A holiday tradition continues

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:20

Restaurateurs cook Thanksgiving dinner for those less fortunate BYRAM — Brad and Laurie Boyle started a holiday tradition at their Newton restaurant Bula that will now continue in Byram. Over the span of eight years, they would quietly open the restaurant doors on Thanksgiving and Easter and provide a free holiday meal to anywhere between 30-75 people. The elderly, single parent families, and any others in need found solace on Spring St. This year the Boyle’s decided to pick up where they left off two years ago after opening SALT Gastropub. With help from friends, family, and local residents, they will cook and deliver full Thanksgiving meals to those in the area that might otherwise go without. “There’s a lot of hungry people, and it’s easy for restaurants to help feed them. Cooking is what we do!” said Boyle. Through a simple Facebook post on the Salt Gastropub page, they received an outpouring of donations including over 30 turkeys, fresh vegetables and bread, ShopRite gift cards for additional supplies, and pledges of time and transportation to prepare and deliver the meals. One of Boyle’s Spring St. friends, Andre DeWaal, answered the call and will lend his culinary skills to prepare some of the dishes. As owner of Andre’s Restaurant & Wine Boutique in Newton, the two chefs work together by participating in several local benefits every year held at Hudson Farms, Perona Farms, as well as benefits for Project Self Sufficiency, Newton Hospital, and D.A.S.I. Another generous offering came from Pastor Lou Rodriguez, on behalf of the Byram Christian Fellowship, who will be donating 20 fresh baked pies and the proper containers for transporting them. Through his area connections from social service organizations, Boyle has an approximate head count of how many meals need to be prepared. But there will be no leftovers as any extra meals will be delivered to the local community food pantrys. When speaking about his efforts in the community, Boyle relates it to the demonstrations taking place across the country. Instead of occupying Wall Street, Boyle staid, “If the 99 percent helps take care of the 99 percent we wont need the 1 percent. You can complain all you want, but what are you really doing about the problem? People can start helping take care of others right now.” With much determination and little fanfare, Boyle has an ultimate goal clearly in sight that will broaden this holiday tradition. He will begin recruiting other area restaurants to join the ranks to create a network that will serve families throughout all of Sussex County.