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The New Arab Staff

Russell Crowe donates to Beirut restaurant on behalf of late chef Anthony Bourdain

Russell Crowe [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 August, 2020

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Actor Russell Crowe made a donation on behalf of the late celebrity chef to Le Chef, a restaurant which was destroyed in the twin explosions that destroyed half of Beirut.




Hollywood actor Russell Crowe made a donation to help rebuild a beloved Beirut restaurant Le Chef destroyed as a result of twin explosions at the port which destroyed half of the city, killed 171 and caused billions of dollars in damages.

Crowe made a $5,000 donation to a GoFundMe page set up to rebuild the restaurant in memory of chef Anthony Bourdain, who had visited the restaurant twice and once told CNN it was his “first order of business” to return with a camera crew.

“Beirut's Le Chef, and its beloved frontman, Charbel, need our help to rebuild after last week's horrific explosion,” the fundraising page wrote.

“The restaurant has survived war and economic crises, but the port explosion left it in shambles.”

With 146 donors including Crowe, the restaurant has reached its $13,000 target.

“Le Chef has been a staple of Gemmayze, the neighborhood closest to the blast site, since it opened in 1967. Charbel's infamous ‘Welcoooome,’ and the restaurant's warm food and even warmer hospitality have been a constant source of comfort for so many over the years,” the Le Chef team wrote, adding “Anthony Bourdain, who stopped by Le Chef on both of his visits to Beirut, described it as ‘a legendary spot, famed for its simple, straightforward, home-style classics’.”

The restarant was destroyed [Getty]







Crowe’s contribution was revealed by Beirut-based journalist Richard Hall, who took to Twitter and wrote:
“Someone called Russell Crowe made a very generous donation to our Le Chef fundraiser. But not sure if it’s *the* @russellcrowe.”

The Hollywood actor responded on the social media platform: “On behalf of Anthony Bourdain,” he wrote.
“I thought that he would have probably done so if he was still around. I wish you and Le Chef the best and hope things can be put back together soon.”

The restaurant was beloved by locals and foreign workers alike.

“It's a family-run hole in the wall very popular among Western visitors and expats due to a word-of-mouth kind of thing,” Managing Editor Karim Traboulsi told The New Arab.

Originally from Tripoli, Traboulsi has eaten at the restaurant in the past. 

“It's cheap and cheerful, does decent food, and has earned somewhat of a cult status because the owners are friendly. Like eating at your grandma's. The food is very basic though, it's just so charming.”

Le Chef is one of thousands of businesses which have been destroyed as a result of two explosions on Beirut’s port, due to over 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been incorrectly stored in a warehouse.

Protests erupted over the weekend as Lebanese citizens demanded the government take responsibility for what is being called gross negligence.

In response, the government announced its resignation.


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