As restaurants struggle to make it during the COVID-19 pandemic, many chefs and workers are speaking out and fighting for legislation that aims to preserve the livelihoods of 15.1 million restaurant industry employees. But one Madison chef is taking the fight one step further. She’s running for Wisconsin State Assembly.
On this week’s podcast, we talk with Francesca Hong, chef and co-owner of Madison's Morris Ramen, about her motivation in seeking out a position in the State Assembly. During our discussion, she shares the details of her journey to the culinary world and how that experience inspired her to speak up on behalf of labor rights, a long-term COVID-19 recovery plan and the need for a safety net for small businesses.
We discuss her work with the community-driven Culinary Ladies Collective and Cook It Forward, a program created to tackle food insecurity. Along the way, Hong paints the picture of a community driven chef whose passion for community has made her an advocate for change in an uncertain world.
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Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.