Restaurants and Restaurant Critics Grapple with Their Role in Gentrifying Neighborhoods

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OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 24: New apartments are constructed as seen from this drone view at the Brooklyn Basin development in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.  (Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images)

When the first coffee shop or food truck rolls into a neighborhood, many locals have come to fear what might be coming next: rising housing prices and displacement.  Restaurants, farmers markets and coffee shops are often a harbinger of gentrification.  Some restaurateurs, and the food critics that send customers their way, have been grappling with the role they play in disrupting longstanding communities, and what they can do to create a positive presence in a community. As part of our regular series, All You Can Eat, with KQED food editor Luke Tsai, we’ll talk with food critics and food professionals about gentrification, food and community.


Cesar Hernandez, associate restaurant critic, San Francisco Chronicle

Luke Tsai, food editor, KQED

Mona Holmes, reporter, Eater Los Angeles

Reem Assil, chef, Reem's California; author, "Arabiyya: Recipes From the Life of An Arab in Diaspora"

Jay Foster, chef, restauranteur and marketplace general manager, La Cocina - non profit that helps immigrant women formalize their food businesses