Saturday, November 23, 2013

Why "destination dining" won't lift your stagnant local economy

In his recent brain-wave on bold economic initiatives, ATB senior economist Todd Hirsch posits that struggling local economies should entice celebrity chefs to open restaurants in their communities, to take advantage of the burgeoning new phenomenon of "destination dining."

This is a subset of culinary tourism discovered, or made up by Hirsch, wherein people of means fly to wherever to try out the latest offerings of a celebrity chef.

The reality is that the more famous the celebrity chef, the more likely it is that a goodly percentage of his employees are being severely screwed over. Read up on this lawsuit brought against uber-celeb chef Gordon Ramsey.

At least those folks were being paid something. Here's a peek into the kitchen of famous NYC pizza joint Roberta's. The writer apparently has no clue why anyone would object to working for nothing;

 Plenty of two-, three-, and four-star restaurant kitchens routinely take on volunteer labor, sometimes dozens of aspiring cooks at a time, to the point where there's a fair chance that a few of those behind the line, cooking your dinner, aren't actually on the books.

So Mr. Celebrity Chef comes to town, hires dozens of aspiring cooks to work for free, and this helps the local economy how?

Come on Hirsch, enough with the nonsense!

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