How Two Dominica Hotels Are Feeding Healthcare Workers

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Dominica’s Secret Bay and Fort Young hotels have shifted from catering to overnight guests to feeding frontline healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dubbed “Koudmen Kitchen,” an homage to the Creole term that translates to “helping hand,” and led by Grant Lynott, the executive chef of Secret Bay’s Zing Zing Restaurant, along with Fort Young Chefs’ Delma Cenac and Minavia Hazel, the initiative is designed to supply COVID-19 frontline workers and healthcare professionals with 50 no-cost meals a day at four locations across the island for at least the next thirty days. 

Fort Young is also expanding services at its waterfront eatery, The Palisades Restaurant, to now offer takeout, curbside pickup and food delivery to the local community.

“With both Secret Bay and Fort Young operational, though, for the first time in our history both resorts are at zero occupancy, we wanted to refocus our efforts in a meaningful way that best serve those on the frontline working to the breaking point in the fight against,” said Gregor Nassief, chairman of GEMS Holdings Limited, which operates and manages both Secret Bay and Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort.

“We’re delighted to not only keep Fort Young’s The Palisades Restaurant open but to now offer a new special to-go menu and safely deliver orders to our loyal patrons,” Nassief said. “I’m inspired and proud of our entire team.”

Koudmen Kitchen, which began its service on April 3, is receiving support from Archipelago Trading in the form of food inputs, as well as 100% Green, which is providing biodegradable containers, as well as local farmers and fishermen and the delivery teams in Roseau and Portsmouth.

Fort Young’s The Palisades Restaurant in Roseau will continue to operate in accordance with Dominica’s guidelines and has launched takeout, curbside pickup and delivery food service.

“I’m honored to collaborate with Chef Delma, Chef Minavia and our collective teams to prepare meals for those fighting to protect us,” Lynott said. “As it is said, we’re all in this together and food is my way to keep us all connected.”

— CJ