Posted on April 29, 2022 at 06:33 by West Side Rag
By Emily Tannenhauser
Marc Murphy has said cooking will be ‘tough’ for his family of four when they return home. “I used to make stews for 1,500 people,” he laughs.
Murphy is in Poland cooking for Ukrainian refugees; he has been there for a month and plans to stay there for another month. Well-known New York chef (Windows on the World), restaurateur (Landmarc), television personality (Chopped), and Upper West Sider, he takes time off from a busy life to work for World Central Kitchen (WCK).
WCK is a non-profit organization that travels to emergencies, disasters and crises and cooks for those in need of food. It was launched by chef José Andrés, known as much for his philanthropy as his cuisine, in 2010 after an earthquake devastated Haiti.
Murphy knows Andrés through the restaurant industry. “We were together at an event in South Beach in February,” he recalls, “and Jose got all the chefs together and told us what WCK was doing. In March, I had another gig in Tallahassee , and on the plane home, I was reading the news and the war was just starting. I called my wife and said, “I think I have to go. I have a skill and maybe I can help.
In addition to his wife in New York, Murphy has two children – two freshmen – one in high school, one in college. Talking about telling them his plan was the only time he choked.
“I told them, I know how to run the kitchens. I know how to cook and having what I have I should use it for good. As a parent, I think showing my kids that this is what humans do for humanity, helping people, is probably one of the best lessons for them, that this is what you do.
Murphy arrived in Poland on March 9 and went straight to WCK. “They have this big space, and in five days they built an artisan kitchen,” he said. “I got started and started cooking. I was on the original team. A lot of different volunteers, from different leaders, came by. It is our charity. WCK also hires local people to help run things, so we have local drivers and dispatchers, things like that.
Does he feel safe?
“Let’s face it, I live in New York and I still read the Post,” he replied. “We don’t do so well ourselves, do we? [It was shortly after the Brooklyn subway shooting.] And I’m in Poland, not in Ukraine. It’s about an hour’s drive. I mean, I don’t know how they launch those damn rockets. Are they missing a lot? Maybe they do.
He doesn’t spend time wondering; he returns to the subject that fascinates him. “You know, we can’t do anything. We try to please a palette accustomed to a certain type of cuisine. We try to flavor the food and get the right amount. We are always trying to improve it. Yesterday, for example, we heard that there was a two and a half kilometer line of cars to get back to Ukraine. So we loaded up the van with sandwiches, candies and water, and just drove along the line to distribute them. »
Perhaps it was the thought of the sandwiches that prompted him to add, “I can’t wait to get back to New York and have, you know, bacon, eggs and cheese!”