Chef Wins $1m and Gives it All to Hospitality Workers

Celebrity chef David Chang, founder of the wildly successful Momofuku restaurant brand, is a force to be reckoned with in the culinary world. Momofuku means lucky peach, and luck was certainly with Chang when he landed the top prize on last week’s episode of Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

No matter what he won on the show, Chang had already pledged his winnings to a charity that’s close to his heart: the Southern Smoke Foundation, an emergency relief fund for people in the food and beverage industry.


According to the Southern Smoke Foundation website it has already “distributed more than $5.7 million, both directly to people in need via the Emergency Relief Fund and to organizations that represent the needs of people in our industry.”


“I’m so honored that Dave chose Southern Smoke as his charity,” founder Chris Shepherd told CNN. “Now, more than ever, with indoor dining shut down in many parts of the country and temperatures dropping to prohibit outdoor dining, food and beverage industry employees are desperate.”


When Chang reached the $500,000 mark, Millionaire host Jimmy Kimmel cautioned him that no celebrity contestant had ever taken home “the big check.” Chang seriously considered walking away, but trusting his luck, he decided to push on.


“Having a million dollars right now, in this moment, is a game-changer for many, many families,” he said during the show. “And yes, half a million is as well… and I want to say ‘No, just take the money!’ - but I’m not.”


The last question was: Who was the first U.S. President to have electricity in the White House? Making use of his 'phone a friend' lifeline he called ESPN correspondent Mina Kimes. They opted for Benjamin Harrison.


Correct! Within seconds the set erupted in celebration.

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