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March 26, 2020
Updated August 09, 2023
As restaurants across the country are adjusting to a new reality, local chefs are stepping up to support their communities. We took a look at how the chefs featured in our “You & Julia” series are helping, from cooking for neighbors, raising money for restaurant workers, to sharing tips for home cooking.
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery/Myers + Chang and Andy Husbands, Smoke Shop BBQ
Joanne Chang and Andy Husbands are joining forces for a BBQ and Pastry popup. Chang and Husbands are cooking in their own home kitchens to “help you get through social distancing one rib and one cookie at a time.” They are whipping up specialties that you can take to go this weekend: Smoke Shop’s ribs, brisket and pulled pork, and Flour’s chocolate chip cookies, lemon ginger scones, vanilla birthday cake with homemade sprinkle. A portion of the proceeds supports the Greg Hill Foundation's Restaurant Strong Fund, which is raising funds to support restaurant workers.
Faison is encouraging the community to support The Big Heart Hospitality Fund, which is raising money that will go directly to her hourly workers who have been furloughed. She’s also encouraging people to call their representatives and ask that independent restaurants are included in federal relief legislation.
Kimball is using social media to share tips for easy-to-make dishes like oatmeal and tuna. For everyone spending a lot more time in the kitchen, Milk Street launched a Facebook groupwhere home chefs can share tips and advice.
Deuxave’s Chris Coombs has partnered with a number of local chefs and Sam Adams Beer to create the Restaurant Strong Foundation in partnership with the Greg Hill Foundation. “Our local restaurant community, employing more than 350,000 individuals in Massachusetts, is already deeply feeling the effects of COVID-19 closures," he said. "Many of our hourly workers depend on wages plus tips to cover basic living expenses and provide for their families.”
Gilson is getting creative and using his restaurant to help healthcare workers. He found a pack of respirator masks at his restaurant and donated them to a local hospital. He’s also appealing to state leaders to put forward measures that would help suffering restaurants, including a freeze on property rents and a meals tax deferral. “We are happy to work with everyone on a local, state and federal level to figure this out, but we can’t do it without you and your support,” he wrote. “Let’s make this something that other states this is the way to beat this make it to the other side.”
Found some of these today at the restaurant. Brought them to some folks who need them more than we do. Everyone has got to do their part. Pass on some good today! pic.twitter.com/Ov18LQgJRX
Lidia Bastianich, Chef and Partner at Eataly Boston and host of Lidia Celebrates America, is putting her culinary skills to good use and cooking for her neighbors and family. “Stay safe, and we shall all find ourselves together at the table again soon,” she said.
The No Passport Required host is collaborating with Chef Jose Andres (a 2019 Julia Child Award-winner) and his World Central Kitchen foundation and cooking up and delivering meals weekdays at noon from his Red Rooster restaurant. “We’re so proud to be able to feed our community members in need during this difficult time,” he said.
Jody has added a “Quarantine Feast” to her Salonikimenu available for takeout and delivery (you can call-in or through the Saloniki Greek app.) It includes grilled chicken thighs, braised pork shoulder, lamb meatballs, grilled haloumi, fries, pita, slaw, feta, eggplant sauce and feeds four.
With doors closed at Juliet, Josh Lewin is encouraging patrons to buy fish from Sunny’s, their usual supplier. With each order, one of Juliet’s talented chefs will walk you through how to cook it. He’s also supporting the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), founded by a group of chefs who are advocating on behalf of the restaurant community.