Culinary Events for a Cause: Great Food, Great Chefs, and Great Reasons to Eat Well in Boston in November

Boston’s culinary scene is thriving. We have an eclectic mix of creative, decorated chefs that have put Boston firmly on the dining map, and we’re fortunate to be flanked by the New England seashore and a growing network of farmers and artisanal food producers that have helped elevate the level of dining in our city. Sure, I have my go-to favorites, but I’m always intrigued by new, must-try spots that are making waves where I can meet clients, friends or go with my husband on a night out. While Boston undoubtedly offers world-class dining experiences (along with a great collection of neighborhood bistros), this month, there are some great opportunities to indulge your palate and feel good about it for some worthy local community causes.

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    10th Annual Flavors of Fall, November 11: has cooked up a fundraising food event celebrating New England’s generous fall harvest with delicacies from some of the most talented chefs in Cambridge and Somerville. Proceeds from Flavors of Fall support Community Cooks, a network of volunteers offering home-cooked meals to hungry and vulnerable neighbors in the area. Mark your calendar for November 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Regattabar in The Charles Hotel in Cambridge. This year’s event also features a new, intimate VIP reception, where, from 5:30 to 6:30 PM, guests will be able to sip sparkling wine; nibble on cheese, charcuterie and freshly shucked oysters; and mix and mingle with executive directors from the last decade’s worth of beneficiary organizations. Tickets are $75 per person and include tastings from participating restaurants’ late fall menus, wine, beer and cocktails. Tickets with the VIP reception are $125. Discounted parking will be available at the Charles Square Garage.

  • Taste of the NFL, November 12: Since 1992, the Taste of the NFL has rallied the country’s top chefs and the NFL’s greatest to raise money in support of food banks throughout the United States. On November 12, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, Davio’s at 75 Arlington Street will host Boston’s second annual Taste of the NFL to benefit Kick Hunger Challenge and the Greater Boston Food Bank. Guests will enjoy tastings of Davio’s Northern Italian cuisine and wines from E&J Gallo wineries, and all will receive a copy of restaurateur Steve DiFillippo’s new book, It’s All About the Guest. Purchase your tickets here.

  • Bounty-ful, November 14: The Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, a citywide partnership dedicated to improving community health, has announced Bounty-ful: a local wine and artisan cheese tasting fundraiser to support the Boston Bounty Bucks program on Thursday, November 14 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. The event will be held at the Benjamin Franklin Institute in the South End where you can enjoy local wine, cheese, cider, beer, bites to eat, and live music. Tickets are $35 and provide funding for Bounty Bucks, an innovative program that makes healthy food more affordable for Boston residents by providing a dollar-for-dollar match each time a SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) client shops at a participating farmers’ market in the city.
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    Boston Magazine’s Taste 2013, November 18: Experience Boston’s best chefs, restaurants and mixologists to celebrate Boston Magazine’s highly anticipated November dining issue with Taste 2013, an evening of delectable offerings while working to end hunger in our city. A portion of proceeds from will benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank. The event takes place on November 18th at the Boston Children’s Museum from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Tickets cost $85 and include tastings from Boston’s star chefs, custom cocktails along with beer and wine, music and access to museum exhibits. An upgraded VIP ticket for $115 lets you beat the crowds and gain access to the event an hour early (at 6:00 PM) and includes a VIP gift bag with treats from sponsors, chefs and more.

  • Local Craft Brewfest, November 22:  Join the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts for the 4th Annual Local Craft Brewfest  where you can taste, explore, socialize, and network with more than 50 artisan beverage and food producers. The Brewfest will be held on Friday, November 22 from 6:00 to 9:30 PM at the John J Moakley Courthouse on the Boston waterfront in the Fort Point District. A $45 admission ticket gets you unlimited tastings from participating craft brewers, distillers, cideries, meaderies, artisan beverage vendors; samplings from participating local food vendors; live music and entertainment. All this, plus you’ll be supporting the local food movement by raising much needed funds for the annual Boston Local Food Festival, which provides opportunities for local food-related businesses, initiatives and nonprofits to share their products, services and programs.

You can feel good about eating, drinking and being merry with these dining events and you’ll be serving up some good in the Boston community too. Will you consider one of these for your next dinner reservation?