As part of #StrongerTogether, our initiative in partnership with Unilever Food Solutions, we’re delighted to be recognising Hospitality Heroes: individuals or small teams from the hospitality sector who are doing amazing things to support their communities during the current crisis.

Our first Hospitality Hero is ChefAid Donegal: an outreach programme set up by a group of four chefs to provide hot meals free of charge to the elderly and vulnerable in the community.

The programme was set up in Donegal Town at the outbreak of the COVID 19 crisis by chefs Jo Roarty, Sinead McTernan, Tadhg O’Tuama and Adrian McDaid. The group has since expanded further, with the addition of two more chefs, Anthony McMenamin and Marcus Pearson, plus a second kitchen operated in Donegal Town run by Robbie Nolan.

The ChefAid initiative has since spread all over the county of Donegal, with chefs in Ballyshannon, Inver, Killygordon, Letterkenny and Pettigo opening kitchens to protect the elderly and compromised in their communities.

As well as providing hot meals, chefs all over Co. Donegal want to take the fear out of isolation and let some of the more vulnerable in their community know that there is support available.

There has been huge support from local businesses and food suppliers as well as the local Garda Siochana, who help deliver the meals. Local hotels and Letterkenny’s Institute of Technology Killybegs Campus have also donated supplies.

The group has also been raising funds online via GoFundMe. Their initial €5,000 fundraising target has been eclipsed as donations now stand in excess of an incredible €23,000.

You can connect with your local ChefAid team via their social media pages:

Other Nominated Hospitality Heroes

Jordan Bailey, Aimsir, Co Kildare

Head chef of two Michelin-starred restaurant, Aimsir, Jordan Bailey and his team have been preparing meals to frontline staff at Naas General Hospital. Like so many in the industry, the restaurant in Cliff at Lyons near Celbridge has closed due to Coronavirus lockdown restrictions. However, the decision was made to as Jordan puts it an Instagram post, “to help out in the way we know best, by spreading joy with food”.

The first “care package” was delivered on April 4th to the doctors and nurses at Naas hospital, with tasty meals created using freshly harvested ingredients from the Aimsir kitchen gardens, which are currently not being used of course as the restaurant is closed, and with some suppliers’ ingredients who had kindly added to the cause. Meals have included dishes such as fish pie with garden salad.

Coke Lane Pizza, The Circular, Rialto, D8

Renowned as some of the best pub pizza in Dublin, with concession locations in Lucky’s on Meath Street and The Circular in Rialto Village, Coke Lane Pizza quickly adapted to being takeaway only after the COVID 19 restrictions came into place. Luckily, for deliveries, they had just joined with Deliveroo so that meant hot pizzas were winging themselves to doorways around the area straight away, but a collection point was also set up at the door of the closed pub, The Circular, allowing for contactless pick-ups for customers.

Owner David Holmes was getting asked by people if they could donate the price of a pizza for someone they know in nearby hospitals – James’s and The Coombe Women’s Hospital. So began the ‘Feed the Frontline’ donations initiative for which you can donate money towards pizzas for frontline workers. You can even nominate the name of the person specifically you’d like to receive pizza. David and his team have to date delivered over 500 pizzas to Gardaí, hospital staff, care workers, fire brigades, paramedics, etc. and over €7,500 has been donated towards feeding the frontline.

Know a Hospitality Hero? Nominations are now open… submit in form below.

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