Commissary Kitchen Combats Food Insecurity with Cheap Meals

Hunting & Gathering

SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY APR 21, 2020

The entrance to Your Culinary Place in Gulf Gate is a shining example of what happens when a business is focused on the well-being of a community. When someone enters through the front door, they step into a well-apportioned delousing foyer inside a pop-up tent outfitted with a handwashing station, an assortment of gloves, a no-contact thermometer and a Coway air purifier that filters out particles down to .1 microns (COVID-19 is .125 microns). The word “meticulous” comes to mind, maybe even “obsessive,” but owner Gordon Lippe refuses to leave anything to chance as he begins a new phase of production out of his commissary kitchen with which he hopes to feed the most vulnerable among us.

Lippe has answered the call of World Central Kitchen’s “Chefs for America” movement, an initiative that aims to provide meals to healthcare workers, first responders, veterans, out-of-work food industry employees, seniors, families with children and any other food-insecure folks that are just plain hungry. His “clean room” makes more sense in light of the populations he’s hoping to feed—people who are often most at risk of contracting the disease that has claimed the lives of over 40,000 individuals to date. The pay-what-you-can initiative caps the cost of a full meal at $10 and relies heavily on donations of both food supplies and money to ensure that those who cannot pay still get a meal.

He launches the Chefs for America initiative today under his newly minted Chefs Feeding Florida nonprofit organization. Through this organization, he was able to get his hands on 400 pounds of chicken, 80 pounds of fish, 17 cases of mixed vegetables and $750 in donations–all in one day. With those contributions, Lippe was able to design a simple menu of arroz con pollo (adobo-marinated slow-cooked chicken over Latin rice, $10), a vegetarian entrée of curry roasted cauliflower served atop basmati rice ($10), a salad of the day ($2), a soup of the day ($3/pint, $6/quart) and mac-n-cheese ($4). The menu will fluctuate with the availability of ingredients and the nature of the food donations, and Lippe intends to keep this going until the money or food run out. “This is a crazy time,” says Lippe, “there are people waiting in line for food who never thought they’d be in this position.”

Now more than ever, Lippe feels it’s important to reach out to vulnerable communities with a hot meal made fresh by chefs who are now thinking about public health as much as flavor. Orders can be made from the Your Culinary Place website, while donations can be made from the Chefs Feeding Florida website. For same-day, 100% no-contact pick-up, orders should be placed before noon. Senior pick-up is Monday-Friday from 3 pm-4 pm and 4 pm-6 pm for everyone else.

More info.

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