The Shortbread That Comforts After the Oakland Fire

December  5, 2016

I left a lot of dear friends in Oakland when I moved to New York, and one such friend, David, had every intention of going to the Ghost Ship on Friday night, the night a horrifically powerful fire blazed through. Instead, though, he decided to stay home and make Sablés Viennois. This is not in any way surprising for David to do—he’d make prickly pear gelato for barbecues, and gougères and passion fruit macarons for potlucks with our friends.

As he put it, staying home to bake Laudurée’s cookies “literally saved my life.” Amidst such shock, pain, and fragility, it's easy to fall numb, but there can be bright spots—of people helping others heal, of coming together, in their own ways. David is baking his “life saving cookies” and all proceeds will go to the Gray Area Fire Relief Fund.

More on David's endeavor is here:

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Ashley Mackey
    Ashley Mackey
  • David Le Brun
    David Le Brun
  • Ryan Powell
    Ryan Powell
  • Greenstuff
Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


Ashley M. December 5, 2016
What a wonderful way to help others. My family and I live in the bay area and have had very heavy hearts the past few days. Thank you for doing something that we all do everyday like cooking/baking to making a difference.
David L. December 5, 2016
Wonderfully written Ali. I have to say, Food52 helped inspire me to test out that recipe. I'm continually amazed by the positive effects food can bestow on communities by providing a way to focus on and share what can be considered absolute goodness. I put my heart into everything I bake, but I can say this time that my baking is putting back into my heart the outpouring of love and support this cause has gathered, and I'm so grateful.
Greenstuff December 5, 2016
Best of luck to you. I hope that our shared communities--Oakland and Food52--continue to give you that sense of absolute goodness.
Ryan P. December 5, 2016
I think its really nice that you have offered an option for people to donate to help on a platform that normally probably would not have much to say in regards to tragic events like this. Living in New York, I have been to many spaces outfitted in a similar fashion and its hard not to feel like it could happen anywhere, anytime. My condolences to everyone affected by the tragic fire. Life is fragile.