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Nonprofit FareStart Will Reboot Its Popular Guest Chef Night Online for 2021

Plus, Costco raises its minimum wage to $16 per hour, and Seattle creates COVID vaccine standby list, but restaurant workers are still in limbo

A black and white photo of chef Wayne Johnson of FareStart standing in a kitchen
Chef Wayne Johnson of FareStart
Thomas Wear

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Nonprofit FareStart Will Reboot Its Guest Chef Night Online for 2021

Heads up to Seattle home cooks. The local nonprofit FareStart — which works to address food insecurity and offers restaurant service job training — will reconfigure its 30-year-old Guest Chef Night event series for an online audience this year. There are four virtual events planned in 2021, hosted by FareStart head chef Wayne Johnson, and featuring other acclaimed chefs from across the city. Communion’s Kristi Brown, Joule’s Rachel Yang, Musang’s Melissa Miranda, and JuneBaby’s Edouardo Jordan will be among those giving lessons on a variety of kitchen skills. The first online class goes live March 25, focusing on “chopping like a pro” with Brown and Varin Keokitvon of Seattle Central College (and formerly Heartwood Provisions). “It’s been a year since FareStart’s last in-person Guest Chef Night, so we are beyond excited to bring it back in the virtual space, so more people can join in the fun,” says Johnson. “The chef lineup is off the charts.” All classes are free; more info can be found here.

Costco Raises Minimum Wage for Its Workers to $16 Per Hour

Starting next week, megastore Costco — which is headquartered in Issaquah and employs 180,000 workers nationwide — announced that it will raise its minimum wage to $16 per hour. CEO W. Craig Jelinek appeared before the Senate Budget Committee to testify about wages at large retailers as Congress pondered legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage at $15 per hour in the proposed stimulus bill (the Senate parliamentarian has since shot that provision down). Jelinek’s testimony also comes not long after Seattle passed a hazard pay bill for grocery store workers, which has received pushback from larger supermarket chains, including QFC.

Seattle Creates COVID Vaccine Standby List

The city of Seattle has created a new standby list for the COVID vaccines, which prioritizes those 65 years or older and who live in areas most severely impacted by the pandemic. At around 4:30 p.m. each day, there will be text alerts sent out to people on the list, should extra doses become available, and those who want to receive the inoculation will have to meet a mobile vaccination team within 30 minutes. Still not eligible to receive the vaccine are restaurant workers (below the age of 65), who aren’t part of the state’s high-priority tiers, and may not be next in line for awhile, even though indoor dining is currently allowed at 25 percent capacity. Officials have cited a “limited supply” of the vaccine in explaining the priority queue.