How you reboot: A call for essays on “Second Acts” and food

Some of you have decided to change course, while others have been forced by circumstance to make that change: Either way, it’s time for a second act.

Job loss and the pandemic are constant, grim companions.

We’ve heard more than we ever wanted to hear about people whose lives have been turned upside down: 2.5 million restaurant workers out of work, a ripple effect on businesses that relied on them, farmers with crops they couldn’t distribute.

Some of you have decided to change course, while others have been forced by circumstance to make that change: Either way, it’s time for a second act in food, whether that means an adjustment—a new job, a reconfigured business—or an even more dramatic split from the past. 

We want to hear from you about what’s next. “Second Acts” will be our second set of reader stories, following “Eating In,” which was about our altered relationship to what we eat during months of lockdowns and shortages. This time we’re looking for people who have defined a new future for themselves, because not working in food is not an option for them—like the 65-year-old restaurant chef who created a weekend pop-up that featured not only his cooking but local products and produce. Or the farmer who shifted his entire business to CSA boxes because of a changing customer base.

If you have a story to tell, please send a short description—a paragraph or two is all we need—to [email protected]. You don’t have to write the story yourself; we’ll collaborate with you to help share your experience. We’ll get back to you as speedily as we can.

We’ve heard so many stories about pivots from what used to be to emergency survival mode. We want to hear, now, about the next pivot, about the new food-world order that emerges from the wreckage.