Mom’s Feast: A Benefit from the Heart [Updated]

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Those of us who have enjoyed the delicious fare at Lucky’s Café (777 Starkweather Ave., 216-622-7773, luckyscafe.com) know that chef Heather Haviland puts enormous thought, hard work and care into her food. She loves what she does and it shows. Now is a chance to give back to Haviland as she struggles with the cost of care and assisted living expenses for her mother, Mary Lou Ferguson, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

For years, Mary Lou — “Mom” to those who know and love her — was a beloved mainstay in the Lucky’s kitchen. And from that love springs “Mom’s Feast,” a special five-course dinner and silent auction to be held at the restaurant at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, January 30 to raise funds for Mary Lou’s care. A portion of the funds raised also will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association’s Cleveland Chapter. The effort is being spearheaded by former Lucky’s chef du cuisine Ky-Wai Wong, who now teaches culinary arts at Cuyahoga Community College.

“This event is very near and dear to my heart,” says Wong. “In a bustling restaurant environment, Mom would always greet you with a hug and smile. She would always say something wise that would cheer us up when we were buried in work. Her generosity and kindness will be something I will cherish, and I will be ever grateful to have had the pleasure to work with Mom, Heather, and [Heather’s sister] Becky.”

The crew for the evening will be comprised of current and former Lucky’s employees and students from Wong’s Tri-C program. Many area restaurants and purveyors are donating items for the silent auction, including A Cookie and Cupcake, Dante, Lolita and Crust. Participants and contributors to the evening’s menu include Spice Kitchen + Bar, Premier Produce, Ohio Farmers Food Service, Chef 2 Chef Foods, Dee-Jay’s Custom Butchering and Processing and Rainbow Farms.

Dishes will include a “cellar vegetables” course, braised pork tamale and a dessert of apple crumble with honey mace ice cream. Each course will be paired with an appropriate beverage. The full menu is available on the restaurant’s website, and reservations for the $65 event can be made online at www.luckyscafe.bigcartel.com.

Update: "Mom’s Feast" has sold out. A second, larger benefit is planned for March 3, which will be a special Dinner in the Dark event to be held at the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center. Watch Lucky’s website for information about when tickets go on sale.

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