The New York restaurant is putting the competition aside to show compassion for unemployed chefs

A Manhattan restaurant owner invites unemployed chefs to come in and cook from their kitchen.

The restaurant invites unemployed chefs into the kitchen

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Niche Niche in Soho, like all restaurants, does something different than when it opened.

“Niche Niche had a dinner party every night of the week,” said owner Ariel Arce.

This dinner party doesn’t work as well with limited indoor dining, but since December Arce has been keeping the experience fresh by inviting guest chefs to work on their menu.

One of the guest chefs was Mary Attea, who got a job in the Musket Room a week before the interior was closed.

And Austin Johnson, who is planning to open a restaurant and needs a kitchen and space to work on his menu.

The guest chefs are even paid.

“We’ll set a price together and then pay them a cooking fee for the weekend or the time they’re here,” said Arce.

Nicole Ponseca is the next guest chef.

“Fortunately, I can do that and put a small coin in my pocket … my income in my restaurant has been reduced to 3% of my previous income,” said Ponseca.

In fact, she closed her Maharlika restaurant to focus on her other restaurant, Jeepney, which barely survives.

And she lost her father to COVID in December.

“The real reason I’m even in restaurants is because of my pop,” she said.

But the silver lining is that people in the industry, people like Arce, are putting aside competition for compassion.

“We share, if you will, our own trade secrets about how we will not only survive but flourish – there is a camaraderie in our industry that I have never seen before,” said Ponseca.

“It really helped us and it helped them and it allowed us to create something bigger and better than ourselves,” said Arce.

The guest chef’s dinner usually takes place on Sundays and Mondays. Prices range from $ 65 to $ 85.

And not only are the chefs paid for their work, there are also many dinners where some of the sales go to charity.

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