Italian chef helps cook free meals to fuel fight against COVID-19

Residents queuing at a COVID-19 testing site in Nanchang, capital of east China’s Jiangxi Province, were stunned by a foreign face delivering packed lunches to medical workers.

His name is Andrea Evaristi, a 41-year-old man from Italy. He is now the executive chef of a hotel in Nanchang.

For several days this month, he and his colleagues prepared nearly 200 such “love lunches” each day, all of which were provided free of charge to medical workers to show their gratitude to the heroes of the fight against COVID. -19.

“Many doctors were staying at our hotel recently. They have contributed a lot to our safety. They are heroes,” Evaristi said.

Over 300 cases of COVID-19 were reported from March 16-27 in the city. In order to control the spread, the city conducted six rounds of mass nucleic acid testing. The hotel where Evaristi works had suspended operations in accordance with local requirements and was chosen to temporarily house medical staff.

Although Nanchang’s pace slowed, Evaristi remained busy.

“When we were asked to volunteer, everyone was ready to help. Some were packing the deliveries and others were cooking the meals. It was great teamwork and you could see everyone was smiling. We were happy to do it,” Evaristi said.

The Italian chef and his colleagues also baked heart-shaped cookies and wrote notes of their best wishes for medical staff.

“I was touched to see a foreign friend do something so kind for us,” said Chen Lanying, a medical worker from Jingdezhen City who came to Nanchang to help fight COVID-19.

Evaristi met his wife in China in 2010. Now they have two children. “I think China is absolutely one of the safest countries in the world,” he said.

With the effective epidemic control, work and production in most urban areas of Nanchang have gradually returned to normal since Monday.

The hotel where Evaristi works reopened to the public on Monday and is allowed to offer take-out meals. He returned to work without waiting too long.

“You have a hand to take and a hand to give,” he said, adding that when he has free time he tries to do his best to “give back to society.”

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