A selfless chef won a reality game show and used the prize money to feed his community.
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Dignity Health old

Chicago's Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill has no shortage of flavor. And neither does its owner.

Image via BRIJ Fund Media/YouTube.


Quentin Love's restaurant, on Chicago's west side in a neighborhood called West Humboldt Park, lives by a simple rule: "No beef. No pork." There you can get unique dishes like the Jive Turkey Burger on a whole wheat bun or the Rich Boy Sandwich, a grilled fish twist on the classic Po Boy, which usually uses roast beef or fried seafood.

But Love knows it's not just well-to-do Chicagoans who need more diverse meal options. Chicago's sizable homeless and poverty-stricken community could sure use a helping hand, too.

So every Monday afternoon, the restaurant closes for business and offers free meals to the community, instead.

Image via BRIJ Fund Media/YouTube.

Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill opened in 2012 as a continuation of Love's yearslong effort to "attack the food desert theory." He wanted to bring more diverse eating options to neighborhoods around the country in dire need of them.

In 2014, he took the concept even further at the West Humboldt Park location by transforming the restaurant into a local food pantry once a week.

On Monday afternoons, residents of the community pour in to grab free, ready-made meals. It's for anybody in need of a hot, fresh, nutritious bite to eat, whether they're homeless or not.

Love also runs a cooking class out of the restaurant on Monday nights that teaches people in the community how to prepare nutritious meals for themselves and their families.

With support from the Chicago Food Depository, Love and his staff at Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill have given away over 60,000 meals in the past two years, mostly on the back of donations and community volunteers.

But Love says funding has been a constant issue, with him spending nearly $2,000 a month out of his own pocket to finance the project.

When Love got the chance to compete on Food Network's "Guy's Grocery Games," though, he knew he had a chance to fund the program for a long time to come.

Guy Fieri, the eccentric host of "Guy's Grocery Games." Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

"They called me (to be on the show)," he said. "It was just a random call. And I saw it as an opportunity."

An opportunity to battle against other chefs in a nationally broadcast, pressure-packed cooking challenge. But it would help him keep his restaurant's community program going.

If he won, anyway.

And that's exactly what Love did. In "Guy's Grocery Games" (or "Triple G"), contestants sprint up and down supermarket aisles, scavenging for ingredients that fit their allotted budget, and have 30 minutes to whip up a meal that'll impress the judges.

Love blew away the competition with his cooking skills and a little help from his grandma's famous mac 'n cheese recipe.

When all was said and done, he walked away with $36,000 in prize money. And he knew exactly what he was going to do with it.

Half of Love's prize money will go toward making sure Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill can continue to feed the community.

The other half will go to another cause close to Love's heart, the United Services Organization, which provides relief to military members and their families.

"The prize money pays for sustainability" for the program, Love said. There are no grand plans to expand nationally, renovate the restaurant, or launch more ambitious projects.

That's not what really matters to Love.

For now, the Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill is just going to keep on giving delicious, nutritious meals to Chicagoans in need.

And thanks to Love's big Food Network win, that's not going to change any time soon.

"Being on the show was great," he said. "I just kept thinking about what I had to do. And the rest is history."

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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