New Telegraph

Beirut explosion: Actor Russell Crowe donates to Le Chef restaurant


Actor Russell Crowe has donated to a fundraiser to help rebuild an iconic restaurant damaged in Beirut’s devastating explosion.
Le Chef was left “in shambles” by the blast, according to its GoFundMe page.
On Thursday, an organiser said they had received “a very generous donation” from someone named Russell Crowe, reports the BBC.
The Oscar-winning actor confirmed he made the donation in memory of late chef Anthony Bourdain, who featured Le Chef in one of his documentaries.
“I thought that he would have probably done so if he was still around,” Crowe said in a message posted on Twitter.
“I wish you and LeChef the best and hope things can be put back together soon.”
Le Chef is located in Gemmayze, the residential district closest to the site of the explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, which killed more than 200 people and injured thousands more.
The blast was caused by more than 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the city’s port.
The fundraiser for the restaurant, “and its beloved frontman” Charbel Bassil , was started by filmmaker Amanda Bailly and journalist Richard Hall.
It originally aimed to raise $13,000 (£9,860), but reached its target – including $5,000 (£3,830) from Crowe – within a day.
However, the organisers say they will continue to accept donations to support the restaurant’s staff until the establishment is able to reopen.
Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain, who died in 2018 , visited Beirut twice, and ate at Le Chef both times.
“Le Chef is a legendary spot in Beirut, famed for its simple, straightforward, home-style classics,” he said during his 2010 documentary No Reservations. “Everybody comes here.”

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