Russian Hill neighborhood spot luella is starting a special dinner series this month with the community, and particularly children, in mind.

Chef Ben de Vries sat on the board of a family foundation in Detroit, working with kids that were disadvantaged and “up against it.” Now, he is starting a monthly charity dinner series that will donate a portion of sales from the evening to a specified charity.

“We want to help give kids who are disadvantaged a chance to do more, see more and grow more. We have already given a lot to my daughter’s school, the Hamlin School. But I just figured we could do even more good,” de Vries said.

The first dinner will be on Monday, February 27 and will benefit City Youth Now, which supports youth in San Francisco foster care and juvenile justice systems by providing funds for services and programs that promote stability and personal growth. 15% of food and drinks from the evening will directly benefit the charity. Chef de Vries said it’s all part of the tremendous charitable ways shown by many restaurants and chefs throughout San Francisco.

“For me, having been in the business for more than 20 years, I grew up and it was either jail, the military or culinary school. Many of my classmates grew up in families that faced numerous financial challenges,” said de Vries. “So coming up in the restaurant business, I think it’s just a cultural thing in working with charities that continues to evolve. I want to keep that cultural cycle going philanthropy-wise.”

The second in the dinner series will be held on Tuesday, March 27 and benefit the Salesian Boys & Girls Club. And Headstand will be the beneficiary of the third event on Tuesday, April 24. The selected charities that will benefit from events held later this year will be announced as the dates get closer.

Chef de Vries said he hopes to continue the event going year-round and have even bigger events with bigger payouts to charities in the future.



Photo Credit: luella