Kumar loves to cook for a crowd
Cooking for a crowd is Shashi Kumar’s speciality, and the Anglican Cathedral’s breakfast programme is seldom short on guests.
“My main motive is that they need help, and I am helping,” said Mr Kumar, who is chef de partie at The Reefs but pitches in twice a week for charity.
Home is the town of Hamirpur, in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh in India, where Mr Kumar is accustomed to giving back.
“It’s in my culture and my family; we always help other people,” he said.
Mr Kumar became a chef out of a desire to travel: after several years aboard Carnival Cruise Lines, he joined The Reefs in May.
“My plan to explore the world came true,” said Mr Kumar, who was struck by the island’s bright colours and friendly people.
Anywhere from 60 to 80 people at a time, many of them seniors in need, depend on the programme for breakfasts twice a week. Mr Kumar happened upon it in passing back in August.
“They offered me food,” he said. “I thought, Maybe I can help.” Mr Kumar has been pitching in on his free mornings ever since.
Although part of his goal was to help the reputation of foreign workers on the island, Mr Kumar was struck by the hospitality of Bermudians, and enjoyed the camaraderie, telling The Royal Gazette: “Some people are struggling, I give them a hand, and they love it. I love it too. I have a lot of friends now.”
Mr Kumar is back home for a long-anticipated visit with his wife Shraiya and their baby son, Devansh.
“We’ll miss him while he’s away,” said Beth Piggott, one of the programme’s organisers.
“Shashi’s been great; it’s a huge help to have an actual chef on site. He’s used to cooking quickly and serving a lot of people. He’s also nice to work with — we love having him there.”
The breakfasts, which run with the support of the Eliza DoLittle Society, always welcome donations and breakfast supplies — but with preparations starting around 9am, extra hands in the kitchen are always welcome. Eight to ten volunteers are needed at a time.
To donate or get involved, visit the Anglican Cathedral on Mondays and Thursdays at 10am.
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