Omnivore - Rosebud chef speaks out against immigration law

The restaurant will feature a Mexican menu Friday in support of immigrant rights


Tomorrow, Georgia's House Bill 87, an attempt to crack down on illegal immigrants in the state, will take effect. A few of the law's points have been put on hold, but on Friday, specifications like jail time and fines for people who use fake identification to get a job in the state will be put in place.

The law struck a chord with Ron Eyester, chef at Rosebud and the Family Dog and CL columnist. In protest of the bill, members of We Are Georgia have been urging businesses to close for "A Day Without Immigrants" on July 1. But Eyester has chosen to do something a little different — he'll be flexing his culinary creativity instead of turning it off for a day. On Friday, in support of the immigrant community, he's turning Rosebud into Capullo de Rosa (yes, that's "rosebud" in Spanish). The restaurant will serve a Mexican menu along with the normal Friday brunch menu at lunch and just the Mexican menu at dinner. Eyester, who said he usually doesn't get involved with politics, wanted to show his opposition to the bill because of the connection he — and the restaurant business as a whole — has with immigrant workers.

"I thought it was a good opportunity to pay tribute to the guys who support my restaurant concept every day, and to bring awareness to a situation to people who might not otherwise give it much thought."

Eyester said he doesn't think many people realize how important immigrant workers are to restaurants. All of his kitchen staff are Mexican. He spends more time each day with Mexicans than he does with anyone else, and he's been moved by their passion for cooking and camaraderie with himself and one another. He also thinks there aren't many other Americans who would want to take their jobs.