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Celebrity chef David Chang, founder of the enormously successful Momofuku restaurant chain, is a culinary force to be reckoned with, but he is also quite astute in many other areas.
Chang was undoubtedly fortunate when he won the top prize on last week’s edition of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”; Momofuku means “lucky peach.”
Chang was astonished to have defied the odds of winning a million dollars, but the notion of how that money would be spent was even more intriguing..
Chang had previously pledged his winnings to the Southern Smoke Foundation, an emergency relief fund for individuals in the food and beverage industry, regardless of how much he received on the show.
According to its website, the Southern Smoke Foundation has “given more than $5.7 million, both directly to individuals in need via the Emergency Relief Fund and to organizations that represent the needs of those in our profession.”
While Southern Smoke was founded in 2017, COVID-19’s disastrous impact on restaurants, bars, and catering businesses in 2020 has increased the urgency of financial crisis intervention.
“I’m really thrilled that Dave choose Southern Smoke as his charity,” said Southern Smoke’s founder Chris Shepherd to CNN.
“Now, more than ever, food and beverage industry employees are desperate, as indoor dining is shut down in many regions of the country and temperatures are lowering, prohibiting outside dining.”
When Chang approached the $500,000 level, the host of Millionaire, Jimmy Kimmel, advised him that no celebrity participant had ever won the “big check.” Chang contemplated abandoning the game, but, believing in his good fortune, he chose to go all-in.,.
During the show, he stated, “Having a million dollars right now is a game-changer for many, many families.” “Yes, half a million is also… I wish I could say “No, just take the money!” but I can’t.
Chang provided his last response with the assistance of ESPN correspondent Mina Kimes, who instructed him that Benjamin Harrison was likely the first U.S. president to have electricity in the White House.
Within seconds, the stage erupted in joy..,
Although the large, camera-friendly cheque is likely a prop, the money it represents will have a significant impact..
According to Southern Smoke, around 500 restaurant and beverage workers in need will profit from Chang’s million-dollar “lucky peach.”