As Coronavirus continues to impact the world, Top Chef is airing new episodes as scheduled, Thursday nights on Bravo. While season 17 of the reality cooking competition has been unaffected by COVID-19 pandemic, contestant Chef Brian Malarkey had to close his San Diego-based restaurants to prevent further spread of the virus.
Malarkey shared the news on Instagram with his over 23,000 followers. With his statement, he wrote “On behalf of our staff and community and in the interest of keeping our city safe, we are temporarily suspending our operations. Until we can better understand this virus, we want to prioritize the health and well-being of this city we love, and we hope by taking these proactive measures that we are doing our small part to stop the spread. We’re looking forward to better days as soon as possible, and we’ll be back better and stronger than ever before. Thank you for your support, San Diego, we love you.”
Malarkey Shared a Plea For Followers to Help Support His Employees While the Restaurants Are Closed
According to Malarkey’s website, his restaurants, located across Southern California, include Animae, Herb & Wood, Herb & Sea, Herb & Ranch, Nima, Wood Yu, Green Acre, Herb & Eatery, and Farmer & the Seahorse.
With the closure of his establishments, Malarkey took to social media in an effort to ensure that his employees could still get paid through the national emergency. Along with a video call-to-action for fans to donate to a relief fund, Malarkey wrote “The time is now – we’re raising funds for our incredible staff members who are currently laid off. You know them. They’re your favorite servers at @herbandwood, the bar staff at @animae.sandiego, the baking team at @herbandeatery, all those that have been there for you.”
In a previous post, he highlighted the importance of the service industry, giving examples of what society would lack if restaurants ceased to exist. Then, he shared “We’re pleading with you to save our magical realm, save these places that still manage to transcend the everyday and connect us as humans. It’s a primal reaction – the need to love and be loved, to take care of one another – and this is our way of life. Save us so we can save you! Advocate for us, and promise to come back once this cloud has lifted.”
‘Top Chef’ Alum Floyd Cardoz Died After Testing Postive With Coronavirus
Days after the Top Chef season 17 premiere, news spread on Wednesday, March 25 that Top Chef Masters winner Floyd Cardoz died aftering testing postive for COVID-19.
Just one week prior, Cardoz posted on Instagram to let followers know that he had admitted himself to the hospital. The caption suggested that he thought he went to the hospital to be cautious in light of the pandemic, but it did not seem like he thought his life was at risk at the time. The post, which was his last before passing, read “Sincere apologies everyone. I am sorry for causing undue panic around my earlier post. I was feeling feverish and hence as a precautionary measure, admitted myself into hospital in New York. I was hugely anxious about my state of health and my post was highly irresponsible causing panic in several quarters. I returned to New York on March 8th via Frankfurt.”