By Billy Montgomery While many celebrity chefs pour their lives into cooking meals for the rich and famous, one local cook fills his days serving hot vegan meals for homeless communities in LA. Over his 22-year culinary career, Koreatown resident “Chef Supreme” Divine Dow has fed many entertainers including actress Alicia Silverstone, as well as recording artists India Arie and Andre 3000. While he has fed the wealthy, the chef said the heart of The Concierge Kitchen business is with the hundreds of homeless people that he feeds weekly.
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“My goal was to become a celebrity chef but watching food disparities in the area, it is hard not to see the problem and not want to do something about it,” Chef Supreme said. With the assistance of a small staff, Chef Supreme prepares meals for 600 people, twice a week, primarily distributing in the heavily populated homeless areas near downtown’s Skid Row community, and the areas of local veteran affairs offices in LA. Using funds from events he caters to, Chef Supreme visits food stores several times a week to shop for fresh ingredients to prepare meals. “Whenever I do events, all the proceeds go toward feeding people. [At $20 per dish], every meal you buy is feeding at least four people one meal,” Chef Supreme said. He added, “Annually, I average feeding about 10,000 people out of pocket. I don’t have a huge grant or anything to sustain me, but the homeless matter and deserve to be treated to a hot meal.” Prepping the food from scratch, the homeless are afforded delectable spreads from The Concierge Kitchen ranging from sausages and eggs to chicken and waffles for breakfast to pulled pork chops/tacos accompanied by kale and cranberry salad for lunch/dinner meals; all of which are vegan.
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“Additionally, we do vegan pizzas, cheeseburgers, and Italian bratwurst sausages,” Chef Supreme said. Tracking local trends, the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority said there are nearly 70,000 homeless in Los Angeles County proper. However, shelter doesn’t automatically mean that regular hot meals are provided in the dwellings. To that end, Chef Supreme has received numerous food donations from different plant-based organizations. But he said getting the word out for more financial support has been challenging.
“Not many people want to hear this story. Food deserts are a real thing, and they are not just akin to poor areas,” Chef Supreme said. The Concierge Kitchen recently partnered with other advocacy organizations to feed veterans Thanksgiving meals and Chef Supreme said he looks forward to being an ongoing resource during the holiday season.
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Billy Montgomery is a veteran photojournalist, writer, and digital content producer. As a media producer, Montgomery has worked with clients in high-profile cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Atlanta, effectively producing photography/videography/podcasting for an array of clientele.
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