The Restaurant Industry Is Structured on Racism. This Nonprofit Wants to Rebuild It.

Illustration by Carlos Luciano

The Restaurant Workers Community Fund gained prominence for providing financial relief to service workers during COVID-19. Now it wants to create a racially just system.

Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant workers have been deemed essential — perhaps not officially by local authorities, but certainly by consumers, who continued to want the convenience of meals prepared and brought to them by someone else. Without substantial support from the government, the chefs, waiters, dishwashers, bartenders, and grocery store clerks that make up the food industry were pushed to work in hazardous conditions. Choices for many were limited: keep working, get paid, and risk getting sick or stay home, lose income, and possibly be fired.

With support sparse as it was, one organization swooped in to fill the gaps: The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, a nonprofit created by industry veterans. The foundation, which first took … Read more

As the 4-20 holiday nears, Denver does what it does to remain highest in the land

The Mile High City isn’t about to let any other jurisdiction surpass it and seems always to have something to roll out for the 4-20 holiday. This year the Denver City Council is on the verge of allowing delivery services and consumption clubs for marijuana and going further down the decriminalization road for mushrooms.

Two years ago, a ballot measure decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms and created a citizen review panel. By 50.6 percent of the vote, the ballot measure prohibits Denver from spending any money on the prosecution of anyone found with psilocybin mushrooms in their possession or use.

The winning measure invited law enforcement to join advocates and others on the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel. Denver took credit as the first city in the nation to decriminalize “Shrooms.”

Denver’s decriminalization prevents the prosecution of anyone over the age of 18 by the City and County. Psilocybin mushrooms remain Read more

The Pastry Revolution Will Be Instagrammed

Karla Subero Pittol cuts into a pie at her Chainsaw pop-up bakery | Wonho Frank Lee/Eater

Instagram pop-up bakeries are a surprisingly exciting product of the pandemic. Nowhere are they more thrilling than in Los Angeles.

“I used to say I hate making cakes,” Hannah Ziskin says. Now, slices of her slab cakes sell out in minutes, and people drive across Los Angeles for whole cakes in blood orange and carrot, crowned with minimalist flourishes of buttercream and delicate edible flower petals. She wasn’t supposed to be baking for a living anymore. But, as with so much, the pandemic upended everything.

When Ziskin, a pastry chef with a long resume in San Francisco, moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2018, she thought she was done with the restaurant industry and its long hours, low pay, and casual harassment. She even learned to code. But when a chef she … Read more

Colorado’s bill for deregulation of meat sales sent to a joint conference committee

A bill with the Colorado Legislature’s unanimous support for an alternative way of acquiring meat within the state has hit a snag.

Before April 1, it looked like the Colorado General Assembly was about to send Senate Bill 21-079 to the governor for his signature. The new law takes effect immediately with his signature. It would permit Colorado consumers to buy shares of animals for eating that have not been inspected and are from Colorado producers who are not licensed.

The hold-up on the legislation, now going on two weeks, occurs because the Colorado House and Senate passed slightly different versions of SB-21-079.

The Senate did not concur on House amendments but instead requested that the House join them in naming conferees for a conference committee. The conference committee met for the first time Monday and will offer a report today on the Senate Floor.

The House amendments that produced … Read more

Vaccines but no ‘compassionate release’ for Parnell brothers prior to May hearings

Ahead of their back-to-back habeas corpus hearings set for the final week of May in Albany, GA, brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell remain in federal custody.

Stewart, 66, and Michael, 62, were unsuccessful with their requests for “compassionate release” under the First Step Act, the federal prison reform act that became law ahead of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports Stewart Parnell remains in custody at the Hazelton Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in West Virginia, and Michael Parnell remains at Fort Dix, NJ. Both are low to medium-security facilities.

Stewart, the former top executive of the defunct Peanut Corporation of American, and his peanut broker brother Michael were convicted by a jury in 2014 and respectively sentenced to 28- and 20-year prison terms in 2015. The Parnell brothers were convicted in relation to a 2013 indictment on 76 federal felony counts. The government filed the indictment after … Read more