Sunday's Chefs United benefit dinner at Prospect raised $42,000 for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief, Prospect chef Ravi Kapur tells SFoodie. Some 120 guests paid $300 each for the six-course dinner with wine and sake, organized loosely around Japan's Sendai region, the quake's epicenter. Most of the chefs who cooked a course yesterday's fundraiser toured the area two years ago, visiting agricultural areas, artisanal sake brewers, and miso makers. That includes Bruce Hill (Bix, Zero Zero), Paul Canales (formerly of Oliveto), Staffan Terje (Perbacco/Barbacco), Sho Kamio (Yoshi's), and Kapur. Also cooking yesterday: Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani (Ame, Terra).
Kapur says the proceeds from yesterday's event are being kept in a fund, to be donated to a recipient the participants all agree to, after they can assess the situation in Japan. Most likely that means an agricultural group, says Kapur ― something like helping rebuild the region's oyster beds ― though it's not clear what any results of things like radiation fallout will be. "We all want to use this money to help some individuals rebuild their livelihoods," Kapur says. "Maybe that's a donation route that's not the popular one, but the last thing we want is for it to get diluted through bureaucratic channels."
Next up for the chefs: Saturday's sold-out benefit for Japan at Yoshi's in S.F., featuring a core of chefs from the Prospect fundraiser, with additions including Chris Cosentino, Hoss Zare, and Joseph Manzare.