And there was only trouble getting supplies on the first full day (Tuesday), so Valette says he leaned on local resources, but many people donated food, too.
The restaurant delivered the food to those in need or to central locations for evacuees, and then volunteers came to pick up the meals as they got rolling along.
Valette provided meals Monday through the Thursday of the next week, so 11 days, at a cost of around $60,000, but it was worth it.
“Everyone was so happy to get hot food,” Valette says. “When you are cold and hungry and you’ve expended all this energy, a cold peanut butter sandwich is not the thing.
"When you get something hot it changes your outlook. This fed their soul.”
Lending a hand
Kyle Connaughton, who owns SingleThread in Healdsburg with his wife, Katina, was surrounded by fires on three sides. So he decided to close the restaurant and start pitching in with food.
“We started producing 200 meals a day with what we had at the restaurant and things coming from our farm. We just started cooking food knowing shelters would be popping up and people without homes would need to eat,” he says. The restaurant did this for two weeks, and at its peak was serving 600 meals per day.
Now, Connaughton is looking ahead to fundraising. Together with Thomas Keller of The French Laundry in Yountville and Christopher Kostow from The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, he’s helping out via Napa & Sonoma Relief, a charity that donates 100 percent of all funds raised.