Mar 15, 2023 - Food and Drink

Chicago chefs cook for Syria-Turkey earthquake relief

Two chefs a man and a woman

Chefs Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe and Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno at a "Chicago Chefs Cook" fundraiser for Tigray last summer. Photo: Monica Eng/AxiosPhoto: Monica Eng/Axios

Last year Chicago chefs, including Piccolo Sogno's Tony Priolo and Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe, watched the devastation in Ukraine with horror and decided to act.

  • Within weeks they had enlisted more than 50 other chefs to cook for the largest food fundraiser the city had seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • They raised more than $600,000 for victims of the war and ignited a sense of hope and solidarity the community hadn't felt in a while.

What's happening: A year later the group, now called Chicago Chefs Cook, is hosting its fourth big fundraiser at Avli on the Park to aid people in Turkey and Syria affected by the earthquakes that have claimed more than 50,000 lives.

Room with lots of people
Thousands attended the first Chicago Chefs Cook event last March. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

What they're saying: Right after the earthquakes Avli chef Nikolaos Kapernaros offered his restaurant, then "everyone in the group contributed their special skill sets to bring it all into fruition," Priolo tells Axios.

Why it works so well: "We are all committed and passionate about supporting the Chicago chef community and bringing everyone together to make a difference in the world," Stegner tells Axios. "And now we are a little more organized!"

If you go: The event features food from 45 chefs at 6pm this Monday at Avli on the Park. Tickets: $125.


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