Restaurant Diaries

Dispatches from the industry’s front lines
Restaurant Diaries
Illustration by Jackson Gibbs

From March 2020 through November 2020, BA published dispatches from food businesses documenting the impact of COVID-19 and other national and global events. Restaurant Diaries is an extension of that project: a weekly series featuring recurring voices across the food industry. Current diarists include a farmer battling wildfires and food insecurity in her community; a line cook finding his calling in the kitchen; a wine educator focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity; and a bartender turned spirits brand ambassador. Read all their dispatches here, and check back for new entries each week.

Illustration by Jackson Gibbs
Kyla Peal, wine educator

Slik Wines, Chicago

Entry 1 - February 3, 2021: We Knew What Was Missing in the Wine World—Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—So We Set Out to Change It

Entry 2 - March 3, 2021: How I’m Making?the Wine World More Inclusive of Black Women Like Me

Entry 3 - April 7, 2021: Restaurants Are Eager to Get Back to “Normal,” But Status Quo Isn’t Enough

As told to Angela Burke


Illustration by Jackson Gibbs
Peter Steckler, line cook?

American Elm, Denver

Entry 1 - February 10, 2021: I’ve Been Working as a Line Cook During COVID and I Honestly Love My Job

Entry 2 - March 10, 2021: It Finally Feels Like There’s a Bit of Normalcy—and Hope—at the Restaurant

Entry 3 - April 14, 2021: A Lot of Things Are Changing Now That We’ve Got the Vaccine

As told to Allyson Reedy


Illustration by Jackson Gibbs
Jenny Feldt, bartender and brand ambassador?

Grey Goose, Atlanta

Entry 1 - February 17, 2021: I’m Not Sure I’ll Ever Go Back to Bartending Full-Time

Entry 2 - March 17, 2021: I Can Do More for My Community as a Brand Ambassador Than as a Bartender

As told to Elsie Yang


Illustration by Jackson Gibbs
Kristyn Leach, farmer and seed saver?

Namu Farm and Kitazawa Seed Co., Winters, CA

Entry 1 - February 24, 2021: I Hope We All Survive This Year and I’m Still Farming by the End of It

Entry 2 - March 24, 2021: I Don’t Know Many Farmers Who Have the Kind of Relationship I Have With This Restaurant Group

As told to Aliza Abarbanel