As the novel coronavirus spreads through the UK, chef Khalid Dahbi is spreading love with free gourmet meals for NHS personnel, key workers, and the homeless.
British-Moroccan chef Khalid Dahbi is keeping the doors of concierge company Quintessentially open during the novel coronavirus pandemic, as he and his team spread joy and healthy meals among key workers and the homeless.
Dahbi’s team cooks and delivers 150 restaurant quality meals every day, with the aim of supporting the National Health Service (NHS) and homeless people who are suffering as the government-imposed lockdown continues, leaving many soup kitchens and food outlets closed for business.
“A few friends of mine who work for the NHS recently called me and told me that nurses have very little options for food,” Dahbi told Arab News.
He explained that the conversations prompted him to start the food distribution initiative. The team took gourmet meals to 40 nurses at London Bridge Hospital on their first outing.
The team have also distributed meals to hard working police staff in London’s Charing Cross, as well as to homeless people in Covent Garden, Camden, and Marylebone.
Dhabi explained that the initiative is also a way to keep his staff on the payroll, as thousands of hospitality workers in the UK have lost their wages as a consequence of the novel coronavirus shutdown.
The Moroccan chef owns a pizzeria in Covent Garden and has managed to keep on five chefs and continues to pay their wages from his own pocket.
“I’m successful because of the people around me,” he told Arab News. “Without them I’d be nothing. They stand by me on a daily basis, and for me to turn my back on them isn’t something I’d consider.”
The chef said it is important to keep spreading joy in these uncertain times. “Amid the darkness of the coronavirus pandemic, if I can make people smile through my food, then I’ve succeeded.”