Sundial: Humans of the Kitchen tells the hidden stories of restaurant workers
Carlos “Beto” Ortiz, met the most interesting people in kitchens.
He met people from all walks of life there — hidden in the back of the restaurant.
An engineer from Venezuela working as a cook. Someone just out of rehab chopping vegetables. A Syrian dishwasher lacking English but speaking the language of Kitchenese — they all know their way around a kitchen.
Their stories moved him.
The only stories Beto saw told were about chefs and owners and what was happening in the dining room. Beto wanted to tell the stories of the people making the food.
He grabbed his camera and started the Instagram account Humans of the Kitchen. He documents the lives of the people that diners rarely see — the people making the food they love so much.
The photographs stand out in stark black and white. The captions are bright with stories — all told in first person. Beto gives them the platform and his subjects speak for themselves.
Humans of the Kitchen has grown to more 30,000 followers. For a while, his focus was South Florida. Now it's not only on social media it's also a website and he takes story and photo submissions from cooks from all over the world.
On the Feb. 16 episode of Sundial, we get to know the person behind the camera, who photographs the people behind the food.
On Sundial's previous episode, we spoke with activist and Parkland survivor Aalayah Eastmond on the five-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Since speaking at March for our Lives in 2018, Eastmond's activism has centered on how gun violence affects Black and brown communities.
Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.
Stay in touch with us via text by joining our Sundial text club. Send us your thoughts, ideas or questions by texting the word “join” to 786-677-0767. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.