As Israel Delgado prepares to opent Eva & Kaden’s Pizza and Spanish Kitchen, he reflects on those he has lost. Eva, his mother, and Kaden, his nephew, were both taken from him. Kaden lost his battle with cancer at only four years old. Eva passed away from a stroke and a seizure.
Through Israel’s new restaurant on 2700 Atlantic Ave in Wildwood, Israel hopes that their deaths will be remembered throughout the island, and that the money he earns can be used to help those who suffer from similar illnesses.
These losses were the primary inspiration for Israel’s new restaurant. He said, “My goal was to open this restaurant with both of their names, and to make sure that their legacy is known through everything I’m doing for them,” he said. He plans to donate 25% of the gross income he brings in on the fifth and ninth day of each month to help those who suffer from seizures and cancer. “I promised my mom that,” he said.
The money earned on those days will help cover the medical bills of those who struggle to afford cancer, stroke, and seizure-related treatments.
“I’m going to help people who deal with seizures, strokes, to help them get themselves back and running. Sometimes people recover from that, but my mom was not fortunate enough. From then on, I said to her that I’m going to open a restaurant.”
Israel has experience in the food industry that he brings to this new operation. He ran a food truck for several years, and now brings Spanish food to Wildwood. Despite the searingly difficult days that Israel has lived through, he now finds joy in his restaurant. He laughed as he talked back and forth with the restaurant’s head chef, Sorida Ornes, who is also Kaden’s grandmother. “My mother-in-law will be cooking,” he said. “That’s Kaden’s grandmother. She is going to be my Spanish cook.”
She rattled off several Spanish specialties that she will serve, many of which are Spanish twists on old favorites. She is excited to serve Mofongo, which consists of seasoned green plantains, fried chicken or shrimp, and a specialty sauce. Other Spanish-cooked food includes rice and beans, boiled chicken, pork chops, steaks, and “everything that Spanish people enjoy,” Israel said.
Eva and Kaden’s will also serve fresh pizzas, cheesesteaks, and meat pies.
Israel and his family have done most of the renovation work on the new building. Most of Israel’s recent days have included repair work, renovation work, and incredibly hustle-and-bustle to bring the building to life. Israel’s family has been incredibly supportive of the new restaurant. “If it wasn’t for them,” he said, “I wouldn’t have gotten it done as fast as I got it done. People say they’re family, but you know who your real family is when they’re there and helping.”
Israel’s family and the memories of lost loved ones have carried Israel farther than he previously imagined. He said, “I want to thank my mom and Kaden for making me strong. I’m trying to be successful, and I want to accomplish this for them so I can help others. For all my family and friends who took out time to sit here and get the business established. I have to thank them.”
Israel has lost many loved ones in the past few years. Many from COVID, and many from illness. “I’m not there to make a million dollars, I’m trying to help the community I love,” he said.
He remembers the following friends and family, all of whom lost to COVID-19 and other tragedies: Jorge Sierra, Vince Clark, Benjamin Bowser, Fabian Reyes, Samantha Pacheco, and Sam Dunmore.
As he opens Eva and Kaden’s Pizza and Spanish food, he is picking up the pieces to bring great food and charity to his hometown.