Hometown hero: Chef feeds doctors and nurses

by LORI BASHEDA

Homegrown restaurateur Daniel Shemtob can be added to the list of front-line heroes who have found a silver lining in the shut- down.

A University High graduate (2006), Shemtob founded The Lime Truck, which you might remember won “The Great Food Truck Race” on Food Network in 2011. Since finding foodie fame, he has opened several brick-and-mortar restaurants, including TLT Food at Irvine Spectrum.

When the shutdown hit in March, Shemtob says he saw a choice.

“You either go into hiding or you show up to do as much as you possibly can,” he says. “I wanted to give my staff hours, give to those on the front lines and give back to the community, because the community has given so much to me.”

Shemtob reached out to medical centers across Southern California, offering to bring The Lime Truck to their doorstep.

The first week of April he delivered 1,500 hot meals to doctors and nurses in and around Orange County. A second round of hot-meal deliveries kicked off the last week of May.

“It’s been amazing,” says Shemtob, who grew up in Turtle Rock Village. “It has been so rewarding and fulfilling.”

Shemtob’s famous potato tacos and shiitake taco salads are on his front-line menu. But he’s also giving away something else — new shoes.

Four years ago, he began designing a work shoe for his fellow hospitality workers — chefs, bartenders and servers — who spend all day on their feet.

He was about to launch Snibbs shoes when the shutdown hit. Since Shemtob had hundreds of shoes in stock, he decided to start giving them away to front-line medical workers.

You can nominate yourself, or any medical staff, for free meals and shoes at solesupport.snibbs.co. Shemtob has gotten about 800 nominations so far from across the country.

“I want positivity and happiness. This has just filled me with joy.”