Last week brought the devastating news that chef Eli Kulp, co-owner of acclaimed restaurants Fork and High Street on Market, was severely injured in the May 12 Amtrak derailment in Port Richmond. Today, a statement via Kulp's rep confirms that Kulp sustained a "severe spinal cord injury" in the crash:
Chef Eli Kulp sustained a severe spinal cord injury during the recent Amtrak train derailment. His injuries are significant and will require many months of rehabilitation, but he has already shown early signs of recovery. Plans are now being made for his aggressive rehabilitation. Eli and his family will need all of our support during this difficult time.
Business partner Ellen Yin is quoted within the statement: "We are all standing behind Eli as he recuperates. Eli, his family and I thank all our friends, family and staff for their concern, love and support. The restaurants are all busy with people wanting to let Eli know that they are thinking of him, and that warms our hearts."
Yin specifies that all of High Street Hospitality Group's restaurants will continue to operate as usual under their existing teams, and that all projects will continue as planned. This includes ongoing improvements and events at all of the group's Philadelphia restaurants, as well as forthcoming High Street on Hudson planned for New York City. According to the statement, the group is currently "in the process of bringing on a leadership team" at its first NYC venture, and continues to anticipate a fall opening.
A fundraiser is planned for Thursday, July 16, to be held at Fork. That date was last year declared "Eli Kulp Day" by Mayor Michael Nutter in honor of Kulp's Food and Wine's Best New Chefs 2014 win. The exact details of that fundraiser are not yet set. For now, cards and well wishes can be sent to Fork, 306 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
UPDATED 5/22: A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for the Kulp family's medical and living expenses.