The deadliest wildfires in California history have so far destroyed more than 5,700 homes and killed at least 40 people. One of the people forced to evacuate in the middle of the night was celebrity chef Guy Fieri. But after loading up his family, dogs, and some family pictures and getting them safely on the road, Fieri went back and started cooking for emergency personnel and displaced wildfire victims.
Fieri is a native of Santa Rosa, California, and he and his family live next to one neighborhood that was completely destroyed in the fire. The smell of the smoke woke his family up in the middle of the night, and they had to evacuate as quickly as possible at two in the morning.
Evacuating in the middle of the night like that must have been extremely stressful, but chefs and cooks can be a big help during a disaster. Chef José Andrés has recently become the face of American disaster relief in Puerto Rico, serving more than 350,000 meals to rescue workers and hurricane victims. So Fieri went out with a barbecue smoker to start cooking for the wildfire victims in California.
For the last week, Fieri has been cooking familiar comfort foods like like chicken, pulled pork, and sides. At first he and his crew were cooking between 1,200 and 2,000 meals a day, but over the weekend they increased the pace to 5,000 meals a day. So far they've prepared 23,000 meals in the last week, according to Today.
“Over the past week, I’ve seen a level of destruction in my hometown that I never thought imaginable,” he said. “But even bigger than the fires has been the outpouring of support and compassion for our community, here in Sonoma County and beyond. Together with The Salvation Army, and thanks to a virtual army of volunteers, we’ve been cookin’ up hot meals for thousands of people who need it most every day.”
Fieri is working with the Salvation Army, and he and his team have reportedly been preparing 5,000 meals a day for volunteers and evacuees out of the Santa Rosa emergency shelter in the Veterans Memorial Building parking lot. To donate, click here.
"This ordeal is far from over and the need is only growing," Fieri said. Fieri seems like a very thoughtful person, which might have been one of the 15 things we didn’t know about Guy Fieri.