“If only life were as easy as pie.” That’s the tag line for the movie Waitress, which centers on Jenna, a diner waitress and pie aficionado who escapes an abusive marriage. Sadly we know for many, life isn’t always idyllic. This month the Austin Food Blogger Alliance Philanthropy committee organized a pie-centric benefit to assist SafePlace, a resource center for women in need.
With Kristina Wolter of Girl Gone Grits at the helm, Christy Horton of Epicuriosities, Kathryn Hutchinson of Austin Gastronomist, Bob Wolter of Tequila Tracker, and myself worked together to produce August’s philanthropic event, open to both AFBA members and the community. Working with Chef John Bullington of the Alamo Drafthouse, they agreed to host a screening of Waitress, with ticket sales benefiting SafePlace.
Now, back in July, the AFBA social event was a Pie Luck, where members brought their favorite homemade pie, and we held a contest, judged by local chefs (including Chef Bullington), to determine the best pie. The winner was Michael Chu, of Cooking for Engineers, with his pecan pie. Along with bragging rights for top pie, Michael got to work with Chef Bullington in the Alamo kitchens to make 20 pecan pies to be served at the Waitress screening; slices were $10 each, which went towards SafePlace as well.
The Alamo proved to be a great organization to partner with, as they also allowed us to solicit pies from local bakeries, and sell them on a donation basis at the end of Waitress. Our committee was able to get 35 whole pies, quite a number of miniature and bite-sized versions, and some redeemable pie coupons from 14 companies! A HUGE thanks to our wonderful, very sweet donors! Bluebonnet Cafe, Cake and Spoon, Dagar’s Catering, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Pie Fixes Everything, Royer’s Round Top Cafe, Silver Whisk Cooking, Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, SugaPlump Pastries, Texas Pie Kitchen, Tiny Pies, The Pie Society, Upper Crust Bakery, and The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas.
As Waitress ended, and patrons filed out of the theater, the pie-buying frenzy began! From pecan to strawberry rhubarb to chocolate cream to key lime to mini peach to bite-sized crimps, I think we had it all! Thank you to all of the wonderful people who bought a pie, and especially the woman who gave $100 for a single pie!
Needless to say, we are on a sugar high, and are thrilled to announce that between ticket sales, pecan pie slice sales, and pie donations, we raised over $2000 for SafePlace!