Recipe for Success #4
”DRINKS & DESSERT”
This fundraising event can work for any size club, any time of the year (perhaps as part of a club’s culinary program).
Host an event where dessert and wine are there for the tasting. What could be more delicious than that? There are several ways you make money doing this.
First – Entry fee to the event is $10 or €10. This allows one into the event and “rents” a wine glass, Dessert plate, fork and/or spoon. Try to sell as many pre-event entry tickets as possible to help gauge the amount of food and drink required.
Second – Sell tasting tickets worth $/€2 each to be used to “purchase” one pairing of Dessert and drink (SEE SUGGESTED PAIRINGS BELOW). An individual can try as many of the delicacies as they’ve purchased tasting tickets to support (much like going to a Gourmand Exposition.) If there is a very special tasting (an old, old port or top end champagne for example) have that table require 2 tickets for a tasting.
Third – Try to have the food and drink donated either by local area vendors, caterers, restaurants and/or by individuals. Acknowledge them as sponsors for the event; ask them to bring brochures, business cards to the event. (Consider making a poster with all of the business’ logos at the entrance to the venue?)This keeps the overhead to a minimum and allows the entry fee and ticket sells to make a higher profit percentage.
Fourth - Provide a way for people who are not in town that day, on a diet or non-alcohol drinkers to donate towards the event. Consider having a giant wine glass or trifle bowl to collect coins the night of the event. (Sure, someone will have to count it after but you’d be amazed at how much can be collected from spare change.)Include the donation form in your newsletter’s publicity.
For the actual event, attendees give the tasting tickets to the tables where they choose to sample. The tables are set up to either:
- Represent a geographic region for food and drink pairing, example: If I wanted a French Apple tart with an Anjou wine (Quarts de Chaumes or a Bonnezaux) or gorgeous Calvados then I would give a tasting ticket to that table for 1 Dessert & drink sample. Or
- Represent a wine and dessert pairing based on culinary matches (see pairing chart,) example: I want to try the Baba au Rhum with a glass of Malmsey then I would give a tasting ticket to that table for 1 Dessert & drink sample.
Remember: The goal of this event is to raise money for the FAWCO Target Water Project. The serving size is simply a taste so that people can try quite a few and will buy more tasting tickets. Portion control is key!
We suggest dividing the work as follows: The Party Planners, the Food/Drink Solicitors and the Room Setup.
The Party Planners Here are a few things that you might want to discuss with your club’s board:
- Should this be part of a club wide event such as in lieu of a coffee or luncheon, club culinary event, etc? Or, should it be its own event?
- Be sure that you request a date with the responsible person in your club!
- Plan in advance so that you can include information about the event in your monthly bulletins, announcements and on your website!
- Consider “pre-selling” tasting tickets as well as the entry fee before the event to help get a sense of quantities needed. Does your club use PayPal? Consider setting a PayPal button for each – entry fee and food/drink tickets plus a PayPal button for additional “donations”.
- Do you want entry fees to also count towards a raffle where the lucky person could win something that reflects the evening? A bottle of Ice Wine perhaps? Or a cake “credit” for a special event? How about a set of lovely Dessert plates? The possibilities are endless. What you do at the event is up to you-have fun with it!
The Food/Drink Solicitors Soliciting for the food and drink is easier when there is a group of three or four people working together. If you want to send prospective donors a letter, we have provided a template. (There is also a thank you card.) However, the direct approach, a phone call or personal visit, sometimes gets the quickest and best result. Print a few of the Target Water Project brochures to take with you.
Try to have an assortment of geographic regions if you go that route –it adds an element of surprise and it’s more fun to have a wide variety. The same goes for the culinary pairings.
Ask your Club “foodies” to help. Could each of them bake their signature pie, cakes, or tarts? Perhaps you could ask your local bakeries for the same kind of support. Then try and match up the wine/alcohol with what would pair best. Or ask your club cooks to make a dessert that matches the drinks that have been donated.
Donations from local businesses – Local cooking schools or the local cooking instructors your club uses to teach cooking classes to your members might donate a cooking class or two in which the desserts you need for the evening are featured in the class. The desserts are then brought to the event. Restaurants might be willing to highlight their own specialties donating both the dessert and the drink.
The Room Setup Here is a suggested “visual” for the setup -but feel free to create whatever your club feels best conveys the message!
Supplies you need:
- Areas with tables representing either regional pairings or culinary pairings.
- Small wine glasses, small plates, forks, spoons, napkins.
- Decorations – Desserts & Drinks logo, Target logo and your club logo.
- Receptacles for tasting tickets at each table -the quantity will depend upon how many tables you have featured.
- Table at the entrance where one or two cashiers are selling both entry fee and tasting tickets. One or two cash boxes, chairs, and of course the tasting tickets themselves. These should be visually different from the entry fee ticket if you choose to use a ticket for this purpose.
For the event: Assign a “hostess” available to take the tasting tickets at each table. And please, please, please thank all who participate for their generous contribution!
You may want to have brochures available about the project. There is a power point that you could make available on your laptop for viewing. This will encourage donations.
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE A GREAT EVENT!
FOR THIS EVENT, PLEASE SEE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
SUGGESTED PAIRING CHART*
Baba au Rhum – Bual or Malmsey wine, but if it has a rum-flavored cream filling, try a crisp fruity wine like a Vouvray Demi-Sec.
Apple Tart - Anjou wines—a Quarts de Chaumes or a Bonnezaux, Late-Harvest Riesling, Various Ice Wines, Muscat, Demi-sec Sparkling Wines, Blueberry Wine.
Cheesecake - Cheesecake is hard on most wines. Champagne or a rich wine like a Sauternes, Gewürztraminer or Riesling from Alsace.
Chocolates - Vintage Port, Late Harvest Zinfandel, Lustau Muscat Sherry “Emlin,” Recioto Amarone Late-Harvest Riesling, Raspberry Wine, Black Muscat, Cabernet Sauvignon; Simple dark chocolate is excellent with Cognac.
Citrus Desserts - Muscats such as a Beaumes de Venise or a California Muscat like Bonny Doon.
Coconut Desserts - Sauternes (particularly Lafaurie-Peyraguey), Late Harvest Semillon from Australia, or a Beerenauslese Riesling
Cookies, Petit Fours – Just about anything. For something different try Commandaria from Cyprus or Vin Santo.
Cream-Based Pie or Tart – Tawny Port, South African Late Harvest Riesling
Custards, Puddings, Trifle – Demi-Sec Sparkling Wines from anywhere, Late-Harvest Riesling, Muscat, Various Ice Wines.
Fresh Fruit, Dried Fruit - Moscato D’Asti, California Viognier, Late-Harvest Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Muscat.
Fruit Pie, Tarts - Vendage Tardive (VT) Alsace Gewürztraminer or Pinot Gris
Ice Cream, Sorbets – Pedro Ximinez Sherry, fruit wines or fruit liqueurs; the fat with the cold make it hard to pair with wine.
Nu-Based Pie/Tart –Oloroso Sherry, Malmsey Madeira, Port, Angelica
Tiramisu – Champagne, Sweet Malvasia
*Courtesy of gourmand websites and various wine courses