Celebrity chef Joey Morelli is using his culinary skills to help unfortunate children across the world get the help they need to overcome their challenging circumstances.
Chef Joey, the owner of Max’s Deli in Highland Park, IL, started cooking for children on his first visit in July 2022 to the Hope For Silent Voices Hope House orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. During his visit, he taught the kids at the orphanage to shop for fresh produce and cook nutritious meals within a budget. He also helped set up the kitchen with modern amenities such as a three-compartment sink and appliances like a stove, oven, grill, and refrigerator.
Subsequently, Joey made another visit to Hope House Orphanage several months later where he helped the kids with numerous projects such as building them a play area. Throughout his visit, he recorded plenty of vlogs documenting his journey, capturing the ecstatic reactions of the children he was cooking for. He also participated in a charity drive in Stung Meanchey in Cambodia where he helped distribute 25 kilos of rice each to over 150 families.
Chef Joey also uploaded several other videos of his time in Cambodia such as discussing the emotional reaction to visiting the country’s killing fields, visiting Phnom Penh’s central market, cooking a healthy breakfast for the kids, teaching the kids to grill hamburgers, cooking them a hearty Mexican dinner, taking the kids to have bubble tea, and many more. Before heading back to America, Chef Joey also made a stop in Thailand and shared videos of him enjoying activities such as scuba diving, climbing Big Buddha, and having a scrumptious dinner by the beach.
All his video content has been uploaded to his YouTube channel where he regularly shares his experiences cooking for children both abroad and at home in Chicago. His charitable venture, Joey’s Food Fight, is currently accepting donations to fund trips to many other parts of the world where children and families are in desperate need of assistance due to issues such as poverty or local geopolitical conflicts. Readers interested in tracking Joey’s journey are urged to visit his TikTok page at https://www.tiktok.com/@joeysfoodfight.
During an interview on Day Time Chicago before his second trip, Chef Joey revealed the reason why he chose Joey’s Food Fight as his charitable avenue. He says, “I’m 50 years old and I screwed up my marriage. No kids. My mission now is to take care of kids. So, I said to myself that I’ll go around the world and cook for kids. I met a guy who has an orphanage in Cambodia and I said, “Eric, I’m coming to the orphanage,” and he said OK. This was 6 months ago. Now I’m going back to cook for the kids in the kitchen I built them the first time around.”
A few months later, upon arriving back in America, Chef Joey cooked food for 300 displaced Ukrainian migrants and homeless people in Chicago. He partnered with Chef Clause to cook for them in a drive sponsored by Catholic Charities and Sysco Foods, the latter of which is the biggest donor for the former and also donated the food for the Chicago event.
Most recently, Chef Joey visited Central Ukraine to cook for families who have been affected by the ongoing war in Eastern Europe. He talked about the details of his latest mission during a promotional segment on WGN news where he also shared a recipe for Ukrainian crepes with viewers.
“I’ll be staying for one month,” Chef Joey said, “My goal over there is to cook for the wives, for the kids, and some of the injured soldiers. There are resorts in some areas of Ukraine that have been demolished or deserted. They are using these places to put people up. What they are missing is money for food and chefs to cook.”
Readers can find out more about Joey Morelli and his mission to cook for kids globally by visiting 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