Lockdown Heroes of Hospitality

Published 7 September 2020

Tom Kerridge, Meals For Marlow

Riaz Phillips, Community Comfort

Feed NHS

The Little Chartroom

Budgie Montoya, Filipino Food Movement UK

Eat Well MCR

Angela Hartnett, COOK-19

Thomasina Miers

Charlie Mellor

The Caring Foundation

You cook we'll clean, Haeckels

Zoe's Ghana Kitchen

Food for good, Edinburgh

James Cochran

Anna Sebastian and Sam Ayling, Skywalker

Shuko Oda

The Berkeley

Pastaio t-shirts

Beyond Food Foundation

Ixta Belfrage

Today's special

Well Grounded

PUFF the bakery

Berkmann Wine Cellars

Black Book

Gizzi Erskine & Professor Green

Jason Atherton

The global pandemic created the biggest challenge the hospitality industry has ever faced. Yet, in these challenging times, many hospitality figures and businesses have showcased just how creative, generous and incredible the industry is. At CODE, we want to champion those who helped us and others through a difficult time, so here we present our ‘Lockdown Heroes’ list to highlight some of the initiatives and work industry figures and businesses have put together over recent months. From those who have raised thousands for charity, to those who have kept us entertained online, join us in thanking our lockdown heroes. Thank you to all those who sent us nominations, to the individuals and groups included and to the many unsung heroes out there we haven’t been able to recognise this time. 

Compiled by Harriet Prior 

Tom Kerridge, Meals For Marlow


Tom Kerridge

Raising more than £175,000 to fund free meals for frontline workers and the vulnerable during the pandemic, Tom Kerridge and his team have definitely earned their place on this list. Through the Meals From Marlow campaign, he helped to deliver a staggering 75,000 meals to six hospitals and those in need in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. The initiative will now become a permanent charity, delivering 30,000 meals a year to people in need.  

Honest Burger 

Through its ‘Honest at Home’ initiative, Honest Burgers raised almost £9,000 for Landworkers Alliance, Hospitality Action and Trussell Trust from the sale of 250 kits. 

Calum Franklin & Nokx Majozi

The Holborn Dining Room duo launched a range of savoury goods together with Drings Butchers in Greenwich to raise funds for the NHS staff at their local hospital. 

Riaz Phillips, Community Comfort

Riaz Phillips

As news started to break about how COVID-10 was disproportionately impacting Black and ethnic minority communities, the author and activist Riaz Phillips wanted to do something about it. So, he created Community Comfort, a recipe book filled with 100 recipes from stars of the diverse UK hospitality industry. Not only did he raise £20,000 in two days to support those communities, but he helped to give diverse voices in the industry a platform.  

The Pass

Dubbed ‘the Spotify of cooking’, the ever-evolving virtual cookbook features recipes from London’s top restaurants, with contributions going to Hospitality Action and to those operators who have taken part, to support them and their staff. 

Feed NHS

Feed NHS

Set up by actors Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory and Matt Lucas and led by high-street favourite Leon, the group raised a staggering £1m to provide hot meals to the NHS. The group also funded Feed Our Frontline, a coalition of restaurants and food providers who supplied more than 315,000 meals to frontline NHS workers during the peak of the crisis, with partners including Dishoom, Tossed, Rosa’s Thai and Franco Manca. 

Only A Pavement & Tom Aikens

Challenging chefs and home cooks to create a meal in five minutes and donate £5, the initiative supported the charity’s Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign. 


Bancone’s raffle in partnership with Crust Bros, with prizes including free pasta and pizza for a year, a pasta masterclass and dinner for four, raised £8,000 for the NHS. 

The Little Chartroom

The Little Chartroom

Roberta Hall and Shaun McCarron, owners of the Edinburgh restaurant, set an initial target of £750 for homelessness charity Soul Food Edinburgh in April. Smashing the target in 24 hours, the pair went on to raise £6,510 to provide hot meals from Soul Food’s ‘grab and go’ takeaway stands to people across Edinburgh who were homeless or struggling to feed themselves during the pandemic.  


The Ethiopian restaurant Beza in Walworth established a crowd fundraising page and raised more than £1,500 to support the delivery of hot meals for vulnerable families in the community. 

40FT Brewery

By creating an NHS bar tap, to which customers donated via online sales, 40FT raised £1,000 by matching £1 for £1 donations. Now that the Dalston microbrewery has reopened, NHS workers can redeem a well-deserved drink using the tab. 

Noxy Brothers

With many coffee chains in hospitals shut, the pair behind Noxy Brothers set up a coffee bar in NHS Northwick Park, providing free barista coffee to 3,000 NHS staff daily, as well as raising £50,000 to further support the NHS. 

Budgie Montoya, Filipino Food Movement UK

Hattingley Valley

The family-owned Hampshire winery donated up to £90 for every purchase of sparkling wine to Hospitality Action’s Covid19 Emergency Appeal. 

Hospitality Action’s Invisible Chips

Amongst a huge amount of support and fundraising, one of Hospitality Action wittiest and most effective ideas was to raise funds for hospitality workers by asking partners to add a portion of ‘invisible chips’ to the menu. 


With such a cult following for its meaty menus across London, it’s no surprise that Blacklock at Home sold out within minutes on its first release, with all profits going to End Youth Homelessness. 

Filipino Food Movement UK

With nearly 20,000 strong Filipino staff working within the NHS, a group of chefs who work to elevate Filipino food in the UK have been working to deliver their favourite food to NHS frontliners. Despite an initial £300 goal, the team raised nearly £4,000, enabling chefs including Sarap’s Budgie Montoya and founder of Filipino supper club Maria Garbutt-Lucero to feed staff across the country.  

Eat Well MCR

Community support  

+Home project

Artists Melanie Manchot and Fiona Banner, designer Nina Tolstrup and chef Sam Clark joined forces with restaurants including Lucky & Joy and volunteer chefs from Moro and Morito to help cook and deliver 125 hot meals to NHS staff four times a week. 

Mary-Ellen McTague and Lucy Noone-Blake

Going beyond the call of duty during lockdown were Manchester-based duo Mary-Ellen McTague and Lucy Noone-Blake. Through Now Eat Well MCR, their purpose is to offer care and support to the hospitality community through the provision of food. Since lockdown began, the collective prepared and delivered an amazing 20,000 meals to those in need.  

City Harvest

Redistribution charity City Harvest helped restaurants to clean down and redistribute any stock they couldn’t use to those most in need of food.  

Angela Hartnett, COOK-19


Founded by Lulu Dillon, Cook-19 is a volunteer-led project that made sure no NHS worker went without food during the crisis. Joining forces with Angela Hartnett, the team provided more than 50,000 cooked meals to NHS key workers at work at home over four months, doing their bit to keep spirits high in difficult times.  

Otto Tepasse

Alongside his team, Otto Tepasse of the eponymous restaurant made free lunches for the staff at St. Thomas’s Hospital, including such memorable dishes such as smoked salmon and caviar brioche sandwiches. 

Chefs in Schools

The charity which matches professional chefs with work in schools helped to ensure that families in need were still getting food despite school closures, via a box scheme.   

Wilton’s and Franco’s

Two of London’s oldest restaurants joined forces to redistribute food from Soho Square to feed key workers and the vulnerable.  

Pasta Evangelists

Supporting bricks-and-mortar operators despite being a delivery service, Pasta Evangelists launched #RallyForRestaurants, inviting guest chefs to create a dish which they sold and gave 20% of profits to the chef’s restaurant. Additionally, the team collaborated with AgeUK, donating £5 from each care package to support the charity. 

Chewton Glen

With produce from the 135-acre farm not stopping for lockdown, the Hampshire hotel’s team kept busy daily harvesting food to donate to The Empty Bowls Project, helping to feed those in need. 

Soho House

Global members group Soho House has helped by providing meals, beds, toiletries and more to frontline workers using its Houses across the world.  

Christian Bourne

Palomar chef Bourne partnered with friend and owner of Truffles Deli Lee Smyth to cook meals for the emergency night shift workers at two hospitals, surpassing 1,000 a week by May. 

Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers didn’t sit back and relaxed during lockdown. Alongside leading Wahaca’s involvement in the COOK-19 project and participating in Chefs In Schools’ drive to cook for families reliant on free school meals, Miers also created a series of cook-alongs, ‘Wahaca at Home’, and has been a voice for the industry in the media. 


For every ‘Benares@Home’ order it received, the Indian restaurant donated a hot meal to NHS workers in the local area.  

Charlie Mellor

Charlie Mellor

On a mission to transform the delivery service, Mellor, the man behind The Laughing Heart in Hackney, created Big Night in lockdown to champion London independents and bring high quality food to people’s homes. 

The Caring Foundation

The Caring Foundation

Caprice Holdings owner Richard Caring and Patricia Caring’s charity The Caring Foundation gathered 700 volunteers from across their hospitality network (from Annabel’s to The Ivy Collection and Bill’s) to deliver around 75,000 meals a week to NHS workers and the most vulnerable across the country, including Dublin, Cardiff, Manchester and London.  

Tasty Jerk

Partnering with homeless hostel Rest Up, the Caribbean restaurant cooked and delivered hot meals three days a week from its Elephant and Castle site, in addition to its delivery and takeaway service.  

Kitchen Theory

Clear that normal service was on hold, the design studio Kitchen Theory (which also hosts chef’s table events) switched its activities to make and donate soups for NHS staff, and has since committed to weekly deliveries to Age UK Barnet and Community Barnet.  


Admin and booking management platform RSVP launched a 250,000 Euro support package for those in need, to allow them to trade without paying any fees. 

You cook we'll clean, Haeckels


The natural skincare company launched its “you cook, we’ll clean” initiative to support restaurants reopening. With the increased focus on hand washing, the Margate-based business offered restaurants complimentary soap, dispensers and refills for a couple of months, helping to cut costs for restaurants in need. 

Jonathan Downey

At the start of lockdown, the founder of Hospitality Union wrote to the Chancellor on behalf of the industry calling for a rent holiday. It was signed by industry big hitters and supported widely; Downey made many broadcast appearances to keep hospitality in the public eye. 

Zoe's Ghana Kitchen

Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen

Rather than simply shutting up shop, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen transformed into a community kitchen for Hackney Wick and Bow for three months. Founder Zoe Adjonyoh was inspired to keep the kitchen functioning and serve those in the community after seeing first-hand how those with mental illness needed support, going on to raise over £10k to serve food to the local hospital and beyond.  


The contract caterers delivering meals to London offices under normal circumstances reopened its production kitchen to make more than 5,000 meals for the vulnerable in Southwark.  

PAUL Bakery

Sharing the load with NHS workers across the capital, PAUL delivered thousands of rolls, croissants, tarts and macaroons daily to London hospitals, and offered free tea and coffee in 10 sites. 


With the Countess of Wessex offering a helping hand, the catering services company Rhubarb cooked and delivered thousands of meals a week to five NHS hospitals to thank them for their work. 

Food for good, Edinburgh

Food for good

A collective of food industry professionals working to provide resources and emergency provisions in Scotland, the team ensured no one in Edinburgh was without good food during COVID-19. With four kitchens and more than 50 industry professionals and volunteers involved, the team delivered 50,000 meals to the people of Edinburgh and beyond.  

Mariage Frères

To make sure NHS staff didn’t go without a cuppa, the Covent Garden tea emporium donated more than 1,500 tea bags to St Thomas’s Hospital.  

James Cochran

James Cochran

Having launched Around the Cluck during lockdown, Cochran made an ongoing plan to partner with 10 pubs to help them enhance their business and take advantage of the VAT reduction.  

Miel Bakery

Remaining open to ensure staff at UCL Hospital were fed, the enthusiastic team at the upscale Fitzrovia bakery offered NHS discounts and gave away food to locals. 

Larry Jayasekara

Nominated for his relentless work cooking for local communities over lockdown, the chef formed part of a team cooking more than 90,000 meals over 61 days for UCL Hospital. 

Anna Sebastian and Sam Ayling, Skywalker

Anna Sebastian and Sam Ayling

Manager of Artesian bar Anna Sebastian and Sam Ayling, who recently took over Havelock Tavern, joined forces during lockdown to launch new cocktail initiative Skywalker. The aim was to shed light and raise awareness on the growing reality of homelessness within the hospitality industry and support those in need. All proceeds have gone to Under One Sky, aptly the charity the pair were volunteering at when they met. Sebastian also started a ‘wine time’ blog to bring attention to the concerns of the sector in an entertaining way.  

Mercato Metropolitano

The community food market has been delivering bags of essential supplies to over a thousand vulnerable, elderly and isolated families in the Elephant & Castle area.  

Nick Bramham

The head chef at Quality Wines Farringdon, faced with months away from the kitchen, partnered with DeliverAid to cook hundreds of meals for frontline workers across London.  

Shuko Oda

Shuko Oda

Working with ‘FIRST WASH YOUR HANDS’, Oda contributed a collection of recipes published by the London Centre for Book Arts, with all proceeds shared between Trussell Trust and Young Leaders Fund.  

HEJ coffee

Repurposing its in-house to provide for the local community, HEJ coffee also donated coffee and hot chocolate to LGBTIQ homeless charity The Outside Project. 


Firing up the ovens for a good cause, the chefs at Carousel supported Hospitality For Heroes, delivering 200 meals a week to St Marys and Hammersmith Hospital.

The Berkeley

The Berkeley

The 5-star hotel in Knightsbridge transformed its courtyard into a ‘drive-thru’ to offer free food and refreshments to London’s emergency services. The team served 250 meals every day, as well as tea and coffee.  


Another Maybourne property helping out, Claridge’s opened its rooms to 40 doctors, nurses and other key staff after the Mayfair hotel was forced to close to the public, supplying a bed, breakfast and dinner.  

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs

The former Manchester United players Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs opened the doors to their two hotels, Hotel Football and Stock Exchange Hotel, to NHS staff free of charge.  

Pastaio t-shirts

Staff support 

Stevie Parle

Reminding us that “this too shall pasta”, he called on designer friends to create a range of t-shirts. All profits went to the non-management team at Pastaio, who Parle said had not received fair treatment from the furlough scheme. 

Corbin & King

Pivoting its offering and launching a delivery service with signature dishes across the portfolio (think The Wolseley schnitzel and The Delaunay mushroom stroganoff), the group used all profits to top up staff wages. 


Recognising how difficult the time was for its many staff, D&D launched an online platform to support its workforce, with health advice, volunteering opportunities, business updates, emotional support and more. 

Beyond Food Foundation

Stephen Tozer

The Le Bab founder established a new scheme for staff who lost their jobs, allowing them to use Le Bab’s kitchens to prepare food for delivery and keep the profits themselves. 

Beyond Food Foundation

Normally operating as a charity to help disadvantaged and homeless adults into work in the hospitality trade, together with enterprise partner Brigade Bar + Kitchen, the foundation pivoted during the pandemic to offer assistance to those in the industry. A range of services including a 24/7 helpline, mental health counselling and a financial hardship fund were available to support hospitality workers whose jobs and livelihoods were under threat. 

Ixta Belfrage


Ixta Belfrage

If you didn’t see people trying to recreate Belfrage’s biang biang noodles all over your Instagram, where were you hiding? The Ottolenghi development chef kept her followers entertained and educated with a series of recipes, and what better time to learn how to make noodles from scratch? 

Clerkenwell Boy

With the guidelines open to interpretation in March, many restaurants closed, adapted, delivered and transformed. Clerkenwell Boy pulled together an extensive, constantly updated list of openings and closures to keep London’s diners informed.  

Watershed School

The independent management school for hospitality businesses compiled a series of complimentary 90-minute virtual workshops for those who wanted to learn during lockdown.  

Today's special

Today’s Special

Spearheaded by Pho marketing director Libby Andrews and Hawksmoor co-founder Huw Gott, Today’s Special raised more than £225,000 for Hospitality Action and Action Against Hunger by auctioning prizes donated by chefs and restaurateurs across the UK. Prizes included home cookery experiences with Jason Atherton and a jerk-spiced fried chicken street party catered by James Cochran.  

Colliers International

With rental and property issues a big worry for operators, property experts Colliers International established a free helpline for the sector offering advice on leases, insolvency, rates and more. 

Well Grounded

Well Grounded

Working round the clock to provide support and training to its 234 graduates since March, the team at coffee academy Well Grounded managed to find the time to host virtual training and wellbeing sessions, provide free training programmes and food boxes to hospitality workers in need and raise £10,000 to support its graduates through the pandemic. 

The Humble Grape

 Hosting a series of virtual wine tasting via Instagram, the team at The Humble Grape created wine boxes so viewers could sample the wines discussed. 

PUFF the bakery

PUFF the Bakery

Long before the global pandemic, Countertalk founder and co-owner of PUFF the Bakery aimed to support and revolutionise the industry. Alongside offering practical advice, Gill created the PUFF school alongside Nicola Lamb to teach online subscribers the secrets, tips and techniques to create bakery quality pastries at home.  

Angel Zapata Martin

With restaurants shut and everyone craving restaurant quality food, the Barrafina head chef showed us how to make everything from artichoke tortilla to octopus paella via Instagram live.  

Berkmann Wine Cellars

Berkmann Wine Cellars

In case people needed some extra persuasion, Berkmann Wine Cellars partnered with renowned chefs and sommeliers from its customer network to present and teach viewers about their top picks from the range via online videos. The team also raised an impressive £75,000 for suffering individuals and businesses through the Help 4 Hospitality initiative, with a portion of wines bought via the online shop donated to consumer-nominated hospitality outlets.  

The Food Marketing Club

Hosting weekly calls for members to share ideas and feedback, the club was a great source of advice, knowledge and support during lockdown. 

Black Book

Black Book

New global platform with the mantra ‘Equality. Equity. Wealth Creation’, Blackbook works to raise consciousness of issues impacting Black and non-white people working in hospitality. Founded by Zoe Adjonyoh, Anna Sulan Masing and Frankie Reddin, Black Book hosted a series of talks over lockdown themed around ‘de-colonising the food industry’, which saw speakers discuss issues and offer solutions to topics such as food publishing, farming and investment.  

Hospitality Delivers

A great resource detailing operators who are giving back and ways to support, as well as listing cooking masterclasses and where to find them. 


Connecting, upskilling and inspiring hospitality workers through isolation, HospoLive hosted wellness sessions, interviews, live cooking segments and more.  

Melissa Thompson

The host of Get Back In The Kitchen podcast and BBC Good Food columnist (aka. Fowlmouthsfood) continued to champion diversity and support to black-owned restaurants throughout the pandemic. 

Gizzi Erskine & Professor Green


Gizzi Erskine and Professor Green

The duo kept us entertained with their Monday night fakeaway series, and now following their social media success, they’ve launched a pizza brand in collaboration with Passo. 

Adam Handling

The owner of the AHR group used the lockdown period to teach his followers how to make more than 15 recipes at home, cooking in aid of The Felix Project and more. 

Sam Harrison

A welcome distraction during an uncertain time, Harrison launched celebrity quiz nights with well-known clientele such as Ant and Dec asking the questions. 

Jason Atherton

Top Cuvée

A real and rare lockdown success story, the team at Top Cuvée thought fast and pivoted incredibly to create Shop Cuvee back in March, providing much of the city’s wine supply and even delivering to local parks. The shop has now gone national, and with a physical location on the way soon, there are no signs of slowing down any time soon… 


The food writer Jonathan Nunn created a digital subscriber title during lockdown, providing readers with a timely and thought-provoking series of long-form articles. 

Matt Tebbutt

Chef-presenter Matt Tebbutt and cook-author Jack Monroe kept viewers entertained on their daily cooking version of BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen Live, with a focus on the challenges of cooking during lockdown. 

Double Dutch

Filled with hand sanitizer, games, spirits and Double Dutch mixers, the soft drink’s brand donated £5 to #FeedtheNHS for every at home kit sold. 

Passione Vino

Luca with Friends virtual wine tastings by Passione Vino’s Luca Dusi has been praised as an informal and fun way to learn about regions, winemakers and style of wines.  

Black Cow Vodka

Dorset-based vodka company Black Cow started the Waste Not Want Not initiative, inviting chefs to create dishes using ingredients that would otherwise go to waste on its weekly Instagram live series, making a donation to the chefs or charity of their choice.  

Small Beer

The east London independent extended its small acts of kindness initiative to reward hospitality figures offering support, with winners received a case of 50 beers.  

Jeremy Lee 

Keeping both himself and his followers entertained, we enjoyed seeing the fun sketches by chef proprietor of Quo Vadis on our feed. 

Jason Atherton

With frequent appearances from his two daughters, Jason Atherton’s 130,000 Instagram followers were treated to private Michelin-starred cooking lessons, from cookies to scallops. 

Jack Stein

The Padstow-based chef got friends and colleagues in the industry together to host a virtual food festival. Broadcasted via Instagram, the first featured Angela Hartnett, Rick Stein, José Pizarro and more, including discussions, demos and more. Stein organised three additional festivals featuring the UKs favourite hospitality figures. 


Whilst KERB food market was put on hold, founder Petra Barran hosted a podcast, offering valuable insights and light entertainment in a challenging time. 

Bread Ahead

The Borough Market bakers hosted daily videos sharing its favourite baking lessons, alongside creating an online baking recipe e-book. 

Padella and Trullo

Fans of two popular pasta restaurants rejoiced at the weekly videos demonstrating how to create the best pasta at home. 

Pizza Pilgrims

Its ‘pizza in the post’ delivery kits were a huge success, and so was the ‘Mamma’s Boys’ Instagram series, teaching followers how to make the perfect pizza.  

To read more industry news and insights, subscribe to the CODE Quarterly magazine here

Search results
Weekly bulletin. Eyes and ear of the industry