Support Us Button Widget

Make a chef-led meal for families in need

Meals from the Heart puts volunteers in the kitchen to make dinner for Ronald McDonald House guests.

Three people wearing red aprons standing together in front of a buffet of food.

Katie, Mandey, and Mandey’s husband Stewart helped Chef James prepare Monday night dinner.

Photo by LOUtoday

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Luckily, the LOUtoday team has (apparently) learned a thing or two from all those Food Network shows and was able to whip up a meal for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House without a single kitchen fire.

That’s right. Mandey and Katie are definitely not the “Worst Cooks in America.”

Every year, our parent company 6AM City lets its employees (hey, that’s us!) take a paid half day for community service. In early September, we took advantage of this opportunity to give back to Derby City and signed up to participate in the Meals from the Heart program at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana (RMHCK).

The chef-led cooking experience allows volunteers to prep, cook, and serve dinner to families staying at the house while their loved ones receive care from area hospitals.

Loaves of bread next to a white cutting board with blocks of cheese.

Katie was tasked with making grilled cheese sandwiches.

Photo by LOUtoday

We arrived at the downtown campus on First Street around 4 p.m. You’ve most likely seen the giant limestone building off I-65 just before the hospital curve. The Richardsonian Romanesque architecture is kind of hard to miss.

We were met by Chef James Garst, formerly the executive chef at Edward Lee’s Whiskey Dry restaurant. After showing us a few knife skills and how to properly take a hot pan out of a commercial oven — we’ll let Katie fill you in on that — he put us to work. Over the next two hours we made gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, basil tomato soup, loaded baked potato soup, and peanut butter blondies for 60+ people.

Moving image of a person making brownies.

Mandey made blondies for dessert.

Photo by LOUtoday

At 6 p.m. the dinner bell rang and we had the opportunity to serve and meet with the families staying at the house.

Now that we’ve lent a hand (and didn’t even get burned once), it’s your turn. Here’s how you can participate in Meals from the Heart with Chef James.

More from LOUtoday