Our 2020 Chef Event in partnership with the Bartolotta Restaurants was originally scheduled to take place Wednesday, but since it’s been postponed, we rounded up this elite class of chefs for a livestream chat.
Editor and Publisher for Milwaukee Magazine Carole Nicksin talked to chefs Jason Alston of Heaven’s Table BBQ, John Korycki of Harbor House, Joe Schreiter of Mistral, Martin Magaña of Tess and Frida, Zak Baker of Ca’Lucchenzo, Justin Aprahamian of Sanford, and Miles Borghgraef of Birch + Butcher.
Despite the changes we have faced during this period of social distancing and stay at home order, dining while entirely different feels like the only part of normalcy we still have from prior to the pandemic breaking out. Food is comforting.
“I found myself buying things from my childhood, like Campbell’s soup,” Nicksin said.
The chefs agreed with her on her perspective of comforting food at a time like this. Schreiter said his business is trying to do a take on comforting Mistral food, while Aprahamian is doing the same and making comfort food during the week.
Both restaurant owners Alston and Magaña own space at Crossroads Collective, and have been able to continue with carryout dining as they usually do. The ample space allows for them to cook with their employees while remaining socially distant.
While everyone is trying to do their best and remain open, Baker from Ca’Lucchenzo and Korycki of Harbor House made the health and financially conscious decisions to shut down for the time being to protect their company and employees.
Not all restaurant owners are choosing to opt into receiving the stimulus package for a loan and others are waiting on theirs to come-in, what can we do to help them out?
It’s simple, continue to support local restaurants and small businesses. Order out if you can, donate to their staff GoFundMe staff pages and buy gift cards to places to use once places start to gradually open again.
A lot of the chef’s already have plans for when that’s going to happen. They will either remove seating to keep people apart or do limited private dining and keep a minimal amount of staff on hand for pre-opening and opening again.
“As long as everyone continues to do their part, so we can get this part over with,” Baker said. “Be responsible, make good decisions right now, and remember when this is all over what this felt like. What it felt like to have the things we took for granted and had every single day of our lives”