As people in the food business, we get bombarded with requests to donate our time and food to benefits. Benefits for cancer, benefits for the homeless, benefits for three legged dogs in China, benefits for the hungry (I always think it's weird to gorge yourself to help the hungry but hey, whatever it takes right?). It goes on and on. And fall is the height of benefit season, and it seems to have gotten excessive.
The idea used to be to throw a party, get some press for the cause, some press for the participating chefs and industry people, and raise some money. But there are some very dubious causes receiving money out there, and it's never clear how large a percentage of funds raised actually go to the cause being featured. Recently I was asked to do a benefit for Slow Food (really?). I am all for Slow Food, but I am not sure they need money as much as victims of natural disasters or terminal disease.