SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Santa Barbara chef Katie Teall was off to Poland to help refugees from Ukraine in the first few days following the Russian attack in March.
Her week there was not her only effort to help feed those who were fleeing.
This weekend, a special dinner with fish caught off the Santa Barbara coast will be prepared by a team led by Teall.
It will benefit the World Central Kitchen headed by Jose Andres an acclaimed culinary legend that's responded to the refugee crisis in several areas around Ukraine. They also have responders in other part of the world in peril.
The event takes place Sunday night at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and includes drinks, dinner, and a live auction.
The fish will be sourced from the local commercial fishermen, many of who sell on Saturday mornings on the small city pier in the harbor.
Word of this special fundraiser has brought an enthusiastic response. "Oh it's been tremendous, overwhelming," said Teall at the waterfront recently.
Teall, her husband Paul and the Fisherman's Association have a strong connection to the World Central Kitchen since the March trip.
Teall said, "they are boots on the ground, feeding thousands and thousands of people not only in Ukraine but in Poland where they are coming over the border. I witnessed it."
Teall saw, first hand, the people in need, the impact of the meals from the World Central Kitchen and the long haul ahead.
From that experience, she wanted to do more, and collaborating with the fishing industry here was a natural connection.
Many in the fishing industry here are the sellers you see at the harbor on Saturday mornings.
"So everyone's donating their catch and I am going to make a cioppino," said Teall.
Teall said, "there are people still in Ukraine that refuse to leave and they need to be fed there are still refugees coning over the border there are people from in Poland. There's so many different stations."
The organizers are still looking for donations either in funds or auction items.
Teall said, "anything of any value. services or Airbnb or anything we can auction off that would be appreciated."
The event will include a live auction with all the proceeds going to the World Central Kitchen .