This winter’s snowy and icy weather may be a cold and slippery inconvenience for some, but for Jodie Gilson, owner of J. Gilson Greenhouses in Groton, Mass., it meant the loss of her business, a wholesale herbs and perennials company. Her greenhouses were destroyed on Feb. 3 by the weight of the snow just as Mother’s Day, a busy time of year for the wholesale plant business, is approaching. Even worse, her insurance would not cover the loss.

But in Gilson’s time of need, the Boston restaurant community came to her rescue. Gilson’s son, award-winning chef and restaurateur Will Gilson of Garden at the Cellar, reached out to his friends and colleagues.

“The response was overwhelming,” said Will. “So many great folks were offering whatever I needed towards an effort that hadn’t even been conceived yet. It’s truly humbling to be a part of this generous community.”

One member of the community who reached out was Brehon Garcia-Dale, the food and wine program manager of the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE). Thanks to Garcia-Dale’s interest in helping Gilson’s business, Will found the perfect spot to hold a pop-up restaurant-style benefit for his mother: the BCAE.

“As soon as we learned about the benefit we knew it was something we wanted to become involved with and immediately offered our space for the event,” said Garcia-Dale. “Our facility here is large enough to make an impact, we have state-of-the-art kitchens for the chefs to use, and it just made sense. And more importantly, it’s what we do here. The Boston restaurant community is part of the DNA that makes up our program, and if we can help, we’re going to.”

The Mother’s Day in March event, all proceeds from which will go to J. Gilson Greenhouses, will bring together some of Boston’s finest chefs to create a family-style menu featuring some of their mothers’ favorite dishes.

“It all just clicked,” said Will, “and we thought we could pull together a great event that would be meaningful for the cause and that would offer a unique dining opportunity for those in attendance.”


What: Mother’s Day in March, a pop-up restaurant event to benefit J. Gilson Greenhouses

Where: The Boston Center for Adult Education, 122 Arlington St., Boston

When: Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m. for General Admission, 6:30 p.m. for VIP and Chef’s Table Admission.

Tickets: General Admission is $100 and includes wine and dinner; VIP Admission is $150 and includes wine, dinner and VIP cocktail reception; Chef’s Table Admission is $200 and includes premium seating, wine, dinner and VIP cocktail reception.

For tickets and more information, go here. To learn more and to donate directly, go here.

About The Author

Shannon O'Neill is a senior editor at Bombshell.

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