MAINE, Maine — Covid arrived in March, and every industry has felt the impact of this pandemic - but when restaurants were forced to initially close their doors and stop serving customers, that industry was hit hard. Slowly, the restaurant industry has begun to find its footing, and restaurants across the state are getting creative to figure out how they can serve their customers in this new normal.
The ReUp Maine Restaurant Relief Fund was created to directly support restaurants who are in the midst of reopening, rehiring, and restocking. It is anticipated that rebuilding of the Maine hospitality economy is going to take several years. The next 6 months will be critical to saving and helping to sustain Maine’s passionate restaurant owners. And with winter fast approaching, the outdoor dining that we are enjoying now will not likely be available.
It is estimated that one in three jobs in the state is somehow tied to the hospitality industry, so efforts to support this part of economy are critical. We talked with Rory Strunk of O'Maine Studios about how these efforts have come together, and the upcoming series of Sunday Suppers designed to engage an audience who might follow along.
This is from the Taste Maine website:
"The 60 minute live webcast, airing over ten Sundays through mid-December, brings Maine’s restaurant comeback story to life as it evolves and drives donations for the ReUP ME fundraising campaign. By celebrating our food, our people and our communities, Sunday Supper will include:
Live audience & interactive cook-along format
Cook-along promotion of the ingredient list for each show
Celebrity & Mentor guests do tastings of Maine products
Perfect pairings – beverage & mixology recommendations
Producer profiles on farms, aquaculture, brewing, distilling"
You can check out the website in advance of each Sunday Supper, purchase the ingredients, and follow along as chefs from all over the state create their signature dishes and walk you (the viewer) through the steps.
If you would like to donate to the Re Up Maine Restaurant Relief fund, click here. If you are a restaurant, and would like to apply for a grant, click here. Episode Two of the Sunday Suppers -- Comfort Food -- airs on Sunday, September 13th - and to follow along, click here. All of this information can be found at the Taste Maine website.