Emma Rosenbush, CALA General Manager and FoodSchool Event Panelist
The FoodSchool team is very excited to announce that Emma Rosenbush will be joining our expert panel at the Growing Inclusive Restaurants event on June 26th!
If you aren't familiar with her work, Emma is the General Manager of CALA, a San Francisco fine dining restaurant founded by renowned Mexico City chef Gabriela Cámara. While the restaurant has been making waves by redefining how San Francisco diners view Mexican Seafood, Gabriela and Emma have been quietly breaking down another set of preconceptions. About 50% of their staff have backgrounds of addiction or incarceration and they actively recruit through organizations like Delancy Street and the San Francisco Adult Probation Department. Although they have faced challenges training team members with little to no fine dining experience, they're making the hiring practice work, and insist it was a practical decision that isn't really that radical.
"My issue was: How the hell are we going to get people to wait on our guests in a more welcoming manner? And Emma, who had worked at a prison law office, was like, You know, there are all these ex-cons that can never find jobs. And the probation department has all these programs that want to help people get jobs. And people don’t really have other chances, because most people don’t want to deal with ex-cons."
- Gabriela Cámara via Lucky Peach
You can hear more from Emma through this bayarea.com feature, or listen to her interview on the Delicious Revolution podcast, but if you'd like to ask your own questions, that rare opportunity is coming to San Jose on June 26th!