This story is part of Heads of the Table, our celebration of 12 restaurants, people, and organizations that led the industry through the pandemic and beyond. Meet all the winners here.

The human experience is a varied one. But this past year has been one of a shared struggle that has tied all of us together in grief, anxiety, and clarity. The pandemic brought to light many things for me, most revolving around the idea of service—what it has meant for me and what it means to my city, my state, and my country.

As the co-chef and co-owner

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Despite facing severe staffing woes, a family-owned restaurant in North Carolina hasn’t stopped cooking up free meals for dozens of local heroes every day. 

The Shark Shack, which has only two employees on its payroll, is determined to stay open for its customers and so it can keep serving “appreciation” meals to the servicemen and women throughout Carteret County. This includes police officers, lifeguards, firefighters, nurses, doctors, EMS workers and any active military member, owner Taylor Thomas told FOX Business.

“I don’t

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Photo From the Elmhurst Food Crawl June 2021 (Photo By: Martin Romero)

Aug. 30, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

A community-led group will be highlighting the culinary diversity of the area mid-September with a guided takeout restaurant crawl – with some of the proceeds to benefit a local food pantry.

Participants will sample the culinary offerings of the Jackson Heights neighborhood on a tour that spans less than a single mile.

The restaurant crawl, the second offered by Homecoming — a newly-formed organization consisting of first and second generation immigrants passionate about food and bringing the community together — will take

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LAMBERTVILLE, NJ — Liz Horvath, a downtown Lambertville resident, created a business with her sister in 2017 to celebrate the abundance of great local eats: Sister Cities Food & Shop Tours. Then, when business cooled off during the pandemic, Horvath collaborated with other food tour owners statewide to launch a coalition called the New Jersey Food Tour Trail.

She met her collaborators through Beyond The Plate Food Tours’ owner Alessia Aron, who runs tours in Jersey City, Red Bank, and Somerville. Rather than compete, they decided to support one another.

“We became instant friends and sounding boards for each other,

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Ben Brown loves to travel, and he loves to eat. So whenever he visits new countries, he often books culinary tours to learn about cities through their culinary culture.

But what has always bugged the 32-year-old Carmel Valley resident about food tours is that they’re on a strict schedule that prohibits lingering in spots he likes, and they’re expensive, because the ticket price includes the cost of the tour guide.

Brown’s frustration led to his creation of TastePro, a new San Diego dining tour business that does away with both the schedule and the guide. Customers visit the company’s

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Photo of the 2021 Dragon Fest Food Walk map.

by Ronnie Estoque


The smoldering heat did not deter Dragon Fest Food Walk attendees from visiting a variety of Asian restaurants on Saturday, June 26,  in Chinatown-International District. The event featured Asian cuisine deals ranging from $2 to $8, and lasted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Previous Dragon Fest events have featured restaurants with food stands and merchants lined alongside South King Street, but this year a food walk was deemed more reasonable due to COVID-19 and the heat by the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), who organized the event. CIDBIA is planning several more food walks throughout

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