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Chicago’s Humanitarian Heroes

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
                                         We can be Heroes
(Heroes/David Bowie)

All heroes do not wear capes or uniforms. Some wear chef coats.

There is no greater love than feeding people. Cooking and sharing food with people are acts of love. Cooks love to feed people. It is that simple.

One of my heroes is world-renowned chef Jose Andres. He started World Central Kitchen to feed people facing natural and human disasters. Within days, he was on the ground with his people setting up food distribution. At the Polish border with Ukraine, he worked with partner restaurants, community kitchens, and numerous volunteers to provide sustenance to refugees fleeing Ukraine.

Jose Andres is feeding people and sharing love. Jose Andres is a stellar example of harnassing the power of humanity.

In Chicago, another hero emerged. Chef Tony Priolo, the owner of Piccolo Sogno, one of this city’s most renowned Italian Restaurants, reached out to fellow owners and chefs to hold a chef-driven fundraising drive to raise money for Ukraine, donating the proceeds to World Central Kitchen. Priolo was deeply affected by the refugee crisis and Jose Andres’ efforts.

Within a short time, many replied, and Navy Pier was secured to hold the event, named, Chicago Cooks for Ukraine. 70 chefs will cook for 1000 people on March 16th. The list of chefs is a Who’s Who of culinary award winners. The event is being sponsored by Lifeway Foods. Other food purveyors are endorsing the event. They are a Who’s Who of Chicago businesses.

General admission tickets are $150.00. VIP tickets are $500.00. Sponsorship tickets range in price from $5000.00-$50,000. The sponsorships have various perks.

What is happening in Ukraine is heartbreaking. Well over a million refugees fled Putin’s terror war. Poland stepped in to assist. Other nations are providing necessities to the refugees.

We should be proud that Chicago food entities are stepping up to do something. Jose Andres did a wonderful thing when he established World Central Kitchen. Now, Chicago chefs and businesses are raising money for a great cause.

There are some good people in this city of scoundrels. People who not only empathize and sympathize but take action. The restaurant and food community banded together to raise humanitarian aid for people who suffered unimaginable horrors. They suffered the terrors of war. They uprooted their lives to leave their country, many walking on foot. They are dependent on the largesse of others.

Here is the article about Tony Priolo’s efforts. You may want to patronize some of the restaurants or other businesses stepping up to help Ukraine.

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