Coronavirus shut down restaurants all over the nation and in Philadelphia indoor dining was banned for more than five months.Many restaurants struggled to survive the shutdown and many city residents were put in tough financial situations. One Philadelphia restaurant owner decided to help those in need by making free meals in one of her kitchens.
South Philly Barbacoa owner, Cristina Martinez, who you may have seen on the Neflix documentary series Chef’s Table, started using the kitchen inside El Compadre to feed those who have fallen on hard times.
“From the first day we found out about COVID, we started to give free meals. Everyday has been very intense with the usage of different condiments with different flavors of taste that get integrated in the preparing of meals,” said Martinez.
Those flavors come from a rotating list of chefs that cook inside El Compadre, now known as the People’s Kitchen. Each chef works one day a week to prepare 215 meals that are given out that day.
Martinez hopes to continue the People’s Kitchen even after the pandemic is over and she also hopes it inspires others to do the same.