(John Lee)

Guy Fieri cooks meals for California wildfire evacuees, first responders

The famous chef, who is a resident of Santa Rosa, served up barbecue for those who had been impacted


Charlie May
October 14, 2017 6:27PM (UTC)

In the midst of depressing stories about recent natural disasters across the U.S., comes a thoughtful, uplifting and humorous story that highlights and act of kindness in the wake of tragedy.

On Thursday the prominent celebrity chef, and internet meme, Guy Fieri, served up barbecued meats and macaroni and cheese at the evacuation center in Santa Rosa, California, for the evacuees that were caught in the recent wildfires that have burned through the northern area of the state.

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"We’re feeding folks in the shelter that have been displaced," Fieri told KQED, a local Northern California news station. "Plus volunteers here on the ground, plus the military. We just did around 1,200 for lunch, we started this morning. Now everyone’s having a little break, and we’re getting ready to do dinner. That’ll be about 2,500."

Fieri showed up "with a trailer, a crew, a wood-fired oven and a barbecue smoker, cooking meat," KQED reported.

Some critics said using a smoker was insensitive to the victims, and some even suggested his actions were just a public relations ploy, but Fieri brushed it off.

"If that’s what you think and you’re that shallow at a time like this with what we’re facing, then there’s no changing your mind about that," he said. "This isn’t a PR stunt. You don’t see my banners up. I’m not promoting anything. I’m just here cooking. This is feeding people. People need help, and I’m here to help. That’s it."

By Saturday morning more several thousand more people in Santa Rosa were ordered to evacuate as a new wildfire had become a threat, CNN reported. So far the wildfires have killed 36 people, destroyed thousands of structures and have left hundreds still missing.

Fieri is also a Santa Rosa resident and he had also been forced to evacuate as a result of the wildfires.

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"The smoke was really bad," he said. "We had to evacuate at two in the morning, and we grabbed what we could, taking pictures off the wall as fast as we could. Jumped in the truck, loaded in the dogs, and away we went."

He made the decision to help out those who may need a tasty meal at the evacuation center and explained, "So I called the Salvation Army in Santa Rosa and I said, 'I’m ready, I’ve got an army, I’m ready to help,'" Fieri explained. "And they said, 'Bring it.'"

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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California California Wildfires Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri Santa Rosa

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