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Foodie Friendships: Sending Some Love To New Awlins…

Photo: The Epicurean Exchange

Dear Friends and Followers –
I hope this message finds you all well – safe, secure and healthy.

Chef Charlie

Never before has the sense of community found in Lamorinda and the greater Bay Area matter as much as it does now. I am grateful, as are so many, for the support and connection I have with so many in my town Orinda and the surrounding area. We are fortunate, and am trying to help do what I can to support others. I strongly believe that if we each can support those in need at this critical, unprecedented time, we will all be better off when “this” is all over.

I began this SIP appreciating the moment and downtime with my family, projects and catching up on my rest. I have just started to recover from the sheer shock and trauma of it all, and decided it’s time to get busy; to look to the future, and re-build my personal and work lives.

Included in this update:
My friend Tony:

Below is a photo of Tony Lawson, one of our dear friends and trusted partners on our annual New Orleans tours. Tony is our driver and for four previous visits has personally and professionally cared for our guests by safely transporting our groups throughout the region. We have learned so much about him and his remarkable life as a native, Katrina-surviving, New Orleanian.


Tony, and so many others like him, are the soul of our tours. As have so many, Tony has been crushed by the Covid-19 outbreak. Although healthy, he has lost his livelihood and his ability to support his only son, Tiger, who is in the last year of medical school. Tony is one of the kindest, most genuine and hardest working men I have ever met. I am going out on a limb and setting up my own “GoFundTony” account via Venmo. If you are interested in helping me help Tony weather this storm, I am asking for donations: $1, $5, $10, $20 – whatever you can spare. I will collect the funds and those who contribute will be notified when I forward the help to Tony. This will be on behalf of my friends in Lamorinda and believe me he is one of the most gracious and appreciative people – it will mean the world to him. I have told him, that all the generosity is NOT charity, but know he will pay it forward to help his city recover from this tragedy.

So, I know this is a BIG ask. If you’d like to help, you can Venmo to me (reference TONY) at the following account and I will confirm receipt. Only because you know me, do you know this will be done and I will confirm all generosity and follow through that Tony has received your support.


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