Behind the Scenes of Holiday: Impossible

Check out these behind-the-scenes snapshots of Food Network's Holiday: Impossible, in which Robert Irvine transformed a deserving Joplin, Mo., Boys & Girls Club and hosted a holiday party for the tornado-ravaged community.

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Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Production Company ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Season of Giving

In his largest mission to date, Robert Irvine traveled to Joplin, Mo., a city severely hit by a 2011 tornado, to transform a Boys & Girls Club and host a 1,000-person holiday celebration to thank the volunteers and Boys & Girls Club community for their selfless work in the last year.

A Helping Hand

No stranger to the Boys & Girls Club, Robert knew how crucial a part of the Joplin community it was after the tornado struck in 2011. Executive Director Rhonda Gorham explained that her facility "spent money on extra food, extra electricity" after the storm as it served as "a distribution center" and a safe retreat for local children. "I truly believe what you do is a gift to children and their families," Robert told her.

Bigger Project, Bigger Budget

To help Robert and his team complete a challenge of this unprecedented size, Lexus Culinary Masters generously increased Robert's spending budget from $10,000 to $30,000 and let him take three whole days to finish the work. "This is the one we are going to take over the top," Robert told Cheryl Torrenueva and Tom Bury, his designer and construction manager, respectively.

Wish List

Despite his now-lofty budget and an extra day to work, Robert's plan to renovate the Boy & Girls Club was daunting. He wanted to improve the security of the club's entrance, build an organized space for kids' belongings, outfit the kitchen with new equipment and create both play and study spaces for the kids, all while preparing to feed 1,000 people at a holiday party.

A Healthful Approach

Robert shared his smart twist on classic fried chicken and quick recipes for veggie-laced pasta salad and a fruit-and-yogurt dessert with Rhonda and the cook at the Boys & Girls Club, Candace Moreland. They now know how easy it can be to prepare simple, kid-friendly meals without salty, packaged products.

Rave Reviews

Perhaps the toughest critics of all, the kids at the Boys & Girls Club were quick to admit how much they enjoyed Robert's made-over meal. "Pasta's amazing," one child told him. "I've never had chicken that tasted that good before."

Menu Planning

To help him pull off a meal for 1,000 people, Robert looked to his buddy Chef Michael Chiarello and three members of his Dinner: Impossible team, Lee Lucier, George Galati and David Britton. Together, they devised an ambitious, celebratory menu of chicken, salmon, prime rib, short ribs, stuffing, salad and more to serve at the holiday party.

Make a List, Check It Twice

At the grocery store, Robert and his fellow chefs stocked up on all of the fresh items and pantry staples they'd need to feed a hungry crowd of volunteers. "Normally when I have a thousand people to cook for," Chef Chiarello explained, "I have 25 chefs and I have all the time I want beforehand." In Joplin, he and the team had just hours to prepare.

Worthy Recipients

These are just some of the 1,000 tornado cleanup volunteers and families and kids of the Boys & Girls Club that lined up outside of the club's extra-large gymnasium to enjoy a hearty holiday feast prepared by Robert and his fellow chefs.

Mission Accomplished

Overcome with emotion and excitement, Rhonda couldn't believe the beauty and efficiency of her new Boys & Girls Club facility. "I love it," she said. "It's warm. It's fun." She was proud to offer such a welcoming retreat to the children of the club.

Maximizing Space

Robert's design and construction teams installed tall cubbies just off of the dining space to better organize the kids' belongings. Cheryl called the cubbies "a way to double the amount of storage, but all in one space."

A Space of Their Own

Checking out their new study space for the first time, the children were wowed by the bright colors, comfortable seating and new televisions they found.

Kitchen, Complete

"What couldn't I do?" Candace asked when she saw the culinary opportunities that await her in this clean, well-functioning kitchen. A generous donation from a local kitchen supply company made it possible for Robert and his team to outfit the kitchen with brand-new equipment for just $1,500.

Unwrapping Generosity

In keeping with holiday traditions, the children unwrapped presents that were donated by a local church. Their gift of gymnasium equipment and toys helped to replenish the club's supply since theirs had become worn.