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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Radical Bay Area Restaurant Takes Home Prestigious Award

In March, a little-known Oakland restaurant got some surprising news: It had won one of the food world’s highest-profile awards.

Understory, a colorful, worker-run restaurant that opened at 528 Eighth St. in spring of last year, had won the James Beard Foundation’s emerging leadership award. It honors “the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more equitable and sustainable food system.”

At Understory, diners eat crispy oyster mushrooms and tacos in a parklet decorated with a mural of farmworkers. The food is an unapologetic mélange of culinary influences. After years of cooking other people’s food, the staff designed a menu to mirror their identities: Filipino adobo, Burmese semolina cake, Moroccan lamb tagine, a Mexican chile relleno. The restaurant also doubles as an activism hub, where people come to write letters to incarcerated queer and transgender people while employees talk about racial justice.

Read the rest at The San Francisco Chronicle


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