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Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Celebrity Chefs Pivot From Gourmet Meals To Feeding The Hungry

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Five-star kitchens are shifting their focus from gourmet meals to feeding the hungry.

CBS2's Natalie Duddridge looks at how some celebrity chefs have found a new mission in the kitchen.

One of the toughest restaurant reservations to get in New York City is Eleven Madison Park. Now, instead of fine dining, the venue has been transformed into an emergency kitchen. The celebrity chef behind it, Daniel Humm, teamed up with the nonprofit Rethink Food NYC to feed New Yorkers.

"We've been cooking thousands of meals per day for those working in the front lines and people in ned," Humm said. "It's been amazing to recognize the power of food."


Celebrity chef Jose Andres owns dozens of restaurants, including Little Spain in Hudson Yards, which he turned into a food kitchen. It's one stop in a giant charity operation Andres runs called World Central Kitchen. His Chefs For America COVID-19 relief effort has fed 3 million people in the past five weeks.

It's not just their time and energy these gourmet chefs are giving away, but also their recipes to those stuck inside, experimenting in their kitchens.

"David Chang, on his Instragram feed, he is making amazing food, writes out the ingredients," said Shu Cowdhury of Salido. "He shows you how to make the garlic confit. It's really kind of cool, where these chefs are exposing their secrets."

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They're using their secret sauce for good.

A staple for stars since 1944, Patsy's Italian Restaurant is donating 100% of sales of their sauces in stores across the Tri-State to direct relief.

"Food is love and a big part of our lives now. I'm so honored that our recipe and sauce can be in spirit," said Sal Scognamillio of Patsy's.

PHOTO GALLERY: Coronavirus Shutdown 30 Days In

It's that spirit that's catching on across the culinary world.

"Cooking is one of the most personal acts of service you can give to someone, share with someone," said Jordan Andino of Flip Sigi.

Restaurants big and small are coming together in the kitchen, showing a huge palate for philanthropy.

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