Hibachi chef commended for generous act to children: 'You are a blessing to all kids'

A private hibachi chef is earning praise for selflessly cooking free meals for children in Alabama.

Since March 16, Joeurt Puk, a private chef in Dothan, has offered food to children who are missing out on lunch due to school closures. Puk, a former chef at Mikata Japanese Steakhouse who commonly goes by the name “Joe Cook,” initially made the announcement on his Facebook page, where he shared a nearly 24-minute video.

“I just heard that school will be out because of all these things going on,” he says in the recording. “It could be the virus and all of that … but while I can, on my own behalf, I have some of my rice — jasmine rice — and some of the chicken, I’m going to cook it up and provide [for] those kids.”

Puk has since partnered with the Selma Baptist Church to provide hibachi chicken, fried rice and a cookie to the children from Mondays to Wednesdays. He plans to cook for them until early April.

“As a refugee kid in the Cambodia, Thailand border, I was hungry,” he told CBS News in an interview. “And, you know, these people bring me a box of rice, and there’s a little meat in there. I mean, it tasted so good to me when I was a kid. That filled me up, you know. To this day, I want to have the opportunity to serve other kids.”

According to his Facebook page, Puk was born in the Banty Meanchey Province in Cambodia. He and his family escaped to Thailand following the rise of the Khmer Rouge regime, which was responsible for an estimated 1.5 million deaths. Puk then moved to the U.S. as a teenager and began his career at a restaurant in Tennessee before later moving to Alabama.

Since Puk’s act of service became public, he has received praise on social media.

“You are a blessing to all kids,” one person wrote under his video.

“This is so wonderful of u Joe Cook,” another commented. “Things like this makes me feel wonderful with pride that we are blessed to have u in our Dothan community.”

More from In The Know:

These brands are all giving back during the global pandemic

Girl boss brands: Shop 11 female-founded beauty lines

Add this wireless humidifier to your desk for just $21

The post Hibachi chef commended for generous act appeared first on In The Know.