The region’s culinary and business community is rallying for acclaimed Philadelphia Chef Eli Kulp, who was one of the scores of people injured in May’s Amtrak train derailment.
High Street and Fork on Market Street are usually bustling spots, but they were closed Thursday. Staff at the restaurants co-owned by Kulp were preparing the space for a fundraiser, featuring donated items and ingredients from more than 20 area restaurants and businesses.
Restaurant co-owner Ellen Yin said she and her business partner are “just completely in awe of the support of the community.”
Yin and others are raising money for Kulp’s medical expenses that might not be covered by insurance.
“It could be anything from making their house ADA compliant in case he comes home and he isn’t able to walk yet, it could be for transportation,” she said.
Kulp suffered a severe spinal cord injury in the May 12 Amtrak 188 accident that killed eight people and injured more than 200 others.
“We’re all in shock that this accident occurred, and we all can’t believe that somebody so close to us was impacted,” she said, adding that Kulp has been in the hospital ever since. “It’s a serious injury that takes a lot of time to recuperate from, and his spirits are positive, but he obviously has a long road ahead.”
In 2014, Kulp was selected as one of Food & Wine magazine’s best new chefs. A year ago to the day, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared it Eli Kulp day in honor of his contributions to the city’s culinary scene.
He and Yin are expanding with a restaurant in New York.
Kulp, who is recovering in New York, is among more than two dozen passengers who are seeking monetary damages in federal lawsuits, according to court records.
A family friend also managing an online fundraising campaign.