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Homeless Restaurant Week 2015

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Baltimore eatery skips restaurant week to feed the homeless

CNN-Feeding the homeless just got a lot fancier.Michael Tabrizi, the owner and namesake of "Tabrizi's" Mediterranean restaurant, decided to skip Baltimore's Restaurant Week and host an event of his own. Instead of offering discounted fare to local foodies, he'll feed the city's homeless for free from July 20 through July 25."What happened in Baltimore -- the city's really burning," Tabrizi said. "It's really falling apart."Tabrizi, who immigrated to Baltimore from Israel almost 30 years ago, wants to help by giving Baltimore's homeless a break."I just wish people would treat the homeless in a different way," he said. "People should remember it's always good to hear kindness and it's important to look people in the eye. The homeless feel less human -- like they're invisible. They just want to be respected."

Tabrizi says he'll spend about $20,000 of his own money to host the event, and admits that pulling out of restaurant week and closing his restaurant to regular patrons will cost him even more in lost revenue.

"I think the homeless need us more than ever right now," he said. "We can always do restaurant week."

The menu will feature Cordon Bleu chicken with sage sauce, salad, sides, sparkling apple cider and ice cream for dessert. The food will be served in an all-you-can-eat buffet, and the tables will be set with china place settings and champagne flutes for the cider.

Tabrizi hopes to serve more than one thousand homeless people who will be shuttled to and from their shelters on buses driven by volunteers.

Tabrizi's will be staffed with regular employees, some of whom will be volunteering their time.

Tabrizi said he's heard from more than one hundred volunteers and received countless donations of everything from bread and chicken to produce from other Baltimore businesses and restaurants.

"Baltimore's been good to me," Tabrizi said, so now he's being good to Baltimore.


Tabrizi’s Launches Homeless Restaurant Week Initiative

Baltimore MagazineAfter the massive hit that the food service industry took during the city-wide curfew in April and May, many restaurant owners are looking forward to raking in dining dollars during Baltimore Restaurant Week in July.


Tabrizi’s owner Michael Tabrizi, however, has a different plan.In lieu of planning a prix-fixe menu and taking reservations, Tabrizi has partnered with local shelters to devote July 20-25 to feeding the city’s homeless.

“I decided that, after all of the chaos earlier this year, it would be better to do something for the city to unite the people,” he says. “It isn’t about revenue and money right now, we’ve done restaurant week before and we know the numbers, but right now it’s more important to promote the welfare of the city and its residents rather than to promote the business.”


The restaurant, which is normally open for dinner and generates a large portion of its revenue by hosting and catering weddings, will be closed to the public during the five-day period so that Tabrizi and his team can focus on serving elegant meals to those who are displaced.


“These people don’t only suffer from hunger ans homelessness, but also from hopelessness, they feel that they don’t have any dignity anymore,” Tabrizi says. “We want them to come in and feel like they’re cared for.”

Tabrizi shares that the meals, which will be served at 1, 3, and 5 p.m. each day, will consist of chicken Cordon Bleu, salad, sparkling cider served in champagne flutes, and ice cream for dessert.


Since he began spearheading the project earlier this month, Tabrizi has hit the ground running by teaming up with the Baltimore Area Concierge Association, organizing bus transportation to and from the restaurant, and rallying volunteers to assist with tasks like serving and cleaning up. Baltimore Yellow Cab Company, donated $10,000 worth of transportation from the city shelters to Tabrizi's and back home.

He says that, although it isn’t his goal, if the initiative happens to inspire other restaurants to get involved, it would be an added bonus.

“The main goal is just to show people that actions do matter. Baltimore has a long way to recover and we can’t just rely on other people to lead. It’s our city,” Tabrizi says. “You can’t control what people do and say, but you can control how you respond". " My reaction is bringing people together and showing them that I care.”


Baltimore Restaurant Owner Opts Out Of Restaurant Week To Feed The Homeless Instead

Huffington Post-This restaurateur is serving up something extra special for summer.

Michael Tabrizi, the owner of Tabrizi’s restaurant in Baltimore, will partner with shelters to feed homeless people instead of participating in the city’s restaurant week this year, Baltimore Magazine reported.

“I decided that, after all of the chaos earlier this year, it would be better to do something for the city to unite the people,” he told the magazine.

The official Baltimore Restaurant Week is celebrating its 10th anniversary from July 24 to August 2, according to Dine Downtown Baltimore. Participating restaurants are offering multi-course, pre fixe meals, but Tabrizi will serve up an extra special menu for his own “Homeless Restaurant Week,” from July 20 to 25.

“We’re serving a nutritious meal, sparkling apple cider and ice cream,” the restaurant posted on its Facebook page.

Tabrizi’s normally operates as a Mediterranean restaurant and large-scale event venue, popular for wedding receptions. For those five days, however, the dining room will close to the public for Tabrizi and his team to serve up meals three times a day to folks in need.

“These people don’t only suffer from hunger, but also from hopelessness, they feel that they don’t have any dignity anymore,” Tabrizi told Baltimore Magazine. “We want them to come in and feel like they’re cared for.”

Last year, comedian DJ Sennett made a similar effort to bring the luxury of a restaurant experience to people in need. In Los Angeles, he turned his usual comedy into charity by dressing up as a waiter and went around town feeding the homeless.

Thousands of miles away in South Korea, a priest operates an eatery that exclusively serves the poor. Youngnam Suh’s Dandelion Noodle restaurant, near the city of Incheon, doesn’t charge customers a cent, HuffPost Korea reported, and intends only to provide people in need with a good meal.

Tabrizi is calling for volunteers to help with his special restaurant week, and has created a form with time slots and tasks needed.

“The main goal is just to show people that actions do matter,” he told Baltimore Magazine. “Baltimore has a long way to recover and we can’t just rely on other people to lead. It’s our city.”


Tabrizi's to host a Homeless Restaurant Week

Baltimore Sun-Last week, Michael Tabrizi, the owner of Tabrizi's, a catering venue and restaurant in the Harborview residences, asked for volunteers to help him organize a "Homeless Restaurant Week."Tabrizi hopes to serve anywhere from 900 to 1,000 homeless guests at his restaurant during the week of July 20. And now, Tabrizi says, he has more volunteers than he needs, and his staff is "refusing to get paid" for that week."I don't want to turn volunteers away," Tabrizi said. Instead of helping to prepare or serve meals, volunteers will be invited to sit down with homeless guests over a dinner of chicken Cordon Bleu in sage cream sauce, spring salad, sparking apple cider and ice-cream waffle cone. Tabrizi said his homeless restaurant week came after a brief encounter with a homeless person, to whom he gave his a few dollars and his business card, with an invitation to come see him at his restaurant"I drove on, thinking to myself, 'What about all of the others?' That's when I decided to feed a thousand people," Tabrizi said. Tabrizi said he is working with Dee O'Horan of the Baltimore City Concierge Association, a professional organization of hospitality industry workers, to help bring 150 guests each day for six days to Tabrizi's. Take a look at some of the notable restaurant openings of 2015. (Richard Gorelick)O'Horan said that she is working primarily through such organizations as Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training, the House of Ruth and other organizations that provide shelter and aid to the homeless and others in need. Tabrizi's gesture has been picked up the national media, including Huffington Post and People magazine, who have reported that Tabrizi had decided to forgo his participation in Baltimore's annual restaurant week in order to have his homeless restaurant week during the same period.However, Tabrizi's is not a currently a member of Visit Baltimore, the organization that coordinates the annual dining promotion, according to Christina Perry, a Visit Baltimore spokeswoman."The reaction has been great," Tabrizi said. "It's not for the publicity. It's all about goodness. Imagine, if people can do random acts of good and make the city better again, the way it was before the riots."


Baltimore Restaurant Owner Ditches Restaurant Week to Feed Homeless:

'These People Are Really Forgotten'

People Magazine-Instead of offering a prix-fixe menu to local foodies, one Baltimore restaurant owner has decided to feed the homeless during Restaurant Week. Michael Tabrizi, owner of Tabrizi’s restaurant, opted out of Baltimore’s Restaurant Week, which will take place from July 20 to 25, to instead partner with local homeless shelters and feed those in need. An encounter with a homeless person while stopped at a red light one night inspired Tabrizi to take action. "I saw a guy at a traffic light with the sign, 'I'm hungry, I will work for food,' " Tabrizi tells PEOPLE. "I couldn’t just pass him. I gave him my business card and told him to come to my restaurant when it’s open for a free meal. I kept driving and asked myself, 'What about the others?' " Tabrizi’s eatery serves Mediterranean cuisine "from the Middle East all the way to Spain – lamb, sardines, falafel, you name it," he says. However, the Israeli native is taking a different approach to his menu for Restaurant Week. Tabrizi says he will serve Cordon Bleu with sage cream and salad on fine china, sparking apple cider in a champagne flute and ice cream in a waffle cup for dessert. "I think these people are really forgotten," he says. "Nobody looks them in the eye anymore. These people lost everything, but that doesn’t make them less human than others. I like to help them by feeding them. I don’t think they are hungry for nourishment, but more mental nourishment. They just need somebody to talk to them." Tabrizi is not sure if other restaurants will join him in helping to feed the homeless, but he says he's gotten positive feedback during the past few weeks. "I'm excited just to see the faces of these people," he adds. "My staff is overwhelmed by the experience. They were offered to get paid [and] most of them declined. I have received hundreds of emails from all around the world – Africa, Europe, Russia, Iran, Middle East and South America. Everybody is wishing good things."


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