Your tone deaf take is a slap in the face to all those who have made Vancouver’s dining scene the diverse city it is. Shame on you!

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Return of the King? Really, Neal? Did LeBron James die and come back from the dead? What year is this? Or are we talking about Aragon from Lord of the Rings? Jesus Christ, maybe? Oh wait, no, you’re talking about a washed up asshole chef, whose own employees hate and who hasn’t cooked a meaningful meal in Vancouver in almost two decades. Is this the guy you’re touting in this extremely tone deaf column of yours? …

Can it be saved or should drastic measures be enacted?

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An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. More important than any single check cut to any African American, the payment of reparations would represent America’s maturation out of the childhood myth of its innocence into a wisdom worthy of its founders. — Ta Nehisi Coates

In his most landmark column The Case for Reparations for the The Atlantic, author Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that unless the United States reckons with its moral debts on how they’ve treated black men and women for over 250 years, the country will never be made whole. It’s a chilling expose that delves deep into the heart and divisive pain blacks have had to deal with in a country that’s never wanted them there other than to work the field. His case for reparations is bold and unwavering. He paints an unflattering portrait of an America with no moral compass towards a subset of people they’ve continually held down physically, emotionally and economically. …

In a post Covid-19 world, are we fast tracking what was once a slow moving threat? The death of servers due to the rise in delivery and counter service.

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Photo by Petr Sevcovic on Unsplash

Obvious truth: Covid-19 has decimated the restaurant industry.

It might never be the same.

Restaurateurs rang the alarm bells to governments as they’ve pleaded for aid during this turbulent time. Here in Canada, it’s been a tough battle, but help is somewhat finally on the way. Even so, it probably won’t be enough. Some restaurants, regardless of the support they receive, will shutter forever. Those that survive could look drastically different once this is over. I’ve spoken with several restaurateurs who feel they may have to change their whole operation if they do make it out alive. They’re worried. Scared. I feel for them. …

As I sit here and ponder what my life will be like over the coming weeks without work, part of me has wondered why so many of us have accepted the hand we’ve been dealt.

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“A Black Swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences.”

— Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I’m often left in awe of the labour strikes so many fought for during the gilded age at the turn of the 20th century, or the civil, feminist and queer fights of the 60s, 70s and 80s. It brought together the above-mentioned under a unifying decree that what they were being given wasn’t enough. Wasn’t right. …

Reservations are expensive for restaurants. Can something be done about this? If so, who’s up for the challenge?

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Photo credit: Eater

About a year back, I remember reading a column on Eater stating that Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group** was leaving OpenTable for Resy. At the time, I didn’t think much of this development. I assumed — as I’m sure you are now as well— what difference does it make which reservation platform a company uses?

OpenTable?

Resy?

How different can they be?

That was until recently when I noticed a growing trend of local and global restaurant groups jumping ship to alternate reservation platforms, Tock being a new upstart in this field. This got me thinking about that Eater article, which I subsequently re-read. I was dumbfounded I hadn’t clued into the costs of reservation platforms, even though the numbers had been spelled out rather clearly before my eyes. …

A cautionary tale of how charisma and hope can lead many to follow the wrong path.

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“Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”

Red in Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King, Different Seasons

In the last few weeks, I’ve read several news stories that have caused me to lament two words I keep hearing over and over: cult or cult-like figure. When pressed to acknowledge these words, names such as Jim Jones, Charles Manson and Keith Raniere first come to mind.

The images of Jim Jones’ Jonestown Massacre figures prominently in my psyche, and it baffles me to this day how one man convinced over 1,000 people to willingly kill themselves. But then, when I do this, stories such as the rise and fall of WeWork and the continued devotion Trump supporters give to their awful President confirm my belief that we humans can, and often do, fall prey to those who inspire us — even if their message is and has been credited as being false or just plain dumb. …

Cognitive biases in Hospitality and how they affect the way we view an entire industry.

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Photo by Daniel Angele on Unsplash

“The question that is most often asked about cognitive illusions is whether they can be overcome. The message… is not encouraging.” — Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow

One of the most classic of all phrases to be used in the English language is that “one should never judge a book by its cover.” This simple idea hits at the heart of our identity as human beings, as it challenges our natural predisposition to do just that. Social media is a perfect example of this phenomenon as we’ve become transfixed by the ability to dole out judgement in the form of likes or retweets. Dating apps are even worse as they cause us to choose, in a matter of seconds, if someone is worth swiping left or right for. This reality got Mark Zuckerberg in trouble with Harvard when he created the Hot or Not game one drunken night on campus. …

How the plant based market has changed the way we see veganism.

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“I taught cooking classes for the national non-profit, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and during that time, the phrase “plant-based diet” came to be used as a euphemism for vegan eating, or “the ‘v’ word.” It was developed to take the emphasis off the word vegan, because some associated it with being too extreme a position, sometimes based exclusively in animal rights versus a health rationale.” — Vegan author Ellen Jaffe Jones

I have a friend who’s a vegan. I make fun of him all the time for being so. I’m not alone in this. For many vegan’s this bit of teasing has become the standard for years, even decades. When you go against a societal norm, push back by those who struggle with your decision is bound to cause some tension, even if some of it’s meant to be harmless. …

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“Your scientists were so preoccupied that they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” — Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

Back in February I first wrote about plant and cell based meat. Just last week, I wrote about Fishless Fish.

Our market is changing. Rapidly.

Technology is creeping into how we look at meat and its alternatives. Consumers are ripe and eager to dig into this new form of food. …

Filet No-Fish Anyone?

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Ahimi | Ocean Hugger Foods

As I first reported back in February, plant and cell based meat options are on the rise. With the massive success of both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, this new food type has taken the industry and consumers wallets by storm.

Beyond Meat’s IPO is currently trading at over $140 per share which is a meteoric rise from its initial public offering of $25 per share. Overvalued or not, this news is a boon for those who are excited to see meatless options now becoming a more universally accepted food source. …

About

Jamie Mah

Track and Food (Editor, Podcast Host) | Scout Magazine (Contributor) | Sommelier | NBA junkie and lover of a good cookie.

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