A massive Thank You!

Editor · April 21, 2020

Initiatives by restaurant owners are taken everywhere, actions in order to help essential professionals on the front line to face the current pandemic.

In the past four months the whole world has been confronted with an unprecedented health situation. The Coronavirus, this profound tragedy, has already cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. The scale of this crisis has led to various actions, and initiatives have been established in the hardest-hit areas.

In fact, many countries have, until further notice, closed down bars and restaurants, among others, this sector that we know so well. The consequences are huge; Nordaq shows its total support for all these professionals forced to close their doors, their kitchens and shutting down, even temporarily. So many beautiful stories have told there to each of us in our daily lives. Our customers, the restaurant and hotel owners, are the storytellers of our most beautiful moments. They are witnesses of our parties, appointments, feasts, anniversaries, reunions, seminars, etc. These moments of life whose flavour would be so much less if they were not there for us, in their organisation, delivery, reception and always with service.

Forced to respect the government’s decisions, many chefs have mobilised in different ways to fight this health crisis. While reminding, always and with dignity the order from our governments, to stay at home. But rest assured, life will take back its rights. And to our friends, restaurant owners, hoteliers, cafe owners, remember that we will come back to you. Once allowed to leave our homes, we will come back to you.

We would like to pay tribute here to all the actions put in place by hoteliers and restaurateurs around the world. Our partners, our friends, whose closure has not diminished their courage, commitment, and mutual aid. Nordaq is proud to highlight these chefs fighting “body and soul” in the four corners of the world to reach out and bring benevolence to those whose profession is required for our survival.

Mobilised for the front-line staff

Many chefs have joined forces to help the nursing staff, shopkeepers, farmers, policemen and firemen, all the professionals who allow each one of us else to stay at home. Many associations and services have recently been transformed to support the most affected ones by this health crisis. Nordaq is proud to participate in various ways in this mobilisation, which brings some comfort to the heroes and medicals during this difficult time.

In the French capital, many restaurants are joining forces to help our heroes. A few days ago, several chefs decided to go together, communicating through social networks with the hashtag #leschefsaveclessoignants (ChefsforCaregivers), to encourage them. A big thank you to our friend Romain Gicquel from the Ferme de Voisins who prepares daily dishes for Parisian hospitals. Last week, l’Arbre à Café, a specialist in tasting and takeaway coffee, donated 60 kg of beans and ground coffee to the intensive care unit of La Croix Saint Simon Hospital, in Paris, to the great pleasure of its staff. A beautiful proof of support and love for those who need it most at this time. It is also worth highlighting the action of Juste à Temps, a specialist in deliveries, who daily provides the food that hospitals need. The goal is always the same, to relieve the task of these women and men taking care of our society.

In the southwest of France, the movements are spreading too

Last weekend in Toulouse, chefs, artisans, and producers joined together to support medical staff. This is the case of Belles Gamelles, an initiative set up by Simon Carlier that brings together the region’s greatest Chefs, ready to act against the pandemic. A collective committed to a cause of solidarity that to date brings together more than 100 chefs and suppliers, including the M by Mo Bachir restaurant and La Verrière, who each day prepares nearly 250 fresh dishes for the various hospitals in the Pink City. 

We would also like to thank all the chefs of the Côte d’Azur who are making such efforts on their behalf. In particular, the chefs of the Barbossi estate at the Riviera Golf club in Mandelieu, Nicolas Decherchi, Richard Vicens, and the pastry chef Mathieu Marchand, who remain active in the kitchen and prepare more than 50 different meals every day for the EHPAD, the CCAS, and the nursing care department.

Just as in Lyon where the Comptoir Mère Brazier grocery store, run by Star Chef Mathieu Viannay, has brought together its teams to deliver meals to the various medical facilities in Lyon. This is also the case of our friend Christian Têtedoie, who, in the spirit of celebrating the 10th anniversary of his fantastic venue in Lyon, decided to celebrate the event by adding a social touch: around the chef, a brigade was mobilised to cook for the staff and patients of the city hospital, Léon Bérard. His reminder is simple, clear, and spot-on*: “Today is the time for solidarity”.*

“Today is the time for solidarity.”

Chef Christian Têtedoie, L’Antiquaille, Lyon

Other grand people have joined the same type of associative approach: Jérémy Galvan, Arnaud and Rémy from la Bijouterie, and many others take turns feeding the hospitals of the region. Initiatives are flourishing everywhere, from Florent Ladeyn, who is particularly active in supporting his local gardeners, to Mauro, our friend from Mirazur in the time he gives to offer his help, not forgetting people such as Reine Sammut, who uses her time to appease the carers of Saint-Joseph in Marseille with delicious pastries. Thoughts also to Catherine and Jean-Michel Lorain for their outstretched hands towards the hospital staff of their region.

Similar actions should be highlighted around the globe

Nordaq has a presence on every continent and privileged relationships with chefs in more than 30 countries around the world. Many of these chefs have also been there to lend a hand to clinicians.

Among the many great initiatives here and there, let’s mention restauranteur Jens Dolk of the K-Märkt restaurants in Stockholm, as well as restauranteur Nassos Ikonomou and his Food 4 Heroes project. They encourage companies to sponsor and individuals to donate money for made lunches, which will then be handed out at the city’s various hospitals for all medical staff and nurses struggling and working long shifts. These services will not only help them get through the crisis and avoid bankruptcy but also contribute to the support that the medical staff has been needing for weeks now.

We also would like to highlight the actions of our friend and client chef Thomas Keller in the USA, who has initiated “Feed it forward, the Keller Restaurant Relief fund, a non-profit organisation to support young chefs now impacted by Covid-19.

Our client and friend Claude Bosi, in London, mobilises himself to help the country’s young chefs who are in a precarious situation.

Restaurant Aska in New York City, with Swedish chef Fredrik Berselius, has set up the Aska Employee Relief Fund, to support its staff.

Let’s also warmly thank, in Switzerland, the association “Chefsgoutatoo” who offered chocolate eggs to the Genolier’s hospital staff, as well as the magnificent restaurant Hôtel de Ville, in Crissier, bringing gourmet baskets to many hospitals in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

Actions in Asia

Many hotels in Europe and Asia offer accommodation for people whose job requires a high level of responsiveness.

In Japan, Chef Hajime Yoneda is taking action for the country’s restaurants, to save them from bankruptcy. The whole restaurant and beverage industry in Japan is in danger.

Remarkable cooperation to save their restaurants

In addition, to be devoted to the medical units, the world’s greatest chefs help each other and form an alliance to save their restaurants and denounce the injustice of this crisis. The forums, speeches, and petitions show us the emergency of taking this health crisis in the human tragedy it represents, but also in a wider economic dimension. 

In France, Stéphane Jégo and many voices have highlighted the need to officially declare this virus a health catastrophe in order to see all the economic actors, especially insurance companies, to save their businesses, all closed for business at the moment but also to preserve other partners in the chain, such as producers, suppliers, etc.

This unprecedented and such sudden situation has revealed many actions and that it would be impossible to list them all. So, let’s take advantage of these few lines to again thank all the people to whom our restaurant owners and friends devote so much energy, all those “indispensable” professionals, the women and men who work to feed, protect and care for us. And of course, linked to our profession and for this “behind-the-scenes” mission without which we would be impossible to contain ourselves: special mention to those who are redoubling their efforts in the world of water supply, to enable us to have quality tap water in every home, which is obviously essential to our survival. 

Thank you, so much!

Our thoughts are with you. Let’s protect ourselves. Let’s preserve ourselves.

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