Best Cage-Free Egg on Face: Spike Gjerde

Spike Gjerde taking Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in this year’s James Beard Awards was a long time coming for the restaurateur, who had been a semifinalist every year since 2012. But shortly after his May win, Gjerde’s newly polished reputation was tarnished when he was slapped with a lawsuit, brought by two former pastry cooks, alleging that his restaurant group withheld wages from employees who worked fewer than five 10-hour shifts a week. Once The Baltimore Sun broke the news in mid-June, it didn’t take long for Woodberry Kitchen alumni to come out of the woodwork on Reddit, seconding/thirding/fourthing that the shift-pay scheme was well-established. Shift pay may be par for the course in the restaurant biz, but the arrangement smacks of Gjerde taking advantage of his status and shorting regular so-and-sos on hard-earned paychecks.

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