WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Eight chefs came together to raise money for the victims of the Monterey Park mass shooting on Sunday, January 29.

The fundraiser, an eight-course sit-down meal and auction, was initially planned as a way to celebrate the Lunar New Year and support Chefs Kevin Tien and Tim Ma’s #ChefsStoppingAAPIHate Initiative. After word broke about the mass shooting in California, the chefs decided to change the recipients of the money.

Most of the funds raised are being donated to the shooting victims. Smaller portions of the money raised will be given to the 1882 Foundation and the Washington Chinese Youth Club. “With the rising increase in violence against the AAPI community, we’re still gonna stand strong together,” Chef Kevin Tien, Executive Chef of Moon Rabbit, said. “There are a lot of painful moments but there are times where we can share our strength through what we do best. For me and my friends, it’s cooking food.”

The chefs involved in the fundraiser included Masako Morishita, Pastry Chef Susan Bae, Erik Bruner-Yang, Yuan Tang, Paolo Dungca and Tim Ma. The cause is personal to them, as members of the AAPI community. “To be able to share our culture, I think that’s really amazing. The first times you learn about someone’s culture, it’s actually through food,” Chef Tien said. “It’s the first time you experience someone’s background and it’s the best way.”

The Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate initiative was started to bring the culinary world together to support AAPI causes. Chefs Ma and Tien created it to raise money and awareness as crimes against Asian Americans in the United States rose. So far, more than 50 chefs from across the country have hosted dinners and take-out meals to raise more than $200,000.