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30 Dallas chefs put themselves up for auction in heroic fundraiser

30 Dallas chefs put themselves up for auction in heroic fundraiser

Lucia chef-owner David Uygur
Get 30 minutes with David Uygur, chef at Lucia and Maicellaio. Photo by Hoyoung Lee

A slew of Dallas chefs have joined a national campaign that aims to raise awareness and funds for the immigrant workforce of the food industry in cities across America.

Called #AskChefsAnything, it's an auction in which the prize is a 30-minute one-on-one conversation Zoom call with your favorite local food personality.

The Dallas auction page is live for viewing now. Bidding starts at $100, then increases in $20 increments.

Bidding begins at 10 am on Monday, June 22 and ends at 8 pm on Thursday, June 25.

When the auction closes, each winner receives an email from the organizers to coordinate a Zoom call with the chef or tastemaker they won.

The idea for #AskChefsAnything came from two New York food industry veterans, Gaeleen Quinn and Anna Polonsky, who wanted to help the community they felt was most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis within the restaurant world: immigrant workers.

Many immigrant workers are not included in federal relief packages and cannot claim unemployment benefits. Some can't find other jobs because their visas depend on a single employer. They cannot travel to their countries because borders might be closed or they may not be able to return if they had to leave.

The goal is to support 250 families per city connected to community centers in each city.

In Dallas, the charity partner is Harvest Project Food Rescue.

Harvest Project began in the summer of 2014 as a community project focused on assisting underserved communities in Dallas County. The organization’s focus remains committed to providing fresh produce to families in need. In five years, Harvest Project Food Rescue has redistributed more than 5 million pounds of produce and has fed more than 45,000 families in the Dallas area.

Participating chefs include:

Matt Balke, Peter David Barlow, Junior Borges, Keith Cedotal, Katherine Clapner, Bruno Davaillon, Tiffany Derry, Graham Dodds, Michael Ehlert, Dean Fearing, Omar Flores, Monica Greene, Jerelle Guy, Justin Holt, Peja Krstic, Matt McCallister, Misti Norris, Nikky Phinyawatana, AQ Pittman, Kent Rathbun, Teiichi Sakurai, Abraham Salum, Ricchi Sanchez, Donny Sirisavath, Stephan Pyles, David Uygur, and Tre Wilcox.

There are also four media participants you can bid on as well: Eve Hill-Angus, Leslie Brenner, Michaelene Busico, and Jim Schutze.