Lowcountry Strong: Chefs team up to make meals for healthcare workers and homeless

Updated: Apr. 17, 2020 at 7:15 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - While many Lowcountry restaurants are shut down or cutting back on hours, two chefs are using their free time to help people in need.

Nikko Cagalanan, owner and chef at Mansueta’s Filipino Food, and Jacob Schor, owner and chef at Julius Delicatessen, both have restaurants inside Workshop, a trendy food court on upper King Street. They said the last month has been a whirlwind.

“We were going from, you know, closing early some nights, to doing limited menus, to doing only to-go food, to being shut down in like a five day time span. Every day was something new, a new wrench in the plans," Schor said.

Both chefs wanted to keep cooking for healthcare workers and homeless shelters.

“There are people that needed help and we were like, we have the kitchen, we have the ability to cook and serve people so why not do it," Cagalanan said.

Six days a week the two meet at Workshop and prepare 200 to 250 meals a day. They have donated the meals to Neighbor’s House, One80 Place, the Ronald McDonald House and Charleston-area hospitals.

“It sounds like a lot, but we like it,” Cagalanan said. "We like what we’re doing.” He even has a special connection to the cause because he used to be a nurse in Boston.

“I know what nurses at MUSC [are] dealing with," he added. “For me, it’s like instinct for me to help them.”

They started a GoFundMe page which has raised more than $6,000. All the money is used to prepare the food. Local chefs have also dropped off some items like produce and pasta for them to use as well.

They plan to keep cooking for those in need as long as possible.

“I would just hope that once this is all over and we come back to whatever the new normal looks like, that we don’t forget helping each other out," added Schor. "It would be great if we could continue to have that positive energy and positive mindset once this all ends.”

If you would like to help, you can donate on their GoFundMe page. They also said if any chefs want to join in, they are welcome to bring their utensils and help prepare the meals.

If you know someone or a group of people making the Lowcountry a better place during this time, you can tell us about it by filling out this form. You can also email Abbey O’Brien at and you might see them recognized on Live5News.

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