Rain City Chefs Alliance formed as many coalitions often do: over a cup of coffee. Alex Barkley (Manolin), Jeffrey Vance (No Anchor, Navy Strength), Heong Soon Park (Chan), and Perfecte Rocher (Tarsan i Jane) got together one day (Maximillian Petty of Eden Hill was out of town), and they talked. What did these already immensely busy collection of chef-owners talk about? Doing more. More community and collaboration within the food and drink industry. More guest chefs visiting Seattle. More themed popup dinners.
"It seemed like something that Seattle has been missing out on within our industry," says Vance, who credits the original idea to Rocher, continuing, "We're really just trying to up the profile of what Seattle is and why we love cooking here."
Here's how these Rain City Chefs Alliance events work: Each dinner will involve the core five chefs, each one taking on one course in a seven-course meal, with two guest chefs doling out their own courses as well. The first in the alliance's series of monthly popup dinners is vegetarian-focused, with guest chefs Clare Gordon of General Porpoise Donuts and Jose Chesa of Portland's Ataula. And Tarsan i Jane is hosting the multicourse meal on Monday, October 16. And if that's not enough talent in one room, Alia Rocher and Suzi An will be on deck providing the front of house magic.
Tickets are $200, including tax and gratuity, with options for drink pairings and supplemental bites. But here's where things get warm and fuzzy. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Big Table, a Spokane-based nonprofit that helps struggling industry folks. The rest of those dollars will go into a fund of sorts that RCCA can dip into if, say, they want to fly an East Coast chef over for a popup, or if the group wanted to go out on a fishing boat and catch fish for a dinner, or hell, even pay house staff what they might've missed in tips if the restaurant closes for the event. TLDR; it costs money to do cool shit.