SARATOGA — The fan-favorite annual Hattie’s Mardi Gras party returns Saturday, Jan. 27, to the Saratoga Springs City Center. The event, which benefits the SEAT Center Culinary Lab, will be an evening of entertainment, music, delicious food and a silent auction.
“We were so excited to gather again and see old friends,” said Beth Alexander, director of hospitality. “We love doing this party. It’s our way of being able to raise money for local charities throughout the Capital District.”
SEAT works with underrepresented young people in the community to create a “seat” at the table and provide transformational educational and workforce experiences. Their culinary program aligns with Hattie’s mission of supporting charities in the Capital Region, with a particular emphasis on charities that fight food insecurity.
“This year’s beneficiary serves an incredible cause that will have a major impact on young people in the Capital Region,” said Hattie’s head chef, Jasper Alexander. “We are very proud to be part of it.”
In addition to supporting the SEAT Center’s culinary program through donations, Hattie’s will continue to nurture the young adults by starting a mentorship program in their restaurants with the students.
“What we like to do is not just have a party and forget about the organization, but we like to create relationships that last a long time,” said Beth Alexander. “It’s the perfect continuation of Hattie’s mission, continuing the charitable work that Hattie herself started. It’s important to this community. I’ve always said that it’s not just a restaurant; it’s an institution.”
Since Hattie’s Mardi Gras was first held in 2001, the restaurant has carried on founder Hattie Moseley Austin’s legacy by donating more than $1 million to non-profits across the Capital Region. In 2023, more than $100,000 was raised for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
The party will be hosted by Business for Good’s co-founders, Ed and Lisa Mitzen. A silent auction with goods from a variety of local businesses will take place, with the SEAT Center as the beneficiary.
“Throughout the year, the profits from all Hattie’s locations are donated to Business for Good to give back to the community,” said Ed Mitzen. “However, Hattie’s Mardi Gras is a chance to come together and make a big impact in just one night. This year’s beneficiary, the SEAT Center, has a mission that closely aligns with BFG’s mission of working to help young people overcome social and economic adversity.”
Dorinda Medley will be the evening’s special guest. An entrepreneur, philanthropist, and television personality from the series “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Medley said she was excited to attend the iconic Saratoga event.
“It’s for a great cause, and I can’t wait to be part of the energy that evening,” said Medley. “I’ll see you all soon!”
Entertaining the attendees throughout the cocktail hour will be DJ Fernando Bustamente, and live music will be performed by past Hattie’s Mardi Gras favorites, Soul Session and Garland Nelson.
The flavors of New Orleans will be brought to the guests by Hattie’s Executive Chefs Jasper Alexander, Mark Graham, and Phil Fitzpatrick and their team.
“Hattie’s Mardi Gras is a great event, and we’re excited to provide some good eating to our guests,” said Graham.
“Hattie’s is a fun restaurant, and this is a fun party,” said Alexander. “We’re just so happy to be able to do it.”
Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com.
This story was featured on page 5 of the January 17th, 2024 print edition of the Spot518.