I can still hear my Jamaican mother’s voice, questioning why I, who’d graduated with a degree in social work, was instead making ends meet as a server at Bistro Bis. It was 20 years ago, and the now-famous gathering spot for D.C. power brokers was as new to the city as I was.
She calmed down a couple years later, when I informed her that my take-home pay was double what I would’ve earned in social work. I’ve spent my career in restaurants, including 15 years at Charlie Palmer Steak, where I worked my way up to head sommelier of the dining establishment’s 4,000-bottle wine program. Especially now that I have a family of my own, I’m grateful for what the restaurant industry has given to me, and concerned by those who are seeking to change its business model.
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