30 top Belgian cooks whose businesses are closed due to the pandemic are using their skills to serve nourishing meals to beleaguered health sector workers across the country — #feedthenurses
Belgian chefs turn their skill to catering for hospital staff
LIER, Belgium (Reuters) — Belgian chef Nils Proost did not sit back when coronavirus restrictions forced the closure of his restaurant. He is now one of 30 top cooks serving meals to health sector workers across the country.
Proost describes the meals as nourishing comfort food
Nils Proost is now one of 30 top cooks serving meals to health sector workers across Belgium.
"My sister-in-law is a nurse in the emergency room in a hospital and she told us her staff restaurant is also closed due to COVID-19 measures. This was like a Eureka moment for us," he told Reuters’ Philip Blenkinsop at his Petit Cuistot restaurant in the Belgian town of Lier.
He asked suppliers if they had food they could spare and called fellow chefs. Now his "#feedthenurses" initiative has some 30 chefs cooking meals for 40 hospitals as well as some care homes.
Proost himself prepares about 160 meals a day for the nearby Heilig Hart hospital, delivering them at around midday from Tuesday to Friday. This week, mushroom and chicken pasta and chili con carne are on the menu.
"I’m not doing the same meals as in the restaurant. That would be a little bit crazy," he told Reuters, describing the meals as nourishing comfort food.
His counterparts from other to restaurants, from Bruges in northwest Belgium to Hasselt in the east, have similar initiatives with their local hospitals.
"Our kitchen is open for our patients, but our restaurant for personnel is closed … We can only provide them some snacks and vending machines," he said. "So the good food is … a real meal for them."
Feedthenurses: Together we are strong.
Feedthenurses website states:
The nursing staff in our hospitals will be under incredible pressure in the coming weeks. They are currently in the first line of fire and run double shifts to take care of sick people.
The catering industry will be down for the next 3 weeks, perhaps longer. So with #feedthenurses we want to provide our proverbial soldiers and heroes of the day with heart-warming sustenance.
We make food on a regular basis and deliver it to our nursing staff in a hospital in the region. This way they continue to have the necessary energy to withstand their hellish work schedule.
#feedthenurses makes a warm appeal to chefs, who have the opportunity to do the same in their own community.
#feedthenurses We use this hashtag to bundle all initiatives that are taken. Spread the word, use the hashtag!
We have to go through it together and you too can help.
Who are we? What are we doing?
Chefs, with a passion for hospitality, who ensure that the proverbial soldiers on the COVID-19 front are supplied with power during their shift.
We use our kitchens, help from catering services and other partners who can support logistics. Our regular suppliers and maybe you too, provide us with the ingredients we use. We try to use healthy ingredients with a lot of carbohydrates and proteins as much as possible.
(Translated from Dutch)
ARE YOU A CHEF OR SOMEONE WILLING TO SUPPORT THIS INITIATIVE?
We can use all hands (without effectively touching each other). Click here to see how you can help. (This site is in Dutch).