I hate to write two back to back letters that are chef related, but in light of what happened last week in the north with Hurricane Sandy, I have no choice.
If you don’t know it already, chefs (and restaurant owners) are some of the most generous, giving people ever. I am constantly amazed by how much they donate to charities ALL OF THE TIME. And it is not just local charities, it is national campaigns and projects. It means flying all over the world, taking time out of their kitchens, most of the time donating the product they serve and working their ass off for causes of all shapes and sizes. I often worry that they do too much and at some point they will all start saying no. But they don’t and they give, give and give.
And it is not just giving to charities and communities, they give to others. They give just by coming out on a busy night to say hello or by sending some special dish for you to enjoy. It is never necessary and always appreciated. They give to their staff’s by mentoring, providing opportunities, experiences and more. They give their life and sacrifice a lot personally by having long and late hours, sweating hard in the kitchen and working most holidays and special occasions, when most others are at home with loved ones enjoying the fruit of their labor.
Chefs give to me in so many ways. They have given me some of the best meals of my life. They are my friends and support me emotionally and professionally week in and week out. They entertain me–they are fun, crazy and sometimes beyond wild. They give to what I do with their time, their ideas, their food, their venues and more.
So that is why I am writing this. It is time to give to them. First, there are so many chefs that lost hundreds of thousands of food and revenue last week after the hurricane. Some lost their restaurants or worst, their homes. But even with that said, most of those affected are out their donating their food, time and services to others in need. That is how amazing they are! But they too need to be supported and I encourage everyone reading this to go visit their restaurants as much as possible. Or if unable to jump on a plane, make a donation to one of the charities assisting their efforts.
We also need to give ongoing and unconditional support in our own towns and communities. Thank them more for what they do, patronize as much as you can, tell your friends and family how amazing they are.
So this is my thank you to all of the chefs who I am blessed to have as a friend, supporter, champion, mentor and guaranteed-good-meal-provider!
p.s. I have another letter coming about the behind-the-scenes staffs that also need the love and support. But while out, be sure to tip, and tip well!