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Local chefs, businesses plan Puerto Rico fundraiser dinner

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Will Rogers Theatre will be the site of the Puerto Rico Relief Event on Monday, Oct. 9.
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OKLAHOMA CITY- On a Wednesday afternoon in September, Rick Naifeh of Premium Brands Wine and Spirits was having lunch with David Egan of Cattlemen’s Steak House, Michel and Alain Buthion of LaBaguette, Kurt Fleischfresser, director of operations at Vast and co-founder of Western Concepts, and others when the subject of Puerto Rico arose.

The chefs and business owners spoke about the devastation left by Hurricane Maria. Many knew people who had families in Puerto Rico or knew colleagues in the U.S. territory.

“By the end of that lunch, we decided we needed to do something to help,” said Rick Naifeh, owner of Premium Brands in Oklahoma City. “We all said, ‘Let’s get together and do a relief deal for Puerto Rico.”

At 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, a Puerto Rico Relief Event will be held at Will Rogers Theatre, 4322 N. Western, to raise funds to help with the relief efforts in Puerto Rico. A Puerto Rican band will provide music while local Oklahoma City restaurants, liquor and wine merchants will pull out all the stops with food and drink selections.

Tickets are $100 per person, and all food and liquor will be donated, leaving 100 percent of all proceeds to go directly to Puerto Rico. Tickets can be purchased online or at the event.  Funds collected will be distributed through Catholic Charities, which is serving in Puerto Rico, Naifeh said.

As of Tuesday, the restaurants and businesses involved include Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, LaBaguette, The Hutch and Stephen Henry, Vast, VZD with Eric Smith, McClintock Saloon, Bacardi, Southern-Glazers, Thirst Wine Merchants and Premium Brands Wine and Spirits.

“We will have something different from all the chefs and will offer specialty cocktails made with Puerto Rican rum,” Naifeh said. “We encourage everyone to come out. Puerto Rico needs so much help right now.”

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Heide Brandes

Heide Brandes is an award-winning journalist and editor with more than 18 years of experience....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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