“Edibles & Potables” is a place to park items of interest located outside our customary metro Louisville coverage area. This said, one of the week’s most important developments occurred right here.
COVID-19 is real. Unfortunately, there are outliers in the hospitality sector who don’t understand this, don’t care, or both. And, to be perfectly candid, neither Kentucky nor Indiana has displayed a willingness to back up COVID mandates with consistent enforcement mechanisms.
The obvious answer is for responsible establishments to take control of their narrative, implementing uniform safety protocols and applying them consistently, because these words are key:
“We are a fact driven coalition that will collect data over the next few months to determine if restaurants are safe to the public when following our strict safety guidelines. We strive to be honest, transparent and non-partisan.”
The coronavirus isn’t going away quickly, and we need greater attention to the scientific method to manage its presence, not magical thinking. We’ve heard numerous arguments to date about the hospitality sector and COVID, but this might be the first time anyone has mentioned quantifying the arguments with actual grassroots data. It’s an excellent place to begin the long haul.
From here, let’s skip to Europe, and a story about pandemic ripple effects: “As bars, clubs and music venues emerge as high-risk sites for Covid-19 outbreaks, a team of experts has developed a playbook for nightlife survival.”
The Nightlife Rescue Plan That Could Save Your City’s Scene, by Feargus O’Sullivan (CityLab)
So should all bars and clubs simply close until we have a vaccine or cure? A blanket ban on all nightlife activities would be economically devastating, impossible to police and socially harmful, says a new report from the nightlife consultancy VibeLab. Co-created with an international panel of night mayors, academics and music promoters, the report recommends that urban nightlife must very carefully move outdoors, and lays out a set of principles for doing that. The advice reflects what’s been learned over a period in which food and drink service in cities around the globe has set up shop outside, often claiming street and sidewalk space from other uses — an ad-hoc solution that hasn’t always succeeded.
Finally, at the juncture of pandemic and social justice — there’s a kitchen.
Twilight of the Imperial Chef, by Tejal Rao (New York Times)
For decades, the notion of the lone genius in the kitchen has fostered culinary creativity — and restaurants marred by abuse and unfairness. This may be the time for change.
For decades, the chef has been cast as the star at the center of the kitchen. In the same way the auteur theory in film frames the director as the author of a movie’s creative vision, the chef has been considered entirely responsible for the restaurant’s success. Everyone else — line cooks, servers, dishwashers, even diners — is background, there to support that vision.
This way of thinking has informed the industry’s culture at every level. But the power of the chef-auteur as an idea is fading, and as restaurant workers organize and speak up about abusive workplaces, toxic bosses and inequities in pay and benefits, it’s clear that the restaurant industry has to change.
Enjoy your Sunday … and wear a damn mask!