What happens when a local nonprofit can’t hold its annual fundraiser because of size limits on gatherings due to the coronavirus? That’s the situation for Soroptimist International of Chico, which had to put its annual fall fundraiser, Epicurean Rendezvous, on hold this year. The annual event typically features live and silent auctions, wine bar, epicurean buffet meal, speaker, and music and dancing. What to do to raise the funds the group requires to support education and training for women and career readiness for girls?
Enter Bistro Bag! Ordered online for curbside pick-up on Saturday, December 12, in Chico, the Bag contains fresh, seasonal ingredient from local producers curated so that people can prepare an epicurean meal in their home kitchen. Along with ingredients, the bag includes a recipe card and a link to a You Tube video through which Chico chef Ann Leon demonstrates preparing the meal.
And what a meal! Raviolos, large ravioli with a delicate pasta, form the entrée, with either a short rib meat and roasted vegetable filling or a filling of butternut squash, wild mushrooms, and fromage blanc—or a combination of each. There’s an appetizer of roasted brussel sprouts dressed with pomegranate molasses, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan and accompanied by Ann’s bacon marmalade and a salad of fresh winter greens, sliced apples, gorgonzola, and candied nuts. Those fancying dessert and wine with their meal can add on sticky toff ee pudding or a delicate bittersweet chocolate mousse and a bottle of cabernet, chardonnay, or a chef ’s choice imported wine.
The raviolos and salad dressing come pre-made in the Bistro Bag. All the ingredients for the rest of the meal come in the bag, and, via the recipe card and You Tube video, chef Leon guides cooks step by step in preparing the other portions of the meal. Those who have attended chef Leon’s cooking classes at her restaurant Leon’s Bistro, in downtown Chico, know she provides a clear and entertaining monologue that results in a fabulous meal.
Online ordering began the latter part of October and runs through the end of November. Cost is $65 for a meal for two (for those who wish, dessert and wine can be added at extra cost) or $130, for a coronavirus pod of four people. Order before December 1 at soropimistchico.org/bistrobag Oh, and know that spring and summer Bistro Bags are planned too, with ordering deadlines of March 2 and June 1 respectively; pick-up March 13 and June 12. Specific information on each local meal will be on the same webpage closer to these dates.
Bistro Bag Fundraiser for Soroptimist International of Chico
Order by December 1, pick up December 12
$65/2 person, $130/4 person includes food, recipes, link to YouTube cooking lesson
Edible Shasta-Butte is the guide to local food, dining, and gardening in Northern California’s central valley from Butte County north to the Oregon border.