Chef turns restaurants into community kitchens during Covid-19 crisis

Jose Andres. (Think Food Group pic)

WASHINGTON: Chef José Andrés has turned his Washington DC restaurants into “community kitchens” that will serve takeaway meals for diners, but also donate meals to families who can’t pay during the Covid-19 crisis.

In an emotional video posted on Twitter, the Michelin-starred chef lamented the crushing financial blow that the forced Covid-19-related closures are having on the restaurant industry.

But he also called on those who can to try to be part of the solution and help their communities.

“Restaurants like ours, we’re going to have to be, in some parts of America, at the forefront of providing relief, to people who maybe cannot go to the supermarket or who live in food deserts where there are no supermarkets,” he said.

“We’re going to have to think outside the box and adapt to the circumstances.”

Andrés has converted restaurants Zaytinya, Oyamel, Jaleo, America Eats Tavern into takeaway kitchens. Digital menus and PayPal ensure a contact-free experience.

It’s the latest in a long line of emergency food relief projects for the chef.

Through his non-profit group World Central Kitchen, most recently Andrés also helped provide meals to stranded, quarantined cruise passengers aboard ships docked in Oakland, California and Yokohama, Japan.