Supporters in the Golden State have dropped plenty of gold into President Obama's campaign war chest, and there's more to come next week. Northern California chef Alice Waters, lionized as a founder of America's organic farm-to-table movement, will host a $20,000/plate dinner reception for the Eater in Chief on Monday, October 8. Rather than being held at Chez Panisse, Waters' Berkeley shrine to locavorism, the evening event will be at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium at 99 Grove Street in San Francisco. Waters will cook with celebrity TV chef Tyler Florence, who is based in the city. Both have previously cooked at Obama fundraisers; Florence wined & dined supporters last month in Tampa, Florida. Tickets for couples are $40,000, and proceeds go to the Obama Victory Fund 2012. (Above: The invitation sent out by Chez Panisse)
There is space for 100 guests at the Presidential dinner, according to OFA's Northwest Regional Finance Director Autumn Sample. The President will make "brief remarks" and engage in "an extended Q & A" with guests, who will also get a photo with the President and preferred seating at a concert from nine-time Grammy award-winning singer John Legend. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is just one of the local celebrities that Sample promised will attend the dinner.
Earlier in the day on Oct. 8, President Obama will visit Keene, California, to announce the establishment of the César E. Chávez National Monument.
Waters' cooking "traumatized" the President's bodyman...
Waters has hosted Obama fundraisers going back to the 2008 campaign. In July, President Obama joked about Waters' cooking during his remarks at a Bay Area fundraiser, amusing his well-heeled guests with a tale of junk food-addicted personal aide Marvin Nicholson. The pizza and hot dog loving Nicholson was scarred by a previous Waters dinner, the President said, where the menu was loaded with organic vegetables.
Said the President to laughter: Nicholson "doesn’t believe in eating vegetables," and "so he’s still traumatized."
A longtime school lunch activist, Waters visited the White House in April of this year to tour First Lady Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden. She last cooked for a $25,000/plate fundraiser attended by Mrs. Obama in June of 2011 in Oakland, CA. It was one of Mrs. Obama's first outings on the campaign trail in this election cycle.
Florence, host of the Food Network show The Great Food Truck Race, created a complicated menu for President Obama during the Tampa dinner, held at the mansion home of the daughter of former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. In San Francisco, Florence's flagship restaurant is Wayfare Tavern.
Legend is a longtime Obama supporter, and has performed at other fundraisers. He was among the President's guests at the State Dinner honoring Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House in March of this year.
*Photo of the President by Obama for America