Stuffed salmon in a flaky pastry with lemon butter sauce. Baked Cornish hens in a creamy potato mash. Eggplant parmesan and steak meatballs in tomato and basil sauce. Waldorf salads. Fudgy, chewy brownies.
These were some of the items in the 1,200 meals packed up at the Four Seasons Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Georgetown and given to furloughed employees in a drive-through area in the hotel garage on May 8 for Mother’s Day.
“The Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, has always considered our colleagues as family,” said Regional Vice President and GM David Bernand. “But as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry in the city and globally has been devastated by the loss of travelers and severe reduction in business.
“The hotel and its employees have been directly impacted,” he continued. “Every effort has been made to keep as many employees on schedule as possible and the hotel continues to pay medical benefits while the employees are on reduced hours or furlough. But we also decided to partner with the MINA Group, a national nonprofit meal relief fund, to provide home-cooked meals to those most in need during this difficult time.”
“I am really excited to get to see personally many of the staff whom I have not seen for almost eight weeks now,” Hotel Manager Jason de Vries told The Georgetowner. “The Four Seasons executive chef, Sébastien Giannini, as well as Mark Politzer of the MINA Group have been working hard all week to prepare meals for the furloughed employees of Four Seasons Hotel and Bourbon Steak DC and their families — assisting employees in danger of losing housing and other essential resources by helping keep their family fed. The Four Seasons managers and culinary leaders are donating their time to help prepare and distribute the meals.”
The more than 400 takeaway bags, each containing at least three meals that can be reheated, will be given to staff every week this month. Future menu items will include French salt cod and potato brandade with thyme and olives, marinated grilled chicken salad with lentils and coriander, spinach and goat cheese lasagna with orange zest and arugula pesto, couscous of lamb with vegetables and homemade harissa and Egyptian koshari rice with lentils and pasta.
Abiding by government guidelines, the hotel remains open to accommodate guests that need to come to D.C. Room service is the only meal service available, as all the restaurants and the spa are currently closed.