LINCOLN PARK — Chefs from several Chicago neighborhoods raised more than $36,000 for immigration organizations with their Solidarity Soup fundraiser, in which pints of freshly made soup were distributed at four locations Tuesday.
Tuesday afternoon and early evening, almost 700 people who had contributed at least $50 to the effort picked up two pints of soup per person at North Pond in Lincoln Park, Big Star in Wicker Park, outside the French Market Downtown and at Hewn Artisan Bread in Evanston.
Terry Marino, of suburban Glenview, said it was “the cause” that brought her down to Lincoln Park to pick up her soups.
“I’m a little scared with what’s going on with immigration right now,” she said. “And I want to be as supportive as I can.”
Nicole Ryan, of Lakeview, said it was “both” the cause and the soup that attracted her.
“We can give some money and also get food from great chefs,” she said.
Bruce Sherman, chef at North Pond, 2610 N. Cannon Drive, led organization of the fundraiser, eventually recruiting 20 other Chicago chefs:
• Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill
• Paul Fehribach, Big Jones
• Phillip Foss, EL Ideas
• Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe
• Stephanie Izard, Girl & the Goat
• Jean Joho, Everest
• Paul Kahan, Blackbird
• Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark, Parachute
• Josh Kulp & Christine Cikowski, Honey Butter Fried Chicken
• Eric Mansavage, Farmhouse
• Matthias Merges, Billy Sunday
• Josh Mutchnick, Longman & Eagle
• Carrie Nahabedian, Naha
• Chris Pandel, Balena
• Sarah Stegner, Prairie Grass Cafe
• Paul Virant, Vie
• Lee Wolen, Boka
• Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia
• John Manion, La Sirena Clandestina
• Bill Kim, Urbanbelly
Hewn and La Fournette Bakery supplied the bread.
The fundraiser was in the face of efforts to ban travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the government’s promises to round up undocumented residents and build a wall on the Mexican border.
Although rebuffed in the courts the first time he tried to enforce a travel ban a month ago, President Donald Trump imposed a new similar order against six Muslim nations Monday, this time leaving out Iraq, just as many of the chefs were no doubt settling down to cook their soups.
“It’s a big issue for me, because I’m concerned about the country. I’m concerned about security. I’m concerned about the deterioration of everything we stand for,” Sherman said when he announced the Solidarity Soup campaign. “Why is it a big issue for us as chefs? Because our city, community, industry are built on immigrants and refugees.”
Immigrants typically “come in through the doors of the food and beverage industry,” whether working as food preparers, service staff or running their own restaurants, Sherman said.
The campaign designated three nonprofit organizations to benefit: the Immigrant Workers’ Project, the Southwest Organizing Project and Centro Romero.
“This is keeping it local,” Sherman said Tuesday afternoon as he distributed pints of soup at North Pond.
Sherman added that the campaign establishes a template for other potential fundraisers in the future.