How a chef uses food to cure Buffalo: “Food is love and food is what brings people together”

The city of Buffalo is trying to get back on track after last week’s mass shooting at a Tops supermarket that killed 10 blacks.

To help heal the city is chef Darian Bryan. He opened a temporary restaurant in the area, with funds intended to help the families of the victims.

“These people are hurting, so I’m like, you know what, food is love and food is what brings people together, and I’m so thankful that I can put a smile on these people’s faces,” he told CBS News. .

Bryan is originally from Jamaica, but is a staple in Buffalo. He has hosted several pop-up events in Jamaica and has cooked for the Buffalo Bills. He also owns the catering business called “The Plating Society”.

On Wednesday, several Buffalo Bills players served thousands of meals, some prepared by Bryan, at the scene of the shooting. For many, that supermarket is the only one they can easily access.

“That community is like where you can find the majority of black people in Buffalo. That’s where everyone is and that’s a grocery store for them,” Bryan said. “That’s where everyone goes and being closed, there are no products for them, no healthy options.”

Saturday’s attack hit close to home for Bryan. He often shopped at the store before dropping his children off at a nearby daycare and nearly took his family there on the day of the shooting.

“I knew pretty much everyone who worked there,” he said.

He hopes to find a more permanent solution to feeding people in a community. In the meantime, he wants to help the community heal in such a dark time.

“I’m surprised there’s only one grocery store on the entire east side like these people having to travel miles to get food now because Tops is closed. That doesn’t make sense to me,” Bryan said. “Something has to be done for these people.”

During an event on Friday, Bryan raised $20,000 for the victims and their families. He plans to continue giving free meals next week.

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