The explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on August 4 left unimaginable damage, leaving 171 people killed, thousands injured, dozens missing, and about 300,000 homeless. In the wake of the tragedy, a number of high profile people have donated to help, including The Weeknd as well as an Oscar-winning actor, the latter who, at least at first, preferred to be anonyous.
Among the many buildings partially destroyed by the explosion was the one belonging to Le Chef, the esteemed restaurant once visited by the late Anthony Bourdain. A GoFundMe page was set up by filmmaker Amanda Bailly and journalist Richard Hall, and they were surprised to receive a generous donation from someone who named Russell Crowe. The two took to Twitter to spread the news about the sizable donation, writing, “Someone called Russell Crowe made a very generous donation to our Le Chef fundraiser. But not sure if it’s *the* @russellcrowe.”
— Richard Hall (@_RichardHall) August 13, 2020
But it was the Russell Crowe. The Oscar-winning actor revealed himself on Twitter, writing “I thought that he would have probably done so if he was still around,” Crowe wrote. “I wish you and LeChef the best and hope things can be put back together soon.”
On behalf of Anthony Bourdain.
I thought that he would have probably done so if he was still around. I wish you and LeChef the best and hope things can be put back together soon. https://t.co/VHYCJujJ6y
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) August 13, 2020
As per the GoFundMe page, Le Chef is located in the neighborhood closest to the explosion, and over the years it has “survived war and economic crises.” And yet it was the port explosion that “left it in shambles.” Bourdain described Le Chef as “a legendary spot, famed for its simple, straightforward, home-style classics.”
Bourdan famously visited Beirut for an Emmy-nominated episode of his first food and travel show No Reservations, which found him and his crew trapped in the city due to the sudden outbreak of the Israel-Lebanon War. Their first stop before the strife broke out was indeed Le Chef, which said “felt kind of familiar, like a New York diner.”
The GoFundMe was asking for $15,000, a third of which came from Crowe. As of August 16, it had exceeded its goal, raising over $18,000.