During tough times we’re told to “take lemons and make lemonade.” Lauren Reynolds wants us to apply that concept by using whatever is in our kitchen cabinets to make a great meal, and help laid off restaurant workers in the process. That idea is behind her new service, “Chef My Kitchen.”
“You could video chat with a chef because you’re burned through your recipe repertoire or you have a bunch of random ingredients, but don’t know how to make something,” said Reynolds, Founder of Chef My Kitchen.
Reynolds works in customer service but has many friends the restaurant industry, she reached out to Chef Oscar Lorenzzi who was about to open his own restaurant in East Harlem to help.
Why take the time to get involved with this endeavor when you have your own problems you’re dealing with?
“It’s part of who we are in the industry we are hospitality, being hospitality to each other,” said Chef Oscar Lorenzzi, a Volunteer Chef in the program.
“I actually had some chicken thighs and I was able to make a stir fry that I never made before and it was delicious,” said Reynolds.
I took some frozen shrimp and some random potatoes and Oscar helped me make tortilla espagnole and poached garlic shrimp.
“I don’t have garlic, I don’t think.”
“Do you have garlic powder?” asked Chef Lorenzzi over video.
People who sign up for a video chat with a chef are asked to donate between 30 to $100. All of the money goes to The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation Emergency Relief Fund. It estimates seven million restaurant employees are out of work because of shut downs to stop the virus from spreading.
Among those laid off are the parents of some of the students taught by City school teacher Gabrielle Utting. She says she signed up for Chef My Kitchen as a way to help them.
“A bunch of my friends were making these meals and they were tagging Chef My Kitchen, so I thought I’d try it out,” said Gabrielle Utting, a participant in the program.
I’m sure you thought this guys is not going to be able to look inside my pantry and come up with something.
“I only had four chicken breasts and a four-pound sack of risotto and a sad frozen bag of cauliflower and he thought we’re going to make chicken Milanese with a cauliflower risotto and it came out delicious,” Utting said.
It’s a way to help those in need while eating a delicious, healthy meal. For details go to ChefMyKitchen.com.