Courtesy of Lamar Moore

‘You See How Fast It Goes And You Want To Give More.’ World Central Kitchen Chef Reflects On Feeding Coronavirus Frontlines

The relief program is just getting started
World Central Kitchen Chef Reflects On Feeding Coronavirus Frontlines
Chef Lamar Moore chats with us from Roots restaurant in Chicago where he provides hundreds of meals every week for frontline workers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Courtesy of Lamar Moore

Two weeks, 2,000 free meals. It’s “the more the merrier” to chef Lamar Moore as he’s feeding the coronavirus frontlines.

Moore is one of many chefs across America providing meals to frontline workers throughout the coronavirus pandemic as part of the World Central Kitchen outpost in Chicago. 

World Central Kitchen is a food relief program started by star chef José Andrés that has provided millions of meals to those affected by natural disasters. When COVID-19 hit, the nonprofit stepped up to the plate again in several major cities. The Chicago initiative is a partnership between World Central Kitchen, Moore and The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. 

Moore and his team of chefs operate out of Roots Handmade Pizza in Chicago’s Old Town Neighborhood. Right now, the team is doing two to three drops a week of more than 100 meals to local hospitals, possibly ramping up to five days a week. 

Courtesy of Lamar Moore

“When you’re putting down meals, you see how fast it goes, and you want to give more,” Moore told The Daily Meal. “As many as we can pump out of this kitchen, we’re going to do it.”

“How could you say no?” he continued. “It felt like, you know, I’m sitting at home comfortably, and there are people out there who need meals on a day-to-day basis and it’s our job as chefs to help that need as quickly and as best as possible”

Some of the meals the team is cooking up for nurses, doctors and people in need include macaroni and cheese with rotisserie chicken, teriyaki steak with rice, and beef fajitas.


“I take pride in getting up every day and cooking for people,” Moore said. “That’s a lot of the reason why I got into this business, is to be able to help people through food.”