If it’s one thing I’ve noticed during this crazy time, chefs are hustling out there. Not just grinding to make a buck and keep their restaurants open, but with a sense of renewed purpose and drive. Not just pivoting for survival, but demonstrating why they became chefs in the first place. I’ve seen so many motivated cooks rising to the occasion to keep working and ensuring people are fed. It’s admirable, but I often wonder — are they thriving or struggling?
So, when Scott Morozin of Verbena BYOB reached out to tell me some of the things he’s doing, the lightbulb went on in my head to start a new series of articles simply called The Hustle. How are chefs hustling right now? Let’s find out!
“Ma’am, I just want to cook,” Chef Morozin ever-so-politely messaged me on Facebook. “I’ll do any format and any price point.”
He’s not letting his talent go to waste, yet fully realizes a lot of people are struggling right now. While offering curbside pickup and delivery through Grubhub, he’s keeping his prices as reasonable as possible with a more casual, yet high-quality, menu every day at Verbena.
“I changed my restaurant almost overnight to serve my guests in a much different way. We continue to use wholesome products and provide high standards of service,” Chef Morozin explained.
He’s even offering special discounted menus for frontline workers and truckers that are affordable and portable for easy heating and serving later.
The passion to keep cooking and feeding people is evident in every update he makes on social media. This is not a chef who is looking for pity; he’s rolling up his sleeves and getting it done.
“We are here for you. Food is love. And we love food. My staff is healthy and eager to continue to cook for you all,” Chef Morozin proclaimed with pride.
He’s also partnered with local businesses, occasionally offering gift cards to other area small businesses, with the purchase of a meal.
Naturally, the Verbena team is extending its charity by donating meals to area healthcare workers. Many of whom give him daily shout-outs on Facebook.
And to keep us all entertained, he’s turned to Facebooking live to demonstrate his fine cooking skills. Just last night, he showed us all how to “French” a chicken leg. The other day, he showed off his power basting skills on Instagram.
With sheer grit and determination, Philly area chefs and hospitality workers are making it happen. They’re not going to let a pandemic keep them, and us, down. Because we all still need to eat!
Do you know someone hustling and who should be featured? Let me know!
Food enthusiast. Travel lover. Social media maven.
Independent Journalist. Food marketing/PR expert.