While the restaurant industry continues to rally, innovation will prove to be the secret sauce to conquer through COVID closures. Working with razor thin margins to begin with, those that work in the hospitality industry can confirm that 2020 has been the absolute most unpredictable (read worst) year, ever. While we’ve been rallying for our industry friends since the beginning, it looks like we’re going extra innings. The impressive pivot and creative spirit is on full display at one of our fave restaurants, one I wrote about originally over at Foodism.

lena chef kits

Chefs Julie Marteleira and Sous Chef Laura Petracca have been running a tight ship at Leña since it opened in 2016. The Argentinian restaurant, part of the O&B fleet that has expanded across Canada is known for their killer cocktails, extensive wine list and South-American-style menu in one of Canada’s most iconic corners, right at Yonge and Richmond.

lena chef kits

With the next sudden closure forcing Leña to shutter their doors for indoor dining, Chef Julie and Chef Laura adapted to their new circumstances and added to their offerings with some mighty tempting takeout options, including their clever new Chefs Kits. This week’s menu includes a special brunch box, with an all but mandatory add-on Mimosa Kit.

lena chef kits- empanadas

The heat-and-serve approachability of these kits cannot be understated! Everything is included, in tidy and very sustainable recyclable and/or biodegradable packaging, with detailed labels to ensure easy replication of that restaurant experience at home. We carted home the Piri Piri Grilled Chicken Chefs Kit for two, which was a feast for four (two kids, so keep that in mind). We added in some delicious made-in-house fluffy doughnuts with Dulce de Leche and some fries (see above- kids).

The generous kit includes:

Piri Piri Chicken ⚫ Onion Bread FugazzettaMushroom EmpanadasWilted EscaroleRoasted PotatoesBurnt Cheesecakeall for $56

lena chef kits-onion bread

While UberEats is still the main vehicle for Leña’s takeout, their super-safe pick-up window offers a glance at what was once, and what will no doubt be back soon, but only if we show our support right now. So consider taking a night off, explore some inspiring eats, and take a bite out of COVID calamity, I hear wine is good for that too.

lena chef kits

All photos by Libby Roach.