Chefs @ Downtown Welcome Table is a creative partnership between local chefs and restaurateurs and the Downtown Welcome Table, based on the belief that one of the best ways to love people is through food.
Each Wednesday at the Downtown Welcome Table a hot lunch is served family style to an average of 450 people -- three quarters of whom are homeless or living in poverty.
It's more than a meal, it's hospitality. It's not just serving food but sitting down at table, asking someone's name, looking them in the eye and making a new friend. Details such as cloth tablecloths and napkins, flowers on the table and the use of real china are meant to counter the notion often held by those living on the streets that handouts, hand-me-downs and leftovers are all I deserve. Lunch is served on abundant plates by an attentive wait staff and folks are invited to linger over the meal as in a nice restaurant or dinner at home. Encouragement and a natural support system are provided because "someone knows my name and cares when I don't show up."
What is perhaps most remarkable about the Downtown Welcome Table is its diversity. The meal is not just for folks who don't know where their next meal is coming from. Professionals in three-piece suits sit alongside men and women carrying all their worldly possessions in ragged backpacks, construction workers in hard hats, and third-shift workers weary from a long night of work. People who might not otherwise come to know each other develop a friendship over a shared meal.
Once a month one of the amazing independent restaurants that has helped Asheville earn a national reputation on the culinary scene plans, prepares and serves lunch at the Downtown Welcome Table. The goal of this project is to enable this creative partnership to flourish and grow through the infusion of professional skill and talent in the design and public relations field.
Participating restaurants include Curate, Bouchon, Rhubarb, Chestnut & 25 other greats!
Funded by Asheville, NC (September 2016)