Culinary Collective at Oak & Reel Raises Money to Fight Food Insecurity

The first dinner in the series featured acclaimed chef Michael White and raised $4,000 for Forgotten Harvest.
The first event in Oak & Reel's first Culinary Collective event featured Chef Michael White. // Photograph by Chris Osburn

There are people living in every single county in United States experiencing food insecurity. That’s 34 million people, including 9 million children, who don’t have access to consistent meals, according to Feeding America, the largest charity working to end hunger in the U.S.

Oak & Reel, the 2022 Hour Detroit Restaurant of the Year, is working to change that statistic in metro Detroit with their new Culinary Collective dinner series in support of Forgotten Harvest.

The first dinner in the three-part chef series, which is presented by Motor City Seafood, featured eats by nationally acclaimed chef Michael White, and raised nearly $4,000 for the Oak Park non-profit, which delivers more than 140,000 worth of nutritious food to hungry families in metro Detroit each week.

But Oak & Reel isn’t stopping there. The Milwaukee Junction restaurant wants to raise thousands more, while also giving students in the culinary arts program at Henry Ford College — another of Oak & Reel’s partners in the series — firsthand knowledge, and experience, in a kitchen.

“We are very proud of our first event of the Culinary Collective series,” Jared Gadbaw, chef and owner of Oak & Reel, said in a press release. “Not only did we provide a one-of-a-kind dining experience, but we also raised thousands for Forgotten Harvest to help our community.”

“It was [also] great to have culinary students from Henry Ford College here to share the excitement of having renowned Chef Michael White in the kitchen, providing memories and contacts for these young professionals to help them enter the industry with confidence,” he added.

Two more events in the Culinary Collective series are planned for Feb. 23-24 and March 9-10. The February event will feature Chefs Michael Galina and Aaron Martinez, while the March event will be led by Chef Erik Ramirez.

Tickets for those events are $160 and can be purchased online. Menus vary at each event.

“It is our hope that we can continue to make a difference in our community through the success of the following two events in February and March, Gadbaw said. “With the support of our guests, we hope to raise over $12,000 for our local food insecurity, which will provide 15,500 meals.”

Find more information about the Culinary Collective series at Oak & Reel at — and for more food and dining news in metro Detroit, visit