Communal Table

Welcome to Communal Table, a forum for amplifying first-person voices in the food industry. Our goal is to work long term with leaders to create more humane and sustainable workplaces.


A Jury of My Peers

"If there were more critics who are people of color, would things be different?" asks chef Kwame Onwuachi.

Embrace Who You Are, Run Better Restaurants

"I would not have been able to set down this path in any meaningful way without first finding confidence in the parts of me that once felt like a weakness," says chef Ashley Christensen.

More Compassion, Less Yelling

"When a person is in need, politics goes out the window," says chef Edward Lee.

The Customer Isn't Always Right

Chef Elise Kornack has a recipe for improving interactions between diners and restaurant employees, and it all starts with one thing: common decency.

Against Masochism

It's time for us to stop glorifying our own masochistic behavior and find a healthier way to be, says chef Graeham Henderson.

Chef Katie Button Reflects on Experience with Sexual Harassment: 'It Overshadows Everything'

The award-winning Asheville chef is hopeful that the industry is changing—and that victims continue to come forward. "This type of behavior has been going on far too long," she says

What to Do with the Empty Hour

When you leave your restaurant late at night, your mind is still spinning and can't yet rest. Chef Greg Baker calls this "the empty hour."

If You Want a Healthy Kitchen, Lead from the Top Down

Gabriel Rucker got sober and found clarity as a leader in his restaurant and in the industry.

Put More Women in Charge of Restaurants

Filmmaker Joanna James finds that restaurants run by women are better work environments for everyone. But why aren't more women getting a chance to lead?

I Got Sober, I'm One of the Lucky Ones

"I justified drinking it all because it was so ingrained in my profession. It's easy to tell yourself that it makes you a better chef."

How One Award-Winning Chef Is Fighting Discrimination in the Restaurant Industry

Chef and restaurateur Daniel Patterson is committed to change—starting in his own kitchens—and calls on the industry at large to take a good, hard look at itself.

Bad Behavior Gets in the Way of Great Work

"Time is up and we are done with people who can’t get it together, grow up, and be professional," says Elizabeth Falkner.

The Bully in the Kitchen

Restaurant veteran Adam Reiner calls for an end to the silence and systems that keep bullies in place and employees in fear.

How to Save a Life

After a young cook went into cardiac arrest in his kitchen, Brandon Jew is making it his mission to get every restaurant worker in America CPR certified.

How to Keep Your Head Above Water

So you want to own your own food business? Fluff Bake Shop's Rebecca Masson knows you have to take the bitter and the sour along with the sweet.