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Chicago Chefs Cook holds event benefiting Turkey, Syria earthquake victims

CBS Chicago 3/21/2023 CBS Chicago Team

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago's hospitality community came together Monday night to raise money for those impacted by earthquakes in Syria and Turkey.

A benefit at Avli on the Park, at 180 N. Field Blvd. in the Lakeshore East district, raised money for World Central Kitchen's relief efforts with 45 Chicago chefs, who will make a small plate of their restaurant's signature dishes.

"We're going to have some of the best culinary experts from Chicago getting together, thanks to the amazing Chicago Chefs Cook organization. They're going to have some delicious meals, raising money for a great cause, hosted at the Alvi at the Park location," said chef Manish Mallick, owner of Bar Goa. 

"Everyone needs help, so that's first and foremost," said Darnell Reed of Luella's Southern Kitchen. "But to actually be able to give help from I would say an unexpected place, I think it was kind of near and dear to me for that."

Manish Mallick, owner of Bar Goa, said it's the fourth time Chicago Chefs Cook is hosting a benefit dinner. Other events have raised money for Ukraine; the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia; and hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

"Food, as we all know, is a great nourisher, healer, and in my opinion one of the biggest global uniters. An analogy I like to use is languages," Manish Mallick, owner of Bar Goa, said before the event. "Across the world, you've got hundreds of languages, thousands of dialects as we travel across different geographies; and food basically is something that everyone has to cook every day to stay nourished, heal themselves. Fascinatingly and fortunately, cooks all around the world are able to use a similar set of ingredients, but with their cultural heritage and passion, cook up some amazing, delicious, different kind of meals. So food of course is the biggest uniter."

Mallick served a butter chicken and basmati rice dish; using tomatoes, red peppers, cashews, ginger garlic paste, and cream.

Other chefs also brought signature dishes from their restaurants.  

Last year's event raised money for Ukraine. You can buy tickets online or donate at Tickets are still available for $125 for general admission, or $225 for VIP access.

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