Qui Qui Musarra sat across from me in her restaurant, Rubicon, on Monday afternoon and told me how the pandemic has set the business back by 10 years.
The pandemic has been hard on the owner of the Harrisburg restaurant trio—Mangia Qui, Rubicon and Suba, as it has been on most small businesses.
But Musarra pushes forward, crafting her authentic continental cuisine for hungry customers. She hopes that may be enough to get some much-needed relief for her businesses, as well as the community.
Musarra has her sights set on becoming the “Favorite Chef” in a competition hosted by celebrity Chef Eddie Matney. As of now, she’s ranking as one of the top competitors.
Entrants from around the world rely on social media votes to carry them to the top. After a series of voting rounds, the winner will be decided in early April. That chef will receive $50,000 and a sponsored spread in the national Bon Appetite Magazine.
The exposure is what excites Musarra the most.
“It would be so cool for Harrisburg,” she said. “It would be a win-win for our community.”
Musarra said the money would go straight back into the business so she can continue to feed the community.
“It’s supporting me to help support the larger community,” she said.
Voters can cast additional votes by donating, as a portion of the profits from the contest will go to Feeding America—a national organization that combats food insecurity. Each dollar counts as one vote.
“You’re voting for me, but it’s also going to a good cause,” Musarra said. “It’ll be a great thing for Feeding America.”
She said she appreciates the community support and all of the votes thus far. Staying afloat during the pandemic has been hard, but she’s just happy to still be standing. Musarra said winning the contest would be a huge accomplishment for her.
“This would be the greatest honor in my life,” she said.
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