Chef Chris Williams is known for his restaurant, Lucille's, and its amazing food. But this week he has become a beacon of hope for thousands without power, food or water.
CHRIS WILLIAMS: I'm Chris Williams. I'm the chef and owner of Lucille's Fine Foods here in Houston in the museum district, and the founder and executive director of Lucille's 1913 Conscious Community Collective.
- It should be 48 per.
CHRIS WILLIAMS: We started 1913 at the start of the pandemic back in April. We started off with feeding first responders to the tune of 3,000 graveyard shift medical workers that were in our backyard in the med center. We started from there, and now we've done over 185,000 meals. But what drove us to act with this new ice storm that we're going through right now is that I'm sitting at home in third ward, no water, no power. I can take it, but I was thinking about all these people that we've been feeding thus far.
- Hard, especially with kids. We couldn't use our power.
CHRIS WILLIAMS: I can't do anything about the heat, can't do anything about the running water, but I can provide them with a warm meal. The responses that we've received are what motivates, motivate us to continue to do it. Because this is a true sense at least of what I believe to be the concept of a nonprofit, in the sense that we are not making any profit.
- That's a blessing. That's a blessing. I appreciate them.
CHRIS WILLIAMS: So the reason why we named the nonprofit after my great grandmother, Lucille's 1913, because that's the year that she started her business, and she started her business for the exact same reasons that we did. She saw a need in the community. She was uniquely prepared to step up to the demands of that need, and to train and build up the community through the process.
And the world has suffered the pandemic-- Houston's not unique in that at all. But from Hurricane Harvey to now this winter storm, and being without power and lights for four days, I just hope this is it. I mean, the great thing is that we've been tested, and the community has stepped up, on the whole. It's terrible circumstances, but what it is is absolutely-- it's a unifier.