Philly Food Community Comes Together to Support Chef Hurt in Deadly Amtrak Derailment

Family, friends and colleagues of an award-winning Philadelphia chef badly injured in May’s deadly Amtrak derailment gathered at his restaurant Thursday night to raise money for the restaurateur’s medical care.

Eli Kulp, the founder of Fork and High Street on Market, suffered a severe spinal cord injury in the May 12 crash in Philadelphia. Since then the food community came together to crowd source for the Kulp Family Medical Fund.

July 16 is Eli Kulp Day -- something Mayor Michael Nutter declared last year -- and to celebrate and also help out with Kulp’s mounting medical bills, more than two dozen local chefs and restaurants including Cuba Libre, Franklin Fountain, Le Cheri, Pub + Kitchen, Vedge, Zahav and many more joined forces for Thursday's VIP dinner at Kulp’s own Fork. The $200 to $350 a plate meal quickly sold out.

More than $85,000 has been raised for Kulp's care leading up to the event. The support isn’t lost on the Philly food star.

"My family and I would like to thank everybody for the outpouring of love and support we have received during this extremely difficult time in our lives,” said Kulp in a statement. "I am working hard every day to get better. I hope and trust that Amtrak will do the right thing for me and my family."

Kulp is among many survivors seeking damages from Amtrak. His lawsuit says he suffered a broken spine and remains paralyzed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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