Chicago Chefs Cook for Ukraine tests rebounding restaurants with largest event since shutdown

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is much to be done. Organizers are preparing for the largest event with Chicago chefs since the pandemic shutdown, Chicago Chefs Cook for Ukraine.

In February, Tony Priolo reached out to dozens of local chefs to harness their skills to raise money for Ukrainians fleeing war.

"How can you not be affected by this?" said Priolo, chef and co-owner of Piccolo Sogno. "We're not getting shelled by bombs, we're not hiding in subways, we're not running for our lives."

The fundraiser will be held Wednesday evening at Navy Pier, featuring dishes from over 70 local chefs.

"Tomorrow I'm making an Amish blue cheese terrine with grapes, candied pecans, and the pecans are from Three Sisters Garden, which is a local farm in Kankakee," said Sarah Stegner, co-chef and co-owner of Prairie Grass Café.

March 16 was the date available at Navy Pier, and it also happens to be the same date that, two years ago, many of the chefs involved closed their kitchens.

"These challenges have been so devastating to this industry, it's just really hard to overcome all of the issues from labor to people being afraid," Stegner said.

"This industry has been through ringer more than once, but I think it's making us stronger," Priolo said.

"We are not defeated, we will have resistance and will step up to do what we need to do to make the world a better place, regardless of our circumstances," said Stegner.

Profits will go to World Central Kitchen, which is providing meals to Ukrainians. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased here.
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