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Home Features Some good news: restaurant owner delivers food — and happiness

Some good news: restaurant owner delivers food — and happiness

By Kristen Hunt
Staff Writer

Owner of asian fusion restaurant drives to the home of customer with terminal cancer to cook her favorite dish

Steve Chu, the chef and owner of the asian fusion restaurant, Ekiben, received an email on March 11 from a man named Brandon Jones — a customer requesting the recipe to a broccoli tempura dish that his mother-in-law adored. The Vermont native stated that she suffers from terminal cancer, and would love to have the recipe so that she could enjoy it at home. 

“She had always told us, ‘When I’m on my deathbed, I want to have that broccoli,’” her daughter, Rina Jones, told  The Washington Post. Her mother was in the final stages of lung cancer. 

Instead of leaving Jones with the burden of cooking the dish at home, however, Chu decided to do the extraordinary drive six hours to Vermont to make it fresh for her, according to The Washington Post. 

Jones was astonished at Chu’s generous suggestion, reminding the chef of how far away he lived. 

“Steve responded, ‘No problem. You tell us the date, time and location and we’ll be there,’” Jones told the news site. 

The gluten free and vegan dish consists of fresh broccoli tempura style garnished with chopped onions, herbs and cucumber vinegar. Jones’ mother-in-law craved that burst of flavor each time they visited the city.

The tempura broccoli dish (

“She’s probably been to the restaurant with us at least 20 times,” Jones told The Washington Post. 

Chu recognized the Vermont woman as a loyal customer, and was happy that she enjoyed his cuisine so much. 

“She loves the food and always made sure to tell us. She’s an amazing, sweet lady,” Chu told The Washington Post. 

Chu and his team arrived at the Vermont home with a hot plate attached to their truck and began preparing not just the broccoli, but two boxes of their famous tofu dish served with rice. Jones told the publication that her mother enjoyed it so much that she had leftovers for lunch the following day. 

“My mom cried later about their generosity and so did I,” Rina Jones said. 

With Chu’s heartwarming deed leading to a heartwarming reaction from the Jones family, it seems that Ekiben’s broccoli tempura can make peoples’ mouths and eyes water.


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