Almost everything about the Capital Food Fight was designed to tickle your senses. The cooking challenges. The live auctions. The seemingly endless tables of precisely prepared nibbles. The drinks. It made for good (and edible) theater. But the highlight of the night, without question, was when a gray-haired gentleman named Robert Torray took the stage.
Torray is the founder and chairman of The Torray Funds, an investment firm in Bethesda. His wife, Nancy, is also on the board of D.C. Central Kitchen. Amid all the clatter, all the face-stuffing, and all the glad-handing, Robert Torray started talking about the crappy economy. His voice was soft. He never shouted or made gratuitous references to the Redskins to stir the crowd (like the emcee did). He just explained how people are suffering like never before.
“With the present state of our economy, it seems they will suffer even more,” Torray said about many of the people D.C. Central Kitchen serves. The man went on to thank the organization for helping those people whom others ignore. Torray even dared to express his thanks to DCCK’s employees and volunteers in song.
He sang “You Are So Beautiful,” the wedding weeper popularized by Joe Cocker. Well, Torray kind of sang it, and he kind of remembered the lyrics. But it was so damn sweet and genuine that it was impossible to be cynical about it.