Video Chats With Philly Chefs Are Being Auctioned Off to Benefit Immigrant Workers

Ask Chefs Anything lands in Philly, giving you face-to-face access to the city's best chefs — virtually, of course.

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Ange Branca of Saté Kampar and Kiki Aranita of Poi Dog. Both are participating in Philly’s chapter of Ask Chefs Anything | Photograph by Michael Persico

It started in New York with chefs like Eric Ripert and Dan Barber. Then it popped up in Los Angeles with heavy hitters like Samin Nosrat and Nyesha Arrington. Now, Ask Chefs Anything — an initiative spearheaded in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic — is in Philly, helping those most effected by the state-mandated business shut-downs: our immigrant restaurant workers.

The way it works is like this: Philly chefs, restaurant owners, and food writers are auctioning off 30-minute video chats to raise funds, all of which (meaning 100 percent) will be put toward providing groceries to local immigrant communities. The organizers, hospitality consultants Gaeleen Quinn and Anna Polonsky, are working with a local nonprofit in each city they plan to launch in. In Philly, it’s the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, which will provide groceries to 250 immigrant households. Ask Chefs Anything raised over $32K in New York, over $16K in L.A., and they’ve already confirmed their next three cities after Philly: Dallas, Miami and St. Louis.

The way you choose to use your 30 minutes is up to you. You can chat about restaurant life in the time of coronavirus, you can mine them for recipes, you can use them as a stand-in for your therapist — whatever you want. Find the full list for Philly below (full disclosure, I’m one of the participants. You can get 30 minutes with me, which some call “the dream”). Online bidding starts today, May 13th, at 10 a.m., and ends Sunday, May 17th, at 8 p.m. Minimum bid’s $100.

Shola Olunloyo
Jennifer Carroll
Joe Beddia
Joey Baldino and Guido Martelli
Cristina Martinez
Marc Vetri
Eric Wareheim
Kiki Aranita
Nicholas Elmi
Connor and Laura Barwin
Francis Lam
Chloé Grigri & Sande Friedman
Alexis Siemons
Michael Ferreri
Ari Miller
Adam Erace
Monica Glass
Judy Ni & Andy Tessier
Townsend Wentz
Sierra Tishgart
Todd Carmichael
Jesse Ito
Joe and Angela Cicala
Edmund Konrad
Joncarl Lachman
Michael Klein
Eli Kulp
Jen Satinsky
Danny DiGiampietro
Scott Schroeder
Ellen Yin
Ange Branca
Ed Crochet and Justine MacNeil
Alex Tewfik
Rachel Vigoda
Jon Cichon
Tenaya Darlington
Nick Liberato