North Carolina

Celebrity chef Vivian Howard is raising money for a hurricane-battered NC food truck

Hurricane Dorian slammed a “beloved” food truck on the North Carolina coast, and a celebrity chef has a way to help it run again.

Vivian Howard, host of “A Chef’s Life” on PBS, decided to raise money for the mobile taco stand on hard-hit Ocracoke Island, according to a news release published Thursday.

Howard is selling T-shirts and giving the profits to Eduardo’s food truck, the release says.

The clothing items are adorned with the phrase “One Island Under Tacos,” invoking the spirit of togetherness that was present long before Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on parts of the Outer Banks.

Eduardo’s food truck was ripped from its foundation, and its refrigeration system was destroyed when the storm made landfall on Sept. 6, its website says.

Restaurant owner Eduardo Chavez was also left with about 20 inches of water in his house, according to the news release about the T-shirts that benefit his business.

“To help Eduardo rebuild is to help Ocracoke become whole again,” Howard said in the release.

The star chef, who first visited the island as a child, said she got to know Chavez on a recent visit, the release says.

“I had long heard about Eduardo, his tacos, his generous spirit and his love of the island,” she said in the release. “Before I even met him I knew both he and his tacos were beloved pieces of what make Ocracoke Ocracoke.”

Now, those who want to support the eatery can buy gray-colored short-sleeve tees on Howard’s website, according to the fundraiser news release. Sales run through Oct. 25, and shipments are scheduled to go out starting Nov. 15. Each shirt costs $25 plus shipping.

It isn’t the first time the famous chef has helped residents of the Tar Heel state.

Last year, she sold “Country as Cornbread” shirts for Hurricane Florence disaster relief, the news release says. Nearly $65,000 went to the North Carolina Community Foundation to help Jones County residents.

Howard is known for her role on the show “A Chef’s Life,” which PBS describes as a “documentary and cooking series.” Last year, a video she hosted for pannacooking.com won a James Beard Foundation Award.

She is from Deep Run, North Carolina, a town about 75 miles east of Fayetteville, the PBS website says.

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