Benefit held for Philadelphia chef injured in Amtrak derailment

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Hundreds of people attended a fundraiser Thursday night to help support one of Philadelphia's best known chefs. (WPVI)

Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell was among the hundreds of people who attended a fundraiser Thursday night to help support one of Philadelphia's best known chefs.

Eli Kulp, chef and co-owner of Fork in Old City, sustained a severe spinal injury in the Amtrak train derailment train back in May.

More than two dozen of his fellow chefs from top restaurants like Cuba Libre, A Kitchen, and Amis volunteered their talents for the $200 a person benefit at Fork.

The fundraiser hopes to raise money for Eli's mounting medical bills so that he can recover and get back in the kitchen.

"So the money raised for this event will be to provide funds for expenses that generally aren't covered like changing your house to ADA in case he can't walk when he comes home," said Ellen Yin, co-owner of Fork.

Kulp is known as a rising culinary star who partnered with Yin back in 2012 to help give Fork a facelift.

He was traveling to New York City where he and Yin are opening a new restaurant when the derailment occurred. Kulp is working hard in rehab, but has a long road ahead of him.

Yin says, "He's a really kind, thoughtful individual. He cares about people. He cares about all his team members and how they grow."

John Patterson, himself a chef at Fork, tells Action News, "We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. So, it's really an opportunity for us to show what he's built and what he's given to us, and a way we can give back."

Thursday's fundraiser fells on a day Mayor Michael Nutter declared Eli Kulp Day last year when he was awarded Food and Wine's best new chef.

"I just thought, what a great occasion to be celebrating how much Eli's contributed to the Philadelphia culinary community with an event that would help him out," Yin said.

A GoFundMe page has also raised more than $48,000. All funds that will help with mountains of medical bills not all covered by insurance.

Guillermo Pernot, chef at Cuba Libre, says, "The government has put a cap on insurance people can get. So they need all the help we can give him."

Spraga chef Dan Kennedy tells Action News, "When there's a good cause for a chef of this caliber everyone in the city obviously pulls out all the stops and does something big and special for him."

So far, both the business community and private donors have raised more than $85,000 for Kulp's care.
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amtrak train crashtrain derailmentcharityphilly news6abc Communityfoodrestaurantscooking chefCenter City Philadelphia
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