Chefs and Restaurants

How Poker Made Me a Better Restaurateur

Reem Assil

​​In the summer of 2005, I walked into my first card club. Tucked away in the outskirts of my city Oakland, its faded green ’70s-era rugs and the stench of old cigarette smoke greeted me. I must have been a novelty—a young, timid, ambiguously brown woman in her early 20s—because, for a second, the chip shuffling of mostly middle-aged white men, sitting in the sea of long red felt tables, went silent. This was not the typical...