A 'Bama Bennett Brunch

Ellen Bennett
What happens when you stick 20 people who don't all know each other in the same kitchen over a feast of Southern food? 
bama bennett brunch
Well you make some friends and build some community , that's what you do! 
Last year on our ice cream and aprons for all tour w/ my girl, Jeni Britton-Bauer, we traveled to different cities to meet all kinds of makers and entrepreneurs in the US. 
Our last stop was Birmingham!
I have to admit it was pretty unexpected, but we discovered this incredible rumble of entrepreneurship here. From tiny coffee shops opening up to amazing bakeries like Feast and Forest and the people behind them were even better. 
So I decided to organize my first Bennett Brunch outside of LA to bring all those wonderful people together and celebrate this rad group of hustlers, makers and business owners in 'BAMA
As a back story to the Bennett Brunches - I started these about a year ago and this one marks our 15th one total, albeit our first one out of LA. 
I used to cook professionally and now... well I'm busy running Hedley & Bennett! :)
But the idea stemmed from all the great people we meet out in the world. They come from totally different backgrounds and I think we can all learn a lot from other industries. 
bennettbrunches ellen bennett
So I started this series where everyone brings ingredients or a semi-ready dish, you throw on a Hedley & Bennett apron when you walk in and then you start cooking with people you don't know. But the real beauty of it is, by the time everyone leaves, you've already accidentally elbowed your neighbor 3 times while prepping your dish, made friends with all kinds of people you may have never gotten to meet just randomly in life, the guard goes down and people get real. 
birmingham baked from scratch magazine culinary
Your people and tribe are out there and waiting for you to find em, sometimes you just need a little helping hand in getting to them. That's what is so wonderful about the apron squad.  We are all dreamers, doers and hustlers working our butts off everyday to make those dreams come true so might all well link arms and rise together right?
Hopefully you can take a page from my book and organize your own version of a #bennettbrunches!
Recipe for success: 
- Invite people who mostly don't know each other 
- People who come from different backgrounds and ideally who work in different fields
- Get people to bring their own dish. They can finish it at your house
- It can be themed but make sure you don't tell them what to make, let it be their creation. 
-throw aprons on everyone when they walk in, help em tie them on if they've never worn them before. If they have their own h&b apron, have them bring it. 
- Reach out to people in your area that you would love to get together with. Pick a date, make it easy for everyone attending. 
- you can organize who's coming by and what they're bringing by using a google doc so people can add their dish in there. 
-tell everyone the reason for the brunch 
Community is all around so get to it! It's waiting for you to go grab it by the lapels! 
From Today's Brunch:
Host: Bake From Scratch
Location: Birmingham AKA Bama!
Pastry: Baking Bandits
Weather: We were going to do it at a farm and we got rained out so we did it at Brian's (CCO of Bake from scratch) house instead. 
# of Guests: 20
Theme: "Southern Eats"
We had people come in from NY, Nashville, Selma, Charleston and in my case, LA. :) 
And while there were virtually almost no vegetables to be seen on that table, it was the warmest group of people and our plates were toppling over with cinnamon buns, scones, beautiful cakes, muffins, bacon, and on and on and on. 
Thank you to everyone who was a part of our Bennett brunches and cheers to the apron squad community! 
Ellen b