Food Trucks For A Friend

Chefs lend a hand to fallen colleague

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Jolene Mannina, founder of the popular Back Of the House Brawl food truck battles, is organizing an all-star food truck fundraiser on February 23 to benefit chef Ryen Indica of Hachi in Red Rock Resort, who suffered a massive stroke on December 8. After emerging from a coma, Indica remains hospitalized and unable to swallow, open his eyes for extended periods or speak coherently. The 34-year-old, who has also worked at Bouchon, Cathouse and Fix, has a wife and two children.

The February 23 event in the Tommy Rockers parking lot, dubbed Back Of the House “Kokua” (Hawaiian for “help”) will feature nine casino chefs preparing food on eight food trucks, as well as a silent auction. Confirmed chefs include Stephen Hopcraft (STK), Jaret Blinn (Red Rock), Eric Lhuillier and John Courtney (Pinot Brasserie), Chris Bulen (Andre’s), Joseph Krudrack (Red Rock Resort), Vincent Pilon (the Cosmopolitan), Dewayne Rose (the Palms) and Gerald Chin (Strip Steak). They’ll be cooking on the Wa Da Pho, Coast 2 Coast Deli, Lola D’s Kitchen, Fukuburger, Hummus Factory, Quality Food Service, Sin City Dogs and Bake My Day Cupcakes trucks.

“Everyone came together so quickly to offer help,” says Mannina, who was asked to help organize the event by Stacy Bradshaw, a personal friend of Indica. “I’m so proud to be a part of such a selfless community. Not only did the chefs and powerhouses of our community donate to raise money, but the food truck owners are donating their trucks for the evening, I’m blown away by the generosity.”

Tickets for the all-you-can-eat event are priced at $40. More information on Indica’s condition and fundraising efforts are available on Facebook, under Kokua4Ryen.