José Andrés was among the first to close all of his local restaurants in response to coronavirus. Today, he’ll reopen six of them as “community kitchens” in conjunction with his disaster relief organization, World Central Kitchen. The locations will be open from 12 to 5 PM daily and serve meals out of side doors and patios at reduced prices. Free meals will be available for those who can’t pay, and customers have the option to donate meals as well.
“[This is] not for enjoyment…but a service for people in need of a plate of food during this emergency,” Andrés said over Twitter.
27 years ago I opened @Jaleo….today we are closed. This is a hard time, but we are one big family & we will get through this. We can all take care of each other…sometimes that’s all it takes. So be strong. We can change the world through the power of food. #ChefsForAmerica pic.twitter.com/U5qNtZDAYL
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) March 17, 2020
People can pick up meals from side doors at Penn Quarter restaurants Zaytinya and Oyamel as well as at all Jaleo locations (Penn Quarter, Bethesda Crystal City). They’ll also be available from the front door at America Eats Tavern in Georgetown. The locations have employed options for no-contact ordering and pay using Paypal and GoTab; the latter allows customers to view menus, order, and pay by scanning a QR code with their phones (no app download required).
Andrés and WCK have been on the front line for weeks providing hot meals and relief packages for those impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. The nonprofit made food for those quarantined on cruise ships in Japan and California, and it is working with other nonprofits to deliver food to school kids and families in need.
Speaking to a group of reporters outside Zaytinya, Andrés provided assurance that WCK will be on the ground in DC for the foreseeable future.
“My city will be fed. Our people will be fed. If I’m overreacting, fine. But if something doesn’t go as we think it’s going and goes worse, you’ll see us.”
For the time being, Minibar/Barmini and the Pepe food truck are closed. Fast-casual, vegetable-forward Beefsteak locations in Dupont and Foggy Bottom are delivery only.
*This story has been updated with new information