JODY MAY has been working at Bite of Seattle since her father started it 35 years ago, and now runs an event company called Festivals Inc, which produces the Bite of Seattle. Here, she speaks about the Festival’s origins.
“Both of my parents were born and raised in New York. When they got married, they decided to move to LA, and they opened a little delicatessen called the Nosh Box. They had $200 in their pocket, and somehow or another they found someone to help them get started. And my dad was the cook and my mom was the waitress. It was frequented by a lot of celebrities. And then with those actors and directors, my dad started getting catering jobs in Beverly Hills, for their parties, because what he brought was an authentic Jewish, New York style deli.
In Seattle, he opened up his restaurant Barneby’s. And when he started the Bite in ’82, there was a recession and nobody was coming to all the restaurants. And so my dad gathered the most well-known restaurateurs in the city, he called a meeting and he said “I have an idea.” He sat down around a boardroom table with this group and said, ‘Nobody’s coming to our restaurants, and there’s a recession, we’re all suffering, if people aren’t coming to get the food, then let’s bring the food to the people.’ And it was really that simple.”