Pitmaster Leonard Botello IV owner of TRUTH BBQ. (Photo by Ben Sassanian)
Chef Aaron Bludorn of Bludorn Restaurant in the Fourth Ward. (Photo by Julie Soefer)
Celebrity chef José Andrés is all about making a difference in the world through food.
Wherever there is a climate, humanitarian, or community crisis, chef Jose Andres and his nibble team at World Central Kitchen are quick to race to the frontlines providing sustenance to those in dire need. It all started with the simple mandate when people are hungry, send in the cooks. Not tomorrow or next week. But today.
The World Central Kitchen’s immediate response in the eye of a storm is not to simply drop free food into a disaster zone. Not if they can source and hire locally to help jump start economic recovery through food.
“Deploying our model of quick action, leveraging local resources and adapting in real-time, we know that a nourishing meal in a time of crisis is so much more than a plate of food,” Andres says. “It’s hope. It’s dignity. And it’s a sign that someone cares.”
To aid the nonprofit World Central Kitchen in its current efforts to feed millions of people in war-torn Ukraine and the bordering countries many Ukraine refugees have fled to in search of safe haven, Houston chef Aaron Bludorn of Bludorn Restaurant and barbeque pitmaster Leonard Botello IV, the owner of TRUTH, BBQ, are teaming up to host a dinner benefitting World Central Kitchen’s #ChefsForUkraine mission right here in Houston.
Set to be held on Thursday, May 12 at Bludorn Restaurant, the four-course dinner ($195 per person with beverages, tax and tip extra) will blend Bludorn’s French-inspired Gulf Coast cuisine with the self-taught Botello’s authentic approach to Central Texas-style barbecue at TRUTH BBQ.
“I think this dinner will be an unbelievable way to kick off summer here in Houston,” Aaron Bludorn says. “It’s a great reflection of two friends who have very different restaurants and cuisines teaming up to create a great night full of food and wine for all of our friends.
“It’s about having a good time and giving back. Both to our guests and to World Central Kitchen as they continue to do great work globally.”
The barbecue pitmaster is equally enthusiastic.
“The friendships that develop among chefs and restaurant owners are really special and one of my favorites things about being a part of this industry,” Botello says. “I’ve been a huge fan of Aaron and his food at Bludorn since he landed in Houston. And I was really interested in the idea of how we could come together and do something really cool for our community by focusing on some live-fire techniques that we don’t do every day at TRUTH BBQ.”
To secure a coveted spot at this benefit dinner, head to Resy.