Restaurant Owners Raise Awareness of Anti-Asian Violence

This post originally appeared on April 3, 2020 in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

Consumption is never a cure for systemic problems. Buying a cake as a means to donate to a charity fighting for equity or against racism cannot alone solve the deep challenges we face nor can it get you off the hook for doing necessary personal work. (Related: Have you tried bystander training?)

But you know what? It doesn’t hurt.

I love how so many in the restaurant industry use their platforms and talents to raise awareness and funds for issues at the grassroots level. We saw it with Bakers Against Racism and the many drives, fundaisers, and initiatives last summer (and countless times before that). And we’re seeing it now as chefs, bakers, and restaurant owners raise awareness around the rise in violence against those in the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

I’ve seen a lot of local efforts in my neighborhood and spotted some in Alanta, Portland, and New York. Just this week Beverly Kim, the chef/owner of Parachute and Wherewithall in Chicago, launched a national campaign (with mostly Chicago representation so far) called #doughsomething, where chefs all over the U.S. donate proceeds from one menu item to Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

I expect (and hope) to see more of these, as this crisis did not begin nor did it end with the tragedy of the Atlanta murders last month.

Yardbird’s crispy, thick-battered fried chicken with waffles and watermelon salad.

Fried chicken and waffles at Yardbird in D.C.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

— A new splashy location of high-end fried chicken restaurant chain Yardbird opened in D.C.

— Momofuku Kāwi — Dave Chang’s well-reviewed Hudson Yards restaurant and a launching pad for chef Eunjo Park— has permanently closed.

— Home cooks in Boston will be able to make and sell food out of their own kitchens starting at the end of the month.

— San Francisco nonprofit incubator La Cocina opened its much-anticipated and long-delayed food hall in the Tenderloin.

LA Times restaurant co-critic Patricia Escárcega left the paper following accusations that she wasn’t being paid fairly.

— A deep dive into the financials at two Providence restaurants North and Big King as they’ve weathered the pandemic.

— If you can handle the FOMO, please check out Houston’s delightful guide to Gulf Coast seafood and where to get it.

Elsie stands in the tavern putting cheese on burgers.

Elsie Eiler, sole resident of Monowi, Nebraska
Daniel Johnson

— I love this story about the only resident of a Nebraska town and how she keeps busy running a tavern.

— Iconic New York City club The Pyramid Club is closing after 40 years.

— A fascinating look at the evolution and growth of the vegan cheese market.

— Audio app Clubhouse has become a connector for Black restaurant owners and workers in Chicago.

— Believe it or not it’s baseball season! Here’s how stadium dining is adapting in Washington D.C. and Chicago and where to eat around San Diego’s Petco Park.

— A move I am going to start adopting: Buying my pizza dough from a pizzeria.

— And a recipe I’m bookmarking: Chewy birthday cake (!) butter mochi.

  • The world of ghost kitchen franchises and the economics for everyone along the chain is super interesting to me, so I loved this piece from Modern Retail. [MR]
  • What it’s been like for the workers at The Pierre, a five-star, unionized New York City hotel that relies on millions in event revenue to get by. [TNY]
  • Without necessarily intending to, the Chinatown Block Watch offers a glimpse at how to keep a community safe without more policing. [Curbed]
  • For my NYC public school parents out there: Experts agree the 10-day closure rule is absurd. [ProPublica]
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