Sep 16, 2022 - Food and Drink

Chicago chefs aiding Tigray

Demera's Tigist Reda (left) visits a refugee center in Sudan. Courtesy of Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray

Famine, displacement, aid blockades and war have devastated the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia over the last two years. The head of the World Health Organization called it "the worst disaster on earth."

  • Chicago chefs are trying to help.

What's happening: Ethiopian restaurateur Tigist Reda of Uptown's Demera will be joined by 30+ local chefs next Wednesday in an event called Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray.

  • The fundraiser, featuring a dish from each chef, will aid women and children in Tigray and refugees in Sudan by funding programs run by Health Professionals Network for Tigray.
  • "For me, this event means the survival of our neighbors, our friends and our families through food and medicine," Reda tells Axios.

State of play: Last March, many of these same chefs raised $600,000 for Ukraine. At that event, Reda told Piccolo Sogno chef Tony Priolo about the crisis in her native country.

  • "After hearing stories of what's going on, we immediately jumped on board, because we knew it was the right thing to do," Priolo tells Axios.
  • He'll serve local squash flan with aged balsamic vinegar at the event.
  • Other chef organizers include Beverly Kim of Parachute and Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe.

What they're saying: "My hopes are not only to support Tigist and the refugees of Tigray, but to once again show that together, [Chicago chefs] can make a positive difference in the world," Prairie Grass chef Sarah Stegner tells Axios.

  • She'll serve Capriole goat cheese with a concord grape & balsamic reduction, Klug farm grapes and Three Sisters toasted pecans.

If you go: It's 6pm to 9pm next Wednesday at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture.

The lineup: More restaurants are joining every day, but here's an initial list:

logo for a fundraiser
The lineup of restaurants that will be serving dishes at the Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray Event. Courtesy of Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray.
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