Chicago Chef Joey Morelli Is Fighting Children's Hunger Through the Initiative - Joey's Food Fight
Joey Morelli is a Chicago-based chef on a mission to feed hungry children all over the world. His vessel for this noble cause is Joey’s Food Fight, his YouTube channel where he posts videos of himself traveling to orphanages, building kitchens, and teaching their residents about economic ways to source and cook food. Joey is urging viewers to check out his YouTube channel and learn how they too can pitch in to help underserved communities.
Joey Morelli graduated in 1992 with a major in Restaurant Management and later earned an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts. With over 3 decades of experience in his chosen craft, he has worked everything from the grill to the pastry under accomplished restaurateurs at the most famous establishments in the country. His career even includes a stint on a network TV show with his brother. Today, he is the owner of Max’s Deli, a high-volume New York-style delicatessen in Highland Park, Illinois. Joey now uses his knowledge of running large food preparation operations and his experience in front of the camera to create content that aims to make a difference.
Joey’s first mission took him to Hope House, an orphanage in Cambodia run by Deerfield, IL, non-profit organization Hope for Silent Voices. Joey collected donations for the trip and landed in Cambodia in July 2022 where he used the collected funds to rebuild the Hope House kitchen and taught those in charge of it to shop for local ingredients and prepare healthy meals within a budget. He posted videos on his YouTube channel from his time at the orphanage including the moment he first arrived, his first meal with the kids, teaching them how to cook pasta, and more.
In November 2022, at a fundraiser organized in Max’s Deli, Joey announced that he will be returning to Cambodia for five weeks in January 2023 to cook with the same kids, this time as sous chefs alongside him, to feed the local community. After he returns from Cambodia, the next stop on Joey’s journey will be a mission to an orphanage in Mexico City, Mexico.
When asked about his experience in Cambodia, Joey says, “My goal is to complete 10 missions in 10 years. Each mission is two stops at an orphanage in whichever country the universe sends me to and helping starving kids. This year it sent me to Cambodia. The poverty in the region cannot be put into words. One dollar is worth 4000 Cambodian riels. For context, one dollar is worth 20 pesos. The disparity is unfathomable. However, at the same time, the joy in the Cambodian people is infectious…It’s a huge impact for them and it’s a huge impact for this person too. It’s a mitzvah for them and it’s a mitzvah for me too. If everyone handled their little hula hoop of life, what a great world this would be.”
Joey Morelli has big plans for his YouTube channel’s future. Joey’s Food Fight will soon be releasing a string of videos focused on food and his philanthropic efforts. The channel will focus on creating content that is entertaining, comedic, educational, and appeals to all age groups. Joey’s Food Fight will also serve as a medium for driving donations to his charitable initiative and raising awareness about his life’s mission - to bring hunger relief around the world.
Joey reflects on his journey so far by saying, “I’m a great chef and I love kids, but I don’t have kids of my own. So, at 50, I said to myself that I’m going to go all over the world, cook at orphanages, and impact the lives of children with my superpowers, which are building kitchens and teaching food. That’s how I met Eric Lyons, the founder of Hope For The Silent Voices, and found my way to the Hope House in Cambodia. That was 6 months ago. Today, I’ve got my non-profit organization up and running and I’ve raised close to $100,000.”
For more information about Joey's Food Fight, contact the company here:
Joey's Food Fight
Joey’s Food Figh
191 Skokie Valley Road
Highland Park IL 60035