Over the past few weeks, as we’ve covered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local restaurant industry, one question has reverberated through the Feast office. We’ve seen fine-dining restaurants pivot to offering takeout. We’ve seen other spots – including some of the region’s most acclaimed restaurants – elect to close their doors entirely. We’ve seen small business owners forced to lay off their staffs – many of whom are more like family – so they can collect unemployment. And we wondered: “What can we do to help?”
R.J. Hartbeck and Mary von der Heydt, co-founders of Small Circle Recipes, a series of short cookbooks featuring recipes from local chefs, had the same thought – so we decided to team up.
Today, we’re excited to introduce Extra Helping, a community-sourced cookbook and donation platform brought to you by Small Circle Recipes and Feast Magazine to help benefit hospitality industry employees affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. All fundraising dollars from this project will be donated to the Gateway Resilience Fund in St. Louis and Crossroads Community Kitchen in Kansas City to support local restaurant and service industry employees.
"Small Circle was created to support chefs and share their stories. Now more than ever, we want to support those who give so much heart and work so hard in the hospitality industry," Hartbeck and von der Heydt say. "Birthday dinners, date nights, special occasions – even work lunches would be nothing without the people dedicated to making our culinary community so amazing."
Over the next two weeks, we’re calling on chefs, kitchen staff and bartenders from around the region to donate recipes to this project, from entrees, sides and desserts to snacks, sauces and cocktails. Have a favorite recipe for lasagna or a tried-and-true tomato sauce? Feel like finally sharing your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe? We want to hear about it! The deadline for submissions is Fri., April 10.
You can also donate to the project – we suggest a donation of $25, but the amount is up to you – to support our local industry. Everyone who makes a donation to Extra Helping will receive a digital copy of the finished cookbook, and 100 percent of proceeds will go toward those organizations helping hospitality industry employees. Simply use our portal to make a donation or upload a recipe.
Together, we can help support the people behind the plate.
To submit a recipe or make a donation to Extra Helping, click here.