Order’s up! Celebrities serve food to benefit schools

A dinner of Dungeness crab in San Francisco is not out of the ordinary. But paying $275 for a plate and being served by financier Warren Hellman or MC Hammer is — even if the money is going to schools.

A star-studded waitstaff of 34 people, including Hellman and former Mayor Willie Brown, will be serving dinner tonight during the Teachers Celebrity Waiter Dinner.

It’s the second time the San Francisco Education Fund, a local nonprofit, has set up the event in which local celebrities compete for tips. Last year, $300,000 was raised for the San Francisco Unified School District.

This year, more than 40 distinguished waiters, including school district Superintendent Carlos Garcia, will start filling the Grand Ballroom of the Westin St. Francis in midafternoon to compete for the most money from top Bay Area executives and philanthropists.

The meal is on the pricey side — a table for 12 costs between $5,000 and $10,000 and a single ticket is $275 — but the money, including tips, goes to the nonprofit, which provides the school district with volunteers, grants and several other benefits.

The more than 360 guests will be served Dungeness crab salad with mushroom relish and an orange vinaigrette; roasted Brandt Farm beef tenderloin topped with royal trumpet mushrooms, haricot verts, purple cauliflower, baby spinach and fingerling potatoes with truffle-merlot sauce; and chocolate spiced pots de crème with a surprise inside.

Honorable chairs to the event include U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mayor Gavin Newsom, although none has confirmed their attendance.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

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