Deep Fried Diaries

The insider's scoop on food, travel & southern culture

SIMONE SEZ: 12-12-12 National Cocoa Day—Toys 4 Treats

Picture from (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Picture of Seaside Heights, NJ, from (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

At the end of October, a number of cities along the East coast were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Needless to say it stuck a chord with me, given the impact that Hurricane Katrina has had on my family’s life.  I’m always amazed by the support and relief efforts that follow a natural disaster—donations, encouragement and helping hands come from down the street and around the world. The response to Hurricane Sandy seems to have been no different. Yet, it is important to remember that there will be great need in these places for many months and years to come.

For this holiday season, however, we’ll be taking on a much smaller part of the relief effort, and we hope you’ll help us out!

The District Hogs chefs are holding a Hurricane Sandy Relief Toy Drive next Wednesday (December 12) at select restaurant locations. If you’re not familiar with the District Hogs, then allow me to enlighten you: It’s a group of Washington, DC, chefs and restauranteurs that traverse the region on their Harleys, sourcing ingredients and inspiration from local farms along the way. The gang includes Chefs David Guas, Robert Wiedmaeir and RJ Cooper, and this month, they’re getting together in an effort to make the holidays a little brighter for children of families displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

The toy drive was inspired by an effort to help displaced employees at Robert’s Atlantic City restaurant, Mussel Bar Revel. The toys will go to those families and others affect by Hurricane Sandy, in order to ensure their children have a happy holiday. No doubt that Santa Claus will come hell or high water, but we just thought we’d help him out. You can never have too many elves…

  • WHO: District Hog Chefs
  • WHAT: Hurricane Sandy Relief Toy Drive (collecting unwrapped toys for displaced families of Hurricane Sandy)
  • WHEN: Wednesday, December 12
  • WHERE: Any of the restaurant locations below. Look for the motorcycle-paper boxes!

In observance of National Cocoa Day next Wednesday, the chefs will be offering a special chocolaty treat in exchange for your donation! All you have to do is bring an unwrapped toy to one of the restaurant locations below, and they’ll hook you up with some sweet treats. Chocolate lovers—feel free to hit all four.

Chefs Robert Wiedmaier, David Guas & RJ Cooper

Chefs Robert Wiedmaier, David Guas & RJ Cooper

Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery (Arlington, VA) — Chef David Guas will be stocked with Chocolate Peanut Sandies made with rich Valrhona chocolate & Virginia peanuts.

Mussel Bar & Grille (Bethesda, MD) — Chef Robert Wiedmaier has your Triple Chocolate Gateau with Young’s chocolate stout creme anglaise & vanilla ice cream.

Mussel Bar & Grille (Atlantic City, NJ) — Robert’s New Jersey restaurant will be offering Nutella Ice Cream with chocolate waffle bonbons.

Rogue 24 (Washington, DC) — Chef RJ Cooper is offering Monk’s Hot Chocolate with buttermilk, cocoa powders & green charteuse.

So drop by with a toy, and help us make the holidays a little brighter for some New Jersey families. Those are some pretty sweet incentives if I do say so myself.

And don’t miss the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert that night, broadcasting live from Madison Square Gardens! Musical performances include Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Kanye West and many more. Check out their site for more info.

I’m Simone. And this is what simone sez.

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