Operation North Pole (ONP) is a Chicago nonprofit volunteer-based children’s charity that annually hosts a holiday fantasy trip to the North Pole for families who have a child battling a life threatening/terminal illness. As a volunteer-based organization, ONP relies on donations and fundraising to operate. For the past 5 years, a number of Chicago’s most well-known chefs have hosted a gourmet food tasting event and raised a majority of the money needed for ONP.
ONP had to postpone its flagship 2020 holiday event due to the pandemic and also had to forgo its 2021 fundraising tasting event as COVID continued to ravage the country. Just like the parents of a child battling a potentially terminal illness, many of their chef-owners, brave each day not knowing if their doors will remain open for another day or two.
During the pandemic, we produced a free 12-hour live streaming telethon, called “Let’s Get Cookin”, featuring twenty-four Chicago area chefs who demonstrated their talents for viewers to see. It was a supersized cooking show to learn secret recipes and give back at the same time. All the net proceeds went to benefit the chefs/restaurants who have been so generous to ONP. Here are a few of their stories that we produced with the ARRI Alexa Mini:
May Street Catering