It’s like a Master Chef challenge every day

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Have you ever had one of those days when you are staring at your fridge and your cupboards, and even though there is lots of food in there, you just can’t think of anything to cook?

Rainbow Kitchen volunteer chef Gail sure knows how that feels.  And 200 thankful and hungry customers are relying on her and the other volunteer chefs to be inspired.  On the day that I dropped in to chat with volunteers, Gail had faced a particularly daunting challenge.

“There’s no protein today,” she tells me. “Every day we come in, see what’s available and then develop a menu. Today, no protein.”IMG_2157

“We have cheese,” points out one of the kitchen volunteers. Yes, lots and lots of cheese. Today’s menu: vegetarian spaghetti, salad and a couple of choices for dessert.

For Gail, who works full time and fits in one day a week as head chef, it’s about nourishing her inner chef.

“I’ve always loved cooking. When I was young, at summer camp, I was always sneaking into the kitchen to learn to cook with the ladies there. “

It was more than five years ago, through a network involving her book club, and her church, that Gail found her way to the Rainbow Kitchen. She knew she’d found a place where she could make a difference.

“It’s not an us and them atmosphere. There aren’t volunteers and them clients. It could be any one of us on the other side of the table.  It feels good to be here.”

According to that day’s other kitchen volunteers – the sous chefs, they laughingly call themselves – Gail runs a tight ship. The kitchen is clean and orderly and things are getting done efficiently.

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