A gourmet picnic for two and “bubbles”: how to wind down summer in style and help two charities

Alfresco dining, whether on a patio or at a picnic in a lawn, has become increasingly popular in recent years, for obvious reasons.

With that in mind, and given the great late summer weather we’ve witnessed in BC, the local branch of an international organization made up of female culinary professionals is hoping people will support a charitable fundraiser this Sunday (August 21).

Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter has partnered with Vancouver and Okanagan (Penticton and Kelowna) restaurants, as well as several wineries, to present Picnic & Bubbles, a fundraiser aimed at reducing food insecurity and providing scholarships to women provide the culinary industry.

For a price of $150 for a gourmet picnic for two, complete with “bubbles” (sparkling wine, cider, beer, or refreshing hard fruit juices), you can search a list of restaurants in your city, view picnic offerings, and sparkling wine pairing for this day, then pick up between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m

Each picnic for two includes a main course, two sides, dessert and the “bubbles” in a take-out (and eat-in) package.

Picnic location is up to you, of course, but Les Dames recommends Vanier Park in Vancouver, Victoria Park in North Vancouver and Penticton Beach in Penticton.

Half of the proceeds from the event will go to BC food banks. Picnics must be ordered and purchased in advance, and you can do that here. First, take the time to browse the menus of some of the 17 featured restaurants on the site and see if any are sold out and how many tickets are left.

Participating Vancouver restaurants include Vij’s, Provence Marinaside, Popina, Published on Main, L’Abattoir and Juke.

Some establishments outside of Vancouver include Douce Diner and Bridge Brewing in North Vancouver, RauDZ in Kelowna, Naramata Inn in Naramata (near Penticton), and Time Family Winery in Penticton.

Food Banks BC’s Dan Huang-Taylor said in a press release that inflation and the resulting soaring food prices have left more people in the province in a position of food insecurity.

“More and more people are turning to food banks,” Huang-Taylor said. “Families and individuals who are already cash-strapped have been hit incredibly hard by the increase in the cost of living. Food Banks BC is deeply grateful to Les Dames d’Escoffier BC and the participating restaurants for their support.”

Former recipients of Les Dames d’Escoffier grants.

“It’s time to get out of this,” Dame Stephanie Jaeger told the Bulletin. “Our industry has worked hard to stay strong over the past few years and now we want to show our support. Let’s toast bubbly and picnic for a good cause by supporting scholarships for women, food insecurity and the hospitality industry we couldn’t live without.”

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