When I ask my friends in New York what they’re missing most right now, usually numbers 1, 2 and 3 are eating at their favorite restaurants. Going out to eat is what you do in New York, and a New York without open restaurants just feels…well, it’s rough. I got teary eyed reading Gabrielle Hamilton’s piece in the New York Times over the weekend, thinking back to my fond memories of eating at Prune, a staple in my old neighborhood of the East Village.
The restaurant industry has been quick to rally around each other and drum up as much support as possible for every single person who touches the industry, so when our friend Anna Polonsky told us about a project that she’s been working on tirelessly that’s launching today, I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s called #AskChefsAnything and it’s an auction that’s taking place in New York (April 29-May 3) and Los Angeles (May 6-11) that supports families of immigrant restaurant workers. Many of these immigrants who are the hardest working people in the business have been left without jobs and without unemployment, as they have largely been left out of federal benefit programs as a part of this crisis. As a team that has employed and does employee many immigrants, we understand the importance of these individuals in making our businesses work.
Chefs from around the country will be auctioning off 30 minutes of their time to share their recipes and cooking tips. We’re talking about some familiar Doré faces like Eric Ripert, Alison Roman, , Gail Simmons, Sophia Roe and Camilla Marcus alongside a much longer list of some of the industry’s biggest names in food. Funds from the auction will go to a food distributor that will provide groceries that will enable the program to feed hundreds of vulnerable households.
So if you’re like me and you’re using this quarantine to perfect your cooking skills, consider this opportunity to personally learn from the best in the business while helping to feed some of the people who really it right now. You can find out more at the program’s Instagram here.