Communal Table Podcast: Erick Williams

The chef-owner of Virtue restaurant in Chicago talks about faith, real estate, and the better future he's building.

Portrait of Erick Williams
Photo: Gary Adcock Studio

Chefs and restaurant workers take great care of everyone else, but often they need a little help themselves. Each week, Food & Wine senior editor Kat Kinsman talks with hospitality pros about they manage their business, brain, and body for the long haul. Is there a topic you'd like to know more about or a guest you'd love to hear from? Tell us at or tweet to Kat @kittenwithawhip, and subscribe to the weekly Food & Wine Pro newsletter so you never miss an episode. Catch up on previous episodes here.

Episode 77: Erick Williams Talks About Faith, Real Estate, and the Better Future He's Building

When Erick Williams began working in restaurants, it was a means to an end. The Chicago native believed the best way he could serve his community would be through rehabbing neglected buildings in his neighborhood, and he was just looking for a way to fund that. But over the next two and a half decades, Williams came to realize he had the skills, temperament, and vision to build a foundation for a better, more equitable industry for all. Williams joined Food & Wine for an unfiltered and inspiring conversation about mentorship, guiding a team through the challenges of COVID-19, and how to make people feel like they are truly welcome.

Links and Resources

Visit: Virtue

Learn: This Chicago Restaurant Celebrates Black Artists

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Previous episode: Chef and activist Jenny Dorsey talks about vulnerability, tough conversations, and redefining restaurants.

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