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Heidi's, Blackbird benefits in the works

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Eat and help at the same time? Where do we sign up? Restaurants, chefs and the foodie community are pulling together several events over the next two weekends to benefit those affected by the devastating fire two weeks ago that destroyed several local businesses, including beloved restaurants Heidi's and Blackbird Cafe.

Blackbird staff are hosting an event this Sat., March 6 at Java Jack's in South Minneapolis. Here's some details from their Facebook page:

On Saturday March 6th @ Java Jacks, the Blackbird staff is throwing a fundrasier for our beloved owners, Chris & Gail. The party will include a silent auction with donated pieces from local artists, gift certificate packages to neighborhood restaurants and an assortment of other goodies.There will be a $10 door cover with all proceeds going to Chris & Gail. Food, wine & beer will be provided along with live music & enough good times to make memories for a decade! This night is not only for Chris & Gail but for all of you! Thank you all for your continuous support and we hope to see all of you on Saturday!

The second, bigger event, named Fork the Fire, is slated for next Sun., March 14, at literally dozens restaurants around town. Here's the breakdown:

1. In the largest display of restaurant solidarity ever on one day, restaurants across the twin cities will use a full plate of creative ways to raise money for the cause on Sunday, March 14th. Enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner at your favorite place with your favorite chefs and help Heidi's and Blackbird through this devastating time. See a complete list of all the fabulous places to sip and savor for a wonderful cause at Fork The Fire on Facebook.

2. Bring a group to Mission American Kitchen where chefs from 12 of your favorite restaurants including D'Amico Kitchen, La Belle Vie, Vincent's, Edina Grill, The Dakota, Cave Vin, Pierre's Bistro and more will serve you their specialties from 2:00-8:00. Come early and get a chance to chat with Heidi's Chef/Owner Stewart Woodman. Your $30.00 door price goes to the relief fund. Cash bar and complimentary parking at the IDS. Call (612) 339-1000 for information.

3. Owners Linda and Todd Haug of Café 28 and Surly Beer will host talented Blackbird's chef-owner Chris Stevens who will be cooking at this deliciously fun $25.00 event. Call (612) 926-2800 for information.

Now go get some peeps together and make some reservations, yo!