For over 25 years, SAVEUR has brought food stories and recipes from around the world into the kitchens of home cooks and culinary enthusiasts. Now, we’re launching our first-ever podcast: Place Settings. Follow along as we travel across the U.S. to meet the chefs, farmers, makers, and creatives who are transforming the food space through their unique connection to a place. Each week, our editors will chat with a food innovator whose personal journey is as compelling as what they’re putting on the plate.
Alice Waters On Feeding People an Idea and Victory-Meets-Guerilla Gardening in Berkeley, California
When she opened her restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1971, Alice Waters had no plans for pioneering California cuisine or launching the farm-to-table movement across the U.S. But following her passion for market-fresh, seasonal cooking—sparked by a trip to France as a student—led her to work directly with local organic farmers and spotlight the origins of each ingredient on her menu. Those ideals have since reshaped the entire American food landscape, from grocery stores to fine dining restaurants to even the public school system. In 1995, Waters founded the Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley, which now includes a network of thousands of schools around the world. Drawing on her training as a Montessori teacher, the non-profit empowers students to grow and cook their own food—and, in the process, addresses issues like climate change, social inequality, and public health. Waters has also been a vocal advocate for national school lunch reform, calling on presidents such as George W. Bush and Barack Obama to promote the benefits of healthy eating. Despite her massive impact and a career that spans more than half a century, the educator, chef, activist, and author has kept a fairly low profile. At 78, she continues to plant seeds of change and is even celebrating a few firsts.
If you want to support the Edible Schoolyard Project, head here (until December 31 an anonymous donor is matching all amounts). You can also learn more about Chez Panisse here.
Omar Tate & Cybille St.Aude-Tate on Celebrating Black Foodways and Building Better Food Systems in Philadelphia
With Honeysuckle Provisions, co-founders Omar Tate and Cybille St.Aude-Tate are offering something comfortingly familiar but also radically new. Their Afrocentric grocery store and cafe opened last month in West Philadelphia to serve a neighborhood where fresh, organic produce and healthy food options were in short supply. Building on over a decade of experience working as chefs mostly in New York City—with both also running successful pop-ups until the pandemic hit—the couple wanted to create a different kind of food space. Honeysuckle Provisions directly supports Black farmers, dismantles toxic kitchen culture, and celebrates Black foodways with menu highlights like the BLACKenglish muffin (named after a James Baldwin essay), or a cup of the COWPEAcoffee (a nod to George Washington Carver). Throughout their careers, both chefs have used food as an outlet for sparking impactful conversations: Omar is an artist and poet, who was named Esquire’s Chef of the Year in 2020 and was featured on the Time100 Next list in 2021. Cybille has cooked at the James Beard House, appeared on the TV show Chopped, and explores her Haitian heritage through culinary projects like a recent dinner hosted with the family of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the last three years, the couple fell in love, got married, had a baby (with a second on the way), and launched Honeysuckle Provisions—but, as you’ll hear, they’re just getting started.
To see what’s on the menu (and in the online shop) at Honeysuckle Provisions, head here. You can also learn more about Omar and Cybille’s work here.
Chris Gentine on the Joys of Culinary Collaboration and the Art (and Science) of Affinage in Wisconsin
Cheese grader and affineur Chris Gentine sees infinite possibilities in transforming an already excellent cheddar into something new and unexpected. Along with his wife, Julie, Gentine is at the creative heart of Deer Creek Cheese, the company they founded in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee. Building on the state's classic cheeses as a base, the couple then infuses their own special alchemy of flavors, from juniper berries to green chartreuse. They work closely with master cheesemakers in the area—and by extension, small local dairy farms—to craft award-winning cheeses that celebrate the unique terroir. Beyond the borders of Wisconsin, Gentine is also a kind of ambassador for American cheesemakers through his Artisan Cheese Exchange, which exports specialty U.S. cheeses around the world. Connecting the two projects is Gentine’s deep respect for centuries-old techniques and a collaborative approach that starts with his family (the Gentines’ daughter, Sophie, is following in her father’s footsteps to become a licensed cheese grader)—and extends to the larger cheese community.
For a taste of Deer Creek Cheese, and to learn more about their process, head here. You can also find details on Henning’s Cheese here.
Doris Hồ-Kane on the Power of Punk Music, and Creating a Living Archive Through Food and Art in Brooklyn (By Way of Vietnam)
Since opening Bạn Bè last year, Doris Hồ-Kane has sparked a fast-growing following. As New York City’s first Vietnamese American bakery, the small-but-ambitious space is dedicated to celebrating Vietnamese food and community. Hồ-Kane’s butter cookie tin (featuring ingredients like tamarind, ube, and sesame) quickly garnered a 10,000-person waiting list when it started popping up in Instagram feeds. Now, customers line up for her glowing green pandan-coconut waffles and agar jellies shaped like cherry blossoms. As visually impactful as they are, Hồ-Kane’s delicious creations also tell the story of her experience as a child of refugees—and the importance of representation and creative expression. She explores these same themes in her art archive project 17.21 Women, a collection she started as a teen and now shares on Instagram (and in a forthcoming book) that spotlights remarkable Asian and Pacific Islander women throughout history. As you’ll hear, Hồ-Kane offers nourishment and inspiration through her food, her art, and the space they share at Bạn Bè.
To find the latest Bạn Bè menu and news, visit @ban__be. To support the bakery in opening full-time, head to the fundraiser here.
Sean Brock on Why All Restaurants Might Need a Meditation Room, and Geeking Out in His Food Lab in Nashville
Nashville-based, award-winning chef and bestselling cookbook author Sean Brock has been busy over the last two-and-a-half years. He launched four restaurants—including his most personal project to date: a duo of restaurants called Audrey and June. Named after his grandmother Audrey (whose middle name was June), the spaces take up both floors of a sweeping A-frame building that’s inspired by the tobacco barns of Brock’s native Appalachia. Together, they’re an ode to his childhood growing up in Virginia and to the woman who forever shaped him as a chef and as a person. But they’re also a portal into the future of food—building on Brock’s research and culinary wizardry from over a decade of leading kitchens across the South, most notably at Husk. That passion for preserving southern foodways and endless curiosity about food science continues. But now, as you’ll hear, the father-of-two takes a more mindful approach with a deeper purpose.
You can learn more about visiting Audrey and June—and follow along with more food geek-outs and culinary experiments in The Lab at Audrey.
Johnny Ortiz-Concha on Culinary Initiations and Honoring Time Through Food in Northern New Mexico
Johnny Ortiz-Concha’s journey to finding himself as a chef doesn’t follow the typical career path—which has led him from the mountains of northern New Mexico to the kitchens of some of the country’s most prestigious restaurants. His first job was at Alinea in Chicago when he was only 19 (and the restaurant had just earned its third Michelin star), followed by a stint at Willows Inn off the Washington coast. At 23, while working at Saison in San Francisco, he was named an Eater Young Gun. But right when his star was rising, Ortiz-Concha left it all behind to return to the area surrounding the Taos Pueblo, where he grew up, and to realize his vision for a very personal project. Shed is an intimate dinner series that’s a direct expression of the wild 22-acre farm Ortiz-Concha now calls home. But as you’ll hear, Shed is about more than serving a hyper-local meal. For Ortiz-Concha, it’s a larger investigation into connecting how we live, what we eat, and where we’re from.
Learn more about becoming a Shed parciantes (member) here.
Place Settings by Saveur
Fantastic debut show. Great line of questioning, really revealed who Johnny Ortiz-Concha is! Plus the self narrative around his property was a good touch. I loved his explanation of “Shed.” What an interesting person! Perfect selection for the first episode! VERY WELL DONE. Can’t wait for next week’s show!!
I like it.. Saveur
I came across some very old Saveur’s. I save them all.. hard to part with a Saveur. Great interview. If ever I’m in the area I’ll stop in at the SHED ‼️I enjoyed the Podcast.
So frustrating for him to describe his surroundings and not see it. I need a video!!!!!!