Unions and Restaurants 

Jason and I have been working our way through another culinary memoir, this time Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. Jason’s an excellent cook in his own right, and I’ve loved food memoirs of all sorts since I first cracked open Under the Tuscan Sun sometime in 1999, which is about the intersection of food, home, and place. We both find the life of a chef fascinating, and Hamilton’s memoir does confirm the seedier sides of the industry highlighted by Anthony Bourdain’s two memoirs. I never thought about how unionizing restaurant workers could improve conditions for those workers. Admittedly, the American Prospect, where this article is from, is unabashedly pro-Union, so read it with that lens in mind. But it is eye opening for the ways high end restaurants don’t pay their workers equitably. You may tip for excellent services, but that money may not make its way in full to your server. 


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