Algarve Chefs Week dinner raises €10,000 for charity

Portuguese chefs to debate mental health amid pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on restaurants and businesses worldwide, a chef in Portugal has organised a congress for restaurant staff to get together and discuss how to deal with its mental health toll.

“These professions are known for being labour-intensive,”  Paulo Amado, head of Edições do Gosto, which organises the Congress of Chefs, told Lusa. He added that the pandemic had worsened the situation of managers, owners and employees.

Chefs and other restaurant professionals are meeting on Tuesday for the Congress of Chefs to discuss mental health in the sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are seeing tension accumulate in a profession that already had its challenges, and which is now seeing new ones arise,” Amado pointed out. “It is not only an economic challenge, but a human challenge.”

The congress will run from Tuesday to Thursday in Oeiras, the sea-side suburb of Lisbon, and will be freely streamed on Youtube.

“We want to raise awareness during these three days but we also want to act,” Amado told Lusa. 

The congress, which started in 2005, will see 50 speakers intervene in cooking demonstrations, videos, interviews and debates on the present and future of the restaurant industry, food waste and sustainability.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced restaurants and businesses around the world to close. The pandemic has already caused over 1.2 million  deaths and over 49.3 million cases of infection around the world. Portugal has reported 2,848 deaths and 173,540 cases of infections.