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Portland chefs imploring diners to call lawmakers and 'Save Restaurants' in stimulus plan

Naomi Pomeroy, chef/owner of Beast in Northeast Portland, outlines the dire need for help in a Washington Post op-ed article.

PORTLAND, Ore. — If you follow any restaurants on social media, you're probably seeing a lot of them post the same plea, maybe even the same heart logo. It started from some big-time celebrity chefs, along with a Portland favorite, Naomi Pomeroy.

Pomeroy owns Beast and is co-owner of Expatriate, she's a cookbook author and has been on the TV shows Top Chef, Iron Chef and Knife Fight.  

She wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post Tuesday about the devastating effects these shutdowns will have on the restaurant industry. Pomeroy laid off her 30 employees when Beast closed, saying it was safer for everyone's health than trying to provide take-out orders. 

Credit: Naomi Pomeroy

In the newspaper article, she gives eye-opening examples of her fish supplier begging her to make orders, slashing prices because fish is so perishable, but nobody is buying it. Local fishing boats are sitting at the dock with their catch because they don't have connections to the big grocery chains to sell their product. She writes how farmers, linen services and butchers are not far behind restaurant workers to file for unemployment.  

She and celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio, Marcus Samuelsson and others have organized to create the Save Restaurants campaign. They are asking the federal government for $440 billion that would cover six months of income replacement, writing, "it would ensure full and continued employment of all restaurant staff, rent and supply bills for the nation's independent restaurants." 

Credit: Save Restaurants

Chefs are asking the public to call their representatives and senators to add this into the federal stimulus plan. These are 9 million restaurant jobs at eateries you may love, but many of which may not be coming out of this alive. They're asking you to contact your lawmakers on their behalf. 

Credit: Save Restaurants

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