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Photograph: Jaclyn RivasThai Dang is one of the chefs participating in Ask Chefs Anything

Top Chicago chefs are auctioning off their time to feed undocumented restaurant workers

Buy time with a chef and ask them whatever you want for 30 minutes—your money goes to a worthy cause.

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

If you had 30 uninterrupted minutes to talk to your all-time favorite Chicago chef or bartender, what would you ask them? Maybe you'd beg chef Erick Williams for his fan-favorite collards recipe or you'd chat edibles with Mindy Segal. You might even geek out about wine with award-winning sommelier Belinda Chang or talk tiki with Paul McGee and Shelby Allison, the co-owners of Lost Lake. All of these industry pros (and many, many more) are auctioning off virtual one-on-one time as part of Ask Chefs Anything, a multi-city campaign that aims to raise awareness and funds for the food industry's immigrant workforce.

Launching on Wednesday, June 17 at 10am, the auction includes dozens of Chicago's most notable chefs, restaurateurs, bartenders and media personalities, with all bids starting at $100. Winning bidders will get a 30-minute virtual Zoom session with their industry pro of choice, during which they'll be able to ask anything they'd like. All of the proceeds raised during the Chicago auction will benefit local undocumented hospitality workers through grocery boxes from Restaurant Opportunities Center and Chefs' Warehouse; for every dollar raised, one meal will be provided to a worker in need. Bids will be collected through Saturday, June 20.

Ask Chefs Anything was dreamed up by New York-based startup founders Anna Polonsky (Polonsky & Friends) and Galeen Quinn (Q&A Hospitality) as a way to help communities most affected by COVID-19. "Immigrant workers in the food industry have been serving us for decades. They are now left with no jobs or unemployment benefits. It's our turn to serve them," the auction platform reads. Before setting their sights on Chicago, Polonsky and Quinn executed the same campaign in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

Browse all of the Chicago chefs who are donating their time, then get your credit card ready and start prepping your questions!

ask chefs anything, chicago
Image: Ask Chefs Anything

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