As a humanitarian crisis unfolds in the Bahamas, a local chef and restaurateur is going back to his culinary roots — as a line chef in the devastated country.
If you've driven I-93 through New Hampshire, chances are you've seen, eaten or stayed at one of Alex Ray's 23 Common Man establishments. He isn't your typical CEO, he says.
"I want more life in my time than time in my life. I'm 74 and still going strong," Ray told NBC10 Boston.
In addition to working in the Bahamas, he has held fundraisers at several of his restaurants.
"We raised $30,000 in one day and a lot of it is because I personally get engaged as opposed to just raising money," Ray said.
Since 14 he's lived by the manta "do good." Ray has spent time cooking for the victims after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and now the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.
"Yes it's stressful, but it drives you. I'm beating the people that are 50 years old — chefs from all over the United States, holy cow," Ray said. "But you get burns on your arms from the ovens."
Ray is heading back to the Bahamas for round two on Wednesday. During his last trip he cooked at Atlantis and 5,000 plus meals were shipped to neighboring islands in need.
He has partnered with celebrity chef and World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres.
"He's running around. He comes in once a day and yells at everybody," Ray said with a laugh. "He is a good guy, and I finally got to know him."
It appears that on his second tour, Ray will be sent to Abaco Island, arguably the island hardest hit during Dorian.