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Business of Food: Staff Retention and Building a Welcoming Workplace


August 23, 2021 • 7:00 pm PDT

Zoom link sent directly to attendees

Hey, food biz pals! Are you ready for the final event in our Business of Food series hosted by – last but not least – the food queen herself, Good Food’s Evan Kleiman!? Join Evan in conversation with four food business experts about finding and retaining staff, creating an equitable workplace with benefits, and making your food business a place of mutual growth. Come learn about all the creative ways these ever-evolving challenges have been confronted and conquered in the food world on Monday, August 23rd at 7:00 p.m. PDT. 

The Business of Food is a 3-part event series from KCRW to help small businesses in the food world get helpful information to aid in the recovery of COVID setbacks. Do you or a friend have a small food business? Come share your experiences, bring questions and leave with some valuable information! Thanks to Wells Fargo for making this possible.



Hosted by Evan Kleiman, KCRW’s Good Food Host
Longtime host of KCRW’s Good Food, Evan Kleiman was a Los Angeles chef-restaurateur and cookbook author for many years.

Elissa Phillips, Founder and CEO of Mise En Place Restaurant Services
Elissa Phillips is the founder and CEO of Mise En Place Restaurant Services, Inc. Accounting and Finance have always been strengths of Elissa’s but hospitality and food have always been her passion. After her fast-casual, natural foods restaurant concept failed in 2006, she decided to combine her passion for food with her accounting background. For the past 15 years Elissa has worked with some of LA’s best known restaurants. Mise En Place Restaurant services provides customized accounting and consulting services to restaurants while focusing on exceptional customer service.

Javier Espinoza, Chef at A.O.C.
Javier Espinoza was born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents from Jalisco, Mexico. Growing up in a big family where food was the most important part of every celebration, his calling to work in a restaurant kitchen felt destined. Javier dropped out of college and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu CCA in Pasadena. After graduating in 2003 and a short stint cooking at the famed L’Orangerie, Javier knocked on the door of Chef Suzanne Goin’s & Caroline Styne’s A.O.C Winebar and never looked back. In his 16 years working closely with Chef Suzanne Goin, he rose to the rank of Corporate Chef, overseeing Lucques, A.O.C., tavern and The Larders. Javier assists with menu development for Singapore Airlines in-flight dining, The Hollywood Bowl Food+Wine and two upcoming restaurants at the Proper Hotel DTLA, Caldo Verde and Cara Cara opening in 2021. Currently Javier is the Chef de Cuisine of A.O.C – 3rd Street.

Lien Ta, Co-Owner of All Day Baby
Lien learned all about Southern hospitality while growing up in Marietta, a suburb of Atlanta, GA. She attended college in Boston & New York City, and before working in restaurants, she was an entertainment reporter & editor for eight years. She vowed to open her own restaurant one day, and finally made good on her word in 2016 when Here’s Looking At You was born. In 2017, she was a fellowship recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s inaugural class of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. In light of COVID-19, she appeared at the 2020 Democratic National Convention describing her experience as a small business owner managing the pandemic. Lien is the co-founder of RE:Her, a non-profit organization devoted to the advancement and empowerment of women restaurateurs.

Jeremy Fox, Chef/Owner of Birdie G’s Rustic Canyon, Tallula’s
James Beard-nominated chef/owner Jeremy Fox brings his vision of seasonality, simplicity and quality to Birdie G’s, Rustic Canyon and Tallula’s. Jeremy has always loved that he and the team have the ability to make someone’s day better through a plate of food, a cup of liquid or just a smile. Some of his favorite things to cook happen after a trip to the walk-in with empty hands and no ideas and walking back out with a new dish.

Thanks to our sponsor

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