Do you daydream about dropping everything and opening a restaurant, or starting your own brand of condiments? So many trailblazers in the food world actually started their careers in entirely different fields. How did these folks decide to hit the brakes, start over, and become inspiring chefs, entrepreneurs, farmers and activists they are today? Hear their stories and learn how you too can fulfill your food dreams. New episodes available every Thursday. If you made a leap of faith to work in the food industry and want to share your story, please get in touch at why email@example.com.
Suresh Pillai & Carrie Dashow: Atina Foods
Join us for a conversation with Suresh Pillai and Carrie Dashow, the married co-founders of Atina Foods. They adapt traditional Ayurvedic recipes to incorporate global and locally available produce for their unusually delicious, fermented, and preserved condiments that help to balance your health and life. Based in Catskill, New York, Atina Foods' handcrafted condiments add flavor complexity in a simple spoonful to home-cooked plates throughout New York and beyond!
Atina Foods Expands upon and evolves recipes from Suresh's traditional upbringing in Kerala, South India, the ancestral home of Ayurvedic health practices. Kerala is a place where one considers food as medicine and eating for health is a widely practiced custom. The vision of Atina Foods is to produce and share holistic food based on traditional knowledge systems using local produce when available, following the sacred wisdom of the ancients; that food is medicine and medicine is food.
Sue Bette: Bluebird Barbecue
Join us for a conversation with Sue Bette, owner of Bluebird Barbecue in Burlington, Vermont. Sue is a James Beard Award-nominee and former educator who uses her restaurants to build a connection between food, health, and mental well-being. She is a member of the Leadership group of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, and the recent co-founder of Vermont Independent Restaurants, an emerging coalition to preserve and advance the VT restaurant industry faced with challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andre Springer: Shaquanda Will Feed You
Join us for a conversation with Andre Springer, Founder of Shaquanda Will Feed You. Andre was born in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, and is of Barbadian descent. Andre began performing in the streets and bars of NYC at the age of 20, with much of his art being the creation of his drag alter ego, Shaquanda Coca Mulatta. The body of Andre's work has been in performance, sculpture, and film. While manifesting his creative side he also spent 18 years in the restaurant industry as a waiter, bartender, manager, and maitre d'. Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce was created at Bushwig in 2014, a drag festival that happens every year in NYC. Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce can be found in specialty shops across the United States and most recently in whole foods at all the North East region locations. The brand was featured in popular food publications like Bon appetite, Edible, Serious Eats, Delish, Buzz Feed, NY Times Gift Guide, and was a favorite in season 9 and 13 of the popular hit youtube series “Hot Ones”.
Nicole Januarie: Januarie 1st Inc
Nicole Januarie is a Director/Producer of Vallery's new series, Vallery Cooks Your Questions, on Food Network. Nicole partners with brands and individuals to assess how to creatively communicate their message through strong and impactful content. After more than a decade of ideating, strategizing, producing, and directing videos for multi-million dollar brands and start-ups, Nicole has learned what truly drives conversations and moves individuals to an emotional connection. It's not mastering the new flavor of the week; it's how well you connect with the beating-hearts of people you're trying to help and inspire, and how effectively you communicate your understanding of their needs back to them.
The former Managing Partner and co-founder of 19th & Park Inc., and 2019 Adweek Creative 100 honoree, recently focused her attention on launching her own production company, Januarie 1st Inc. It's a full-service creative development and production company whose work includes commercials, television shows, branded content, and more. She's been featured in WWD, Forbes, ESSENCE, and appeared on the grand jury for the New York Festivals Advertising Awards and Adweek's Experiential Awards.
Manal Kahi: Eat Offbeat
Join us for a conversation with Manal Kahi, co-founder and CEO of Eat Offbeat, a refugee-driven food company that delivers authentic eats & treats made by refugees who now call New York City home. Manal moved to NYC to pursue a career in environmental affairs, but the Hummus she found in grocery stores led her on a different journey. She founded Eat Offbeat to help New Yorkers discover authentic cuisines from around the world all the while creating quality jobs for talented refugees.
Deb Perelman: Smitten Kitchen
Join us for a conversation with Deb Perelman, author of the legendary blog Smitten Kitchen. Deb is a self-taught home cook, photographer, and the creator of smittenkitchen.com, as well as the author of the New York Times bestselling cookbooks "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" and "Smitten Kitchen Every Day." Deb lives in New York City with her husband and their two children.