When celebrity chef Guy Fieri puts out a call for culinary help, chefs from around the country answer — sometimes at 2 in the morning. Especially when it’s to raise funds for Maui food industry workers and wildfire relief efforts.
“Last night, I got a call from chef Ming Tsai saying he better be involved,” said Fieri from his hometown of Ferndale on Thursday.
The Food Network chef is planning a major benefit called, “Chefs for Maui” on Oct. 21 in Sonoma County with more than 30 of his chef friends, including Tsai who is best known for Asian-fusion restaurants and the “Simply Ming” television show.
The star-studded gathering hosted by the Guy Fieri Foundation will include a 15-course dinner, music, live-auction wine and chef meet-and-greets. The cost to attend the event is $2,500 per person. A limited number of 5,000 tickets will include an “all-access” pass to the kitchen.
“I don’t know if it was PTSD from our (2017 and 2019) fires or just what all the people went through during COVID on the islands, but when you put it all together, I knew I just couldn’t sit here. I gotta do something,” he said.
Fieri and his team served thousands of meals in Sonoma County during the fires and raised more than $25 million for restaurant workers during the pandemic.
“I sent a message to 19 of my favorite chefs by text and within five minutes 10 of them said they were in,” Fieri said. “People were immediately telling me they were canceling things to do this. Everyone is coming out of the woodwork to help,” he said. “It gives me goosebumps just talking about it. This is going to be the biggest culinary event by the greatest chefs.”
The fundraiser is planned for a Sonoma County winery, though details are still in the works.
The foundation will donate all net proceeds to Maui victims. In addition, the Food Network will air a one-hour Maui-focused special of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with a special message from Hawaii Gov. Josh Green.
More details about “Chefs for Maui” are available at guyfierifoundation.ejoinme.org/chefsformaui.
In Petaluma, Kapu Bar is donating 25% of all food, drink and merchandise sales from the tiki-themed bar to the Hawaii Community Foundation through Sunday.
Owner David Ducommon will match up to $10,000 of the proceeds, according to Michael Richardson, general manager and beverage director.
“Our community knows all too well what they are going through. A few of our staff have family there and it should be everyone’s first instinct to try and help,” Richardson said.
Friday and Saturday, Kapu chef Mike Lutz will offer a four-course prix fixe menu inspired by his years spent in Hawaii. The cost is $65. More details at Instagram.com/kapu.bar.
In Occidental, The Altamont General Store will host a fundraiser dinner for Maui from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.
The event will include Hawaiian food, (co-owner Andzia Hofftin is from Hawaii), raffles and dancing. Details at altamontgeneralstore.com.