Some of Top Chef's finest were once again in the kitchen together on Monday night, though there was no competition at hand or some sort of crazy challenge. Instead, five of the show's alum joined forces to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims with a four-course dinner organized and hosted by Angelo Sosa at his Añejo restaurant in New York City.
Upon seeing the devastation that took place in New York City and the East Coast, Angelo was inspired and made some phone calls for what would eventually wind up as last night's dinner event. "I really have to say I'm very touched at how all of this came together," Angelo said at the event. "It was literally an idea from early Friday afternoon, and everyone didn't even think twice and made it happen. I'm really touched. Everyone literally just jumped in and stayed up endless hours to make this happen."
Using his rolodex, Angelo was able to score all of the food via donation and got his Chef pals Dale Talde, Kevin Sbraga, Jennifer Carroll and Grayson Schmitz to come together and cook a 4-course meal for diners with all $100 of the menu cost going towards relief for storm victims.
It wasn't even a question whether Dale would participate. "It was a no brainer," he said "It was the least we can do. Where I live in Brooklyn, you can see Staten Island and you can see Red Hook and all of these really damaged areas ... For me, there's nowhere else I'd rather be. To give back and to get money raised for this -- it's one of many things we plan on doing to give back to the community. You're doing it for the community, for the same people that patronize your restaurant, the same chefs you call for a reservation at their restaurant. It goes out to these people who lost business, lost work, lost lives, lost homes."
And even with the somber, reflective mood, good-natured ribbing is just part of the game when you get a bunch of chefs like these in a room. Dale's chocolate pudding dessert course inspired Angelo to bust his chops in a way that had the room howling with laughter. "For dessert, on top of the hurricane relief, Dale wanted to pay homage to Bill Cosby. Just so you know, tableside we'll be peeling back a plastic layer from on top," he joked.
Click here to donate to the Red Cross, and stay tuned for more Top Chef benefit dinners to come!