Latin America united to save the restaurant sector

Janaina Rueda, the chef of a Casa do Porco, which ranked sixth in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019, has taken action to protect restaurant employees.

Janaina Rueda and her husband Jefferson continued to pay all their employees after they closed their restaurant a Casa do Poco, which ranked sixth on Latin America’s 50 best Restaurants list in 2019, due to coronavirus. The successful chef Rueda, who used her restaurants as a distribution centre for donations and food such as rice and beans, decided to close all restaurants in succession and take action for the future unemployment problem and families left without pay. She gathered more than 1,000 chefs and hospitality industry professionals in WhatsApp groups to bring unity to the industry.

At first, Manu Buffara, Rafa Costa e Silva, Thomas Troisgros and Alex Atala came together to discuss the state of the industry and met with journalists, designers and many others to pressure the state to provide economic support. In response to this pressure, the government passed a temporary measure providing nationwide unemployment benefits. The successful chef Rueda said: “It was a huge win for us all. Everybody spoke up, everybody respected one another. We put any differences to one side and achieved something big together.” Rueda continues her work to assist her other friends in Latin America, and her communications continue with Chef Alvaro Clavijo and chef Leo Espinosa from Bogotá and chef Jaime Rodríguez from Cartagena.