09/05/2020

Good News Photo Story: Chefs Creating over 1,500 daily lunches for NHS staff

We have been heartened by the stories coming in from many in the food industry who have been motivated to use their skills and energy to help others.  Jodi Hinds was kind enough to share her wonderful  photos of a team of over 20 chefs from leading restaurants who have taken over the kitchens at Le Pont de la Tour to prepare over 1,500 lunches a day for NHS workers at University College Hospital and 5 other hospitals.

Carole Martinelli - Photo by Jodi Hinds

The project, put together by Michelin-starred Lahiru Jayasekara who was National Chef of the year UK 2016,  has been privately funded by incredibly generous entrepreneurs. Lahiru worked with some of the chefs in previous restaurants and spread the word to other chefs and front of house staff to help. 

Megan Pettit - Photo by Jodi Hinds

The chefs include Megan Pettit who used to work for  Claude Bosi – The Swan and Carole Martinelli who used to work for Pierre Koffmann at The Berkeley.  The hospitals have staff from many different cultures and so only halal meat can be used for the lunches. Lamb and chicken is used for 70% of the meals and 30% are vegetarian.

The chefs work a day ahead to cook the lunches and the meals arrive at the hospitals by 11.30 each day.

Mathilda who normally works at Pollen Street Social front of house and Kriztina on reception at Skylon are part of the team behind the planning, labelling, storing and running the logistics to make sure everything runs smoothly.

By the time the project finishes at the end of May, over 90,000 meals would have been prepared for the NHS staff.

Carole Martinelli - Photo by Jodi Hinds Carole Martinelli - Photo by Jodi Hinds Carole Martinelli - Photo by Jodi Hinds

We would like to thank Lahiru for all of his hard work pulling this team together and all of the work of chefs, and people involved logistically. Plus Jodi’s pictures show the concentration, determination, focus, care and love which go into every portion of  the meals they are creating.

Follow Lahiru’s instragram feed for daily photos and updates of their work.

You may also be interested in our Doing Good with Food story about how chef Mary-Ellen McTague is helping to feed frontline staff in Manchester.

Look out for more good news stories as we cover how women are doing good with food during the lockdown and beyond. Be the first to hear by signing up to our newsletter.

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