Communal Table Podcast: Vinny Eng

The sommelier and activist talks mutual aid, empathy, and the art of hugging trees.

Vinny Eng
Photo: Landon Nordeman

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 94: Vinny Eng

The day after Vinny Eng was named as one of Food & Wine's 2019 Somms of the Year, he said his thank yous for the accolade, then promptly announced that he was stepping away from the industry for a while to work on a political campaign. For those who know Vinny, this wasn't a surprise, because the industry veteran has always made it his business to act with intention, infusing every act of hospitality with an eye toward making the world a more equitable place. He joined Communal Table to talk about the COVID relief efforts he's working on for SF New Deal, explain what community organizing and mutual aid actually are, how he sees restaurants' role in a more equitable future, and what's feeding his soul throughout.

Links and Resources

Learn: SF New Deal

Read: We Should All Be Empathetic to Restaurant Workers, Especially Now

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Previous episode: Chef, author, and TV personality Anita Lo talks solo cooking, throwing butter, and constant reinvention.

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