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New Orleans Chef With Ties To The Philippines Cooks For Relief

“I just knew first off that they were going to definitely need help right away,” says Chef Cristina Quackenbush.

She is nearly 9,000 miles away from her loved ones, but New Orleans Chef Cristina Quackenbush can feel their pain.

“The ties are strong no matter where you are.”

Chef Quackenbush left the Philippines when she was five. She now works weekdays at the CBD’s Little Gem Saloon and spends weekends blocks away operating her pop up restaurant Milkfish.

Quackenbush survived Hurricane Katrina. She says the images of Typhoon Haiyan uncover painful memories.

“I was actually feeling the anticipation like when we heard the hurricane was coming here,” says Quackenbush, “I was hoping they were evacuated and did all the necessary things to make sure they were safe, but they don’t have the means to over there. A lot, the majority of the Philippines is poverty.”

Thanks to social media Chef Quackenbush was able to contact her family.

The American Red Cross says communication is at a standstill. They’ve restored their Family Link Service and are telling those reaching out to loved ones in the Philippines to call their local Red Cross chapter for help.

An early morning post assured Chef Quackenbush her family is safe, but it also shows they need help. Her family says they’re suffering, and flashfloods have left them with nothing to eat. It’s why she’s cooking up a storm of her own this weekend and donating 15% of her sales at Milkfish to relief.

It’s the second weekend she’s given back. She says it’s the least she can do to help.

“The ties are strong no matter where you are.”

Milkfish is a Filipino restaurant located at 870 Tchoupitoulas. It is open Saturday’s from 5PM – 11PM. It is open Sunday from 12PM (noon) – 10PM.

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