Chef Robert Irvine and the Restaurant: Impossible crew traveled back to California in early February 2020 to host a fundraiser for the owner of Rosie’s Cafe, Kaitlyn Rose Pilsbury, who was injured in an accident in December.
Rosie’s Cafe was first featured on Restaurant: Impossible in January 2019 at the end of a three-year hiatus of the show. Pilsbury was the first owner featured on the show that season.
“When I came back from a three-year hiatus of Restaurant: Impossible the first new episode was at Rosie’s Cafe. We decided to kick things off here because the owner Kaitlyn perfectly exemplified what the show is all about: an opportunity to see what someone can do if they’re given a second chance,” Irvine told the San Diego Union-Times. “I wasn’t surprised in the least to see her take that chance and run with it — and I’m so proud of all that she’s accomplished since we left town. She had the talent, the vision, and the work ethic. She just needed a little help.”
According to reports, on December 21, 2019, Pilsbury was seriously injured when her motorcycle was struck by a hit-and-run driver in an SUV. She suffered extensive injuries including broken bones and an arm that needed surgery. She was also left comatose for several days due to swelling in the brain.
Irvine Hosted a Fundraiser For the Owner In February
Once Irvine got word of what happened to the owner of Rosie’s Cafe, he jumped in to help.
“Now she needs help again, and I want to do everything I can to encourage everyone in the community to rally around a very special person who’s been dealt a tough hand,” he said at the time. “Together, I know we can give Kaitlyn a chance to make yet another comeback. She’s a fighter. She’s determined. And she’s an inspiration to me personally. With a little help from her friends, I know the next chapter of her life is going to be incredible.”
On February 17, the team took over part of the city for a block party carnival and the fundraiser, which included food booths, arcade games and rides. Tickets were $20 and all proceeds went to the Pilsbury family.
The Fundraiser Raised Over $100,000
✨@RobertIrvine shares a sneak peek of tonight's special episode of #RestaurantImpossible ✨ He's back in California to visit the owner of Rosie's Cafe, Kaitlyn, who was badly injured in a motorcycle accident just months after Robert saved her business 💔Tune in @ 9|8c. pic.twitter.com/H6C9XpLObD
— Food Network (@FoodNetwork) May 28, 2020
After the carnival, Rosie’s Cafe posted an update on their Facebook page, writing “Thank you SO much to everyone who came out to support Kaitlyn at the fundraiser yesterday! We had such an amazing turn out and were able to raise $118,000 because of the support of the community, [Robert Irvine, and Food Network].”
The carnival itself raised $48,000 and Food Network donated $50,000. Irvine himself donated $20,000 to the cause.
The money came on top of the Gofundme campaign posted by the owner’s mother, which raised over $30,000. Employees were able to step up and keep the restaurant running while Pilsbury recovered.
Rosie’s Cafe is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the San Diego-Union Times, the doors remain locked and the phone number belonging to the restaurant is no longer operational.
Irvine talks with Pilsbury every couple of days via text message, he said. “I talk to her every couple of days and to her mom. She sends me goofy texts. She’s getting there. It will take a while. It wasn’t a scratch, it was a really bad accident. She is being the person that she is, fighting every day.”
Tune in to Restaurant: Impossible to see the carnival in action and listen to interviews with Pilsbury and her mother.