As the Kincade Fire officially becomes California’s biggest wildfire of the year, a who’s who of northern California chefs is stepping up to serve free meals to evacuees and firefighters.
Chef José Andrés threw out the first pitch at Sunday night’s World Series Game 5 (yes, the game where Trump got booed), as an honorarium to his World Central Kitchen nonprofit that just served 1.5 million meals to Hurricane Dorian victims in the Bahamas. That same disaster victim-serving nonprofit is currently here in California too, as the Chronicle reports Andrés is among a slew of celebrity chefs who have arrived in Sonoma to the command center at the county fairgrounds. The likes of legendary local chef Traci Des Jardins, TV-famous chef and former Sammy Hagar culinary collaborator Tyler Florence, Cockscomb’s Chris Cosentino, and ‘Flavortown mayor’ Guy Fieri have all appeared on the scene to serve thousands of meals daily to evacuees and firefighters.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also popped in for a visit yesterday, sharing a shoulder-slapping bro-hug with Fieri.
Visited @WCKitchen yesterday where CA’s local chefs — @GuyFieri,@TylerFlorence, @ChefCosentino1, and hundreds of volunteers — are feeding evacuees and the firefighters on the front lines of the Kincade Fire.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 29, 2019
So incredibly grateful for the work of WCK! #ChefsForCalifornia pic.twitter.com/eXIrWdDutw
Sonoma Magazine reports that this effort started last week, when merely 60 evacuees at the Healdsburg Community Center turned into hundreds, then the Sonoma County Fairgrounds became the temporary shelter of thousands of evacuees and firefighters. The crew used Guy Fieri’s mobile kitchen, which he created during the 2017 fires.
Every @WCKitchen relief effort takes a village! Local community is coming together to serve their neighbors...Thank you @GavinNewsom for visiting WCK’s kitchen & our local chefs @GuyFieri @TylerFlorence @ChefCosentino1 plus hundreds of volunteers & supporters! #ChefsForCalifornia pic.twitter.com/aM055zOYdP— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) October 29, 2019
This story is a welcome heart-warmer amidst the combination the home-destroying fires and terrifying PG&E blackouts. The Bay Area-proud Tyler Florence has been the loudest on Twitter, eschewing the feel-good self-congratulations and instead giving PG&E hell with his retweets, while acknowledging his volunteers. He’s been up there at least since Sunday, when he put out a call for volunteers, saying, “We would prefer kitchen experience, but if you have a strong back and can handle a knife, we’ll take you.”
Long day for our #ChefsForCalifornia team in Sonoma County, but proud to be doing our small part serving up fresh & nutritious meals to evacuees and the brave crews fighting the #KincadeFire. We will be back at it when the sun comes up! pic.twitter.com/p2ic4L5gAd— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) October 28, 2019
World Central Kitchen is gladly taking donations to support these efforts and pay for the victims’ and firefighters’ food, and you can also sign up for a volunteer slot. While those slots are currently full through November 1, there may be cancellations, and the fire is currently expected to burn at least through the first week of November.
.@ChefCosentino1 roasting local pumpkins & squash for dinner!🍴They'll be used in our roasted pork loin with potatoes & apples, sage onion gravy, and brussels sprouts served with cauliflower & yams. The vegan option is pumpkin and sweet potato curry with rice! #ChefsForCalifornia pic.twitter.com/un5YOx94Oe— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) October 29, 2019
Top Image: @chefjoseandres via Twitter