kal penn

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Actor Kal Penn Uses Prize Money From ‘MasterChef Celebrity Showdown’ to Support Palestinian Refugees

Penn raised $25,000 for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
kal penn

DFree / Shutterstock

In addition to being an actor and comedian, Penn served on President Obama’s administration.

Competition was fierce during Monday night’s two-hour MasterChef Celebrity Showdown special in which celebrities competed in the kitchen to win money for charity.

Kal Penn, actor and public servant, triumphed in the competition and donated his winnings to United Nations Relief and Works Agency, an organization that aids Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

“I'm thrilled to be helping UNRWA do its critical work in Gaza and Syria. They're a lifeline for so many families that have been struggling for decades to meet their basic needs and achieve their rights,” Penn said.

Penn went head to head with actress Cheryl Hines of Son of Zorn with a “Mystery Box Challenge” of cooking with beer.

Hines created a beer chicken and waffle dish with beer orange sauce, while Penn created a beer-marinated halibut with beer tortillas and a beer-based chipotle aïoli.

Other competing celebrities — including Joel and Benji Madden from pop-punk band Good Charlotte, and Grace Gealey Byers and Trai Byers from Fox’s Empire, automatically earned $15,000 for their selected charities just for participating in the showdown.


In honor of his win, Penn tweeted that he wants to try sending thank-you postcards to those who donate to the organization.