I decided to turn Semproniana into a base to serve health professionals, with the only weapons I have: cooking and food
Today is April 5. Just a month ago, on March 5, I was working in Semproniana [her restaurant] preparing a dinner for a group of friends. Life was still bustling, an incessant back and forth that filled every page, every nook of my agenda.
And all of a sudden, that Friday came, that weird Friday 13 that told us everything had to stop. Just like that, without any concern for all my ideas, projects, commissions. For work. For life.
Suddenly, the restaurant had to close, with all the staff left stunned and the fridge still full to overflowing. How to solve this equation of three unknowns?
With the memories of the 2008 crisis still fresh in my mind, the Scarlett O’Hara that I always have curled up in my hypothalamus emerged to help me avoid total collapse. And I seized like a tick onto the part of the decree that allows for home delivery of food.
My first motivation (let me be honest) was financial: trying to save the furniture, looking for a way to pay salaries and outstanding bills. The second, which came straight after, was staying true to the struggle in which I have been very active for years: working to try to reduce food waste. The refrigerators were full to meet the usual demand on the weekends. I had to look for a way to use all the food up. So, I decided to cook it and deliver it to homes.
I had never done that before.
Two days after making the decision to stay active, cooking to provide meals at home, I realised that this wasn’t just about saving the business or expressing personal consistency. It was so much more, because what is happening to us is a big deal, and difficult to get one’s head around. It’s a time of emergency, and it’s not just about me, about my problems. Looking further, looking for what I could do to help those around me, I realised that those most overwhelmed in this war on the virus were medical staff. They were swamped and exhausted. So I decided to turn Semproniana into a base to serve health professionals, with the only weapons I have: cooking and food.
In cooking tasty, healthy and varied meals for those who have almost no hours of rest, who fight with dedication for all of us, in hospitals, pharmacies and makeshift medical centres in hotels, my work makes sense in this strange crisis.
The day stretches out like chewing gum, and when I finally do sit down it’s late at night, and my legs and my hands barely work any more.
I don’t have much time to think. In fact, I do more push-ups than reflections, but I’m totally convinced that we won’t come out of it the same way we went in that Saturday, March 14. If our muscles, after so many days of inactivity, may have weakened, our determination has been strengthened and values have emerged because life stubbornly goes on. And, what’s more, it’s now spring.