NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The recovery continues in Waverly after catastrophic flooding in the area and will for some time. People stepping up to help in whatever way they can, using their talents for good. One popular Nashville chef is among them, Maneet Chauhan. She spoke to Nikki Burdine about why she was called to help.

Maneet Chauhan is a star on the Food Network, but she’s also a Middle Tennessee resident who owns Chaatable, Chauhan, Tansuo and Mockingbird restaurants in Nashville. When the town of Waverly was devastated, she knew she had to do something to help.

Maneet Chauhan
(Photo: WKRN)

“People who are constantly working, they think of food as an afterthought but I know at the end of the day when you go home and you have that one bowl of comfort food, it makes everything right in the entire world even if its just for a few seconds,” said Chauhan. “I think we as chefs or restauranteurs or people in the hospitality industry, we have the power to provide that nourishment which is not only good for your body but good for your soul, I think that is absolutely powerful.”

Chauhan also knows the power and pain Mother Nature can cause. One of her restaurants, Chauhan, has been flooded multiple times recently. “What happened in Middle Tennessee and in Waverly was just difficult to fathom and I think we kind of related with it a little bit because Chauhan got flooded,” said Chauhan.

“It wasn’t as bad as what happened in Waverly, and still it was so painful for us.”

So when world-renowned chef, Jose Andres, contacted Chauhan, she didn’t hesitate. Andres runs the non-profit, World Central Kitchen, which responds to natural disasters and any humanitarian need all over the world by providing food.

“We have been working with Maneet and her team since the beginning of the pandemic when we launched ‘Chefs for America’ here in Nashville, getting local restaurants to partner with us to prepare food for people in need due to COVID-19. Maneet and her whole team were some of the first people to jump on board,” says Whitney Pastorek with World Central Kitchen.

For the last week and a half, Chauhan and her team have cooked hundreds of meals and packed them up for Waverly residents in need. “The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction is so much higher because you know that the people who we are serving this food to, they really need it, and that sense of it gives you the goosebumps that you have the ability to do it,” said Chauhan.

Several other Nashville restaurants also participated in making food for Humpreys County through World Central Kitchen. Representatives from WCK say they are always looking for volunteers and new restaurants to be involved. For more information, check out their website