Chefs comfort community with food as Sonoma County recovers

At Ramekins Culinary School, Events and Inn in Sonoma, professional chefs are trying to do their part to help people who have been through a lot these past few weeks—from power outages to evacuations.

"This is our opportunity to give back to the needy. Those who have been out of a job for a week, who haven't had food in the fridge," said general manager David Daniel.

They prepared a pre-Halloween dinner of marinated chicken for about 250 people in Sonoma, many of whom lost power from Saturday until Thursday. 

Hannah Hedley is the pastry chef. "Today I made pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting for Halloween and a chocolate cake with raspberry blood," she said.  She said it feels good to help.

"We're really happy to provide some needs to people who have had a rough couple of weeks and this town has had a rough couple of years with all the fires," Hedley said.

To keep operating during the blackouts and to keep massive amounts of food from spoiling, Ramekins bought three back-up power generators in the past few weeks. They worked. Their business kept going.

The food was loaded up and delivered to clients of nearby La Luz, a family service center that helps connect those in need with social services and job training.

"This is one way of saying community come to La Luz and get a warm meal. Maybe you haven't had a warm meal in a couple of days," said Juan Hernandez, La Luz executive director.

It's been an anxiety-ridden, frustrating and scary time for much of Sonoma County. Entire communities have been in danger and many evacuated. Almost everybody lost electricity. 

A relaxing meal is not only a welcome relief, but perhaps a sense that maybe a beleaguered community can start getting back to normal.

"Here in Sonoma it is like floods or fires. Flood or fires. So this is a really resilient community," said Hernandez.