Simeon Hall Jr. is accustomed to a frenetic pace, but like most people around the world, he has been forced into a slower pace due to COVID-19. While he says he has slowed down, he has definitely not allowed the global health pandemic to shut him down. No longer having the normal excuse of being overly busy, he in turn found ways to ensure he remains busy while at the same time helping others.
“I’m weathering the storm pretty well, so I thought to give everybody who wanted to, the opportunity to sign up and get some training, because I really believe that small businesses and people turning hobbies into businesses – whether it’s their main income or secondary income – is going to be what we see after corona,” Hall told The Nassau Guardian from Hawaii.
Hall is hosting a number of free online seminars for people to take advantage of during COVID-19 downtime. He has hosted a free Instagram Live baking class and next on his curated series will be a two-part series intended to demystify and simplify creating and organizing an effective small business concept and business plan.
“I’m teaching the basics [for people] who haven’t been exposed to things like food costs, menu planning and scheduling and labor cost. There’s a lot of pop-up food service businesses in The Bahamas, and other places, and a lot people have been good at cooking from home and being able to do delivery service and stuff like that. However, they’ve now transformed a hobby into a means to generate income with very little foundational training, and so, I thought to give these people as well as young industry cooks and chefs and older chefs who may not have been able to do it in the past, an opportunity to do it.”
Hall will host the online series, May 21-22, opening with Kristen Whyly, Four Seasons, Ocean Club hotel manager, who will discuss hospitality after COVID-19, before he takes over on day two. To register, participants only need to sign up another person for both classes on Hall’s social media platforms, to receive their password to each class.
And even though he is by himself in Hawaii, the chef says he is not lonely. He says he is the type of person who enjoys his own company, but technology has also allowed him to remain connected. He conference calls with his family often.
“My dad [Bishop Simeon Hall] who is almost 75 is using Zoom, so at least we still have that connection,” he said.
The chef at La Hiki, at the Four Seasons Resort, Oahu at Ko Olina, says he’s also been using the downtime to engage in personal self-improvement through online classes.
He says he’s also engaged in physical activity to ensure he stays as healthy as possible. Hall is two days out from completing a 21-day vegan challenge that he encouraged people to do with him, just so people could have something different.
“Everyone’s cooking from home for the most part and I think you can really challenge yourself if you go with a plant-based diet.” He stressed that he wasn’t becoming vegan. “This isn’t a new lifestyle. I’m not going to continue it forever. This was just one of those things to keep and give myself a new challenge during this time.”
He said he has also focused on pending projects, because COVID-19 has taught him that he has to have backup plans.
“I had a major project for June which has been canceled, so I’m now kind of rebranding and looking into efforts moving forward. All of the just-in-cases – the plan A’s, B’s, C’s and everything else, just to make sure that post-coronavirus, we have a plan.”