Last week the World Central Kitchen (Chef José Andrés’ non profit organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters) teamed up with the Town of Paradise, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Chico State University to host Thanksgiving Together, a meal for those displaced by the Camp Fire and other California wildfires, as well as those risking their lives to respond to the fire.
Over 1,000 volunteers (including restaurant owners from Paradise who lost their homes) and firefighters came together early Thursday morning to cook Thanksgiving dinner with the help of WCK’s founder José Andrés, Guy Fieri and Tyler Florence and serve meals at Chico State and make deliveries to Red Cross shelters, emergency operations centers and other displaced families.
Global Gourmet’s own On-site Executive Chef Valerie Armstrong was among them. She became involved after hearing about the event and how there was a need for professional chef volunteers to put together this awesome meal for the town of Paradise. Valerie decided to head up North to help the cause, along with her mom, Cheryl Fulton, and one of our On-site Sous Chefs, Jimmy Yarbro.
That day there were three kitchens to cook food for 10,000 people. Guy Fieri smoked 7,000 lbs of turkey and Tyler Florence’s team was running the kitchen Val was working in. There where four meals service times plus ongoing To Go orders to shelters, hotels with evacuees, the first responders currently in Paradise doing recovery efforts, and the Walmart parking lot relief tents.
In total that day for food, the team prepared a massive feast of 1000 pumpkin pies, 100 gallons of gravy, 3,000 lbs of green beans, 500 lbs of fresh cranberries, 3,500 lbs of mashed potatoes and 7,000 lbs of turkey!
Chef Valerie was on the gravy station, Cheryl rocked the cranberry sauce and several side dishes, and Chef Jimmy manned the mashed potatoes.
“It was such an amazing experience to be able to give these survivors a moment of normalcy among the devastation they have experienced even if it was just a hot Thanksgiving meal.” – Global Gourmet On-site Executive Chef, Valerie Armstrong
We’d like our express our heartfelt thanks, appreciation and gratitude to the World Central Kitchen and all of the volunteers who worked hard that day, and continue to do so, to provide food and comfort during this incredibly rough time in California.