Dr. Amy Sapola, Pharm.D., FAIHM, IFMCP and Guest Host Regenerative Farming Expert and Cookbook Author Farmer Lee Jones introduce Farming For Health where they talk with leaders in food and beverage, farming, health and wellness. The core focus of this podcast series is to spread knowledge and inspire a plant-forward future. We are very excited to have you join us as we hope to encourage a food system that nourishes our bodies and our land.
Ben's Friends, Community "WE" and Taking Action
On episode 30, Dr. Amy Sapola talks with Mickey Bakst. In 1982 Mickey lost his first restaurant to alcohol and drug addiction, It was in that year that he found sobriety after a long and painful struggle. For the next 40 years Mickey watched countless peers lose their lives or destroy their careers due to their addictions and for 40 years he asked what can I do.
In 2016, after witnessing the deaths of one too many industry pros, he and fellow restaurateur Steve Palmer, of the Indigo Road Hospitality Group, founded Ben’s Friends, a support group for members of the food and beverage industry battling substance abuse and addiction. The mission of Ben’s Friends is to offer hope, fellowship, and a path forward to anyone, in the industry, who struggles with substance abuse and addiction. The organization is named in honor of Ben Murray, a chef who took his own life in 2016 after struggling with alcoholism. With decades of sobriety under his belt, Mickey believes that there are countless members of the restaurant industry in need of help combating the effects of alcohol and drugs.
Mickey has dedicated himself to Ben’s Friends and, in his role as Executive Director, is focused on spreading the word about Ben’s Friends to existing and emerging chapters across the country.
Triathlons, Eat to Nourish and Be Bold with Your Cooking
On episode 29, Dr. Amy Sapola talks with Chef Zane Holmquist. Utah native Zane Holmquist is the Vice President of Food & Beverage and Corporate Chef at Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley. In this capacity he oversees the food and beverage teams at Stein Eriksen Lodge, The Chateaux Deer Valley, Park Meadows Country Club and Stein Eriksen Residences (opening for 2016/2017 ski season).In 1989 Zane participated in Salt Lake Community College’s Culinary Arts Institute culinary apprenticeship program. Zane then moved to New York to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. It was here that he began to develop his own unique style further refined in Hawaii and California. In 1994 Zane returned to his native Utah and joined the team at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in 2000.Over the past 15 years, Zane has become a leader in the food industry, winning numerous awards and showcasing his work at the renowned James Beard House in Greenwich Village New York and on NBC’s Today Show. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Governor’s Culinary Artisan Award and his cuisine has been featured in numerous publications including SKI, Bon Appétit, Sunset, Salt Lake Magazine and Triathlete. When tasked with creating seasonal menus for multiple restaurants he chooses to source ingredients from farmers and vendors who have set the bar for quality and consistency; creating a truly unique dining experience. Zane donates countless hours to charity events each year. You will find him as the lead chef at both the Taste of the Wasatch and March of Dimes Signature Chef Gala. He serves on the board for 3 Squares, Inc., a nonprofit fighting hunger in Utah with food education and food access programs. Additionally, Holmquist has instituted an externship program at Steins to develop younger chefs and encourage them to discover their own talents. He regularly hires externs from the Culinary Institute of America as well as local culinary programs to train in his kitchens. He has been a guest lecturer at the Culinary Institute of America and served as a member of the Salt Lake Community College’s Alumni Council. In 2015, Zane was appointed to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Advisory Board.When he is not in the kitchen or donating his time, Zane can be found skiing or biking in this beautiful state he calls home. Most recently he has become an avid triathlete.
Creativity. Brining Vegetables and Family Pasta Night.
On episode 28, Dr. Amy Sapola and Farmer Lee Jones talks with long time friend of the farm, Chef Bradley Kilgore. Chef Bradley Kilgore was born and raised in Kansas City. After relocating several times to work and train in Denver, Italy and Chicago, Chef Kilgore worked at world renowned restaurant Alinea In Chicago before leaving to open L2o under Chef Laurent Gras. Later, both restaurants garnered the honor of 3 Michelin Stars. He has now planted his feet in the beautiful city of Miami.
In the summer of 2015, Chef Kilgore opened Alter in the art focused Wynwood district of Miami. There, he offered Progressive American Cuisine, garnering National and International recognition for his work. At Alter he highlighted indigenous Floridian ingredients and up to 15 course tasting menu and wine pairings. The wine program was named Top 100 in America by Wine Enthusiast several years in a row. Alter received 4 stars from the Miami Herald within a few months of opening, making Chef Kilgore the only Chef in the history of the Miami Herald to receive 4 Stars two times. Alter was also named restaurant of the year by Eater, and Chef Kilgore was named Chef of the Year by the same publication in both 2014 and 2015.
Shortly after, and on a meteoric rise, his cuisine was rapidly gaining national attention. From this, Bradley was named Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine Magazine in 2016. later that year Alter was named semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard awards in the category "Best New Restaurant", and Chef Kilgore in the category "Rising Star chef of the year" twice in 2016 and 2017. At Alter, he became well known for his hyper creative presentations and genius flavor combinations. The 15 course tasting menu and wine pairings were unlike any the region had ever seen.
In 2018, The James Beard foundation named him a finalist as "Best Chef South". Alter was Internationally recognized twice as a "Diners Discovery" by the prestigious voters of San Pellegrino’s "The World's 50 Best".
For five years he was the Culinary Director for the Adrienne Arsht Center and had a signature restaurant, Brava, by Brad Kilgore. Chef Kilgore and his team oversaw all Culinary production in the world class performance hall and the fine dining restaurant.
In late 2018 and 2019 he opened the first of two new restaurants in the Design District, Kaido, an Asian and Japanese Cocktail Lounge and Restaurant with Internationally Renown Mixologist. Worlds 50 Best recognized Nico de Soto and Ember a Wood-Fire American Bistro.
In 2020 Kilgore Culinary teamed up with Trilogy Developers to design and operate an incredible world class, private, members only racetrack resort called The Concours Club. Found there is the Modern American restaurant, Verge. Currently under construction, he will oversee all of the Culinary operations for the soon to be built Concours Events Center designed by Pininfarina Design House coming in late 2023.
His team’s most recent project is as Culinary Director with the first hotel in the history of Wynwood, the Arlo. Chef Kilgore is the Culinary Director of the entire property which boasts three different venues and all of the catering offerings as well. MaryGold’s Brasserie is the signature restaurant where his culinary creations shine. He has also collaborated with BarLab Hospitality, one of the World’s 50 Best Bar Operators on all Food & Beverage services for the property. The hotel opened in November 2022.
Finding Your Passion, Picky Eaters and Cooking For Levi
On episode 27, Dr. Amy Sapola talks with Jack Zhang. In the spring of 2023, right when his son Levi turned 2 years old, Jack embarked on a culinary journey with his little one. With a decade of cooking professionally under his belt, Jack had acquired a repertoire of dishes from around the world. Now, he was eager to share his passion for food with Levi, hoping to instill in him a love for diverse flavors.
Jack and his wife, Emmy, encourages people to check out the weekly videos they post on TikTok and Instagram under the handle @cookingforlevi.
Sustainability, Koji Coffee, Being Intentional
On episode 26 of the Farming for Health Podcast, Dr. Amy Sapola talks with Brandon Bir. Brandon is a coffee and sustainability professional with a passion for equality and international community development. When not traveling to coffee-growing countries to teach classes focused on quality and sensory science or working towards zero waste at the SCA Campus in Columbus, Bir can be found representing Crimson Cup speaking to students at universities and events around the world.
In his role as Director of Sustainability, Bir develops new sustainable practices for all professionals on the value chain in coffee. Brandon is a certified Assistant Q-instructor, Q-Processing Generalist, SCA Content Creator, and holds a master’s from the University of Wisconsin.
Community, Self-care and Mindset Tools
On episode 25 of the Farming for Health Podcast, Dr. Amy Sapola talks with Jason Wange. Jason is the Founder of the Foodservice Powerplant Network, a coaching organization which offers wellness and growth to the foodservice professional. The Foodservice Powerplant Network recognizes three foundational pillars to our growth: the power of an encouraging community, learned positive mindset tools for growth and the sharing of authentic story, which creates belief in what's possible in our lives. Jason's willingness to share his mental health journey as well as the tools which changed his life have made him a coveted motivational speaker and coach for organizations looking to support the health and performance of their teams.