Free Food for the Hungry: Mount Kisco’s ‘Little’ Thanksgiving Tradition
Once again this year, Chef Bonnie Saran’s ‘Little’ restaurants will host a free Thanksgiving buffet for those who have nowhere else to celebrate.
Photos courtesy of Bonnie Saran
While American Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for coming together with friends and family, that’s not always an option for some. One of Westchester’s local celebrity chefs has found a way to make a seat at the table for anyone who wants one.
When Bonnie Saran came to New York in 2001 following the death of her father in India, she didn’t have anyone to share the holiday with. “When I first moved here, I was totally alone,” she says, “so I understand how the holidays can be a very depressing time for some, even while it's happy for others.”
Chef Saran — known for her Mount Kisco Restaurants Little Crêpe Street, Little Kebob Station, Little Drunken Chef, Little Spice Bazaar, and Pleasantville’s Little Mumbai Market — began a tradition at Little Kebob Station that has quickly spread to all the other ‘Littles.’ Every year on Thanksgiving, each restaurant donates dishes while employees and volunteers donate their time, culminating in a free meal and company for anyone who needs them.
“Everyone's personal life graph is both up and down, whether it's professionally, personally, or in some other way,” Saran says. “We don't judge anyone on why they choose to be here with us; they are simply all welcome for any reason.”
Dishes include traditional fare like turkey and mashed potatoes, but also Indian dishes, baked goodies, and all kinds of options from each of the five restaurants of the Little Group.
“It's part of building a community for me. If, as a team, we can get a smile on someone's face on Thanksgiving, it's all worth it for me,” says Saran. “I especially want to give credit to all my incredible staff, especially the long term staffers, because they all donate their time to this event. They could be with their friends and family instead, but they choose to be here.”
This year’s banquet will be held on Thanksgiving Day at Little Drunken Chef from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. “For anyone who wishes to be here,” Saran says, “our doors are open that day.”