Chef Victor Bongo’s annual African peanut soup fundraiser will divert proceeds to those less fortunate, including funds going to Compass Court. (Photo courtesy of Chef Bongo)

Chef Victor Bongo’s annual African peanut soup fundraiser will divert proceeds to those less fortunate, including funds going to Compass Court. (Photo courtesy of Chef Bongo)

South Okanagan chef’s soup for the soul to help the homeless

Chef Victor Bongo is selling his famous soup from his restaurant in Naramata as a fundraiser

Over 2,000 litres sold and Chef Victor Bongo’s African peanut soup fundraiser is nourishing the body and soul.

Besides being an award-winning recipe passed down by his grandmother, and being featured on many TV cooking shows, Bongo serves up the popular soup as a fundraiser to help the homeless. While it started helping the less fortunate on Vancouver’s downtown Eastside, Bongo is extending it to help those in Penticton now that he calls the South Okanagan home.

“The group I am fundraising for is called Compass Court and is operated by the Penticton and District Society for Community Living. I met a guy that works there and was very inspired by what he does to give back,” said Bongo, one of Canada’s top chefs who runs two restaurants in Naramata.

READ MORE: Top Canadian chef opening second restaurant in Naramata

It was nine years ago that Bongo first started fundraising for homeless in Vancouver. Every day on his way home from work he would stop at a convenience story for candy and a homeless man would always open the door for hime, but would never ask him for anything. Bongo said after awhile he started bringing the homeless man food from his restaurant and give him a few dollars. The man would wait for Bongo six nights a week.

READ MORE: Frigid temperatures forcing Penticton shelters into overflow mode

Bongo said he went on vacation for a week and when he returned he found the homeless man very concerned about his safety and thought something bad had happened to him.

“I said I was sorry and offered him a week’s worth of money that I had missed giving him, he said ‘no I don’t want our money, I was just worried about you because you are the only friend I have,’” said Bongo. “It made me so sad and I took the time to hear his story and how he ended up in the street. Turns out he was a normal guy like me, working hard, but then he got sick and couldn’t pay his bills and his family abandoned him and he lost everything. After that day, I realized that every person living in the street has a backstory to how they arrived there and we can’t judge homeless people.”

READ MORE: A top-10 Canadian chef dishing up delights in Naramata

Bongo was inspired to do more and started the African peanut soup fundraiser.

“I decided I wanted to help and back as much as I could. I always encourage everyone to open their heart and not judge those in need. I remember the words of my grandmother before she died; help those in need just like you were helped,” he said.

Her words continue to impact Bongo and her African peanut soup recipe the world around him. Bongo estimates he has made about 50,000 litres of his famous soup at his restaurants which is another reason he chose that specific recipe for the fundraiser.

The soup is made daily so it is fresh when it is picked up. All of the team at Bongo’s restaurant helps him with the preparation as all the vegetables are hand cut. Bongo added that the soup freezes nicely, so you can portion it and have it over the winter. It can be picked up fresh or frozen at Bongo’s barbecue restaurant at Village Grounds Coffee Shop in Naramata (340 Robinson St.). It is $50 (cash only) for one four-litre bucket of the soup.

In addition to purchasing the soup, Bongo is offering a limited number of private five course dinners and wine pairings, served in your home. Proceeds will also go back to shelters and the homeless. To order soup, or to inquire about the private dinners, email info@bongosbrands.com or leave a voicemail or text to 778-806-4880 ext. 4.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

sdaf
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

Central Okanagan Public Schools is assisting with the distribution of a donation of $500 to every Grade 12 graduating student in the school district. (File photo)
Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads get $500 surprise

Anonymous donor gifts $500 to every Grade 12 student

A vehicle was fully engulfed in flames before around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kerry Hutter - contributed)
UPDATE: Kelowna man cuffed after carjacking in Vernon

Crime spree: Man robs couple at Coldstream lookout at gunpoint, sets a vehicle ablaze

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read