Open Belly is a podcast exploring America’s vibrant and diverse food culture. Our mission is to share the stories of immigrant and refugee chefs and restauranteurs, and to use food as a way to understand the world from perspectives other than our own. We hope you’ll join us on our quest to open our minds and fill our bellies.
Season 03, Episode 12: InterNASHional Food Series
Every Labor Day weekend, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) hosts and InterNASHional Food Crawl event where participants travel to over 60 immigrant-owned restaurants in Nashville, tasting cuisines from all around the world. This year, the event has shifted for obvious safety reasons, and is now called the InterNASHional Food Series, and is spread out over the months of September & October. Today we're chatting with Leah Hashinger, Development Director at the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition to learn a little more about the event. Later in this episode, you’ll hear from two chefs who are participating in the event -- Mangal Tamang of Radjdhani Groceries & Cafe and Lokelani Alabanza of SATURATED Ice Cream.
Season 03, Episode 11: Cafe Cà Phê
Jackie Nguyen doesn’t actually own a food business—yet. She is in the process of launching her business, Cafe Cà Phê, yes—during a pandemic. Jackie launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for Kansas City’s first Vietnamese mobile coffee shop, and she exceeded her fundraising goal and is on her way to opening. Later this month, she’ll be serving her first cup of Vietnamese coffee in Kansas City at local events and pop-up spaces.
Season 03, Episode 10: TLV Austin
Berty Richter is the owner and chef of an Israeli street food restaurant in Austin, Texas. Berty was born and raised in Israel to an American-Hungarian father and a Turkish mother, in a home that cared deeply about food and gathering around the table. Now Berty is bringing his family’s food to the Austin community through his restaurant, TLV.
Season 03, Episode 09: Dakar Nola
Today we’re talking with Serigne Mbaye, a 26-year-old Senagalese chef based in New Orleans. Even with just a few years of professional cooking experience, Serigne has been getting a lot of attention for his passion for introducing Americans to Senagalese food. He was named an Eater Young Gun in 2018, and he’s worked in Michelin starred restaurants in both San Francisco and New York, but now he’s found his home in New Orleans where he’s hosting regular pop-up dinners exploring the connections between the foods of Louisiana and Senegal.
Season 03, Episode 08: Urban Burma
Today we’re talking with Siri Tan, chef and owner of Urban Burma in Denver, Colorado. In April 2019, Siri opened the first Burmese restaurant in Denver, located inside the Mango House, which is a “shared space for resettled refugees.” Siri had very little restaurant or cooking experience prior to opening Urban Burma, but he was determined to teach himself everything he needed to know to be successful.
Season 03, Episode 07: Petite Peso
Ria Barbosa and her business partners are the definition of resilient—they opened their restaurant, Petite Peso, in the middle of a pandemic. While it wasn’t the ideal time to launch a new business, they’ve made it work by pivoting their menu into a more grab-and-go style eatery with lunch and dinner items. The menu at Petite Peso is full of Filipino classics, but with a little inspiration from Ria’s traditional French culinary training. We sat down with Ria to talk about the innovative menu at Petite Peso and the challenges of opening a restaurant during a pandemic.
I love to learn about the stories behind restaurants add restaurant owners in Kc!
I love to learn about the stories behind restaurants add restaurant owners in KC
New to KC
Me and my girlfriend just moved to KC. Our favorite thing to do is to eat new things. This podcast is awesome to find new places and to get the back story of restaurants. More episodes please!!!!!
Leaning into to being a foody
I love cooking and eating but growing up in a small town in the Midwest left my range of foods pretty limited. Even though I don’t live in Kansas City, I love everything I’m learning about a variety of cultures and the foods that represent these cultures. I can’t wait until Danielle brings the show to OKC!