At last telling, 460 people had crowded the Sonoma County Fairgrounds building, all taking refuge from the area’s devastating fire. They were joined Monday by a number of high-profile Bay Area chefs including Guy Fieri, Tyler Florence, Chris Cosentino, and Traci Des Jardins, all of whom prepared food for first responders and evacuees who are staying in the shelter.
World Central Kitchen, the disaster relief organization founded by chef José Andrés, announced last week that it had mobilized in response to the Kincade Fire, and would be serving firefighters and evacuees in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and beyond.
On Tuesday, California Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom tweeted that he’d paid a visit to WCK’s Kincade outpost, where he saw hundreds of volunteers — including chefs whose faces are familiar to anyone who’s ever watched the Food Network.
Visited @WCKitchen yesterday where CA’s local chefs — @GuyFieri,@TylerFlorence, @ChefCosentino1, and hundreds of volunteers — are feeding evacuees and the firefighters on the front lines of the Kincade Fire.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 29, 2019
So incredibly grateful for the work of WCK! #ChefsForCalifornia pic.twitter.com/eXIrWdDutw
Rep. Mike Thompson, whose constituents include those in the fire zone, also tweeted from the WCK’s kitchen setup at the fairgrounds, where he apparently spent some time speaking with Fieri. This isn’t the Sonoma County restaurateur’s first fire: He attracted notice for serving first responders during the Camp Fire in November of 2018, and participated in a similar effort in October of 2017.
Here’s a few pics of the great chefs and volunteers who are helping our community during the #KincadeFire. TY to @chefjoseandres and the team at @WCKitchen, @TylerFlorence, @GuyFieri, and @chef_traci. We are so grateful for your support and the support of all our volunteers! pic.twitter.com/NtKF6Zd9ks— Mike Thompson (@RepThompson) October 29, 2019
According to a tweet from Florence, the crew is preparing thousands of meals a day, and could use more volunteers. “We would prefer kitchen experience,” he says, “but if you have a strong back and can handle a knife, we’ll take you.” Opportunities to volunteer with WCK can be found here.
#KincadeFire update: We served just under 6000 meals today with @WCKitchen here at the Sonoma Fairgrounds. DM me if you want to volunteer anytime this week. We would prefer kitchen experience, but if you have a strong back and can handle a knife, we’ll take you. pic.twitter.com/4Ubo9asjvg— Tyler Florence (@TylerFlorence) October 28, 2019