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  • Alexia Grant: I, for the first five weeks,

  • did not take any days off.

  • I was here, open, Sunday to Sunday,

  • rocking out for our guys.

  • Narrator: That's Chef Lex,

  • one of just 10 chefs invited to cook for players

  • inside the NBA bubble,

  • a COVID-free isolation zone

  • on Disney World's campus.

  • Narrator: Disney was initially responsible

  • for feeding the 22 teams

  • that made it into the bubble.

  • But after negative Twitter reviews

  • and complaints from players,

  • the NBA brought in chefs like Lex

  • to live inside the bubble under strict quarantine.

  • Alexia: Everything that we have to do

  • has to be at the hotel.

  • We cannot leave. We cannot wander.

  • Narrator: She and the other chefs whip up

  • about 4,000 meals a week.

  • But Chef Lex is no stranger to star-studded clientele.

  • She's cooked for the Portland

  • Trail Blazers, Oprah Winfrey,

  • Kelly Rowland, Meek Mill,

  • and competed on Food Network's "Chopped."

  • We followed Chef Lex to see what it's really like

  • cooking thousands of meals

  • for players inside the NBA bubble.

  • Alexia: Let's feed our guys the best food possible.

  • Narrator: For Chef Lex,

  • each day inside the bubble starts at 4:30 a.m.

  • Alexia: I'm just throwing on the same shirt

  • and throwing my hair up

  • and, thank God, getting on a bus.

  • Narrator: There are technically two zones

  • within the NBA bubble.

  • The inner bubble houses

  • the players and staff,

  • and the outer bubble is where

  • the chefs live and work.

  • And they're not allowed to cross between the two zones.

  • Alexia: We have these really, really strict rules,

  • and if you don't follow them, you have to go.

  • Narrator: Chef Lex lives at the Waldorf Astoria

  • but cooks inside the executive chef kitchen.

  • Buses transport her between the two cleared areas.

  • Alexia: Rise and shine, Mr. Will.

  • Yes, my guy.

  • Joy.

  • Joy: Rise and shine. Alexia: Rise and shine, sis!

  • Narrator: Chef Lex and her assistant, Joy,

  • run Comfort Kitchen,

  • a pop-up Southern and Caribbean restaurant

  • that Lex launched specifically for the NBA bubble.

  • All the other chefs who came into the bubble

  • were attached to a team.

  • But Chef Lex came in

  • as an individual chef.

  • Alexia: I get to the kitchen,

  • and it's time to rock and roll.

  • As soon as I get there, I hit the ground running.

  • Narrator: Teams can browse

  • her menu and place

  • team or à la carte orders

  • through her website.

  • But orders aren't guaranteed.

  • Narrator: Chef Lex receives her team orders

  • the night before, so she has a chance

  • to order all the food she needs.

  • Since she's not allowed to leave the bubble,

  • personal shoppers outside do all of her shopping.

  • Alexia: Thanks, sis.

  • On my way to cook. See y'all later!

  • Narrator: Masked up and with her station very clean...

  • [laughs]

  • Narrator: Chef Lex and Joy get to work.

  • They start with making the traditional breakfasts.

  • Erik Spoelstra: Chef Lex,

  • thanks for hosting

  • this great team meal here for Heat Nation.

  • It was the perfect way to

  • celebrate our win last night.

  • Appreciate you.

  • Narrator: It's just Chef Lex and her assistant, Joy,

  • doing all the cooking for Comfort Kitchen.

  • Alexia: Joy Dariel is instrumental

  • in keeping Comfort Kitchen open and running.

  • I mean, I was able to walk away

  • from certain parts of the cooking,

  • 'cause I can micromanage sometimes.

  • Narrator: Together, they're making

  • all kinds of comfort food.

  • Chicken and waffles, shrimp, chicken wings.

  • All of the things that I made here are all my own recipes.

  • Narrator: Once everything's cooked,

  • it's packaged up for the journey to the inner bubble.

  • Narrator: Because Chef Lex isn't allowed

  • to enter the inner bubble,

  • she has to hand off the food to runners.

  • Narrator: Then the relay race begins.

  • The first runner can only go as far as

  • the security point for the inner bubble.

  • There, it's picked up by a second runner on the other side.

  • That person finally delivers it to the players.

  • Chris Haynes: Chef Lex done it again.

  • My food is here.

  • This is my go-to.

  • French toast, bacon, and eggs.

  • On point. Bomb.

  • Appreciate you, girl.

  • Narrator: Then it's back to the hotel to rest up

  • and get ready to do it all over again.

  • Alexia: Working in a situation where I am not able

  • to directly hand off food to my client

  • was really hard

  • and a huge, like, relinquish of power for me.

  • 'Cause I like my food to get there

  • and be as beautiful as it was when I sent it out.

  • But I have a lot of repeat customers,

  • so that means that my runners have been doing

  • a fantastic job.

  • I feel like such a boss.

  • Thank you for asking me to do this.

  • Shout-out to the NBA and the bubble and all the guys here.

Alexia Grant: I, for the first five weeks,

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How Chefs In The NBA Bubble Make 4,000 Meals A Week | Big Business

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/23
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