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Hope Appétit is a culinary competition hosted by The Refuge for DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) to inspire hope and healing for survivors.

The 240 individuals who banded together on January 25, 2019 at the W Hotel raised $1.4 million to bring rest and restoration to the survivors living at The Refuge Ranch. It was another miracle in the long line of miracles that built The Refuge Ranch and we know that we have been blessed to take root in a community that believe this fight against child sex trafficking is worth it.

Make no mistake, there is no quick fix. Sex-trafficked children have had extreme, complex trauma and they need constant and consistent love and therapeutic care in relationships with people they can trust. If we aren’t putting our resources towards our most vulnerable children, then the strength of our community is diminished. What we are willing to do for the one child in greatest need is the measure of our integrity as a whole.

So thank you to all who helped make Hope Appétit 2019 a jubilant, heart-warming success! Stay tuned for more information about table and sponsorship opportunities for Hope Appétit 2020.






Jack Allen's Kitchen
Salt Traders Coastal Cooking

Chef Jack Gilmore’s bold, flavorful style is influenced by his experience across the Gulf Coast Region of the South, his upbringing in the Rio Grande Valley, and his extensive work with Master German chefs. However, his legendary hospitality is 100% Texan, and everyone is treated like family both at his restaurants and in his home. Jack has used his culinary talents to grow the brand into four Jack Allen’s Kitchen locations in the Austin area, along with developing a sister concept, Salt Traders Coastal Cooking, which will be opening a second location later this year, bringing the portfolio total to six restaurants.

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James Island

PURE Jerky


Chef Tripi’s culinary beginnings started in the gardens of his grandmothers’ homes in Upstate New York, each with a strong sense of their heritage, Polish and Italian. At the young age of 10, he was an integral part of bringing the food from the garden to the table or pantry as he harvested sweet peas, heirloom tomatoes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, concord grapes, and plums from the plants and trees in their garden.  
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W Hotel

Manuel Rodriguez is the executive chef at W Austin. Prior to joining the W Austin team as a banquet chef in 2014 he was at the Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, during his time there he devoted himself to maximizing the guest experience thus earning himself the accolades manager of the quarter and Hilton Hotel of the year all within his first year at the property. Graduating with a Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art – one of the nation’s leading graduate schools of architecture, art and design – Rodriguez decided he’d apply his artistic abilities to the culinary world.

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Hope Appétit raises money for The Refuge for DMST™, a long term, treatment facility that provides services for survivors of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.

The Refuge for DMST™ (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has developed The Refuge Ranch, a long-term, residential, therapeutic community for 48 girls, minors through age 19, who have been rescued out of sex trafficking. Built from the ground up on 50 acres in a beautiful and restorative setting outside of Austin, TX, The Refuge Ranch provides trauma-informed, holistic care for the girls on site, including: a University of Texas Charter School program, a medical clinic staffed by community partners and various therapeutic programs uniquely designed for the development of a child survivor. The Refuge Ranch is the largest long-term, live-in rehabilitation facility for child survivors of sex trafficking in the United States. For more information, go to


For more information and to find out how you can, help click here: