Empty bowls, open hearts

Bourbon & Toulouse Picture.jpg

Megan Brown

Cajun eatery Bourbon n’ Toulouse, a restaurant on Euclid Ave will be filling hand-crafted ceramic bowls with their tantalizing creole creations this weekend, all for a good cause in conjunction with Kentucky Mudworks. This event has been going on annually for six years according to owner Kevin Heathcoat. The event is designed to combat starvation and the negative stigma associated with HIV and AIDS. 

The scope of empty bowls reaches far beyond Lexington. The empty bowl program is an international initiative to end hunger for good ranging from the United States to Canada. Although each community’s events are independent and self-developed, they all share the common goal of giving back. Empty bowls has raised millions of dollars in their attempts to fight starvation and is usually celebrated on Oct. 16 because of World Food Day. 

The proceeds from this event goes toward supporting Moveable Feast, which began in 1998 when an artist with aids died from starvation. This death sparked the motivation of  Michael Thompson and Carol Farmer. Thompson, an avid AIDS activist and farmer then began delivering leftover food from local restaurants to people with AIDS. 

Since then, Moveable Feast has been delivering hot, nutritious meals to people with HIV and AIDS at no cost. The program has garnered over 200,000 dinners and almost 50,000 lunches. 

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For $15, participants can purchase a handmade bowl, which will include a delicious entree of Cajun food. The bowls are made from Kentucky Mudworks and are donated in two parts. The first part comes from local artists who donate bowls they have created which feature their aesthetic. 

The second comes from clay enthusiasts who work after hours at Kentucky Mudworks to create the bowls for the event. Each bowl is unique and no two people will have the same bowl. 

“The girls at Kentucky Mudworks do an amazing job, usually producing 600 to 800 bowls,” Heathcoat said. “The bowl signifies the lack of food that some people have access to not only in our town but across the country.”

The event starts at 11 a.m. and will go on until 5:00 p.m. or until food runs out, which in past years has occurred around 3 p.m.. The empty bowl event supports a great cause and is an easy way to give back all while enjoying a delicious meal.