WEST CONCORD (CBS) – Two local chefs are starting a new business after being laid off in the coronavirus pandemic.
Chef Gavin Lambert has worked in restaurants his whole life, learning from the best of the best in New York City.
When coronavirus hit, Lambert lost his job as a chef at Woods Hill Table in Concord, so he took a chance on an idea that he and girlfriend Rachel Amiralian have had for a while, and started WECO Hospitality, a prepared meal delivery service.
“It kind of was to help us because we have bills to pay, but it also seemed like a great opportunity for us to help others. It’s a lot of fun and definitely been a good creative outlet,” Lambert told WBZ via Facetime.
WECO is a nod to West Concord, where Lambert is from.
The couple shops, prepares, cooks and delivers restaurant quality meals right to customers’ front doors.
“We’re hustling to get it all done, it’s a lot for two people. We probably put 150 miles on the car yesterday doing deliveries,” Amiralian said.
The couple says they limit their exposure to the outside world, using Valdor Foods, a wholesale distributor that sources from local businesses and farms. Occasionally, they make small trips to local supermarkets.
A weekly menu is released on Sundays, via WECO Hospitality’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Customers can then sign up for meals on a first come, first serve basis. Lambert and Amiralian pride themselves on serving delicious and affordable food. A meal for a family of four can be as little as $28, including the delivery fee. The couple says their inboxes are inundated with hundreds of people wanting to try a WECO dinner.
“It’s something to get excited about. We’re in quarantine now, there’s not a lot going on, so it’s like, ‘Oh my God the menu is coming out, yes!’ Amiralian told WBZ.
The couple says from the beginning it was important to them to provide food to families in need. At first, they were doing it on their own dime, but slowly word spread through the community. Now, people are sponsoring dinners for front-line workers or families who deserve a free meal.
“I think that’s probably the coolest part of our day, is surprising somebody with a free meal. Those deliveries are a little bit more special because its community, you gotta support your community,” Lambert said.
Despite how hectic the new venture has been for the couple, Lambert says it’s certainly changed his mind about the ways people can taste his food.
“It’s cooking and being a chef in a different setting than I’ve ever done. I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 17 and I never thought there was anything else. With disaster and calamity there comes hope and new beginnings so it’s certainly changed my perspective on what it means to do what I do and the medium I can use to get my food across to other people,” Lambert explained.
They say the portions are generous, so they’ve added in a fun bonus – notes on what to do with your leftovers.
WECO only delivers to the MetroWest area.