by Kate Berube
In the midst of the pandemic and the subsequent closure of restaurants, Ryan Carroll lost his job as a chef in an upscale New York City eatery. Undeterred Carroll returned home to the south shore, not to bid his time until the state reopened indoor dining, but rather to fill a tragic void he witnessed occurring as a consequence of the COVID-19 lockdown measures. Taking over the kitchen at Bistro25 East in Blue Point, Carroll set out on a mission to bring his considerable culinary talents to those Long Islanders who needed it most; the elderly, low income households, and exhausted frontline workers who were all disproportionately affected by the public health crisis.
Through Carroll’s Kitchen, he began the Feed Long Island Initiative and together with a growing group of enthusiastic volunteers, managed to deliver over 25,000 meals across the area since March. Carroll’s Kitchen continues to host increasingly creative events in the surrounding community to help combat food insecurity.
Recently locals gathered at Bistro25 East to watch Wayne Algenio demolish a homemade pumpkin pie in roughly 3 minutes, beating out 19 other contestants for a $500 prize. With a $50 entry fee the pie eating contest raised money to purchase Thanksgiving turkeys for those in need this holiday season. Up next is a Halloween Trunk or Treat in connection with Angels of Long Island, where they hope to hand out 1,000 lunches. In the meantime, Ryan Carroll’s passionate advocacy continues to fill 154 Montauk Hwy in Blue Point with good food, good friends, and good deeds.