Pre-Thanksgiving Feast Inspires Southside Neighborhood Pride

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Many in the Southside Community are already in the Thanksgiving frame of mind.

Chef Liam Luttrell-Rowland of Southside Kitchen, lead an army of helpers on a mission to feed the neighborhood at the Edington Center on Livingston Street.

"So we're looking for a great turnout," Chef Liam says of the free Wednesday dinner, scheduled for 5:30 to 8pm.

The central ingredients for Thanksgiving are common knowledge.

"This is my favorite holiday personally," Chef Liam declares. "So we got this whole oven cooked down with turkeys, the bottom ovens with turkeys. "

36 birds to be exact, donated by everyone from the Housing Authority to local churches.

They've got lots of dessert ready too, including 22 sweet potato pies.

Chef Liam and Chef Hanan Shabazz are on the same page.

But an extra element, takes this meal to another level.

Because what so many bring to the table, is a holiday staple - community pride.

"I feel like people are coming together and we're excited to serve them," Chef Liam says.

They're prepared to serve up to five hundred people.

Southside Kitchen is a restaurant that also serves as a culinary training program.

It's a partnership between Green Opportunities and A-B Tech.

Chef Gene Ettison, who grew up at Erskine Apartments, is here to show his community how food can change lives.

Paying it forward.

"In my pursuit to become a chef, my social circle changed," Ettison says proudly. I'm a lot more focused on pursuing an education."

Chef Hanan is from the neighborhood too.

"I love my community, and I love cooking and I love sharing," She says.
And it's a privilege to be able to do this today. "

Along with the crew in the kitchen, sisters Alex and Evelyn rolled up eating utensils for the big feast.

Volunteers, coming together to show folks the best side, of Southside.

"Remember why community matters so much and bring folks together over food," Chef Liam says.