North Bay Firestorm: Bay Area chefs cook meals for first responders


CALISTOGA (KRON) — A group of North Bay chefs and people in the restaurant and winery industries came back into what is now a ghost town, even when almost everyone else had left.

They wanted to make meals for first responders.

Andrew Wild is the executive chef of the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, and he formed a team earlier this week of people who wanted to cook for evacuees.

They fed hundreds of them for the first couple of days of the firestorm, and then most of these people had to evacuate themselves.

The mayor of Calistoga asked them to come back to make meals for police, firefighters, and medics, and they were more than happy to oblige.

“We’re so grateful to all of them; we must give back,” restaurateur Mark Mazotti said. “I don’t want ’em eating anything but real, home-cooked foods. These people put their lives on the line to save us, and this is how we say thank you so much.”

There were about a dozen of those volunteers in Calistoga at the fairgrounds on Thursday and even more in South Napa.

Up there, they served probably 200 hot meals. We’re talking ribs, pulled pork, potatoes, and fresh fruit.

They also had bagged lunches in case firefighters needed to have them on the go.

Some of these chefs weren’t even sure if their own home was still standing in other evacuation zones, but they got emotional when they told KRON4 they couldn’t just sit around and do nothing–they had to help.



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