USA - Helping our friends
Bailliage of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, December 31, 2020
Support for local restaurants during the pandemic
" together as Chaîne members we have the power to save jobs and show compassion "

While the coronavirus pandemic ramped up in the U.S. during the spring of 2020, Bailli George Elliott and the Bailliage of Cincinnati officers continued monthly meetings, switching from in-person to Zoom. During discussions on how to keep the Bailliage relevant in challenging times, they quickly realized that there were thousands of workers in the restaurant industry who were in danger of losing their livelihoods. On a weekly basis came the news of restaurant closings.

The question Bailli Elliott posed to his colleagues was “How can we support all of these people who have loyally supported us in the past?”

After a couple of brainstorming sessions, the Board decided that the Bailliage would help with both financial assistance and continued patronage once restaurant dining reopened in Ohio. Based on strong relationships, the Bailliage gave cash gifts of $500-$1,000 to each of seven restaurant owners. The Bailliage also pledged to encourage members to either dine in or carry out when their restaurants reopened for business.

As dining reopened, specific weeks were targeted for Bailliage members to support each restaurant with carry out and dine-in meals, all depending on personal comfort and restaurant parameters. The honoured chefs and/or owners included:

- Michael “Funky” Forgus of Funky’s Catering
- Jon Zipperstein, owner of Mercer OTR, Trio Bistro, and Embers
- Legendary French Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel (The Table, French Crust, and Frenchie Fresh)
- Wassim Matar, owner of Mediterranean restaurant Phoenician Taverna
- Jose Salazar, chef/owner of the eponymous, Spanish-themed Salazar
- Chef/Partner Brad Bernstein of Red Feather Kitchen
- Shawn McCoy, Chef/Owner of Brown Dog Cafè

The diverse culinary scene in Cincinnati is one of the top reasons we love to live there.

Bailli Elliott, Chargé de Presse Provincial JT Mayer, Chambellan Provincial Irwin Weinberg and Dame de la Chaîne Barbara Weinberg all exemplify the support of the Bailliage of Cincinnati. They dined multiple times at all seven restaurants!

Carmen Parks, Vice-Chargée de Missions, used a sampler approach, with husband Paul Parks visiting several of the seven featured restaurants and branching out to support other restaurants the Bailliage has enjoyed. She said, “They were all good experiences knowing that we were helping our restaurant friends trying to keep their doors open.”

All these acts of kindness are small but together as Chaîne members we have the power to save jobs and show compassion to so many people whose lives have been affected by this unfortunate pandemic. The Board’s decision to give back to those who routinely give so much to us was a good reflection on the camaraderie motto of the Chaîne!

Graig Smith
Vice-Chargé de Presse

Photographs by Jan Smith


From top to bottom:
1. Michael 'Funky' Forgus
2. Jon Zipperstein
3. Jean-Robert de Cavel
4. Jose Salazar
5. Brad Bernstein