What does a city look like during the corona outbreak? Photographer Annelien Nijland is documenting the daily reality of one-and-a-half metre life. Part 7: Quarantine Canteen.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

As a gaffer (chief lighting technician in the film industry) he was looking forward to a good year, until the corona pandemic banished him to the sofa until further notice. He didn’t stay there long; Thomas is a man of action. When his brothers in Leidsche Rijn started complaining about having to combine children, work and housekeeping, he came up with a plan. Thomas offered to cook for them. As an enthusiastic home cook, it was no trouble and he enjoyed it.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

After he’d delivered his first meals to Leidsche Rijn, word got around and the rest of the street were soon queuing up for his delicious-smelling curries, quiche, rendang or pasta Bolognese. Thomas’ own neighbours too and before he knew it, he was cooking for twenty-five people in his own kitchen three times a week.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

Hungry clients can sign up via the app group ‘Thom’s Quarantine Canteen’. He doesn’t advertise anywhere, as he doesn’t want to compete with the restaurants that have to survive from take-aways and deliveries. Thomas just prepares one dish, not a professional menu. No classy culinary feats, just simple meals for a small price. Varied, tasty and freshly made. He delivers them in recyclable containers and attaches a Canteen newsletter with fun facts about the dish he’s made. You can also read who else is enjoying the same meal that evening, so that even during the lockdown, you can sit and eat together at a virtual table.

Photo by Annelien Nijland