BERLIN (Reuters) - A Michelin-starred restaurant in Berlin forced to close its doors by the coronavirus lockdown has turned its culinary skills to helping to feed doctors, nurses, policemen and firefighters who cannot work from home.
“We are doing ‘Cooking for heroes’, that means we are cooking for people in operational professions where it’s not an option to work from home,” said Max Strohe, head chef and co-owner of Tulus Lotrek.
Restaurants, cinemas, gyms and most stores have been shut since mid-March in Germany, which has reported nearly 43,000 cases of the coronavirus and 253 deaths, in the hope of slowing the spread of the virus and easing the pressure on hospitals.
The soups, goulash and curries lovingly prepared by Strohe and his staff are helping to sustain hundreds of doctors, nurses and other medical staff at the Jewish Hospital as they treat patients with the virus.
“I saw a post from Tulus Lotrek with the hashtag ‘cooking for heroes’ and I thought, we have a lot of heroes stationed here in the operational sector, and I sent them an email,” said hospital spokeswoman Jessica Maass.
“The very next day I received an email. It was a yes, the only question was: ‘How many meals should we send you?’ and then the very next day, 400 portions of great food came to us.”
Strohe said he and his staff have been overwhelmed by “heartwarming” messages of support from those who have enjoyed the meals and from their family members.
Brigitte Seelig, deputy head of the nursing department at the hospital, said the exquisite meals provided a welcome break from hospital canteen food.
“It’s really good food - Michelin-starred food! It’s something good for once,” she said with a smile.
Reporting by Barbara Woolsey; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Gareth Jones