Restaurant Tragedy Hits Home

The San Francisco food blogger community has been shaken by news of the hit and run accident that left one restaurant worker dead and two injured during a late-night cab ride home.

Food bloggers Sam of Becks & Posh and Catherine of Food Musings have both written about the accident earlier this month that killed one waitress and left a sous chef and the head chef/co-owner of San Francisco’s Bar Crudo severely injured. The restaurant closed for a week to deal with the devastating losses but has since reopened, hosting a benefit mid-month to raise funds for the medical bills and expenses from the crash.

As Catherine writes:

I want to make a plea to those of you who live in the Bay Area. These guys don’t have any health insurance. The employees who didn’t work during Bar Crudo’s closure did so without pay. This is a small, family-owned business and a week without customers has a huge impact on their ability to pay their bills and keep their staff…. They could all really use our support in the form of our business. In exchange, you will get to eat some of the sweetest lobster in the country and expertly prepared crudo that will tickle your tastebuds.

Shuna, pastry chef and blogger at Eggbeater, is asking some hard questions in her post Is the Public Ready for a Transparent Restaurant Industry? “When I heard about the horrible accident involving 3 of Bar Crudo’s staff and a taxi driver, I was deeply saddened,” Shuna writes. “But I cannot say that my sadness is not also mixed with anger.”

Shuna’s anger has to do with an industry where more concern is put into ingredients than into caring for the people who do the hard work of preparing them for the table.

Do you ask the waiter if the chicken is free-range if you don’t care whether he/she’s making a living wage? Can you say you believe in immigrant’s rights if you eat in a restaurant that hires undocumented workers because they’re cheaper and won’t complain…. How transparent do you want the place you go for a nice warm meal to be?

Another blogger who’s been moved by this tragedy is Joy, at Confessions of a Restaurant Whore. Proving that she is a whore with a heart of gold, Joy and her husband have decided to donate half of his holiday bonus to help defray the expenses associated with this accident. Joy explains the decision on her site:

I am a restaurant whore not only because I love dining at restaurants, but also because I love the people who work in them … I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend that money…. Even if you can’t afford to donate, just go and have a meal there. Show your support in any way you can.

A commenter on Joy’s site reports on the Bar Crudo benefit. “A huge crowd had spilled out onto the sidewalk, and even the bar next door was part of the scene and filled with fund-raising-guests…. As one blogger in the crowd put it, ‘this turnout is so heart-warming. It really says a lot about our foodie community pulling together.’”

Joy seems to speak for many when she writes, “Bar Crudo, we are here for you.”