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'Top Chef' star's California restaurant gets meal donations from dozens across the country

Brooke Williamson told TODAY Food that the surge of donated meals was inspired by one loyal fan.
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images / Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

"Top Chef" star Brooke Williamson is feeling the love after a donated meal led to an outpouring of support at her California restaurant, Playa Provisions.

The heartwarming effort started on Sunday night, when a fan of the restaurant placed an order and asked that the establishment donate it to someone in need.

"I've been chatting a little bit with the person who placed the first order, and she said she was sitting there saying 'You know, I wish I could try one of those canned cocktails at Playa Provisions,' but she lives in Texas, and she was like 'You know what, I'm going to just order some stuff and let somebody else enjoy it and support a restaurant," Williamson told TODAY Food.

The note, which Williamson shared on the restaurant's Instagram page, includes an order for a breakfast sandwich.

"Here's the deal," reads the ticket. "We live in Texas, but back when traveling was a thing... We loved you guys. So we want to buy someone breakfast today. If someone in staff is hungry, let them eat or just pick someone. Love Donielle and Jocelyn."

Williamson said that she was surprised by the generosity of the order.

"...I thought it was so unbelievable that somebody would place an order from Texas with no intention of picking it up and hoping that it would be shared with someone who needed it to brighten their day or because they were struggling or hungry," she said.

Williamson said she was "so touched" by the gesture that she decided to share it online, where other fans of the restaurant quickly joined in. In the past two days, she's gotten over a hundred orders for donated meals.

"Our ticket printer has been running non-stop," she said. "From large orders with large gratuities to a coffee and a cookie just so they can share a message of appreciation, it's really seemed to have inspired a lot of people."

Williamson said that the orders have been so extensive that Playa Provisions has been able to supply food to first responders, medical staff, and employees.

"It has allowed us to feed our local fire department twice yesterday, and we're currently putting together some drop-off orders for the hospital nearby, and feeding just all of our employees," she said. "We sent our employees home with cocktails last night, and it's just really been such a wonderful show of appreciation that we can pay forward."

The donations have been coming in from around the world. Williamson said that Playa Provisions has had orders placed from as far away as Germany and Norway, and people around the country have messaged her saying that they have started to do similar projects with their own local restaurants.

"I'm just so blown away by the sheer generosity of people who are struggling themselves and just want to be a part of something bigger," she said. "It's really what everyone seems to be craving right now."