As restaurants shutter or transition to delivery-only service amid new orders from local governments, chef José Andrés is trying to save jobs — and feed those in need — by turning his restaurants in New York City and Washington, D.C. into takeaway kitchens.
Andrés, who has served millions of meals to those in dire situations through his nonprofit World Central Kitchen, is transforming several of his restaurants into locations that will offer to-go meals. The dishes will range in price, but each eatery will also allow people to pay what they can afford. Those who are able may also pay it forward by donating a meal to future patrons.
“Those who cannot afford to pay, we will welcome as well,” Andrés said in a statement.
The exact menu items will vary by location, but the chef has already announced a few delicious dishes. America Eats Tavern, for example, will offer options such as a Cobb salad for $8 and a vegetable jambalaya for $12. At Zaytinya, which normally specializes in upscale Middle Eastern cuisine, options include soups like chicken soup avgolemono, made with a rich egg and lemon broth, for $6. Menus at each location will be updated daily.
Starting Tuesday, March 17, the community kitchens will be open from noon to 5 p.m. and will operate out of the restaurants’ side doors. Andrés also announced that all of his restaurant employees will be getting paid leave for at least two weeks following the restaurant closures. The award-winning chef owns more than 30 restaurants and bars.
This week, World Central Kitchen will be distributing grab-and-go meals to those in need in other areas, such as the Bronx in New York City.
This isn’t the first time Andres has mobilized his World Central Kitchen organization to help out during seemingly dire situations. Last week, he set up a community kitchen near the Grand Princess cruise ship to help passengers and crew that were stalled at the Oakland, California, port after some of those onboard tested positive for COVID-19. The chef was able to feed thousands who remained stuck on the ship.
Where to find José Andrés' community kitchens
New York City
- Mercado Little Spain, located inside Hudson Yards, 10 Hudson Yards New York, New York
Washington, DC-metro area
- America Eats Tavern, 3139 M Street NW, Washington, D.C.
- Jaleo, Bethesda, 7271 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland
- Jaleo, Crystal City, 2250-A Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia
- Jaleo, Penn Quarter, 480 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C.
- Oyamel, Penn Quarter, 401 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C.
- Zaytinya, 701 9th Street NW, Washington, D.C.