Across China: Italian chef helps prepare free meals to fuel fight against COVID-19
NANCHANG, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The residents standing in lines at a COVID-19 testing site in Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, were amazed by a foreign face delivering packed lunches to medical workers.
His name is Andrea Evaristi, a 41-year-old who hails from Italy. He is now the executive chef of a hotel in Nanchang.
For several days this month, he and his colleagues made close to 200 such "love lunches" each day, all of which were provided to medical workers free of charge to show their gratitude to the heroes in fighting COVID-19.
"There were many doctors staying in our hotel recently. They have contributed a lot for our safety. They are heroes," Evaristi said.
Over 300 COVID-19 cases were reported from March 16 to 27 in the city. In order to control the spread, the city conducted six rounds of mass nucleic acid testing. The hotel where Evaristi works had suspended business in accordance with local requirements and was chosen to temporarily accommodate medical staff.
Although the pace of Nanchang slowed down, Evaristi remained busy.
"When we were asked to be volunteers, everyone was willing to help. Some packed the deliveries and others cooked the meals. It was beautiful teamwork, and you could see everybody was smiling. We were happy to do it," said Evaristi.
The Italian chef and his colleagues also made heart-shaped cookies and wrote down notes of their best wishes for the medical workers.
"I was touched to see a foreign friend do something so sweet for us," said Chen Lanying, a medical worker from the city of Jingdezhen who came to Nanchang to help fight COVID-19.
Evaristi met his wife in China back in 2010. Now they have two kids. "I think China is absolutely one of the safest countries in the world," he said.
With the effective control of the epidemic, work and production in most urban areas of Nanchang have gradually returned to normal since Monday.
The hotel where Evaristi works reopened to the public on Monday, and is allowed to offer take-out food. He has returned to work without waiting too long.
"You have one hand to take and one hand to give," he said, adding that when he has free time, he tries to do his best to "give back to society."