The restaurant industry was hit incredibly hard by the pandemic. In 2020, Add Passion and Stir connected with chefs to learn how the pandemic was affecting them. We’re revisiting these inspiring conversations to showcase the resilience of the restaurant industry and its commitment to service.

We spoke with Chicago’s award-winning chef and Mexico: One Plate at a Time host Rick Bayless in September of 2020. At that time he was concerned about independent restaurants and advocating for federal funds to stabilize them. “If we don’t get some assistance, I’m afraid we’re going to see our neighborhoods just devastated. They are going to lose their character. Restaurants are a major part of our culture,” he explained. Bayless got involved with the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which lobbied Congress for funds to support the restaurant industry. In early 2021, the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund which provides funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open.

Click here to hear the original interview with Rick Bayless.

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