Through the pop-up dinner series Cooks for the Culture, African American chefs showcase their work in the Philadelphia area.
Point people Elijah Milligan, with friends Stephanie Willis, Aziza Young, Kurt Evans, and Omar Tate, have a more immediate project. Rather than 10-course dinners, they are backing a series of giveaways of food, pantry staples, dry goods, and toiletries, plus lunches.
The first will start at 1 p.m. Friday, June 5 at 52nd Street and Girard Avenue, not far from heated protests earlier this week.
More are planned. The whole campaign was conceived about 48 hours ago, said Milligan, a private chef whose resume includes Le Bec-Fin, Stateside, and South.
Between the coronavirus and the protests, “there’s essentially a war going on outside,” said Milligan. “We’re chefs. We want to give back to the community. We wanted to do something. We all know people who can’t find groceries or medicine in their neighborhoods. The pharmacy and grocery stores are closed."
“We don’t condone violence,” said Milligan. "We also understand the anger, too.”
About 15 restaurants have volunteered to be drop-off points, he said: a.kitchen, Fork, High Street on Market, Hardena, Barbacoa, June BYOB, Crybaby Pasta, Jezebel, Helm’s two location, River Twice, Mike’s BBQ, Local 44, and Milligan’s family’s restaurant, Just to Serve You.
They’re looking for cases of water, juice, healthful snacks, individually wrapped toilet paper and paper towels, toothpaste and toothbrushes, feminine-hygiene products, diapers, formula, masks, gloves, and sanitizer; monetary donations may be sent to @eatpreplove on Venmo or $chefanienicole on CashApp.