Listen in on an intimate, one-on-one conversation with a chef or restaurateur each week. Eli Sussman, a chef and cookbook author, interviews chefs and restaurateurs he admires about their childhoods, first jobs in food, and the paths that led them to become who they are today. From how it all began, to where they are now, and everything in between, this is The Line.
Chef Todd Richards
Chef Todd Richards is an award-winning chef known for his contemporary cooking style rooted in Soul & Southern cuisines. Todd is the founder of The Soulful Company Restaurant Group in Atlanta which includes Lake & Oak Neighborhood BBQ, Soul: Food & Culture, and the upcoming Kuro. He is also the author of SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes and the host of the HRN podcast Soul By Chef Todd Richards.
We recorded this episode live at Samesa while Todd was in New York doing research for his next cookbook. We discuss how he started his career, the mentors that have shaped his work, and his own approach to mentoring and management. Particularly in light of the current labor shortage in the hospitality industry, Todd shares his insight on pricing food and taking care of his employees with fair wages, retirement funds, and opportunities for ownership. Plus, we talk about catering to dietary restrictions and food allergies - including Todd’s own - and why they present an opportunity to keep challenging yourself and expanding the menu.
The Fattened Caf
This episode features Darren and Charlene Lopez Young, the owners of The Fattened Caf, based in St. Louis. When The Fattened Caf started as a once-a-month popup Charlene and Darren were exploring the dream of so many food entrepreneurs with the goal of opening a restaurant. The COVID shutdown led them to pivot their popups into a company selling Longganisa-style sausages. With the focus now on growing the sausage company, they have big hopes of expansion and growth. sausage that is commonly served for breakfast with fried rice and a fried egg. On today’s episode we talk about incubators and business accelerators, when to make the decision to leave your traditional job behind to start your own business or run it full time, the St. Louis food community and the difficulties faced as a minority-owned business.
On today's episode of theLINE: Chef Suzanne Barr. Suzanne was previously the Head Chef and a partner at True True Diner in Toronto, Canada, the owner of the popular restaurant Saturday Dinette, and the inaugural chef-in-residence at the Gladstone Hotel. She has participated in the James Beard Foundation Chef’s Bootcamp, been a featured speaker at the Mad Symposium in Copenhagen she was chosen as one of six finalists to present a project at the Women In Hospitality United symposium in New York City. Suzanne was also one of the chefs featured in Maya Gallus’ documentary film The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution. With her restaurant closed, she spoke to theLINE from her home in Toronto Canada which is currently still under lockdown.
One Year Later: Audio Diaries from the First Frightening Weeks of Shutdown
As we mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, now is a time to reflect on what we've endured. The audio I'm sharing today was collected in those first weeks of the pandemic, when restaurants, bars, and cafes sat dark and quiet across the nation. Owners were unsure if they would ever be able to re-open and hundreds of thousands had lost their jobs as millions were quarantining at home. You'll hear from chefs and restaurant owners from around the nation in their own words about the impossible and life-changing decisions they had to make as they adapted to the realities of COVID-19.
And before we begin: I am working on a future episode of theLINE and I want to speak to you; if you are a front of house or back of house worker, whether you've been working or not working during the past year of the COVID pandemic, if you were fired or furloughed or decided to leave the hospitality industry or take a break. I want to hear your story about what the last year has been like for you. If you are willing to share your story and you'd like to speak to me, you can get in touch with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can send me a DM on Instagram to @thesussmans. I would love to hear from you to connect with you and be able to potentially share your story on a future episode.
One Year of COVID: Part 2
This is the second in a special series of COVID-focused episodes, showcasing voices from around the country as they reflect on one year of the pandemic. On the first half of today's episode we focus on New York, featuring Caroline Schiff, Patrick Miller, Jessica and Trina Quinn, and Bryan Noury. Then, in the second half, we move to Detroit to hear from Kiki Louya and Lisa Ludwinsky.
One Year of COVID: Part 1
One year of COVID. In this first of a special series of COVID-focused episodes reflecting on one year of the pandemic, theLINE is showcasing voices from around the country. On today's episode: Ashleigh Shanti in North Carolina, Angela Garbacz in Nebraska , Alex Raij in Brooklyn NY, Matthew Bell In Tennessee and Julie Horowitz in Manhattan.
What a great show
Eli just asks the right questions to get great interviews from interesting people. Just found the show recently and I can see ripping through the backlog like it’s Cooking Issues. Keep up the great work.
Awesome guests and great conversations
Eli is a talented chef, author and restaurateur. Add one of our generation’s best interviewer to his long resume. His guests are the bees knees of the hospitality industry and the conversations he is able to cultivate are must-listen content. I can’t wait to see what else he is able to get out of this podcast.