With all the craziness going on in the world I thought it would be a nice change of pace to write about chefs and what they are doing to give back, specifically in regards to hurricane relief.
When hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico it destroyed everything in its path, the destruction is so bad that some areas of the island have even been described as “apocalyptic.” This is not the first natural disaster to hit our country this year, but it very well may have been the most devastating, which is why Chef Jose Andres is so keen on lending a helping hand. After hearing that 3.4 million residents of the island are without power and relying on temporary generators (for a possible four to six months), Chef Andres immediately stepped in to help. Arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Monday (10/2) Andres has been furiously working to get meals out to the struggling natives day and night. His overall goal is to feed 100,000 people by the end of the week and with the help of his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, they have already has served over 30,000 meals (as of 10/4). Chef Jose Andres is a chef that is known for his political activity and nonprofit work so it is not a surprise that he has jumped right in to support hurricane relief.
Although hurricane Harvey hit Houston almost two months ago, chefs around the city are still doing their part to restore the damage that was done. In fact, according to Food & Wine, “The Houston restaurant community was one of the first to mobilize after hurricane Harvey pounded the city. They fed emergency responders and people in shelters and began laying the groundwork to support more than 300,000 people.” Chris Shepherd, and his non-profit Southern Smoke, is organizing a benefit dinner that will take place Sunday, October 22. This benefit dinner will include an all-star lineup of chefs including Chef Justin Yu, Ryan Pera, Ashely Christensen, John Besh, Mike Lata and more. Being that Chef Shepherd is from Houston it has been extremely important to him to “take care of his own.” Two other Houston natives that have been keen to help out are Chef Bryan Caswell and his wife Jennifer Caswell of restaurant Reef. These two jumped at the opportunity to help by serving a “stunning amount of food to flood victims and relief workers” immediately after the storm hit.
Lending a helping hand doesn’t necessarily mean being “on-site” of the natural disaster. Chef’s Scott Conant and Nina Compton hosted a dinner in New York on September 27th and donated all proceeds to the Red Cross. Also, one of our very own, Chef Marc Forgione, is hosting a dinner in TriBeCa to benefit The Anguilla Foundation on Sunday, October 15. This fundraiser will allow guests to enjoy an awesome BBQ while simultaneously giving back (link below).
Chefs are constantly giving back to their communities by cooking and feeding people daily, which is why seeing them go above and beyond to help those affected by the recent events is even more amazing! I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you to anyone who has committed even the smallest bit of time and energy to help those affected by these recent disasters.
Link to Marc Forgione fundraiser: https://www.youcaring.com/theanguillafoundation-958753