As Chef Rob Uyemura Battles Cancer, STL Chefs Host Benefit Dinners for Him

Feb 4, 2020 at 11:05 am
Chef Rob Uyemura at Local Chef Kitchen in 2016. - MABEL SUEN
Chef Rob Uyemura at Local Chef Kitchen in 2016.

Supporting the St. Louis area has always been important to chef Rob Uyemura. It's one of the reasons he opened Local Chef Kitchen (15270 Manchester Road, Ballwin; 636-220-3212), his wonderful CSA and farm-to-table restaurant in Ballwin, in 2016.

Now local chefs are rallying to return that support to Uyemura, who has been battling colon cancer since February 2018. At the time of Uyemura's diagnosis, the cancer had spread to his liver. For almost two years, Uyemura has undergone various treatments in his fight, tirelessly continuing to work through all of it. This past November, however, the chef was hospitalized with serious complications and has since learned that he can no longer undergo chemotherapy or other conventional cancer treatments, as shared in a recent post to the Local Chef Kitchen Facebook page.

"We are exploring alternative treatments, but things are really difficult right now," the post shares. "To show their 'Local Love' to the 'Local Chef,' some good friends have organized a series of Guest Chef Benefit Dinners at Local Chef Kitchen to help with the medical expenses Rob and his family are incurring."

In the spirit of Local Chef Kitchen and Uyemura's approach to cooking, the special dinner series will source as many local seasonal ingredients as possible, and all proceeds will benefit Uyemura's cancer treatment and medical expenses.

The first dinner will take place on Sunday, February 23, and will feature a meal prepared by guest chefs Tom Balk, Cheryl Herbert and the pair's former L'Ecole Culinaire chef instructors. On Sunday, March 1, chefs Tony Carson, Jerry Kiner and chefs from GreenLeaf Market will collaborate on the second dinner. And finally, on Sunday, March 15, chef Alex Henry of Cleveland-Heath
 will cap off the benefit series with a multi-course tasting menu.

Tickets cost $100 per person and can purchased here. If you can't attend one of the dinners, the ticketing site can also be used to donate funds to Uyemura and his family.

Here is the original Facebook post shared via Local Chef Kitchen's page:

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