When William Jessup University pivoted to holding its high-profile annual fundraiser online due to COVID-19, that meant sacrificing the usual Bon Appétit-catered dinner for 500. But the Rocklin, CA, university reimagined its Strength for Today, Hope for Tomorrow 2020 Gala in an innovative virtual way, satisfying its supporters’ hunger for stories and performances about how the Jessup community is building and strengthening the next generation to emerge as strong witnesses who bring hope to a hurting world. And they didn’t forget about the food!
Video Production Manager Katie Rae Brooks dispatched a film crew to shoot Bon Appétit Executive Chef Davin Klippel cooking what would have been on the gala’s menu for a gorgeously produced 3-minute video. Davin walked viewers through marinating and grilling skirt steak, roasting golden garlic herb potatoes, and cooking broccolini perfectly before preparing a balsamic reduction to complement all three. The university shared the recipes for the dish, along with a shopping list and the video, on the website in advance of the October 10 livestreamed event.
Davin and General Manager Douglas DiGiovanni wanted to include William Jessup students in the celebration, so they hatched a plan to serve a version of the meal to the 900 students they’ve been feeding daily! On October 14, Crossroads Café guests can opt for grilled Marin Sun Farms steak (or grilled marinated portobello mushroom “steak”) with balsamic glaze, served with roasted Riverdog Farms golden potatoes and steamed broccolini with chile flakes.
“While it’s disappointing not to be able to feed the guests of the gala this year, it was an honor to be invited to do so virtually — and we’re hoping the students will enjoy this special meal,” said Davin.