Each episode, join Eli Sussman as he hosts a one-on-one conversation with a chef or restaurateur about his/her childhood, first jobs in food, and the path they chose that led them to become the chef or restaurateur they are today. From how it all began, to where they are now and everything in between. This is The Line.
On this episode of the Line I am joined by Co-Owner Patricia Howard and her partner and Executive Chef Ed Szymanski about the various versions of their restaurant project called Dame. It has existed as a fish and chips pop-up and has also hosted multiple other chefs during what they called their Sunday Series. Patricia and Ed donated nearly $20,000 in profit to NAACP, Harlem Grown, Hot Bread Kichen and Soul Fire Farm this summer from their various efforts. They are currently open as Dame Deli and Bottle Shop serving Ed’s seafood conservas along with wines, local spirits, fresh produce and prepared goods from many of their friends who dropped in for pop-ups. On this special episode we talk about trying to open and stay open during COVID, how a small team and a lack of funding can help you be nimble and scrappy, what it means to have a strong partnership and if COVID changed any of their ideas about opening and operating a restaurant.
Chef Ji Hye Kim - Miss Kim
On this episode of theLINE we welcome Ji Hye Kim, chef and managing partner of MISS KIM, a Korean restaurant influenced by her ancestors and by Michigan produce. After graduating from U of M and spending several years working in hospital administration in New Jersey, life brought her back to Ann Arbor where a desire for a career change brought her to Zingerman's. Enduring a 90% pay cut, she worked at various Zingerman’s businesses and with the Rome Sustainable Food Project, as well as running an Asian street food cart for 4 years before opening the brick and mortar location of Miss Kim in 2016 as a part of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. Ji Hye was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award Best Chef Great Lakes in 2020. She was admitted to and participated in the James Beard Chef Boot Camp for Policy Change and Food Lab Detroit’s Fellowship for Change in Food and Labor. On today’s episode we discuss changing careers, the true time it takes to create, develop and open a food business and how to make the industry more equitable in the future.
Lucas Sin - Junzi Kitchen
On today’s show, I welcome Lucas Sin, Eater Young Guns Class of 2019 and Forbes 30 under 30 and the chef/partner in Junzi Kitchen. Lucas opened his first restaurant when he was 16, in an abandoned newspaper factory in his hometown of Hong Kong with the help of friends and support from his family. While obtaining a degree in the Cognitive Science and English departments, he also hosted a popup out of his dorm and cooked at multiple restaurants in New Haven. In the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute he met his future Junzi Kitchen business partners and incubated the concept. In 2015, Junzi kitchen opened in New Haven and now has 3 additional locations in New York City. The company also has a new concept called Nice Day, which was born out of the pandemic and is focused on honoring classic American-Chinese classics. Nice day is currently incubating inside of a Junzi location, while they plan to launch its own brick and mortar location soon. In this episode we talk about pop-ups, not knowing what goes into opening a restaurant, the rapid growth of Junzi Kitchen and the past present and future of American-Chinese food.
FIG Community Food Relief
On today’s special episode of theLINE, recordings from a single day in May following FIG - a collective of social justice-oriented members of the food community - talking about their efforts to feed people during the COVID-19 crisis. You will hear from one of the founders of FIG about the group came to be and how this food relief program began, a farm partners donating product, a chef who’s own restaurant is closed and is now handling delivery logistics, a catering company that lost all its business that is now producing hundreds of meals a week for those in need, a volunteer delivery driver finding joy during COVID while heading to a drop-off, and a leader at a community organization whose members are recipients of these FIG made meals.
On today’s episode we speak with Nic Jammet one of the three founders of Sweetgreen. The company the three friends started over a decade ago as a simple 500 square foot salad shack in Washington D.C. Since then it has grown to become a powerful brand with over 100 locations and a market value well over 1 billion dollars. The conversation was framed almost entirely through the lens of Pre and Post COVID as we spoke about the early growth of Sweetgreen, partnering with your best friends, innovation and technology in the context of a fast casual restaurant and what the future may hold for his company.
Feeding the Community: How Restaurants are Turning into Emergency Relief Kitchens
In this special COVID-19 episode, audio recordings from some of the hospitality frontline workers that are going to work every day to feed our country. In what feels like a constant flow of insurmountable moments when day to day reveals a new crisis, these kitchens are doing what they do best - cooking to feeding communities. Featuring voices from around the country - Samantha Fore in Lexington, Jose Salazar in Cincinnati, Janet Kirker in Chicago, Nadine Bailey-Joyner in Washington D.C., Maiko Kyogoku in New York and Leo Robitschek and his team in New York .
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.