Hungary’s top chefs prepare meals for hospital staff during coronavirus crisis

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Hungary’s top chefs and about a dozen food companies have joined forces to feed the hospital staff of the country who are working around the clock under increasingly stressful conditions.

The initiative, known as “Feed the Doc”, allows chefs who earnestly want to help medical staff prepare a fine dining experience for those working around the clock to protect the country. At the same time, it helps these chefs partake in an important societal task after they essentially become unemployed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Hungarian Bocuse D’Or Academy, gathering Hungary’s best chefs, will from Tuesday supply food to the dispatch center of the Hungarian emergency medical services, the SOTE Emergency Hospital in Budapest and the St. George Hospital in the central Hungarian town of Székesfehérvár.

The Hungarian subsidiary of German wholesale chain Metro AG will provide the venue, ingredients and necessary equipment for preparing the meals, while Hungary’s restaurant guide website Dining Guide will ensure the distribution of the approximately 120 meals per day.

All involved have pledged to provide their contribution free of charge for the duration of coronavirus crisis.

A number of other companies are also offering help. The Hungarian subsidiary of the Swiss Nestlé food and drinks company has donated 100 million forints (€278,000) to healthcare workers in addition to the Nestlé Group’s global 10 million Swiss francs (€9.44 million) contribution.

Other companies that have offered aid to Hungarian healthcare personnel include the local subsidiary of German retail chain SPAR and French frozen foods supplier Bonduelle.

Economics portal recently reported that with the closure of restaurants, many chefs who previously earned as much as HUF 800,000 (€2,200) a month, more than three times the national average, are now queuing up for courier jobs or anything else they can find.  

Title image: 25-year-old Hungarian chef Ádám Pohner, who represented the country at last year’s Bocuse D’Or global culinary contest, prepares a meal for hospital staff. (source: Facebook page of the Hungarian Bocuse D’Or Academy.)

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