The Ryori Volunteer no Kai (Food Volunteer Group), an non-profit association of top chefs in Tokyo, Japan, organized a charity dinner on 24 February 2014 for the benefit of Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines. Entitled “Pray for the Philippines”, the charity dinner was held at the prestigious Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
Over 500 guests paid tickets to enjoy a buffet feast prepared by 80 head chefs and assistant chefs from eleven 5-star hotels and top restaurants and patisseries in Tokyo who crafted sumptuous Japanese, French and Asian dishes. A few Filipino dishes such as kaldereta and lumpia were served, while some chefs incorporated Philippine touches through the use of Philippine flavoring or fruits.
The Ryori Volunteer no Kai was established after the Niigata earthquake of October 2004 to bring cheer to disaster victims through delicious food. The chefs go to various disaster affected areas to serve their specialties and conduct cooking classes, providing much-needed moral support to those affected by calamities. The Group also organized a number of charity luncheons and dinners in Tokyo after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake for the benefit of earthquake victims.
The “Pray for the Philippines” charity dinner started with a minute of silence in memory of those who perished in the super typhoon. Chef Katsuhiro Nakamura, representative of the Ryori Volunteer no Kai, thanked the 80 chefs who participated in the charity dinner. He said all the chefs wanted to support Haiyan victims through what they do best.
Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez conveyed the heartfelt appreciation of the Filipinos to Chef Nakamura and the rest of the chefs for their humanitarian project noting that this gastronomical event takes place in Tokyo which is known as a center of culinary excellence along with Paris as the cities with the most Michelin-star rated restaurants. Amb. Lopez invited the guests to continue praying for the Philippines as the country rebuilds the devastated areas. Proceeds from the charity dinner will be donated to the Philippine government through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo.
Photos and article via press release courtesy of the Philippine Embassy – Tokyo, Japan, February 27, 2014.