Australian offers free coffee, chat from his kitchen window



In this July 25, 2020 photo provided by Rick Everett, a small table decorated with succulents sits below a window where Everett offers free coffee and conversation to friends and neighbors at his home in Sydney, Australia,  during the coronavirus pandemic. (Rick Everett via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
In this July 25, 2020 photo provided by Rick Everett, a small table decorated with succulents sits below a window where Everett offers free coffee and conversation to friends and neighbors at his home in Sydney, Australia, during the coronavirus pandemic. (Rick Everett via AP)

It all started when Rick Everett walked out of his home in Sydney and put up a sign on his kitchen window that read: “Free coffee to combat the virus.”

It was March, and the Australian acrobat had lost his job during the coronavirus pandemic. With more free time, he felt he could help out others in need. And he knew how to bake and cook after managing a chocolate and coffee shop and a pizza restaurant.

When he started, he said the window would be open whenever he was home. He stressed that it wasn’t a coffee shop business; he just wanted to do something nice and meet his neighbors for a friendly chat during a difficult time.



In this July 19, 2020 photo provided by Rick Everett, a free food pantry sits outside his home in Sydney, Australia, where he offers coffee, home-cooked meals and conversation to friends and neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic. (Rick Everett via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
In this July 19, 2020 photo provided by Rick Everett, a free food pantry sits outside his home in Sydney, Australia, where he offers coffee, home-cooked meals and conversation to friends and neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic. (Rick Everett via AP)

“Think of it as popping over to your mates for a coffee only it is a friend you have not met yet,” he wrote on a sign. “I am not selling anything. This is a gift and all it will cost you is a smile.”

Soon his neighbors began to stop by, bringing him everything from cakes and loaves of bread to a six-pack of beer. Strangers began to recognize him on the street and wave hello.



In this August 3, 2020 photo provided by Rick Everett, freshly baked loaves of bread and pastries sit outside Everett's home in Sydney, Australia, for friends and neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic. (Rick Everett via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
In this August 3, 2020 photo provided by Rick Everett, freshly baked loaves of bread and pastries sit outside Everett’s home in Sydney, Australia, for friends and neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic. (Rick Everett via AP)

“It’s like I live in a small town again, and it’s really beautiful,” he said.

His menu includes cappuccino, chai latte and hot chocolate. Everett also offers baked goods to go along with the coffee.

“And what’s even more beautiful is people ring my coffee bell just to talk,” he said. “They don’t even want a coffee! They don’t want to take anything from me, but they’re most happy to have a conversation with me, which is really nice.”

Everett, an animal lover who adopted two birds and a cat, often asks people who visit his window about their pets to “get the ball rolling” in conversation. He tries to stay clear of negative subjects and remain positive.



In this July 25, 2020 photo provided by Rick Everett, a bell lies on the sill of a complimentary coffee and conversation window he set up at Everett's home in Sydney, Australia,  to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. Everett's menu includes cappuccino, chai latte, tea and hot chocolate. (Rick Everett via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
In this July 25, 2020 photo provided by Rick Everett, a bell lies on the sill of a complimentary coffee and conversation window he set up at Everett’s home in Sydney, Australia, to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. Everett’s menu includes

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MasterChef Judge Jock Zonfrillo Is Suing The Australian For Defamation

MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo has filed suit against The Australian over claims of defamation.

Zonfrillo, who shot to public prominence this year as one of the new judges on the refreshed MasterChef, has launched the Federal Court action against the News Corp paper, over claims the publication defamed him in an article and Facebook post published in August.

That article, published both online and in print on August 9th and 10th, asserted that Zonfrillo “dishonestly claimed” to offer support an Indigenous-run prawn farm in a bid to boost his chances of winning the prestigious Basque Culinary World Prize. The article – headlined ‘Chef Jock Zonfrillo offered support, farm comes up empty’ – claims Zonfrillo visited the Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation in Western Australia and offered to help out with their prawn farm operations. The article asserts the visit took place “a few months” before the Basque Prize was awarded in 2018. Zonfrillo was ultimately awarded the prize in August of that year.

Lawyers acting for Zonfrillo steadfastly deny the allegations, asserting that Jock was not even aware of the farm’s existence, and did not visit it, until a month after he was awarded the prize.

A statement of claim filed by Zonfrillo’s legal team asserts The Australian defamed him by “cynically pretended he had a genuine commitment to assisting an Aboriginal community for the purpose of obtaining an award and prizemoney.” Additionally, the claim asserts The Australian defamed Mr Zonfrillo by insinuating that he failed to deliver on an Indigenous food database, for which he received a $1.25 million Government grant. On that charge, lawyers assert the database was completed by Zonfrillo’s Orana Foundation in May, and that the document was now being subjected to a legal review process.

Per court documents, Jock Zonfrillo is seeking damages and aggravated damages, as well as interest and costs. The claim also seeks to have the article in question retracted, and the subsequent Facebook post promoting the article deleted.

Representatives for The Australian have yet to file a defence in this matter.

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