Chef David Bull brings together top culinary talent to benefit a nation ofhungry children at The Block Party for No Kid Hungry
Almost two years ago, Chef David Bull and his talented culinary team opened the doors of Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen and Bar Congress to the city of Austin.
In a short amount of time, this three-part establishment has become one of the most popular dining destinations in Austin, and Bull and his team are ready to pay back their generosity by putting on a charity event called The Block Party for No Kid Hungry at Congress (200 Congress Ave.) on behalf of Share Our Strength, an organization that works to end childhood hunger in the United States.
"We're coming up on our second anniversary in December, and we as a company decided we wanted to host an annual charity event," Bull says. "We searched through different organizations, but Share Our Strength is the perfect fit for what we stand for. As a father, I can really appreciate their selfless mission of ending childhood hunger."
Share Our Strength was founded in 1984 and works throughout the United States raising funds, providing charitable infrastructure work, awarding grants, educating individuals about childhood hunger and building communities of well-fed children. Some of the most famous culinary fundraisers include Taste of the Nation and Great American Dine Out.
On Monday, Sept. 24, David Bull will host The Block Party for No Kid Hungry along with a number of other well-known local and national chefs.
Austin chefs preparing tastings for the event include David Bull of Congress, Kenzie Allen of ASTI Trattoria, Shawn Cirkiel of Parkside and Olive & June, Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine, Andrew MacArthur of FINO, Rene Ortiz of La Condesa, Josh Watkins of The Carillon, Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo, Philip Speer of Uchi/Uchiko and Erica Waksmunki of Congress.
"I've been working in Austin for many years, and I don't know of a better chef community out there," Bull says. "[In Austin,] the chefs really take care of one another and support each other's causes. The camaraderie we have here is really special. Sure, we all compete with each other for the same diners, but we all support each other's unique talents and passions."
The menu for the event is still piecing together, but Bull says that diners can look forward to delicious culinary creations like pulled rabbit with potato salad from Barley Swine, grilled lamb pita from Bradford Thompson, Thai coconut cream with Uchi granola from Philip Speer and beef and scallop ceviche from La Condesa.
Jason Stevens, bar manager of Bar Congress, says he is honored to be a part of this event particularly because its mission hits close to home for him. "I grew up very poor and needed programs like Share Our Strength to help me get through my everyday life. Ending childhood hunger is something I feel very passionately about," Stevens says. "As someone that works in the food service business, it's truly disheartening to hear that we have a nation full of hungry children."
Well known for Bar Congress' amazing cocktails, Stevens says he is planning to put together a "delicious, clean" beverage for guests to enjoy at Monday's event. "The cocktail is going to have vodka, basil, grapefruit, agave, lime, green chartreuse and celery, and then I'm going to put the drink into keg and force carbonate it. It's going to very refreshing and not too sweet," he says.
Chef Bradford Thompson will be flying in for the event and has been actively involved with Share Our Strength for over 15 years. "Having a nation of hungry children affects us in ways we aren't even aware of," Bradford says. "My personal goal is to have four or five solid conversations with people who don't know anything about Share Our Strength and inspire them to get more involved. Anyone and everyone can make a difference in a situation like this."
Bull says that although many people will focus their attention on the amazing dishes and cocktails at Monday's event, he hopes people will walk away knowing a little bit more about Share Our Strength's goal of making sure no child goes unfed.
"Share Our Strength may not be at the top of everyone's minds, but there is definitely a hunger crisis in this country that people should be paying attention to," Bull says. "In Texas alone, nearly one in four children faces hunger every day. In a place like Austin, it's easy to forget that not everybody has food right in front of them all the time."
The Block Party for No Kid Hungry takes place on Monday, Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. for VIP and 6:30 p.m. for general admission. Tickets range from $100 - $175 and can be purchased here.