Can restaurants finally move away from myopic, chef-centered narratives?
The restaurant industry and the media industry that covers are undergoing a paradigm shift in the way they tell stories about food. In the past few months and years, workers have brought to light pervasive patterns of racist and sexist behavior that have persisted, in some cases, for decades. This misconduct is often hidden behind the swinging doors that divide dining rooms from kitchens, abetted by a culture of silence and fear, and obscured by culinary narratives that center on and elevate the much-lauded “genius” of individual chefs. How do we move beyond regurgitating tales that adulate chefs and restaurateurs, and instead recognize the collective and often invisible labor that fuels what we eat? What do those stories look and sound like? Tejal Rao explores these questions in her latest for The New York Times.