Unhoused dining room guests enjoy steak in celebration of Muhammad Ali's birthday

Thanks to Jimmy Walker and local high-profile chefs, SVdP's Phoenix Dining Room served 1,000 steaks to those experiencing homelessness

Herbs and spices sizzling in the air, loud live music blasting through the building, people jumping up and dancing while everyone else digs into a special steak lunch. It was a scene not many would expect at St. Vincent de Paul's Phoenix Dining Room which serves the homeless population around the Human Services Campus. 

The special meal and festivities were in celebration and memory of Muhammad Ali and what would have been the late boxer's 81st birthday. The Champ was a long-time regular volunteer at the dining room and a big supporter of giving back to his community through SVdP. 

The event was sponsored by Celebrity Fight Night Founder Jimmy Walker who was very friendly with Ali and donated steak enough to feed 1,000 guests. 

The filet mignon cuts were cooked to perfection by high-profile local chefs, including Chef Mark Tarbell, owner of Tarbell’s Restaurant; Chef Vincent Guerithault of Vincent on Camelback; Chef Beau MacMillan of CALA at Senna House; and SVdP's own Chef Chris Hoffman. SVdP's kitchen accompanied the meal with potatoes and green beans, followed by dessert — a delicious piece of chocolate cake. 


Our friend David, a dining room guest, said the meal was very good in between his frequent bites. 

“It’s my first [steak dinner] in about four years,” he said.

This is the sixth year that Chef Tarbell and his kitchen staff and chef friends have been cooking for the celebration.

“The beautiful giving part of this organization has always impressed me," Chef Mark Tarbell said. “The work you all do 365 days a year, to me, is what's most important. If we're able to do something and bring some awareness to it… I feel good about that.”



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