The Restaurant: A Table Divided
28 December 2018

Ever since they began, restaurants have been mirrors of who we are: our social aspirations – and our social inequalities, reflecting and refracting both our best and worst selves. And today, Canadians and Americans spend more money dining out than ever before.

Through conversations with restaurateurs, chefs, food sociologists and food historians, producers Michelle Macklem and Zoe Tennant ask one central question: what does this institution – the restaurant – reveal about us as people?

Top-down photograph of meats, cheeses, bread and antipasto laid out on a table, with hands of various skin colours reaching for food

This documentary, which I co-produced with Zoe Tennant, is composed of interviews and soundscapes recorded in two cities (New York and Toronto), four restaurants, an old tavern, and two kitchens.

The Restaurant is a story about the French Revolution, turtles, the Civil Rights movement, disappearing white table cloths, Williamsburg, sexual anxieties and colonization.

It first aired on CBC Ideas on 21 May 2018; it was also heard on KALW in the San Francisco Bay Area on 4 September 2018. You can listen to it here.