Chef Tee Helps Raise $ For Homeless in D.C.

Chefs Jarobi Murray, Nathan Spittal, T n Rock HarperSalt & Pepper star cooks for HeArt & Sole: An Evening with Chef Harper & Friends

Last month in the Nation’s Capital, Hell’s Kitchen winner and Chef “Tee” Terrell Danley protégé, Chef Rahman “Rock” Harper, hosted HeArt & Sole, a tasting and silent auction benefit for the Central Union Mission.  The money raised will help feed and buy shoes for people living without a home in the Washington, D.C. area.  Chef Tee and more than a dozen other talented chefs (some high profile) donated their time to cook for the event’s tasting, thanks in part to Chef Harper, who was a big reason that many of them came out.  Participants included:

  • Chef Warren Brown, Food Network host and CakeLove creator
  • Chef Daniel Thomas, author, private chef, former head chef for the U. S. Senate Executive Dining Room and head banquet and catering chef for the U. S. Capitol
  • Chef Huda, Food Network Cutthroat Kitchen Winner and Pretty & Delicious owner

Some sports and media personalities volunteered their time to help prep ingredients and serve.

What does the HeArt & Sole title mean?  He stands for Jesus.  (Central Union Mission is a faith-based nonprofit.) Art represents the art created by men in the mission’s programs that was on display and up for sale, during the benefit’s silent auction.  Sole is a play on the words sole and soul.  Sole represents the shoes that inspired the chefs’ dishes, which were cooked from the soul.

See-doc-for-names-1024x683Chef Tee made Fish and Grits served with Wilted Spinach and Orange Caper Remoulade, a dish inspired by the expensive tennis shoes he often trashed as a mischievous preteen fishing for tadpoles and running from the authorities. Huh?  How’s that connected?  If you know Chef Tee, you know there is an elaborate backstory — LOL! Chef Tee and his friends often went tadpole hunting in a pond that was legally off limits, so to stay one step ahead of the cops, they had to run through a lot of gunk that ended up on his sneakers.  Here’s the connection.  The lily pads in the pond represented the wilted spinach.  The sludge inspired the creamy grits.  The crunchy tilapia crust and orange caper remoulade reminded him of the muck in the pond.  (Btw, after every tadpole run, Chef Tee rushed to clean his sneakers because he couldn’t let his parents see that he soiled $30 tennis shoes; cheap by today’s standards, but expensive back in Chef Tee’s day.  Well, he’s busted now!  :-))

HeArt & Sole gave Chef Tee an opportunity to cook alongside chefs he’s mentored.

“They make me feel so old, yet so young,” he said.  “It’s a wonderful feeling to see the next generation of chefs giving back.  Well done Rock!”

Why Central Union Mission matters?  This nonprofit helps rehabilitate and meet the needs of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe thousands of men, women and children living without a home in the D.C. area.  It also serves as a satellite location for DC Central Kitchen’s culinary job training program.  (Both Chefs Tee and Harper are DCCK Culinary Instructors.)  James Starkes is one of the mission’s success stories.  Starkes graduated from both the Central Union Mission and DCCK programs.  He cooked at HeArt & Sole and currently works as a chef at the mission.

HeArt & Sole co-sponsors: Exelon, National Cable and Telecommunications Association and Daubers, Inc.

Photos: (1) Chef Tee pictured w/protégés, Chefs Jarobi Murray, Nathan Spittal and Harper, who worked as line cooks under Chef Tee at BET on Jazz Restaurant in the late 1990s; (2) Steve Fitzhugh (former Denver Broncos player), Sunni (WPGC 95.5), Chef Warren Brown, Chef Huda, Chef Rock Harper, Jamie Foster Brown (Sister 2 Sister magazine), Chef Jerome Grant, Chef Horatio Davis; (3) James Starkes