Cooking for a good cause

Fri. September 30, 2022 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture was the perfect place on September 28, 2022, to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. With only a few days to plan the event, organizers stepped up to create Chicago Chefs Cook for Puerto Rico on that special night for three hours.

Proceeds were donated to World Central Kitchen, a group bringing assistance to those affected by the hurricane. WCK was founded by chef Jose Andres in 2010.

Chefs Tony Priolo and Sarah Stegner, Darren Gest, Eda Davidman, Jodi Fyfe of The Paramount Group, Billy and Veronica Ocasio of the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture and Yvonne Cadiz-Kim from the Chicago Chefs Cook organization all joined together to make this unique chef-curated tasting event.

This fundraiser followed the successful Tigray celebrity chef event the week before. Many of the restaurants from the previous event returned to continue their efforts to help others.

Chef Art Smith's chicken and biscuits were made in front of ticket holders right on the premises thanks to his chef Hector. Heather Bublick and D'Andre Carter from Soul & Smoke offered smoking hot barbeque paired with creamy macaroni.

Logan Oyster Socials was a hit with a spicy sauce to accompany their dish and GT Fish & Oyster moved from seafood to fill guests up on rich chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

A live auction provided more money after announcements with private dinners sold by Mark Mendez's Libertad and Bill Kim of Urban Belly. Smith even offered a trip to Portugal before the night was over!

A recent exhibit titled Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Painting from the Museo de Arte Ponce (1786-1962) debuted in the museum and is currently on display.

This fundraiser was a chance to stroll through the exhibit and reflect on the beauty and history of Puerto Rico while tasting some distinct dishes from Chicago area chefs. The music, beverages and generous donations were proof that the Windy City knows how to have a good time for an important cause.

Make a donation today at to support efforts in the future.