SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KTVU) - Celebrity chef and Santa Rosa resident Guy Fieri is offering up his support and his culinary skills to help his community, hit hard by the devastating fires in Sonoma County.
Fieri joined the Salvation Army on Thursday to cook up hot meals for thousands of evacuated victims and emergency workers.
Fieri and his team set up his mobile kitchen in the parking lot of the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building on Maple Ave., where they will be cooking lunch and dinner through Saturday.
"This is the least we can do. We're so happy to do it," Fieri told KTVU. "We're so sorry for friends who have lost homes. There's a lot of really good people coming together," he added.
Organizers said the meals are being served at the Veterans Memorial Building and also being distributed to two other evacuation centers in Santa Rosa: the Finley Community Center at 2060 W. College Ave. and Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds at 1350 Bennett Valley Rd.
On the menu, Fieri is whipping up dishes including pulled pork, mac and cheese, and roasted chicken.
"Firefighters have been eating out of their big lunch packs, they get these big package meals, which are awesome. But nothing beats a hot meal," the chef said.
For many, Fieri's presence and efforts have helped lift spirits during this difficult time.
Captain Mark Cyr with the Salvation Army said evacuees are very appreciative and that some joked that Thursday's barbecue lunch was better than any meal at home.
Cyr noted that despite the widespread loss and destruction, he's come across many people who lost everything but are in good spirits and thankful they made it out alive.
With no end of the firestorm in sight, evacuees expressed their gratitude for the assistance they're receiving from those like Fieri, the Red Cross, and others.
And they said in the midst of this disaster, they are finding comfort from each other.
"We're all thrown together and everybody loves everybody... It's all everybody being just human," said evacuee Magenta Moss.
"We're Sonoma strong," said evacuee Kathy Ries. "And you know... where getting through it."