Share is a weekly dine-by-donation dinner event, founded by Kate Richards and Joel Tisato, hoping to achieve the multi-pronged aim of diverting food from landfill, fostering social bonds, and providing for those without the means to regularly enjoy a high-quality restaurant experience.
Dine for good with Share
On Monday, 16 March, Africola will host Adelaide’s first Share dinner event – a non-profit initiative founded by Kate Richards and Joel Tisato.
The two met while working at Africola – Kate as head waiter and Joel as junior sous chef – and bonded over a mutual goal of creating social good from the skills they each have in hospitality.
Share is a pay-as-you-feel, or dine-by-donation, concept that welcomes anyone and everyone to a communal dining experience, with the three-course dinner created by local chefs working with rescued food.
At the end of the meal, attendees will be asked to pay what they feel the experience was worth, or what they can afford to pay, with the aim to have people of all classes and creeds connecting side by side over a meal.
It’s a concept Kate saw over in Auckland, the city in which she earned her hospo stripes, both in service and food writing – an event called Everybody Eats, founded by Nick Loosely.
Share is a “cut-and-paste” replica of the Auckland concept, with local organisations like OzHarvest and Hutt St Centre involved.
“Every single organisation we’ve contacted have been really excited, really supportive of the idea. It’s so touching that people want to be involved,” Joel says.
“One of our most important outcomes is integrating all classes and different walks of life back together, so to stop people walking past the homeless on the street and ignoring someone on the footpath – which we see happen day-to-day – the more shelters that get shut down, the more people out on the street.”
“But also to return some dignity to those people,” Kate continues.
“There’s a place for soup kitchens, there’s a place for Hutt St Centre, but to offer someone who would never have that opportunity to have a restaurant experience, to be looked after in that really dignified way, to have a conversation with someone and to feel like, ‘Oh, someone trusts me to come into their venue and have this experience,’ it’s quite special.”
Kate warns that diners should not expect a super polished experience – they will be basing the menu off whatever comes from an OzHarvest food drop two days before the event – but the three courses will be executed by top Adelaide chefs, led by Joel.
“I’m doing the first one, the second one will be Will Doak from Orso in Kensington, Josh Lansley and Cal Stuart-Bishop from Aces. We’ve got other chefs down the line that are not yet confirmed,” Joel says.
There will be no alcohol for sale over the bar, and nothing extra for diners to purchase throughout the duration of the event – everyone will be served the same entrée, main and dessert. Because the kitchen is working with rescued food, major dietaries can’t be catered to, but there will be a vegetarian option available.
Kate and Joel hope to host Share dinners on a weekly basis, with future editions likely to take place in restaurants across the city.
The duo picked Monday nights because restaurants tend to be closed on Mondays, meaning city dwellers will hopefully be looking for somewhere to eat after work, and there are plenty of hospitality staff – both chefs and front-of-house – available to volunteer for the event.
And though the concept is designed to make the dinner accessible to those without the means to pay for a restaurant experience, Kate stresses that it is imperative to the concept that people who can afford to pay for the experience, do so.
“We need those people to come,” she says.
“Because I know that Nick in Auckland, he was saying that people have felt that if [they’re] coming [they’re] taking away from someone who really needs the dinner, but actually that’s the opposite.
“We need these people to pay, because that money is going to go back into buying supplies for future events.”