By Rick Paulas Cross-posted from KCET Food. In her new book “Behind the Kitchen Door,” Saru Jayaraman takes readers through a horrific. Behind the Kitchen Door has ratings and 96 reviews. Neil said: This is an worthwhile book talking about an important and widespread issue. While I’m. Behind the Kitchen Door. Saru Jayaraman . York Postpublished several articles documenting sexual harassment in restaurant kitchens in the United States.

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I’ve been working with ROC recently, and I have family members in the industry so a lot of what is written about here isn’t new. I eat at these restaurants, enjoy my meals with relish, treat the staff with respect and always leave a good tip.

Jan 29, Mo Shah rated it it was ok Shelves: The employees are so desperate for work that they put up with such treatment. Many female chefs from culinary schools or with hospitality training wind up as cake decorators in supermarkets. The chapter on racism in the restaurant industry was particularly insightful.

Few food workers have insurance or even sick leave, which is a problem not just for the workers; patrons also suffer when ill workers prepare and serve meals But this is a beautifully written book full of personal stories about how restaurant workers deal with racism, sexism, lack of access to sick leave, and other issues day in and day out at work.

The concept of this book is great, it taught me a lot of things I did not know about the restaurant industry.

Behind the Kitchen Door

While I’m glad I read it and would recommend it I found the combination of the discussion about the “slow food”, local food, and organic food movements distracting from what I saw as the primary issue, the labor practices of this industry.

Surprise surprise, restaurants that routinely commit labor violations also routinely commit health code violations. The Hands on Your Plate2. In her groundbreaking new book, Saru Jayaraman exposes a missing plotline in the story of our food: Do you feel necessarily confident in eating the food in these circumstances?

As a result the book raises consciousnessinspires hope, and provides practical suggestions on how consumers can work for a more just and spiritually wholesome restaurant industry. Part of the challenge with these books is your skeptical audience. A lot of Ms. Bottom line is that the staffs of most restaurants, even fine dining establishments, are grossly underpaid because tips are necessary to get their salary up to minimum wage and th I read this for my church book club and although it offers some interesting facts about the restaurant business it’s not exactly scintillating reading.


You know a book is bad if you forget you’re even reading it and ignore it for days on end. Of course one cannot label an entire industry as bad, but equally the examples cited are apparently far from being unique, rare and unheard of. Knowing what is behind t I found this to be a very engaging look at the issues of justice and equality in the world of restaurant workers.

Showing of 93 reviews. Pages with related products. For those who don’t think restaurant workers deserve paid sick leave, the stories of sick people preparing your food should change your mind. Reading additional source documents might be eye-opening.

It also highlights how workers have been inspired to come together and build power and co-op restaurants, and tells the tragic story of a fledgling restaurant workers organization, which had just begun when workers from the World Trade Center Windows on the World Restaurant lost their lives, and those who survived came to ROC to honor their fallen friends, fight for their jobs in a new restaurant and build something new.

Having worked in the food industry, this book really wasn’t surprising. Highlighting the roles of the 10 million people, many immigrants, many people of color, who bring their passion, tenacity, and vision to the American dining experience, Jayaraman sets out a bold agenda to raise the living standards of the nation’s second-largest private sector workforce—and ensure that dining out is a positive experience on both sides of the kitchen door.

Behind the Kitchen Door by Sarumathi Jayaraman

It did it’s job of raising my awareness and sensitivity. Behind the Kitchen Door by Sarumathi Jayaraman.

Be the first to ask a question about Behind the Kitchen Door. ROC was birthed by Saru and several of the former Windows workers.

Behind the Kitchen Door

It’s one in which as the restaurant grows, the people grow kigchen it. I think the author spent far too much time on the individuals’ back stories, going on for pages and pages at times about where they were born, what their parents did for work, etc.


They also don’t have sick days, and behihd come to work in restaurants and work around food while they are sick, because they can’t afford to have zero income for the day.

Diversity of color within a restaurant does not mean that there is equality in position or advancement opportunities. The author is director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center which sponsored many of the surveys that the data is based on, so I am not sure I believe bhind the numbers.

The current environment of many restaurants are unsustainable for the stakeholders due to poverty-level wages, wage theft by management, discrimination, and lack of benefits.

And some restaurant owners are just not ethical employers. And sexual harassment is ubiquitous. And it’s not just McDonald’s, as much jjayaraman the book focuses on fine dining and how racism, sexism, and bad management can oppress even relatively well-paid workers.

Even the waitstaff that know and recognize us as big tippers.

A New Standard for American Dining. This clear, human, thoughtful book worked really well as a “Join our movement and transform terrible working conditions” manifesto. The Working Poor are those people who work 40 hours a week or as much as they can and still cannot afford the necessities of life. I would only re This book was certainly eye opening.

The author presents stories of restaurant workers who are terribly exploited and abused, juxtaposed with stories of those whose spirit and determination lead them to fight against this oppression. Thw I would have liked this book to be longer, it did give me a lot to think about. Unpaid overtime is common, as is working while sick. But this eye-opener tells us a lot about this industry and how it operates from the inside on both sides of the kitchen door and what is required for a restaurant to be sustainable.

Feb 11, Dayspring rated it really liked it Shelves: You need to know what lies ahead on your journey and where to turn for help.