Eleven Madison Park morphs into a nonprofit food distribution center
High-profile fine dining chef Daniel Humm announced on Instagram that he’ll be turning Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park into a commissary kitchen for Rethink Food, a NYC-based food nonprofit. The top-rated restaurant’s staff will pivot to help produce meals for New Yorkers in need during the pandemic, thanks to an undisclosed amount of funding from American Express.
Rethink Food built its name on taking millions of pounds of excess food from grocery stores and restaurants and repurposing it for meals for New York City families at low or no cost. In light of the coronavirus crisis, the nonprofit launched a restaurant response program — separate from Eleven Madison Park’s efforts — that gives up to 30 restaurants up to $40,000 to re-open their doors as a food distribution center. Little Tong Noodle Shop in the East Village was the first recipient of the grant.
The expectation of the restaurants is that they will “function as an extension of Rethink” and work as a kitchen for the nonprofit for at least 45 days, according to information on Rethink’s website.
Eleven Madison Park had previously been closed since the city mandated that dining-in was banned at all restaurants and bars in mid-March. Since it shut down, Eleven Madison Park’s monied fans have already bid up to $50K for private dinners and other exclusive offerings that Humm and his team are auctioning off to support the restaurant’s staff relief efforts.
Update, 1:54 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Eleven Madison Park is not one of the restaurants included in Rethink Food’s restaurant response program with grants.
In other news
— East Village cocktail hotspot Mister Paradise is turning into a de facto liquor store. The team will be accepting minimum-$50 orders via email at email@example.com by 9 p.m. on Thursdays, and deliveries go out on Fridays.
— Nearly 50-year-old East Village mainstay Ben’s Deli is closing for the first time in its history in response to the novel coronavirus crisis.
— New Jersey Monthly reports on how local Jewish families are using Zoom to connect for Passover Seder, an important meal that marks the beginning of the weeklong religious holiday next week.
— Enlightenment Wines Meadery in Bushwick is repurposing its tasting room, Honey’s, for takeout and delivery. The meadery is now offering batched cocktails, mead, natural wine, and snacks for delivery in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, according to a spokesperson. Bonus: each delivery comes with a happy hour mixtape.
— DoorDash expedited plans to launch grocery delivery because of the pandemic, while gig workers at rival Instacart revolt over harrowing, unsafe work conditions. Upwards of 1,800 convenience stores are now available on the app, according to Bloomberg.
— Afternoon plans: