Help the Hungry: Stanley Tucci and top chefs ‘rhyme for restaurants’ in support of our appeal

Poem celebrates the work being done in the hard-hit hospitality sector during pandemic

Arjun Neil Alim
Saturday 30 May 2020 20:14
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Top chefs 'Rhyme for Restaurants'

Actor and food lover Stanley Tucci has joined chefs and restaurateurs for a poetic appeal in support of our Help the Hungry campaign and the hospitality industry.

Yotam Ottolenghi and Asma Khan were also among the 64 notables who took turns to read lines from a poem celebrating the quality and diversity of the industry.

In the video for “A Rhyme for London’s Restaurants” contributors pop up in studies, kitchens and outside closed premises to praise restaurants for delivering food to customers and supporting the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lucy Golding, the woman behind the poem, told The Independent: “The London food scene is so diverse and incredible, involving so many characters and famous dishes, I had more than enough inspiration to draw on for the rhyme.”

The hospitality industry is the UK’s fourth-largest employer. According to the Office of National Statistics it has the highest proportion of furloughed workers in the UK, with an estimated 2.4 million jobs at risk due to the coronavirus crisis.

Rhyme for Restaurants is an appeal to support Hospitality Action’s Covid-19 emergency relief grant, which offers financial assistance to hospitality workers who’ve lost their jobs.

Asma Khan, the head chef and founder of Darjeeling Express, told The Independent of the need to support restaurant staff: “It was disappointing to see that some restaurateurs and pub owners abandoned their staff.

“The day your lowly paid kitchen porter does not come to work is the day your kitchen is thrown into disarray. We all need to reflect on what and who we value in our restaurant.”

Donations will also go to The Independent’s Help the Hungry appeal, a partnership with The Felix Project to ensure vulnerable people are fed during the coronavirus crisis.

Also supporting our campaign is the Hilton Hotels group, which has opened its conference kitchens across London to store surplus food and prepare meals through social enterprise organisation Open Kitchens. The Hilton London Metropole on Edgware Road cooked 1,000 meals last week for The Felix Project.

“A Rhyme for London’s Restaurants” is produced by Gerber Communications, a public relations company.

Ms Golding, an account manager at the company, added: “[The poem] evolved into something I was really proud of and wanted to get out there as a way to celebrate and support an industry which is not only my career, but a world I am hugely passionate about and which is going through the roughest period it has ever faced.”

All money raised by the Rhyme for Restaurants appeal will be divided equally between The Independent’s Help the Hungry appeal and Hospitality Action’s Covid-19 emergency relief grant. Read the full poem here. Find their fundraising page here.

The Independent is encouraging readers to help groups that are trying to feed the hungry during the crisis. Find out how you can help here. Follow this link to donate to our campaign in London, in partnership with the Evening Standard.

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