Cooking To Help People Is Why One Maine Chef Is Headed To Ukraine
Christian Hayes is one of my best friends on this Earth.
For years, Christian Hayes and I spent countless hours riding around in a van playing rock songs for anyone that would listen. We used to have a band called Sidecar Radio, and we put out records, toured all over New England opening for countless national bands, and then all of us eventually moved on to other things.
Christian stayed in kitchen work after leaving the rock & roll business, and owns two extremely successful southern Maine restaurants, The Garrison and Thoroughfare. And also a large catering company called Dandelion Catering. All that by itself is a success story. But Chayes, as his friends call him, is always one step ahead.
He's leaving his businesses behind for a bit to head for the Ukraine.
He has a killer, dedicated staff that'll keep everything humming right along, but Hayes is about to hop a plane and head for the Polish border to Ukraine, and feed folks who are desperate. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been fleeing the country into Poland to avoid the Russian invasion.
Christian, who's never been one to just stand by and do nothing, is working with an organization called World Central Kitchen. They go to places just like this, and do anything and everything to try and help people who often have nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Their motto is: Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people may eat, we will be there – we must be there.
My friend Christian is teamed up with these folks to feed Ukrainians as they cross the border. These folks don't know if they'll ever see their home country again, or even what tomorrow holds. But this gives them hot food when they need it most. So Christian will be there, as a successful businessman, A Chopped champion... in a place where that couldn't matter less to anyone. Especially Christian.
I've linked out to his social media post so you can see his take on it, and why he feels compelled to go. But he does a lot to help people. He constantly gives away food at his restaurants. He delivers meals to those in need at Thanksgiving with his daughter, as a family tradition. It's pretty obvious he's not just in it for the money or glory like some chefs.
I'm so proud of my friend for doing what he's doing right now. Helping your fellow man is where it's at. And luckily he has the means and the connections to do something this crazy and amazing. If you'd like to donate to this cause, you can do it right now at this link at World Central Kitchen's website.