Edmonton chef earns praise for feeding those in need
'I had fire, I had to give back to the community'
The owner of an Edmonton curry house is garnering international attention, not for his cooking but for his kindness.
If people in need walk into Parkash Chhibber's Indian Fusion restaurant, he'll feed them for free.
He even has a poster on the door advertising the free meals.
"Dear friends," it begins. "If you are hungry and have no money to pay, just ring the bell below or come in for a free meal box/coffee any time."
The story of Chhibber's generosity has taken off on social media and resulted in headlines in the UK, the United States, India, and other countries.
It's something the chef never expected.
"Six months ago we thought, 'OK, what next?' I discussed with my family," Chhibber said on CBC's Edmonton AM. "We put up the poster and someone took the picture, and now this."
"My daughter called me and said, 'Wow, Dad, Facebook is like volcano right now. Everyone is talking about you.' "
Chhibber plans to take the next step and open a seating area in the back for the people he helps.
'I went from king to beggar in one night'
He said he helps because he was raised that way, and it's simply the right thing to do.
But his reason for helping the needy goes deeper.
In 1992, Chhibber had an accident that left him with nine fractures — injuries he can feel to this day. It cost him his full-time job at a hotel.
"I went from king to beggar in one night," he said.
After years of struggle, he was finally able to come to Canada in 2002. He opened his restaurant in 2009.
Two years ago, the minute he paid off all his loans, he set out to help other people.
"I always had fire in me that if ever I had a chance to help, I would," he said. "I had to give back to the community.
"I'll feed anyone who knocks."