Quentin Love’s restaurant, on Chicago’s west side in a neighborhood called West Humboldt Park, lives by a simple rule: “No beef. No pork.” There you can get unique dishes like the Jive Turkey Burger on a whole wheat bun or the Rich Boy Sandwich, a grilled fish twist on the classic Po Boy, which usually uses roast beef or fried seafood.
But Love knows it’s not just well-to-do Chicagoans who need more diverse meal options. Chicago’s sizable homeless and poverty-stricken community could sure use a helping hand, too.
So every Monday afternoon, the restaurant closes for business and offers free meals to the community, instead.
With support from the Chicago Food Depository, Love and his staff at Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill have given away over 60,000 meals in the past two years, mostly on the back of donations and community volunteers.
But Love says funding has been a constant issue, with him spending nearly $2,000 a month out of his own pocket to finance the project.
When Love got the chance to compete on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games,” though, he knew he had a chance to fund the program for a long time to come
In “Guy’s Grocery Games” (or “Triple G”), contestants sprint up and down supermarket aisles, scavenging for ingredients that fit their allotted budget, and have 30 minutes to whip up a meal that’ll impress the judges.
Love blew away the competition with his cooking skills and a little help from his grandma’s famous mac ‘n cheese recipe.
When all was said and done, he walked away with $36,000 in prize money. And he knew exactly what he was going to do with it.
Half of Love’s prize money will go toward making sure Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill can continue to feed the community.
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