Dignity Health old
Chicago's Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill has no shortage of flavor. And neither does its owner.
<p><a href="http://www.turkeychop.com/home.html" target="_blank">Quentin Love's restaurant</a>, 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.</p><p><strong>But Love knows it's not just well-to-do Chicagoans who need more diverse meal options. Chicago's <a href="http://abc7chicago.com/news/chicagos-new-face-of-homelessness-/894464/" target="_blank">sizable homeless and poverty-stricken community</a> could sure use a helping hand, too.</strong></p><h2>So every Monday afternoon, the restaurant closes for business and offers free meals to the community, instead.</h2><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUxMjMyMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzc1MTk1Mn0.YH0355YT32rGqjEdwr0BXIuVshQvV2XIvpT7HIQbRU4/img.jpg?width=980" id="f6dae" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b9ef39fa35c0f17477f6411a5c122588" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption">Image via <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akPFtaLv6LA" target="_blank">BRIJ Fund Media/YouTube</a>.</p><p>Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill opened in 2012 as a continuation of Love's yearslong effort to "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vIJWtcOan4" target="_blank">attack the food desert theory</a>." He wanted to bring more diverse eating options to neighborhoods around the country in dire need of them.</p><p><strong>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.</strong></p><p>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. <strong></strong></p><p>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. <br></p><p>With support from the Chicago Food Depository, <strong>Love and his staff at Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill have given away over 60,000 meals in the past two years</strong>, mostly on the back of donations and community volunteers.<br></p><p>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.</p><h2>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.<br></h2><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUxMjMyMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzE1MDk0NH0.Ge2lPGvCqzV1KzNKz3Y8NqRqSUpNcEG1yI0jDfnQjLA/img.jpg?width=980" id="dd253" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3935de86b979ed909298a4c94cafbdfb" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption">Guy Fieri, the eccentric host of "Guy's Grocery Games." Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.</p><p>"They called me (to be on the show)," he said. "It was just a random call. And I saw it as an opportunity."</p><p>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.</p><p>If he won, anyway.</p><p><strong>And that's exactly what Love did. </strong>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.</p><p>Love blew away the competition with his cooking skills and a little help from his grandma's famous mac 'n cheese recipe.</p><p><strong>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.</strong></p><h2>Half of Love's prize money will go toward making sure Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill can <a href="http://wgntv.com/2015/12/18/chicago-chef-uses-food-network-winnings-to-help-feed-the-homeless/" target="_blank">continue to feed the community</a>. </h2><p>The other half will go to another cause close to Love's heart, the <a href="https://www.uso.org/" target="_blank">United Services Organization</a>, which provides relief to military members and their families.</p><p>"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.</p><p>That's not what <em>really</em> matters to Love.</p><h2>For now, the Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill is just going to keep on giving delicious, nutritious meals to Chicagoans in need.</h2><p>And thanks to Love's big Food Network win, that's not going to change any time soon.</p><p><strong>"Being on the show was great," he said. "I just kept thinking about what I had to do. And the rest is history."</strong></p>
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