Chicago Chef Joey Morelli Is Cooking for Kids Around the World and Working for Hunger Relief with Joey's Food Fight
July 11, 2023 at 12:20
Highland Park, Illinois -
Chicago celebrity chef Joey Morelli is using his culinary talents and restaurant management skills to bring joy to orphans and underprivileged children all over the world through his initiative, Joey’s Food Fight.
Joey’s mission started in July 2022 when he landed in Phnom Penh to spend time with the children at the Hope for Silent Voices Hope House orphanage. Over the next few weeks, Joey taught the children how to buy fresh produce and cook delicious and hearty meals within their limited resources. He also set up a streamlined kitchen at the orphanage, upgrading it from a single-burner gas stove to a fully equipped space with a three-compartment sink and appliances like a stove, oven, grill, and refrigerator.
Joey also used his funds to buy the orphanage a barbecue grill and treated the children to an assortment of American foods, such as skirt steaks, baked beans, mac & cheese, and more, that they might not have otherwise ever had a chance to enjoy. In some of the earliest uploads on his YouTube channel from that first trip, Joey shows viewers the wonderful time the kids had, made possible due to their generous donations.
After coming back home, Joey uploaded a YouTube video revealing what compelled him to make the trip down there in the first place. He says, “The guy who owns the Hope House orphanage, Eric Lyons, rockstar, does it for the love of people. He is not an evangelical. He’s not some kind of crusader. He’s just a guy who does it for love, the universe, God, or whatever you want to call it. Which is the same as me. I like to cook for these kids because I love being of service.” Readers are urged to check out more of Joey’s content by visiting his TikTok page at https://www.tiktok.com/@joeysfoodfight.
In January 2023, Joey went back to Cambodia for his second trip after raising money at a fundraiser organized in November 2022 at Max’s Deli, the high-volume New York-style delicatessen in Highland Park, Illinois, that he owns. Before heading out, Joey also made an appearance on Daytime Chicago, which airs on WGN, where he taught viewers how to cook authentic Cambodian Beef Lok Lak and urged them to pitch in to make his second trip a success.
The second visit to Hope House orphanage was accompanied by numerous uploads such as Joey visiting the city’s central market, cooking a delicious breakfast of eggs, sausages, and toast, grilling a six-pound grouper fish, visiting a hydroponic garden growing fresh lettuce, serving up several hamburgers with vegetables and avocados, cooking a full Mexican dinner for the kids, taking them on a day trip to have bubble tea, and much more. Joey also took a vacation to Phuket, Thailand, and shared videos of him enjoying dinner on the beach and climbing The Big Buddha.
Over the last few months, Joey has also been involved in several other local charitable efforts. In May 2023, Joey’s Food Fight partnered with Sysco Foods, a leading global food distribution company, and Catholic Charities, a non-profit hunger relief organization, to cook food for over 300 displaced Ukrainian migrants as well as homeless people in the city of Chicago. He also partnered with Fred Kynch, Executive Director at Stand Up For Kids Chicago, to cook on camera and donate food to the shelter for teens.
Joey summarizes his efforts to help those in need in his city by saying, “People ask me all the time – What do you do in the States? I sit on the board, and I cook for Stand Up For Kids every week. I cook for a place in the city called Lydia’s House. I’ve cooked in Waukegan for their basketball team. Fred’s also got a lot of places that he directs me to and I’m going to keep doing videos and showing you all the food.”
More information about Joey’s Food Fight, along with ways to donate to the cause, can be found on its website at https://www.joeysfoodfight.com.
For more information about Joey's Food Fight, contact the company here:
Joey's Food Fight
Joey’s Food Figh
191 Skokie Valley Road
Highland Park IL 60035