Two Workshop chefs are staying busy by feeding those in need while the food hall is closed 

Meals with all the feels

Starting a new restaurant isn’t easy, just ask Mansueta’s Nikko Cagalanan and Julius Delicatessen’s Jacob Schor. It’s hard to imagine putting a pause on an idea in its early stages, but the two friends and Workshop neighbors are taking the coronavirus crisis in stride by using their new free time to feed the community. The day after Workshop closed due to the coronavirus, Cagalanan and Schor developed an idea to keep themselves busy.

click to enlarge Jacob Schor, Joel Carnright, Nikko Cagalanan - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Jacob Schor, Joel Carnright, Nikko Cagalanan
“Jacob and I came up with a plan to keep cooking and give the food to people in need,” says Cagalanan. "We still had access to our kitchen at Workshop, and we wanted to bring a little positivity out of this negative time. We decided to focus on cooking for local shelters and gave our first 50 meals to Neighborhood House.”

From there, Cagalanan and Schor set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for ingredients and began dropping meals at MUSC, Roper St. Francis, One80 Place, and the Ronald McDonald House.

“Honestly this has been very therapeutic,” says Schor. “We not only have the skills but also the resources to make a difference. It’s a blessing.”

During week one, the chefs made baked pasta, cornbread, and leche flan for over 200 people.

“We’re making big batches of dishes that we usually make for individual orders,” explains Schor who met Cagalanan in late October before they both debuted at Workshop on the same day. “We’re washing our hands a lot, wearing masks, and practicing all of the prevention techniques.”

The trips to MUSC and Roper St. Francis really hit home for Cagalanan, who worked as a nurse prior to becoming a chef. “It’s really weird because I’ve been there in those situations, although not at this level,” says Cagalanan. “I told the workers at MUSC that I used to be a nurse and that we wanted to support them. Working in a hospital is so scary right now.”
The Charleston community is getting behind these two passionate chefs, so much so that they reached their $2,000 GoFundMe goal in just four days. To date, Cagalanan and Schor have raised $3,080, and that’s not the only form of donation they are receiving. “People started donating items like eggs, meat, and cheese,” says Cagalanan.

According to the chefs, they plan to keep cooking for these groups for the foreseeable future. “As of now, we have our menu planned up until Friday,” Schor said earlier this week. “We’ll do morning and night drop-offs at MUSC and a daily stop at One80 Place. We might also stop by Neighborhood House if we can meet their needs with the resources we have on hand.”  Wednesday, Schor dropped off 60 meals for the frontline workers at the MUSC test site in West Ashley. The inspiring trip was just another reminder that these healthcare workers are putting it all on the line for the safety of the community. Schor says this and the efforts of others in the food and beverage industry are helping him push forward. “I want more awareness about not only what we are doing but also the efforts others are putting in. The more hands we have working together the better.”

Support Cagalanan and Schor’s efforts by donating here.

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