HUMBOLDT PARK — The owner of a Humboldt Park restaurant that transforms into a soup kitchen once a week was the big winner on Food Network star Guy Fieri's game show this week.
Chef Quentin Love, owner and operator of Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill and former Marine, was the winner on Tuesday night's "Guy's Grocery Games' Veterans Holiday Showdown."
The win came on Love's 43th birthday.
The chef plans to donate $18,000, half of his winnings, to support his mission of feeding the homeless and indigent on the city's West Side. He most recently gave away 250 turkeys for Thanksgiving and estimates he has fed more than 50,000 people at his restaurant in partnership with the Chicago Food Depository.
The other $18,000 Love won is going toward the Illinois branch of the United Service Organizations.
Love's Turkey Chop soup kitchen falls under his nonprofit the Love Foundation, which he founded in 2000 to support after-school activities for youth on the South Side.
“With all of the negative things being said right now about Chicago, men in the community need to step up and take responsibility,” said Love, a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. “When you give someone a good meal, to show them love, you could be stopping them on the way to do something to hurt themselves or somebody else.”
Love represented the U.S. Marine Corps on the Food Network show Tuesday and cooked up his grandmother's macaroni and cheese recipe and a Chicago-style polish. For the finals he made an entree of sea bass in vodka sauce.
Love started the weekly free meal program at his restaurant at 3506 W. Chicago Ave. in March 2014 with help from the West Humboldt Park Development Council and in partnerships with the Chicago Food Depository.
The restaurant turns into a food pantry every Monday from 1-3 p.m.
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