A searing expose of the restaurant industry, and a path to a better, safer, happier meal.
In the years before the pandemic, the restaurant business was booming. Americans spent more than half of their annual food budgets dining out. In a generation, chefs had gone from behind-the-scenes laborers to TV stars. The arrival of Uber Eats, DoorDash, and other meal delivery apps was overtaking home cooking.
Beneath all that growth lurked serious problems. Many of the best restaurants in the world employed unpaid cooks. Meal delivery apps were putting restaurants out of business. And all that dining out meant dramatically less healthy diets. The industry may have been booming, but it also desperately needed to change.
Then, along came COVID-19. From the farm to the street-side patio, from the sweaty kitchen to the swarm of delivery vehicles buzzing about our cities, everything about the restaurant business is changing, for better or worse. The Next Supper tells this story and offers clear and essential advice for what and how to eat to ensure the well-being of cooks and waitstaff, not to mention our bodies and the environment. The Next Supper reminds us that breaking bread is an essential human activity and charts a path to preserving the joy of eating out in a turbulent era.
Corey Mintz is a freelance food reporter (New York Times, Globe and Mail, Eater and others), focusing on the intersection between food with labor, politics, farming, ethics and culture. He has been a cook, a restaurant critic and is the author of How to Host a Dinner Party, which chronicled 192 dinner parties he hosted with fascinating people including politicians, refugees, criminals, artists, academics, acupuncturists, hi-rise window washers, competitive barbecuers and one monkey.
He lives in Toronto with his wife.