Chef Kevin Watson is spending a lot of time in his car these days.
He delivers meals from Chef’s Table, his new restaurant at 2193 Babcock Blvd. in Ross, to homebound folks throughout the North Hills.
Some are paying customers, others are elderly people in need. The program is called “Buy a Meal, Give a Meal.” Residents can nominate someone through an online form and Watson will donate seven meals to a senior in the community.
“I’m focusing on seniors because they have the biggest need and they have the least amount of resources, in my opinion,” he says. “Those seniors are important and they shouldn’t go out.”
He launched the program before the coronavirus pandemic, so its popularity is bound to grow. Before delivering the meals, Watson finds out if the recipient has any dietary restrictions. He puts the same amount of love and care into each donated entrée as he would for a customer dining at his 41-seat restaurant.
Watson has a small crew of cooks manning the kitchen and a walk-in cooler full of food. The menu features a healthy take on different dishes from around the globe, from Greek-style pizza and Bahn Mi sandwiches to Malaysian spiced salmon salad and New York strip steak. As with all restaurants across the state, Chef’s Table is operating as a to-go joint, including offering pre-made meals.
He’s taking orders from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday when brunch items also are available. Those hours, of course, are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation unfolds.
The Pennsylvania Culinary Institute grad (1994) has whipped up four-star dishes at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island, Fla., served as executive chef at Savoy and The Café at the Frick and taught at Le Cordon Bleu Institute. In 2008, he launched Pittsburgh Premier Catering, providing private chef services to various Pittsburgh Steelers.
His grandmother taught him how to cook and instilled in him a sense of charity. That’s why Chef’s Table’s motto is “a restaurant with heart.”