Truly, I am amazed by our chefs. I often say that there is no tougher job in the food industry than being a chef at the Mission. Most restaurant chefs have a set menu, with a regular group of kitchen staff helping to prepare the meals. They can buy the food they need based on their menu plans for the week and prepare meals each night for a much smaller group of people in the dining room that is right next to their kitchen.
Our Mission Chefs:
- Do not know what food might come in from donations or what will be the freshest to use for a meal, so the creativity it takes to put any menu together is pretty impressive.
- Do not know how many meals they will be serving in a day, but always know it will be more than 2,000 across all locations for three meals, 365 days a year—pretty sure most restaurant chefs do not serve this quantity of guests!
- Work alongside dozens of volunteers each day to prepare meals, unlike the prep staff that a restaurant chef has.
- Prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner at the downtown kitchen every day and then transport the meals to a warming kitchen at our 24/7 shelter, 48th Avenue Center, serving hundreds of meals a day.
For any of you who have ever put together meals for your family or have prepared a Thanksgiving banquet for loved ones, you understand how hard this can be. I greatly appreciate it too, especially since I am no chef!
To be a chef here, you have to feel called to “give back.” This month’s newsletter talks about three of our chefs who each share a little bit of their story and why it is so important for them to work for the Mission. We are so grateful for their hearts and compassion for the people we serve.
When you gather for your Thanksgiving feast with friends and family, we hope you take a moment and think about the love that goes into preparing meals for those who do not have a place to go. Pray for us—we always appreciate that. Thank you for helping us make Thanksgiving a happier time for the hundreds of people we will serve on this special holiday.
Brad Meuli has been President/CEO at the Mission since 2001. Brad joined the Mission after a 17-year career in banking. Previous to his staff position he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Read his full bio.
This post is part of November’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, we’re telling the story of our chefs who prepare every meal at the Mission, be especially our Thanksgiving celebrations, providing A Thanksgiving with Dignity & Grace.