South Belfast Chef provides free Sunday roasts to struggling families amidst cost of living crisis.
Great British Menu star and owner of the unique and contemporary south Belfast concept restaurant A Peculiar Tea, Carryduff-born chef Gemma Austin, ‘can’t stomach people struggling’ especially in the current climate.
Gemma’s genuine compassion for people has always remained at the forefront of her business, ‘if I ever got to a stage in my life where I would be successful I would bring the people with me and that’s a massive part of it.’
On 23rd October A Peculiar Tea announced it would be providing free Sunday Roasts for struggling families and individuals over the next 8 weeks.
Despite the restaurant ‘struggling as much as everyone else’ due to the cost of living crisis this has done little to deter Gemma as she believes, ‘it’s so unnecessary for people to struggle whenever so many do so well.’
With only herself and her mother working in the kitchen over the next 8 Sundays they will be providing ‘the majority of it out of our own pocket rather than through the business.’
Last Sunday [30.10.22] the restaurant served dinners to ‘over 30 children…who for some was their only meal last week’. Clearly demonstrating the need for the type of support A Peculiar Tea is providing, ‘we’re doing whatever we can, it’s not a lot but it’s something.’
This generosity appears to have had a ripple effect with people getting in touch, offering to donate food, money and their time.
Although it could be argued that this display of people power stemmed from Gemma she thinks that, ‘kindness naturally breeds’ and the ‘beautiful thing about Northern Ireland is…when it matters here people come together.’
Peculiar Tea will be running these dinners until the 18th of December.