit of Project Open Hand, everyone shared the plates. Sharing a meal, time, resources, and the love for those in need is especially important during the holiday season. Project Open Hand Founder Ruth Brinker’s vision of a community coming together to help the less fortunate has continued to inspire and energize thousands of volunteers and supporters. The luncheon not only brought supporters together to celebrate the important work Project Open Hand does, but also included a silent auction to raise money for the organization to continue its mission to provide “meals with love.”

The Bon Appétit group at the luncheon