AUSTIN (KXAN) — Inside the kitchen at Central Austin’s Texas French Bread, Chef Derek Zampacorta oversees the chorus of chopping, rolling, mixing and baking, like a conductor leading his orchestra during the final rehearsal before the big show.

“We’re doing a three-course menu, one of the courses being a handmade pasta,” said Zampacorta as he rolls out the dough from scratch.

His goal is to have the feel of a European bistro with a dash of Austin flavor. For every $50 dinner, Texas French Bread will donate $8 to the Central Texas Food Bank.

Other restaurants are offering a similar deal, with meals priced at $20, $35 and $50.

Texas French Bread Owner Murph Willcott said the Austin Restaurant Weeks fundraiser is a win-win. He’s able to fill more tables with diners interested in the promotion, while also helping those in need.

“Sometimes you get your nose and your eyes pointed down and you don’t have time to really think about, well, ‘What can we do in a wider sense?’ And this is a really easy way for us to do it,” Willcott said.

This year’s event runs from Friday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 10.

In 2019, more than 100 restaurants participated in the fundraiser and helped raise $150,000 for the food bank. While the lineup of 56 restaurants is smaller coming off of a canceled year due to the pandemic, the money they’ll raise is needed.

The Central Texas Food Bank feeds nearly 75,000 people in 21 counties every week.

“If you go out for dinner with two people through Austin Restaurant Weeks, the menu that your purchase, a portion of the sales will go back to the Central Texas Food Bank,” said Amelia Long, the Central Texas Food Bank’s Director of Community Engagement. “So eating two dinners can turn into 50 meals for people who are in need of food in our community.”

For Zampacorta, it’s a chance to impress new diners eager to participate.

“Trying to accomplish a real eclectic authentic, traditional cuisine. It’s what we do here,” Zampacorta said.

Participating restaurants

The Austin Restaurant Weeks website lets you sort each restaurant by type of menu and indoor or outdoor dining. It also featured more details about each one’s special.