Despereate times need desperate measures . Over 5 million people are loosing jobs as we write this. Hospitality industry is one of the largest employers of people in Thailand and over 30% of our GDP comes from tourism. We are one big family , 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.
We reach out to you to help get these people there next meal . Thousands of cooks and their families rely on us today . Each one save one !!
If you don't use paypal You can make your donations to support the poor and jobless at Bank Name : Kasikorn Bank Account name : MG The Food by DK Co,. LTD Branch : Central Rama 9 Account number : 0062942193
FAQ about the project - Courtsey Lara Dustin -
Q. How has your Bangkok restaurant Haoma been impacted since the arrival of the novel coronavirus in Thailand?
A. Like all Bangkok restaurants we have shut down. We are doing a basic delivery service to support our employees, giving them three meals a day and salaries that we can afford and yet still keep them comfortable.
Q. A lot of restaurants around the world have been criticised for not closing sooner despite China demonstrating that a lockdown was the fastest way to contain the spread of the disease, but we appreciate that restaurateurs feel that they have a huge responsibility to staff.
A. Thirty people work for me. They are my family. Their kids, their parents, and their partners are our family. I just can’t abandon them, which is why we are finding ways to give them a livelihood and try to keep them safe.
Q. What steps have you been taking at Haoma as COVID-19 cases in Bangkok have increased?
A. We have been following all the precautions recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), working day and night to keep our staff safe, teaching them and guiding them how to go forward to keep themselves and our customers safe.
Q. After sit-down meals stopped, and before you launched this new #noonehungry initiative, like many Bangkok restaurants you tried home delivery.
A. Yes, we changed the menu to something that was more deliverable as take away and home delivery, such as kebabs, curries and biryanis, things that I love and I know how to cook, keeping it simple yet ensuring Haoma quality.
Q. How did that go?
A. Honestly, there isn’t much momentum, as the delivery market is already saturated. Yes, we can offer alternatives, but our quality and ethos can get compromised, which comes with high costs.
Q. How has the support of closed restaurants generally been from Bangkok’s diners?
A. Our patrons really make us who we are and they have been amazingly supportive.
Q. You grow a lot of produce and you farm fish at Haoma, but you also buy from trusted growers – how are the growers and suppliers of ingredients to Bangkok’s best restaurants doing?
A. There are a lot of supplies that will be going to waste. Our main supplier Khun Soontorn, owner of Green Garden, has stepped forward and is providing free vegetables to us to cook for those who have lost jobs.
Q. So tell us about your #noonehungry initiative – is it primarily to feed the restaurant industry’s unemployed or anyone who now finds themselves jobless and hungry?
A. We’ll start where we can. Whoever is in need, we will cook for them. As a chef, it’s my responsibility to cook and nurture people. I will feed anyone who needs to eat. Just knock on our door.
Q. Your chefs will cook, but what about front-of-house staff? Are you able to use them or will you have to let them go?
A. I have not let go of anyone – we can’t abandon them – but their jobs have changed for now. Front of house staff (FOH) now handle order-taking for delivery and customer service and for our #noonehungry initiative the FOH team will work on distribution of the food to the people in need.
Q. Tell us about the practicalities of how you will manage, organise and finance your #noonehungry initiative?
A. My FOH team are working on identifying the needy. Vishvas, our general manager, will head the task of sourcing and distribution, and we have just started a fundraising effort. The Hindu Samaj temple and the priest, who cook for the poor every day, have generously opened their kitchen where we will cook large meals.
Q. And you’ve asked Bangkok chefs to help you, so what do you need?
A. Yes, I have. I posted details on my Facebook page and some have reached out. I really need a hand as we are looking to start at 1,000 meals a day and grow to providing as many meals as we can. If chefs who have kitchens that are not busy can take some of our cooking load, that would be awesome. We will provide the ingredients, we just need them to cook the food and wrap it in banana leaves, and send it back to Haoma, which will be the distribution centre.
Q. How can the general community help?
A. We ask that people please help support the #noonehungry campaign, either with a monetary contribution or with ingredients or by simply telling their friends about it.
Q. How can the media or anyone with influence help?
A. By helping to spread the word about our initiative to chefs who can help us and to potential patrons who can donate to this charitable initiative. Please share #noonehungry on social media.
Q. At some stage, if the spread of the virus is not contained, you may also need to close your #noonehungry initiative. What will you do then?
A. I will cook till I can. I will keep my head up and diligently go forward. Keeping my health and the health of my employees is a top priority
Q. Looking to the future, when all this is over, what do you think the Bangkok dining scene will look like once things are back to relative normality?
A. I have no idea what the new normal would be, but I hope we are all healthy and fit to be able to build our businesses again.