A night to relax and reconnect with old friends is the driving force behind Chef Cody Lindsay’s annual Veterans Dinner.
A veteran himself, Cody Lindsay, will be hosting his dinner on Nov. 4 this year. The dinner is free to attend thanks to sponsors who have purchased seats for veterans. This year’s attendance is expected to be at 50, maximum capacity once again.
Lindsay began the dinner four years ago as a way to introduce himself to the veteran community and the work he does through the Wellness Soldier, an online resource that encourages veterans with Operational Stress Injuries to heal through healthy eating.
However, Lindsay says there is a bigger purpose for the annual dinner.
“At the same time, the real main point of the dinner is to literally just give veterans a night out of fun, relaxation, and appreciation,” said Lindsay.
The first dinner was held in Ottawa and was a resounding success with people driving from hours away to attend. According to Lindsay, there were veterans in attendance who had struggled to leave the house due to operational stress injuries.
Realizing how important this event can be for veterans, Lindsay puts his utmost attention and care into preparing for the event. He personally chose the restaurant because of its high standards.
“As a chef myself, I want to serve my guests the best food that I can serve them,” noted Lindsay.
Lindsay then works with the chef up to five months in advance to work on the menu, solidify a date and reach out to food purveyors to get the food at a good cost to “make it price effective for himself and restaurant but still deliver that top quality four-course meal.”
On the night of the dinner itself, Lindsay steps away from the kitchen to play host and welcome his guests.
This year’s dinner will consist of a four-course meal, guest speakers, a raffle, and giveaways.
This year Lindsay is also working with Black Hops V2V, a veteran-owned brewery that donates funds to organizations focusing on veterans’ wellness.
All the months of hard work pay off for Lindsay when he witnesses a successful night, with old friends connecting.
“It really is like a mess dinner. They will be taking digs at a each other, laughing it up, chatting it up, and having a really great time. To see that is absolutely really the driving force behind why we do it every year,” said Lindsay.
The Wellness Soldier Fourth Annual Veterans Dinner will be held on Nov. 4 at the Artisan Bistro in Victoria, BC.
For more information about the dinner or to be a sponsor, visit the Wellness Soldier website.