ATLANTA, Ga. CBS46) – From the smell of turkey, gravy and pecan pie – it’s beginning to look a lot like thanksgiving here inside The Cook's Warehouse in Ansley Mall.
About 50 people are seated around tables decorated in Thanksgiving fall fashion. But before everyone digs in, they're here to learn from some of Atlanta's prominent chefs the secrets to cooking such a lavish feast, and how to help those who don't have the privilege enjoy the same.
This is Chef Virginia Willis’ fourth time participating in the Simple Abundance program, run by the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
“Tonight's class is going is going to raise enough money to provide 15,000 meals this one event and the impact of that, we need that in our community,” Willis said.
Local celebrity chefs, like Willis donate their time, talent and ingredients to raise awareness about the food insecurity gaps the food bank is working to close.
“There are a lot of people in our community that don't have, that are hunger insecure they don't have enough food to eat,” said Willis. “So, if we can communicate and educate one person in the audience tonight it's a victory.”
All the proceeds from the classes go to the food bank – all 100%.
Foodie Sandy Kellam has been attending for 10 years and says she came to see culinary legends Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart.
“I just love it. It's just so much fun. You really learn a lot too...raising awareness of food, your sources, how to prepare it, and also some skills, knife skills,” she said.
The classes offer another way to give back besides volunteering to stock pantry shelves or simply giving cash.
Founder of The Cook's Warehouse Mary Moore has partnered with the food bank for the last 20 years, and says the classes personalize the need.
“I think this is a delicious way to give back to the food bank,” said Moore. “For us to be able to have a part in that mission and helping solve the problem of hunger, it's just heartwarming and my staff loves it too.”
The next Simple Abundance is Dec. 2 and features “A South American Christmas Feast.” Spaces are limited, to register click here.