[embed-1] Thurs. Oct. 17, local Charleston chefs come together to host the Friends of Abaco Benefit Dinner to raise awareness and support for the Abaco Islands after the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. 

The Friends of Abaco Benefit Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. at Society Hall. There will be food, drinks, and a silent auction, and one hundred percent of proceeds will go to the Abaco Relief Fund and World Central Kitchen.

Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased on citypapertickets.com starting this Fri. Sept. 27. Participating chefs include Janice Hudgins, owner of Little Miss Ha; Justin Broome of Cru Catering; Tim Richardson, executive chef of Hank’s Seafood; and Butcher & Bee pastry chef Alison Cates.

(City Paper Tickets is operated by Charleston City Paper, FYI.)

The Abaco Islands are a group of islands in the northern Bahamas that were hit when Dorian was at its peak intensity earlier this month. Dorian was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the islands, and thousands of evacuees have returned to Abaco to find homes completely destroyed.

Hudgins has a personal connection with the islands and the people who live there, and has led the charge to organize this dinner. With many friends and relatives in the Bahamas, Hudgins and her family have been visiting Abaco for over 15 years. 

After following the news coverage closely, Hudgins was relieved to hear that her friends and family had survived the storm; however, thousands of others were not as lucky. After many prayers and phone calls, Hudgins was determined to take action.  She says she decided that, “I couldn’t just pray for someone else to help, I wanted to help too.” 

Choosing organizations for the benefit was no easy task for Hudgins.  After speaking and emailing with local Bahamians, most of them responded with one word: rebuild.  It became evident that the best way to help those affected by the hurricane would be to help rebuild the islands and bring people home.

Hudgins decided that the majority of the evening’s proceeds would go to the Abaco Relief Fund, as it plays a major role in both immediate and long-term relief in the islands. She says, “We also wanted to donate a small portion of the proceeds to World Central Kitchen, since this is a benefit dinner organized by chefs and the F&B community.”

Hudgins adds that she is overwhelmed with the love and support she has received from the community since she started planning the benefit dinner, adding that “It has been absolutely amazing to see through tragedy, we find comfort in helping each other.”