Chefs Doing What They Know: Cooking for Pittsburgh

Chefs Doing What They Know: Cooking for Pittsburgh

There is no way that I could have thought my ordinary Saturday would include standing in my ordinary kitchen in eastern Maryland learning of 11 killed and 6 wounded ordinary people.

In my hometown of Pittsburgh. In my neighborhood. In my synagogue. On the anniversary of my bar mitzvah. My phone was acting as a TV as KDKA streamed scenes from Tree of Life; windows were blown out; police in full armor running up Wilkins Ave; “Names of victims not yet released…”

It is no shocker that I have tattoos of the Pittsburgh skyline and of the Pirates’ logo—with a crossed fork and knife rather than the baseball bats; I am a cook, after all.

I am forever a kid from the Steel City.

When the call came from my sister that there were shots fired in my family’s synagogue, everything changed in an instant.

Thinking back to just after the 9/11 terrorist events, a news anchor was on a local Philadelphia station explaining why he was leaving the air. “You see,” he said, “my city needs me. I am a from New York, and I have to go back,” is how I remember that.

While my phone was drilling the unfolding scene into me over and over and over, I only could feel anxious to go to my hometown, too. To do something. To go home.

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