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Caring chef to spread Christmas cheer

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Michiko Campbell is looking to serve more than 600 people at his charity event this Christmas(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Giving back to the community is a big priority for Michiko Campbell.

The sous chef will be spreading festive cheer this year by throwing his second Christmas charity event to feed those in need.

By offering a free Christmas meal the 26-year-old hopes to create a “community family” where people can come together in the spirit of helping each other out.

“It’s heartbreaking to see how much people actually need help around this time,” Mr Campbell told The Royal Gazette. “This event is like a message to everyone else who is thinking of helping others. We’re willing to take anybody and everybody but especially elders who are home by themselves.”

Mr Campbell added that it is all about creating “that spirit and hype for Christmas”.

The festive meal will consist of turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, peas and rice, gravy, vegetables and cassava pie.

Water and a desert option will also be available, with the only condition being that one meal will be given per person.

Last year, Mr Campbell and his dedicated team fed 452 people and raised $1,000 for the Eliza DoLittle Society.

“We exceeded our expectations,” said Mr Campbell, who is also the owner of Chiko’s Smokey Rub.

He added that people who attended last year’s event were incredibly grateful, with some expressing amazement at the amount of food that they were given.

But Mr Campbell said he encouraged everyone to enjoy the food, especially since some might not know when they will get their next hot meal.

“I don’t want to stop it because a lot of people will be needing that help,” Mr Campbell said.

Mr Campbell hopes to go one better this year and up the numbers to about 600, while also collecting donations for a local charity.

He said he settled on the Wednesday before Christmas Eve in the hope that other organisations and charities would bring their people along too.

“The more the merrier,” said Mr Campbell, who will be in charge of the cooking, assisted by his team from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

“They want to support this event as well,” he said. “They’re awesome.”

Mr Campbell was inspired to give back to the community by his family and the passing of his brother.

He said he has always felt supported and is grateful to his family, as well as the community for backing his business, and wanted to return the favour in an act of kindness.

“Why not give it to the people who need it,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be in business.”

Mr Campbell is now in the process of finalising sponsorship for the event.

And while he already has plenty of volunteers, he is asking for food or monetary donations to support the cause.

“If we do exceed our monetary donations for what we need that will go into the donations box for a local charity,” he said.

The event will be held at Albuoys Point in Hamilton on December 23 from 5.30pm to 10.30pm.

For more information or to donate contact Mr Campbell on 704-4566 or vial e-mail chikosmokeyrub@hotmail.com

Giving back: Michiko Campbell