Cover Sales of Wing's chopped chilli fish maw will go towards supporting children with special educational needs (Photo: Wing)

Chef Vicky Cheng and his wife Polly have launched a fundraising campaign where they will donate proceeds from the sales of their restaurants’ iconic dishes

Chef Vicky Cheng, of award-winning VEA and Wing, is father to two young girls; during these difficult times, he has experienced firsthand just how important and challenging it can be to tend to children’s needs, and readily admits that he comes from a position of privilege where he is able to support his two healthy daughters. Spurred on by the stories of hardship faced by grassroots families during the pandemic, he and his wife Polly wanted to create something to give back to those less fortunate—and decided to collaborate with ChickenSoup Foundation to launch Project Soul Relief (PSR).

Starting from 15 April at 12 noon, the public logging onto the PSR website will be able to purchase limited edition food sets by chef Cheng and the teams at VEA and Wing, with all proceeds after deduction of costs being donated to ChickenSoup Foundation. There are two limited sets, one featuring VEA’s iconic South African abalone noodles along with Kaviari caviar with blinis (HK$1,380 per set) and another featuring Wing’s signature chopped chilli fish maw rice and abalone sauce fish maw rice (HK$1,380 per set). Diners only need to follow simple instructions at home to reheat and plate the dishes, and the sets are available for both pick-up and delivery.

The aim of PSR is to support those children with special educational needs (SEN) from low-income, single parent families suffering from mental health issues during the pandemic. Families with SEN children already face incredible pressures and require specialist services and facilities, yet the continued restrictions (not limited to isolation protocols, pared back public services and closure of schools, playgrounds and other leisure venues) are having a compound effect—not to mention that many grassroots families already face immense financial pressures on top of everything else. It’s why the Chengs decided to specifically raise relief funds for low-income, single-parent households who need to support SEN children.

The funds raised through the sale of VEA and Wing’s meal kits will be donated to ChickenSoup Foundation, which will in turn go towards urgent and tailored mental care for special educational needs children, such as counselling and therapy, emotional management training sessions, anti-stress workshops and extracurricular activities. “Every child deserves a happy and healthy childhood,” explains Cheng. “My wife and I thought the best way to contribute and help those who are less fortunate during the pandemic is to utilise what we are best at and generate funds for them.”

Cheng tells us that all of the meal sets are being made by the kitchen teams in between services, as outsourcing to a food factory or external kitchen would raise costs and subsequently reduce the amount that could be sent to the charity. They aim to sell out on all 800 sets (300 of the abalone noodles, 500 of the fish maw rice) and have not set a deadline for orders—as long as they can still cook, they will continue to sell them.

To support Project Soul Relief, log onto the website from 15 April onwards to place your orders.

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