"Service can have no meaning unless one takes pleasure in it. ... Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.” - M.K. Gandhi
When Puerto Rico was devastated by the landfall of two hurricanes in September, Jenny Muniz, the owner of Plato Bohemia restaurant in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, found a way to help those who had lost everything in the same way that she has known for her whole life: by cooking. Preparing and serving over a thousand lunches since the hurricanes, Jenny has made and continues to make a big difference in the lives of countless individuals in the hard-struck communities of San Lorenzo, Utaudo, and Manati, where access to food and water remains limited and where people continue to live without shelter and without power.
And despite the destruction and great sadness around her, Jenny has somehow continued to cook and to serve with joy, a commodity perhaps as valuable as the food that she brings.
Jenny, despite all that she has already done, wants to do more. She wants to cook for an additional 15 communities that continue to struggle. She wants to bring water and blankets with her meals. She wants to bring toys for the children. To that end, she has formed a nonprofit organization, El Buen Samaritano (the Good Samaritan) to take contributions to help her help more people.
There could be no organization that we are more inspired to help.
We have not met Jenny. But we have had the privilege to know her incredibly talented and gracious daughter, Chef Jamilka Borges, for years now. And, on Monday night, we will be humbled to host both Jamilka and Jenny in our kitchen at the Independent, as they prepare a homestyle Puerto Rican dinner for the evening. Every dime of the food sold that night will be donated back to El Buen Samaritano. $1 for every drink sold that night will similarly go to the organization. And, for the remainder of the month, with our sibling bar, Hidden Harbor, we are going to continue to donate. Hidden Harbor will donate $1 from every cocktail sold from December 5th through December 31 to El Buen Samaritano and The Independent will donate the proceeds of sales of empanadillas, which Jamilka will prepare and we will sell on our daily menu beginning on Tuesday, December 5.
We hope to see you on Monday and throughout the month of December. We promise to serve you with joy, just as Jenny continues to do.
Dinner Details: Open from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m.; no tickets; no cover; no reservations. Delicious Puerto Rican cuisine prepared and served with love.