The restaurant industry has long been known as an environment where issues of mental health and personal wellness often go unacknowledged and unaddressed, but the times are changing.
Thanks to the combined effort from multiple notable chefs and restaurateurs across the country, the industry is beginning to recognize the need to offer resources to combat mental health concerns like depression, addiction, and anxiety.
Kitchen Aide is a series of events aimed at raising both funds and awareness for mental health initiatives throughout Vancouver, and this week, their inaugural event at Café Medina saw 15 local chefs and four bartenders come together through their love of food to raise more than $15,000 for Mind the Bar Foundation.
“We were blown away by the support we received last night,” says Colin Staus, co-founder of participating pop-up restaurant Big Day BBQ. “We are thankful for each and every person who purchased a ticket, who bid on our auction items, who volunteered, and for all our sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without the help from the entire community. Mental health issues are real in the kitchen, and we are glad people are starting to speak up. We are equally glad people are now being heard. This is just the beginning.”
Of the $15,000 raised, live auction items accounted for around $5,500, which included an exclusive dumpling tour by Vancouver Food Tour and two private dinners--one from Nightingale’s Phil Scarfone and Juke’s Bryan Satterford, and another by Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson and Alex Ploughman.
The next Kitchen Aide event is slated for Spring 2020. Until then, additional information can be found on thier Instagram page.