James Beard Award-winning podcast exploring the unspoken rules and traditions of restaurant kitchens through the stories of people that work in them.
The restaurant industry is at a point where a lot of groundwork has been laid for change. But in order for change to happen, more conversations about gender, race, and privilege in the kitchen need to take place. Copper & Heat is focused on starting conversations like that with the people that are working through these issues in restaurant kitchens every day.
Leading the Way in Labor & Wage Issues
The systems that the restaurant industry is built on don’t work - they’re built on power imbalances and devaluing the labor of hospitality workers. As we’re trying to make changes to labor and wage issues in restaurants - who are we looking to as leaders? Are we looking to the chefs that are just now getting to the conversation - or are we looking to the chefs that have been doing the work and putting their necks on the line for years?
Open Book Finances: Part 2 w/ Mei Mei
On March 9th, Chef Irene Li, owner of Mei Mei Restaurant in Boston, opened their finances to the public at an event called Open Book Open House. The purpose? To get people having more open and honest conversations around restaurants and money. But just a week after the Open Book Open House, restaurant dining rooms closed due to COVID and all of a sudden restaurant finances were on everybody’s mind.
Open Book Finances: Part One w/ Mei Mei
Mei Mei in Boston has been an open book restaurant since 2017. They train their entire staff on the finances so that everyone can have a voice in making the restaurant run more efficiently. But on March 9th, Chef Irene Li, owner of Mei Mei decided she wanted to take the education a step further and open their books to the public. What do the finances of a small independent restaurant really look like? Turns out, it’s even rougher than everybody would like to admit.
Illness & Injury w/ Giving Kitchen
What happens when you get sick or injured and you work in a restaurant? You keep working. At least, that’s how it’s always been. With low wages, lack of access to benefits, and usually nonexistent paid leave, the workers living paycheck to paycheck can’t really take care of their health. Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit in Atlanta, Georgia, is attempting to mitigate those challenges in their local Georgia community by providing financial assistance and resources to workers going through a financial crisis.
The Makers: The Next Evolution of Mexican Cuisine w/ Gabe Erales, Rico Torres & Diego Galicia
We’re taking a brief break from our second season to introduce you to the other project that the Copper & Heat team has been working on. It’s called The Makers - a four part mini-series brought to you by ChefsFeed in paid partnership with Maker’s Mark bourbon. In each episode of The Makers, we talk with chefs about their one-of-a-kind approaches to their craft.
Tipping: Part 2 w/ One Fair Wage
In the second episode on tipping, Katy digs deeper into a different question: if the money coming into the restaurant industry is a pie, who has access to that pie and who is controlling how that pie is drawn? Turns out, there’s a lot of money being spent every year to keep wages low and to keep the tipped minimum wage at $2.13.