To get chefs to jump into action on the cusp of the busy tourist season, or any day of the year, isn’t easy or enviable.
So the lightening speed of Pop-up For Nepal, coming together in two short weeks, is as laudable as the lineup.
On Monday, June 1, a cadre of Portland restaurant and food truck chefs — from Eventide Oyster Co. to The Sinful Kitchen to food truck Mainely Burgers — join forces to make a difference for earthquake relief.
“This is fun, down and dirty food and elegant bites,” said Jim Britt, co-founder of Eat Drink Lucky, the Portland-based email newsletter co-sponsoring the fundraiser with O’Maine Studios. “I did not not expect the food to be as great as it is. We have told participants it’s a tasting and they have come back with some amazing stuff,” said Britt.
Think pulled pork sliders on Hawaiian sweet bread topped with pineapple citrus slaw from The Sinful Kitchen and Eventide’s famed brown butter lobster rolls. Wash it down with cocktails from New England Distilling and Shipyard Brewing Company and you’ve got yourself a fine time.
Inspired by Chef David Turin’s recent Nepal fundraisers with the Kennebunkport Resort Collection, which raised $3,200, the popup will donate 100 percent of the event’s net proceeds towards World Food Program USA, a branch of the United Nations.
“My heart has been breaking as I hear the news unfolding about this terrible tragedy in Nepal,” Turin said in a prepared statement. “Together, with the support of our many loyal customers, we hope to be able to make a difference.”
Turin will be making chicken andouille sausage with brandied apple cream and apple salad at the pop-up.
To pay it forward a touch more, Portland-based Coffee By Design is jumping in to donate 10 percent of all sales in its cafes on Monday to Pop-up For Nepal. And Luke’s Lobster, run by Mainers out of New York, donates 5 percent to the cause that day. Go coffee! Go lobbies!
“Clearly the event is important to people. It’s nice to see these business owners on their own asking ‘what can I do to help?’” said Britt, who expects to raise $30,000.
“We still have tickets to sell. There is a lot of excitement from restaurants and food trucks. Like us, they all want to help and come together.”
The chef tasting takes place Monday, June 1 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at O’Maine Studios, 54 Danforth St., Portland. Tickets are $50 and are available online at bitly.com/popupfornepal. Can’t make the event? Online donations are accepted now through June 15 at http://bitly.com/wfppopupfornepal.