Today’s Easter Monday episode of Canadaland is an encore presentation (re-run) of a terrific report Suresh Doss filed for us in the early stages of the pandemic, all about how restaurant workers and home cooks improvised to make the best of a really bad situation. From ghost kitchens to Facebook Marketplace side-hustles, creativity and cleverness drove these chefs to find a workaround and circumvent shuttered eateries and exploitative apps.
After all, people need to eat.
Re-upping Doss’ story seemed like a good excuse to dig even further back in our files to share with you again a show that we wish more people had listened to – Taste Buds, with Corey Mintz.
While this miniseries focused on fun conversations between food workers as they ate together, it also dealt with many of the issues that came to a head with the pandemic. Here are some highlights that seem eerily prescient:
“There’s almost no food that’s as good delivered (by apps) as it is when you sit down (in a restaurant).”
“I’m as guilty as anyone, for what I think the problem is – we’re obsessed with chefs. We have lionized them to the detriment of our culture…and I think that’s why a lot of restaurants kind of coast by, because people are just excited about a gimmicky food (overlooking) labour violations and the kind of taking advantage of people that happens when people are deified.”
“You’re kind of, like, Stockholm-syndromed into this position where (you think) It’s a privilege for you to work here. You’re lucky that we’re even paying you at all, kind of thing. And you trick yourself into believing that that’s reality. And then, once you’re out of it, you look back on it and you realize how fucked up that is.”