NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) --- Cooking is a way of life for chef Kristin Macan.

It’s her work at the Culinary Institute of Virginia in Newport News, and it’s how she met her husband Dane, who is also a chef.

“He messed up tabbouleh and we fell in love,” said Macan.

While Kristin is watching over their son back home here in Hampton Roads, Dane is making his mark during a time of tragedy.

“On Thursday he called me at work,” said Macan. “He said ‘Kristin I need to go.’”

Dane is currently in Estero, Florida with the organization Mercy Chefs.

They're first responders who serve up restaurant-quality food to victims in the days following a disaster.

“We think that comfort with the food is really important,” said Macan.

Hurricane Irma has been one of the organization’s biggest challenges, but within the first 24 hours of arriving, Dane helped feed more than 5,000 people.

“I’m always proud of him,” said Macan.

Dane is volunteering long hours in Florida, and at the same time he’s studying for a master’s degree . Kristin says he’d never use it as an excuse.

“He’s been cooking for thousands of people,” said Macan. “Then saving his WiFi so he can do classwork.”

As a wife, Kristin is excited for Dane’s return next weekend.

But as a fellow chef she knows, at least for right now, he’s exactly where he needs to be.

“When people who are hurting get food they also get hope,” said Macan. “The call is to just go feed people.”