The sports world was turned upside down at the beginning of the year after the COVID-19 outbreak halted all public events and games.
The coronavirus presented a huge roadblock for professional sports teams who were still in the middle of their seasons, which prompted executives to band together and come up with a safe solution that would allow seasons to move forward.
Back in July, the NBA turned the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL into their home for three months to launch the NBA bubble — a COVID-free isolation zone created to protect all players and workers from contracting and spreading the virus, Sporting News reports.
Within the bubble, all 22 participating teams and NBA staff members were put under strict quarantine with set rules to follow to ensure everyone remained safe.
Of those rules, Disney was responsible for assigning each team its own food room and a chef with the option for room service. However, it wasn’t long before complaints about the food options started rolling in, receiving lots of negative backlash on social media.
This prompted the NBA to bring in 10 new chefs, including Chef Alexia Grant and her assistant Joy, to provide Southern and Caribbean comfort food for players and staff, Business Insider shares.
“I, for the first five weeks, did not take any days off. I was here, open, Sunday to Sunday, rocking out for our guys,” Chef Lex told Business Insider.
She went on to say that her staff was by no means allowed to leave her outer bubble, with the exception of personal shoppers and runners she recruits to deliver her meals to players within the inner bubble.
According to Business Insider, Chef Lex and Joy both run Comfort Kitchen — a pop-up Southern and Caribbean restaurant that was launched specifically for the NBA bubble.
All the other chefs who were hired in the bubble were attached to a team, but Chef Lex came in as an individual chef.
Both Chef Lex and Joy — two brilliant Black women — have proved that even under pressure, they were able to outperform the NBA bubble’s standards. Their combined efforts saved the bubble from more negative food reviews and showed how efficient it could be for the NBA going forward.
“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,” she said. “But I have a lot of repeat customers, so that means that my runners have been doing a fantastic job.”
Chef Lex concluded her interview with Business Insider saying:
“This has been probably the hardest work that I have done in quite a few years. Most work ever, but I swear I’m beasting, and I’m really proud of myself. 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.