Chef Andrew Gruel on Capitalism, Cuisine, and Calling Gov. Gavin Newsom an Asshole
Last December, Andrew Gruel had finally had enough. He’s the founder and owner of Slapfish, a growing seafood chain based in Huntington Beach, California, with restaurants in 10 states and the United Kingdom. The past eight months had been so brutal for business that he and his wife set up a fund to pay laid-off food workers, which had already disbursed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Outdoor and even some indoor dining had come back over the summer, but represented only a fraction of the volume from before COVID-19 darkened everyone’s doors.
Then, right after Thanksgiving, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new lockdown prohibiting outdoor dining in most of the Golden State’s restaurants. A regular on the Food Network and other cooking channels, Gruel uncorked an inspired video rant that went viral on social media.
“I can go into Walmart, I don’t even have to wear pants, nobody wears a mask at Walmart, I can go get a pink cockatoo for my Christmas tree, but I can’t go and dine outdoors at a restaurant,” he said, listing all sorts o
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