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Local smokemaster Chef Ernie headed to Poland to cook for Ukrainian refugees

From cooking with us here on WBTV to teaching others how to cook in their homes, Chef Ernie is a master of many kitchens.
Smokemaster Robert Adler will go to Poland at the end of May to cook for Ukrainian refugees at the border.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte chef is turning his passion for cooking into a humanitarian effort.

Smokemaster Robert Adler, known as Chef Ernie, is headed to Poland at the end of May where he will be cooking food for Ukrainian refugees at the border.

He’ll be working with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit group that is already feeding hundreds of thousands of refugees each day.

From cooking with us here on WBTV to teaching others how to cook in their homes, Chef Ernie is a master of many kitchens.

Now he’s taking his skills abroad to help refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

“Somewhere back in my bones, generations ago, my family emigrated from the Poland and Russia areas from various towns there, so I’ve always had an interest,” Chef Ernie said.

That interest has turned into heartbreak and a strong desire to help.

“This happened and it just kind of struck a variety of different chords in me that, ‘hey what can I really do in our part of the world to make their life a little bit better just to help the Ukrainian people?’” he said.

“They go into a town and if restaurants are there or facilities are there, it helps them because then they don’t have to bring in stoves and ovens and things like that, they just bring in all the supplies and they can start cooking that same day.”

He will spend 10 days in the town of Przemyśl cooking traditional Polish meals, making sandwiches, and doing whatever is asked of him.

“I can’t imagine until I see it, what’s it like for somebody who just left a bombed-out building to just run in the middle of the night to get on a train, or on a bus, or on a car, or walk 10 miles to this town where they have nothing but the clothes on their back.”

He will be there to hand out meals, but more than anything, he hopes to show the Ukrainian people that Americans care.

“If we can just give them hope that yeah, there is gonna be a better day for them, that this may be horrible now, but people care about you and people love you and we’re going to help you,” he said.

You can support Chef Ernie and the World Central Kitchen by donating here.

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