Star chefs hand-delivered meals to Ridgewood and Astoria elderly

Chef Barrio_Santiago
Photos courtesy Eric Groom

Love is a full stomach.

Two rising-star chefs were able to spread a little love, just in time for Valentine’s Day, to 200 homebound elderly residents of Ridgewood and Astoria, as part of the Chefs Deliver initiative for the Citymeals program.

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, chef Franco Barrio of Bespoke Kitchen hand-delivered meals to homebound residents of the West Village, while chef Shaun Hergatt of Juni brought meals to Citymeals recipients living near Herald Square early last week. After the chefs brought some of the meals to their isolated older neighbors, the remainder was delivered to recipients living in Ridgewood and Astoria.

“With Valentine’s Day on Sunday, many of our meal recipients who have outlived family and friends are feeling even more isolated and alone,” said Beth Shapiro, executive director of Citymeals. “This month Citymeals was able to spread some extra love with the help of chefs Barrio and Hergatt who graciously prepared these special meals that were delivered straight to the doors of our vulnerable neighbors who need it the most.”

Barrio used all local ingredients to create his menu of braised short ribs, complete with purple potatoes, heirloom carrots and caramelized cipollini onions with a side of orzo salad for 100 Citymeals recipients. Chef Hergatt prepared 100 meals of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, braised carrots and gravy.

A Citymeals on Wheels initiative, Chefs Deliver brings together a rotating cast of culinary stars who, once a month, lend their talents to Citymeals – cooking and often personally delivering the meals to New Yorkers who cannot shop and cook for themselves.

Chefs Deliver was launched in January 2014 by Citymeals board of directors co-president chef Daniel Boulud and Citymeals board member chef Charlie Palmer.