I heard Anthony Bourdain talking about race in the restaurant industry last year, and he said something about standing on the stage at the James Beard Awards and staring into a sea of white faces. I didn't realize how much that wasn't hyperbole until I saw Noah Kalina's crowd photos from the 2007 awards over at Eater; I couldn't find a single non-white face among the attendees in the first crowd close-up. Take a good long look:
See how many people of color you can find, and let's compare notes after the jump.
OK, so I found a grand total of three non-white faces:
The guy on the right is holding a large camera and isn't dressed up for the occasion, so it's probably safe to assume he's a photographer on the job and count him out. Which brings my count to a grand total of two, both of them female and Asian. Classic!
So what's the deal here, no blacks or Latinos invited? Do they even allow men of color past the door besides David Chang and Marcus Samuelsson? Clearly this is not rigorous scientific analysis on my part, but I have to say that, as a brown person, I get creeped out when I see photos from events like this; whether intentional or not, the message I get out of it is a subtle but firm "not for you."
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