British Columbia·Our Vancouver

Vancouver chefs offer more than a cup of kindness for those in need

A community of chefs and restaurant owners are working with A Better Life Foundation to provide meals to women and children fleeing violence and those living below the poverty line.

The 50th edition of the Greasy Spoon fundraiser is set for April 29

A Better Life Foundation "Greasy Spoon" Fundraisers making a big difference 6:28

Vanecea Waterworth calls herself the Metal Chef. She loves heavy metal music and plays it loudly as she works at Save on Meats in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Waterworth also has a heart of gold.

She grew up in East Vancouver and started working in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher at age 16.

Vanecea Waterworth loves cooking to heavy metal music. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

She says helping feed people has always been part of her life. 

"It's been something I've been working towards my whole life," Waterworth said.

"I remember my grandmother used to take me to Chinatown and we'd get little meals. A lot of people were hungry and they'd ask if I could buy them a coffee. I always would."

Ash MacLeod of A Better Life Foundation. The organization provides meals and mentoring for women and children fleeing violence and people living below the poverty line. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Now she works at Save On Meats which offers employment to people living in the Downtown Eastside, as well as a program where anyone can purchase a sandwich token, which a resident in need can redeem.

The restaurant hosts Greasy Spoon events held for A Better Life Foundation. In partnership with Atira Women's Resource Society and B.C. Housing, the foundation provides more than 850 daily meals to Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, mainly to women and children fleeing violence and those living below the poverty line.

Executive director Ash MacLeod says it has been a great four years of sustained effort with full houses at the events. 

The filling for the burgers includes short rib with caramelized onions and mushrooms. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Waterworth is one of the chefs at the next event. She's cooking a burger, called the Fancy Boy Burger, that includes certified organic beef, short rib with caramelized onions and mushrooms, cheese, and quail eggs as a topper.

The 50th Greasy Spoon fundraiser will be held at Save On Meats on April 29th.

The short rib is mixed with onion and mushroom. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)
The Fancy Boy Burger includes beef, short rib, and a quail egg. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)
A picture of the Greasy Spoon menu for their fundraiser on April 29th, 2019. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

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