What People Are Saying

With Behind the Kitchen Door, Saru Jayaraman has introduced a fresh and essential perspective on our culture’s food obsessions and dining habits. By highlighting the lives and circumstances of workers who are often unseen and unheard, she has helped us see that labor is a key ingredient of authentic sustainability, and greatly enriched our understanding of those people who have - whether we have recognized it or not - been part of some of the most important celebrations of our lives. A must-read for anyone who eats in restaurants.

- Danny Glover, actor, producer and co-founder Louverture Films

The poorest paid workers in America are the ones most likely to be cooking your food and washing your dishes. Saru Jayaraman tells their stories with searing analysis and vital compassion in this landmark book. She shows how the most exploited aren’t just victims, but survivors organizing for dignity and safety in the food system. And in so doing, she helps us understand that sustainable food isn’t just about how organic or local the food is, but how high workers can hold their heads.

- Raj Patel, best-selling author of Stuffed and Starved

Half of all Americans eat out at least once a week—the restaurant has become our second kitchen. In her groundbreaking new book, Saru Jayaraman, exposes a missing plotline in the story of our food: the story of who’s behind the kitchen door, how they’re treated, and why it matters. Hers is a captivating, rousing story. If you care about where your food comes from, this book is for you. Read this book, get inspired, and join the fight for fair food behind the kitchen door.

- Anna Lappe, best-selling author of Diet for a Hot Planet

Our food comes at great expense to the workers who provide it. ‘The biggest workforce in America can’t put food on the table except when they go to work,’ says Saru Jayaraman, Co- Founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. Many people in the nascent food movement and in the broader ‘foodie’ set know our farmers’ (and their kids’) names and what their animals eat. We practically worship chefs, and the damage done to land, air, and water by high-tech ag is—correctly—a constant concern. Yet though you can’t be a card-carrying foodie if you don’t know the provenance of your heirloom tomato, you apparently can be one if you don’t know how the members of your wait staff are treated.

- Mark Bittman in the New York Times Opinionator blog

Saru Jayaraman’s work is a huge step forward in the fight for human rights in the U.S.  We are fortunate to have this courageous voice helping to bring equity to millions of workers, such that their labor benefits their families and their futures.

- Van Jones, founder, Rebuild The Dream