As Europe opens up after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, chefs are taking to the streets to voice their protest against insufficient government support for their industry.
In Spain, one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak, some two hundred chefs gathered outside the parliament in Madrid to highlight the plight of the hospitality industry.
The protest was attended by Michelin star chefs Ramón Freixa, Paco Roncero, Mario Sandoval, Diego Guerrero, Óscar Velasco, Iván Muñoz, Pedro Larumbe and Pepa Muñoz, among others. The protesters concluded their demonstration by laying down their whites on the street outside the building, in an echo of the protest held by Belgian chefs earlier this month.
Chefs laid out their whites in Brussels’ Grand Place in a symbolic gesture to urge the government to make concessions on VAT, and make economic support for staff available up to the end of 2020.
In Paris, restaurant owners also placed chef’s whites, toques and restaurant trays along the bank of the River Seine during a nationwide protest against the consequences of the measures the French government has imposed on their industry to curb the spread of the Covid-19
Meanwhile, in Latvia’s Riga, chefs chose a different form of protest when they started their ‘Pot Revolution’. They are urging the public to join with them in banging pots and pans in the streets every day at 6pm, to call for more subsidies for hospitality and tourism in the country.
Italy, which is moving quickly out of the strict lockdown imposed for over 10 weeks, saw members of the hospitality industry stage protests in several cities earlier this month in opposition to the restrictions imposed on their industry.
By HUGO MCCAFFERTY