Los Angeles News
Celebrity chef cooks up Thanksgiving meal at LA Mission
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The kitchen at the Los Angeles Mission was brimming with all the traditional trimmings as volunteers served a pre-Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday.
Approximately 4,000 people, many of them homeless men, women and children, were fed at the Mission. Most of them would not have a holiday meal otherwise.
"This is the opportunity that I have here to be here at the L.A. Mission and have the meal that they give us," said Jimmy Orlenas.
Chef Michael Voltaggio designed the menu for the day. Mission president and CEO Herb Smith says the chef's menu includes 3,000 pounds of turkey, a chutney with 800 pounds of apples, other fruits and vegetables, 80 gallons of turkey gravy, spaghetti parmesan squash casserole, double stuffed potatoes and for dessert -- pie with a topping of Cap'n Crunch cereal.
Voltaggio is the head chef of award-winning West Hollywood restaurant Ink. He said he tried to take the traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey and potatoes and elevate it by adding more protein and nutrition where he could, making the meal more wholesome and delicious.
"It's awesome because on a regular basis, we cook for people that expect to eat or are entitled to eat or just want to eat, and in this case, we're cooking for people who need to eat," Voltaggio said.
Legendary actor and producer Kirk Douglas and actress Malin Akerman showed up to serve meals. Bella Thorne, Blair Underwood and Neil Patrick Harris also lent a hand. Underwood makes the event a family affair.
"My wife and I bring them down because it's important for them to understand that everybody's not as fortunate as you are, and when you can, whether you're fortunate or not, when you can give back to people, you do it."
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