Chicago restaurant collaboration brings female chefs together in support of each other amid pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A team of female chefs and restaurant owners have come together in support of one another during these difficult times due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group of women are collaborating in hopes of keeping their businesses alive.

Orders will be out of the door soon for Vermilion's part of a special tasting menu called "Global Extravaganza"

There is a lot riding on these meals as the staff prepares the blackened chili tamarind ribs and Kerala lemon rice with the restaurant's signature Indian-Latin flavors.

"For us, this is a do or die battle. We are in the middle of the pandemic; we have the economic crisis; our restaurants have been shut down with social unrest," said Vermilion owner Rohini Dey.

Dey created "Chicago Let's Talk," a collaboration of local women chefs and restaurant owners.

Available only during October, the group is highlighting their talents in "Flavor," featuring four categories of specially curated menus from sixteen local female restauranteurs.

Dey said during the pandemic, the women wanted to do something to help each other and help themselves.

"The consumer is not coming out the way they used to so we had to do something together to survive this," Dey said.

The three other menus of flavor are, "A Phenomenal French Affair," "Savor the World" and "Best of the Best."

Teresa Ging at Sugar Bliss is providing three customer favorites for the Best of the Best menu.

"It's a lot of great collaboration where we are having customers order from not just one but multiple menus," Ging said.

Organizing the special October tasting is extra work for the members but work they hope will pay off with new customers and support for their businesses.

"All of us have been struggling to get back to some normalcy and I think this will help us get through this year," Ging added.

Flavor is only available Fridays and Saturdays for delivery or pick-up. The restaurateurs are still taking orders for next weekend and the final weekend of October 23 and 24.

Orders need to be made a day or two in advance.

While the special menus end in two weeks, the chefs and restaurant owners hope attention to their specialties will help their businesses survive the winter.
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