Dozens of the Bay Area’s favorite restaurants have banded together to fight back against the onslaught of anti-abortion legislation across the United States.
Led by three powerhouses of the culinary community in San Francisco and beyond, the movement was derived from the unsettling infringement on women’s reproduction rights. Christa Chase of Tartine Manufactory, Emily Hayward of AGM at Rivoli and Corso in Berkeley, and Zeina Razek, the former sous chef at Tartine Manufactory, are working their vast network of restaurants and eateries to support Planned Parenthood this coming Thursday, August 1st. We hopped on an email thread with these busy, committed, politically-woke ladies to learn more in preparation for today.
Tell us a little more about the origin of this event and how you have coordinated it in the past few weeks.
Like so many women across the country, the three of us were horrified by the spate of abortion bans signed into law over the last few years, and especially in May of this year. We have all been personally affected by this issue in one way or another, and we were angry and frustrated by the continued politicization and policing of women’s bodies. We’ve all worked in restaurants together over the last few years, and have also seen first hand the culture of misogyny present in our industry. These issues are absolutely linked together.
We knew we wanted to do something about it. We decided to combine our love for the Bay Area culinary community and food culture with support for women’s reproductive justice through a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.
We wanted to make participating fun and easy, so we opted for something people already love to do—go out to eat! We reached out to all our friends (and friends of friends, and strangers, and whoever would listen) in the industry, and asked them to participate in whatever way they could. Local purveyors jumped on board and offered their support in the form of goods and services, and so we were able to help connect restaurants and bars with our sponsors and their products. Our hope is to bring as much awareness to this cause as possible, and have our community come together over a fun night and a good meal.
What was the experience like reaching out to businesses? Overwhelmingly supportive? How did you decide what businesses you wanted involved?
The businesses we approached were incredibly supportive. We began by asking friends and partners to participate, but our goal was to be as inclusive as possible, so we left it open to anyone who wants to participate. We actually had more than a few restaurants contact us via our website and Instagram! We even had one local business offer to throw a raffle and after party to benefit the cause. It’s been amazing to see our community come together.
Tell us a little about Planned Parenthood in the Bay specifically. What is the most crucial aspect of this narrative you want people to understand and be open-minded about?
The bottom line is that abortion is health care, and that after more than a century, feminists are still struggling to protect a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. Planned Parenthood provides healthcare to over 200,000 residents of the Bay Area, Northern Nevada, and mid-California annually. Access to their services is vital to the health and well-being of women in the Bay Area and across the country.
How can we as citizens do more every day in our community to support #aborttheban? What are some other efforts you hope to plan in the future?
The Bay Area community is strong. We have full faith that people want to show up to dine and drink in support of womxn’s reproductive rights. One of the easiest ways to ensure your voice is heard is to use your shopping dollars to support businesses that support the cause. Encouraging people to get out the vote is another great way to make waves, as these bans are state laws.
// Go out and eat responsibly today! Stay tuned for more #AbortTheBan efforts across the Bay Area in the coming months. More info at aborttheban.com; Photo by Patrick Tomasso.