Chicago chefs cook to support earthquake victims in Turkey, Syria

First they did it for Ukraine, then they did it for refugees bussed in from Texas, and on Monday night, they did it for survivors of February's devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

"Chicago Chefs Cook for Earthquake Relief" brought together 45 of the most prominent chefs in Chicago to support the World Central Kitchen in its effort to feed those in need.

"I said, 'Guys, can we do something?' and they said, 'yeah, Niko. We're 1000 percent with you.'" said Chef Nikolaos Kapernaros of Avli on the Park, who hosted and helped spearhead Monday night's event.

There was zero hesitation from Chicago's culinary masters, who stepped up to help where help is needed.


"Hospitality is in their blood, but they step forward to these events specifically because they want to," said Eda Davidman, co-Founder of Chicago Chefs Cook.

"They all believe," said Chef Art Smith. "They're not just here because the food tastes good. They're here because they believe in what the chefs are doing."

Forty-five tasting stations from Chicago's best restaurants were set up throughout Avli's dining room. It's been six weeks since the region's worst disaster in a century. Two million people have been evacuated from their homes, and Turkish leaders said it could be years before things even come close to resembling 'normal' again.

"Many of these people have lost their families. Not only their families but their extended families and larger support groups because the infrastructure is also affected," said Enjin Turesin, the Consul General of Turkey in Chicago.

All the money raised goes directly to the World Central Kitchen, which provides meals in the wake of natural disasters.

"This is just another testament to the generosity of the American people, I can easily say this," said Turesin.

If you weren't able to make Monday's event but still want to support the cause, you are urged to follow "Chicago Chefs Cook" on Instagram, where you can find links.