When Typhoon Haiyan belted the central Philippines, it left a wave of destruction in its path. According to NBC News, the death toll is around 2,000 and about 11 million survivors are in serious need of food, shelter, and medicine.
Tacloban, located in the hardest-hit area, was once a thriving city with about 220,000 residents. Now it is unrecognizable. All over the news are heartbreaking images of mothers crying over dead children and people trying desperately to evacuate.
Aah Loi Sushi & Thai's Roy Villacrusis and partner, Charlie Soo, are taking action, and they're calling on the South Florida community to help.
The chefs are hosting a benefit dinner at the restaurant this Monday, November 18 at 6 p.m.
The family-style dinner is $45 per person, and 100 percent of the proceeds will be sent to help in the recovery efforts in the Philippines. Although the menu isn't set, the chefs will serve Filipino dishes, along with sushi and Thai. The restaurant seats only about 50 people, so the partners may set up a tent outside or plan a second seating (call Aah Loi 561-748-5201 for updated information).
The chefs are also asking for donations of goods and services for a raffle and silent auction to be held that evening, with all proceeds, again, going to relief efforts.
Chef Villacrusis, who came to Florida from Manila about 20 years ago, told Clean Plate Charlie that although his friends and family in the capital city of the Philippines are all right, he has many friends with family in the affected areas. He told us that the storm caused so much devastation because the area hit is very rural.
"Houses in that part of the country are made of wood. There are no building codes. So if a storm hits, it's so much worse. When we have a hurricane, we have storm shutters, or we can leave and go to a shelter. These people didn't have that option."
The chef, who's fiancé is also from the Philippine islands, is planning on going back to his ravaged home country to deliver goods and cash. Although cash travels better, Villacrusis won't say no to any assistance.
"We're asking people to donate time, products, and monetary help. If there's something we can auction off, that's ideal."
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