Chef Marc Forgione, best known for his stellar restaurants and his current status as an Iron Chef on the popular Food Network show of the same name, wasn’t spared by Hurricane Sandy. His restaurants in downtown New York and Atlantic City, N.J., thankfully didn't experience any water damage, but were still closed for eight and 16 days, respectively, after the storm. But he knows that there are a lot of people out there who were far less fortunate, and for that reason he’s launched a line of T-shirts and will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help Long Islanders who are still struggling to get back on their feet.
The chef has partnered with nonprofit food bank Island Harvest, the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island, which collects food and distributes it to hungry people in the area. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they’ve shifted their efforts to providing food, support, and services to those whose lives have been impacted by the storm, and Forgione considered the partnership "a no-brainer," he said in an interview with The Daily Meal.
"Almost every week I like to give back to the community, usually in the form of donating dinner or something along those lines," he said. "We were already working on designing T-shirts in order to sell them for charity, so when the storm hit it was an easy decision to donate to Sandy relief."
The custom T-shirts were crafted with the help of designers Peter Yip and Alexander Kim, and reference the chef’s signature food items: the tomahawk (for his signature steak cut), chicken (for his chicken under a brick), and a pig. They sell for $35 (or $30 if two or more are purchased), and $10 from every shirt purchased goes to the food bank.
Forgione grew up on Long Island, and his sister, who still lives there, lost her house in the storm. "Remember that as much as everyone thinks that life is back to normal, there are still a lot of people who can use some help," he said. "Just because it’s not on the news every day doesn’t mean that people aren’t struggling."