A Thursday-night fund-raiser at Philadelphia’s Fork restaurant helped raise $130,000, including $25,000 in silent auction donations, to go toward chef Eli Kulp’s rehabilitation. Earlier this year, Kulp, a justifiably acclaimed chef, suffered a serious spinal-cord injury during an Amtrak derailment and last month filed a lawsuit against the company; the train was traveling 100 mph through a curve in a 50 mph zone. Organized by Ellen Yin, who owns Fork and High Street on Market with Kulp, 25 chefs came together to cook for the event, and guests shelled out $200 to attend (or $350 for VIP tickets), with beverages donated by local breweries, distilleries, and wine merchants.
The fund-raiser is just the latest example of chefs rallying to Kulp’s cause. Previously, Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone’s Major Food Group, whom Kulp worked for when he was a chef at Torrisi, donated all their opening-day sales at the latest Parm to a GoFundMe campaign started by Kulp’s friends. An additional $2,000 was donated by a person identifying him or herself as Pub & Kitchen, a restaurant in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.
If you’re looking to join these chefs in supporting Kulp, you haven’t missed your opportunity. On Monday, Del Posto will host another fund-raiser featuring a silent auction and food from 15 restaurants from Philadelphia and New York including DBGB, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and Ai Fiori. It’s a heartwarming show of support, and one worth getting behind, for the star chef, who is going to need all the help he can get in his long road to recovery.