I don’t think we’re any different over here from anyone else. We might be feeling the pinch before some others, but you know as well as I that there’ll be ripples for years from this. So I’m guessing you’re all going through something similar to what we are, even if it’s- and I hope for you that it is- less intense than what we’re experiencing here. I know I’ve welled up a dozen times today, first with fond memories of the people who helped get Feast off the ground, and the people I’ve worked with since long before that- Mike, who oversees the kitchen, was a 19-year-old dishwasher who rode a skateboard to work when I first met him at the Dish 25 years ago, and you already read this morning that I’ve worked with Kate in catering on and off for 34 years. Then I got weepy hearing from far-flung people who’ve crossed Feast’s path over the years. I’ve also fought back tears as I’ve talked to fellow restaurateurs who after a week are already forced to consider closing their doors and heard stories from people who only a week ago had jobs and have had the rug pulled out from under them.
And I’m pretty misty as I write this thinking how lucky we are to have all of you, and how so far, we’re not considering closing, and we owe it to the tight-knit community of whom each and every one of you is a significant part. I got weepy when I wrote back to our Food for Life coordinator with SAAF, saying we can donate food again this month but we’ll have to approach it on a case-by -case basis until we have a clearer picture of the future, and I got weepy looking Lydia in the eye, just because she knows me pretty darn well after working with me every day for nearly 19 years, and seeing a little sympathy from someone you love can start the waterworks without much additional effort.
It’s rough that none of us can hug each other right now, but I guess at least that’s keeping us all from bursting into tears another few dozen times a day. for now, I’ll try to keep them at bay with this: We’ve run out of cassoulet and the special for the remainder of the day, and likely tomorrow, is linguine alla Bolognese. Not sure if any of you has a friend or loved one holed up in their casa in Bologna right now, but it wouldn’t hurt to pay them tribute, along with everyone else in Italy, with a bowl of quintessential comfort food. Maybe I’ll eat a bowl myself right now and see if I can stop these tears for a bit.