Jam City returns May 22 to aid Food for ThoughtWritten by Jay Hathaway | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s peanut butter and jelly time.
Toledo nonprofit Food for Thought is hosting the second annual Jam City at the Secor Ballroom, 425 Jefferson Ave., from 6-9 p.m. May 22. Tickets are $30.
At Jam City, the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is given a variety of unique makeovers by some of Toledo’s top chefs to raise money to feed Toledoans in need.
Food for Thought started with a free sack lunch program, and quickly expanded to encompass an Oregon food pantry as well as two mobile pantries. Chief Thought Officer Sam Melden explained that last year they decided to try out a new idea.
“We said, ‘What if we get a bunch of chefs together and they put their spin on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich?’” Melden said. “The idea was born, and we ran with it.”
And so, Jam City was launched. Twelve local restaurants were involved, and the event nearly reached its goal of raising $10,000.
“Our event sold out online before the doors even opened,” Melden said.
For its second year, Jam City boasts offerings from 16 restaurants and bars, ranging from classic American fare to Asian fusion, Mexican and Italian.
A new dessert category will be featured, as well.
Melden said the diversity offers tasters a unique experience that goes well beyond the traditional PB&J.
“[For example], last year, El Tipico did a habanero peanut butter salsa, and it was just amazing.”
In addition to the tasting, two raffle drawings will take place. Winners will receive a $50 gift card from each restaurant involved with Jam City, an $800 value. Tickets for the raffle are $10, and may be purchased from the Food for Thought website. Attendance at Jam City is not required to win.
Melden added that live music is also one of the things that makes Jam City a great time.
This year’s lineup features Andrew Ellis, Dean Tartaglia (of Silent Lions) and Nathan Roberts & The New Birds.
Melden said the participation of the restaurants is what drives the success of the event, and transcends just supplying food.
“So many of our restaurants are not just in the event, but they are really partners with our organization, and I feel like there is something to be said for that.”
Tickets for the event and the raffle are available at www.feedtoledo.org/jamcity. Toledo Free Press is a media sponsor of Jam City.
Tags: Andrew Ellis, Chief Thought Officer, Dean Tartaglia, El TIpico, habanero, Jam City, Nathan Roberts & the New Birds, peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter salsa, Sam Melden, Secor Ballroom, Silent Lions