Food brings people together. That's the belief at Ballard hot spot Gather Kitchen. The concept was inspired by chef/owner Ryan Donaldson's memories of Thanksgiving dinner.
"A big group of people enjoying food and drink and just sharing in their lives together. Putting down their phones and just gathering around and enjoying life," said Donaldson.
At Gather -- Donaldson's goal is to foster those same feelings. That's why the menu focuses on small plates. It's an eclectic mix of dishes, drawing from Donaldson's upbringing in the Pacific Northwest and travels abroad.
"We work with a lot of local farmers, fishermen, ranchers to source the best ingredients we can find. Then try to put those together in a way that's approachable for people to eat and tries to engage them in sharing and trying new techniques and new foods," explained Donaldson.
The dishes are meant to be shared, allowing diners to tour the menu. A culinary journey. So it's only fitting Gather Kitchen is participating in another sort of culinary journey, The Alley, at the Bite of Seattle.
"Going out to eat is expensive. So to have this opportunity to come down to The Alley at the Bite of Seattle and only spend $20 to get a great variety of foods is a fantastic way for people to come and really celebrate the Seattle restaurants and get to experience us at a very low cost," said Donaldson.
At The Alley visitors can sample six large bites from six top local restaurants for just $20. The best part is that proceeds benefit Food Lifeline, the state's largest disaster relief organization.
"To be able to give money to give people some food security is just so important. It's such a basic need for people and yet so many people are food insecure. To be able to be a part of helping people know where their next meal is coming from is such an important thing for us to take care of."