Chicago chefs are stepping up in support of the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia. On Wednesday, September 21, 2022 from 6p-9p, Tigray native, Chef Tigist Reda, will host “Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray”, in partnership with Health Professionals Network for Tigray (HPN4Tigray). Tickets can be purchased at the door or by visiting givebutter.com/EXKQu4.
The benefit takes place at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, and is organized by chef Sarah Stegner, Eda Davidman, chef Tony Priolo, and Darren Gest – the team behind “Chicago Chefs Cook for Ukraine“, which raised over $600,000 this past March. Jodi Fyfe of The Paramount Group will also be joining as a member of the organizing team.
Ticket holders will enjoy world-class cuisine from more than 20 of Chicago’s most renowned chefs with performances throughout the evening and a merchandise marketplace, all within the backdrop of an iconic landmark building from the late 1800s. Proceeds from the event will directly support humanitarian relief for women and children in Tigray, and refugees in Sudan.
For more than two years, Tigray has been the center of a humanitarian crisis fueled by war and the denial of humanitarian aid. Since July 2021, there’s been an enforced communications blackout, denied access to banking, and ethnic violence toward thousands of civilians. As a result, chef Tigist has lost contact with friends and family.
“I haven’t spoken to my 68 year old mom for over a year,” she shared. “During this time, I also learned my baby brother and his wife had a little girl, but only from a few pictures sent via WhatsApp from the besieged Tigray. Since phone and banking systems are shut down, there’s no way for me to get them help or inquire about their safety firsthand.” Tigist turned to her chef community for help, and they listened, rallying together to support her efforts to raise funds for the people of Tigray.
Check out this year’s chef lineup, and you’ll find so many familiar names from your favorite spots, including Urban Belly, Rose Mary, Avli, Publican Quality Bread, and more. Full chef lineup is listed below:
- Art Smith: Reunion
- Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark: Wherewithall
- Bill Kim: Urban Belly
- Brian Jupiter: Ina Mae
- Cliff Rome: Rome’s Joy Catering
- Dana Cree: Pretty Cool Ice Cream
- Darnell Reed: Luella’s Southern Kitchen
- Devon Quinn: Eden
- Erick Williams: Virtue, Daisy’s Po’ Boy and Tavern
- Giuseppe Tentori: GT Prime
- Jason Hammel & Andrew Holladay: Lula Café
- Jenner Tomaska: Esme’
- Joseph Flamm: Rose Mary
- Lamar Moore: River North Dining & Entertainment
- Louie Alexakis & Nikolaos Kapernaros: Avli
- Matthias Merges: Folkart Management
- Martial Noguier: Bistronomic
- Mary Aregoni: Saigon Sisters
- Noah Sandoval: Pizza Friendly Pizza, 16 on Center
- Paul Kahan & Greg Wade: Publican Quality Bread
- RIck Bayless & Zach Steen: Frontera Grill
- Sarah Stegner & George Bumbaris: Prairie Grass Cafe
- Tigist Reda: Demera
- Tony Priolo: Piccolo Sogno
Where The Funds Go
Proceeds from “Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray” will fund disaster relief projects headed by HPN4Tigray: a nonprofit and non-partisan organization committed to improving access to healthcare and unmet humanitarian needs. Ticket and vendor sales will go directly toward purchasing food aid, life-saving emergency supplies, medication, and medical supplies.
“Last year we raised $110,000 with the help of 16 On Center and The Paramount Group, which helped build the HPN4Tigray wellness center for women and children in a Tenedba refugee camp”, said chef Tigist. “This year, with the help of the Chicago hospitality community, we are confident in raising even more funds to support the welfare of the women and children in Tigray.”
Health Professionals Network for Tigray (HPN4Tigray) is a nonprofit, and non-partisan organization that is committed to improving access to healthcare. The organization aims to support the unmet humanitarian needs in Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia. In November 2020, HPN4Tigray was founded by a group of doctors and other professionals in the United States in response to the human suffering caused by the ongoing war on Tigray. War, past and present, has greatly impacted and shaped the lives of all HPN4Tigray’s founding members. To learn more about HPN4Tigray, please visit hpn4tigray.org.
Featured Image: Collin Pierson
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