13 episodes

Join Co-hosts Molly Ford, Co-Founder of The Food Lens, & Catherine Smart, Co-Founder of notjust.co as they look past the plate, chatting with chefs, tastemakers and restaurant industry insiders. They’ll be digging into business, passion projects, and food trends to see what’s shaping the New England restaurant scene. This season no tasty topic is off limits: from peeling back the politics of sustainable seafood, to farming data on customers, to high-end cannabis cuisine. We’re curious. We’re hungry. And we know you are too.

The Food Lens Podcast The Food Lens

    • Food

Join Co-hosts Molly Ford, Co-Founder of The Food Lens, & Catherine Smart, Co-Founder of notjust.co as they look past the plate, chatting with chefs, tastemakers and restaurant industry insiders. They’ll be digging into business, passion projects, and food trends to see what’s shaping the New England restaurant scene. This season no tasty topic is off limits: from peeling back the politics of sustainable seafood, to farming data on customers, to high-end cannabis cuisine. We’re curious. We’re hungry. And we know you are too.

    Episode 1: JuanMa Calderón & Maria Roundeau Know How to Throw a (Dinner) Party

    Episode 1: JuanMa Calderón & Maria Roundeau Know How to Throw a (Dinner) Party

    When friends say, “You should open a restaurant!” just because you throw a great dinner party, they are usually wrong. Not in the case of JuanMa Calderón & Maria Rondeau whose Somerville restaurant Celeste started as a supper in club in their Cambridge home. We sat down with the couple to hear how a filmmaker and an architect with no prior experience in the industry opened one of the hottest spots in town, and how they plan to keep the party going.

    • 35 min
    Trailer: Season Two of the Food Lens Podcast

    Trailer: Season Two of the Food Lens Podcast

    Molly & Catherine are back for seconds, and we hope you’ll join! In season 2 of The Food Lens Podcast, the co-hosts sit down with a fresh batch of Boston restaurant industry insiders to talk food, family, business, and travel. Want to know what’s up with the tinned fish trend? Who grinds their own flour and comes out in defense of “meat glue”? How to cut through the BS when buying wine? Well, you’ll just have to tune in to find out.

    • 1 min
    Bonus Episode: Molly Ford & Sarah Jesup: Research, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

    Bonus Episode: Molly Ford & Sarah Jesup: Research, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

    Molly Ford and Sarah Jesup founded The Food Lens back in 2016 and have been heading up efforts to curate Boston’s best online dining and drinking resource ever since. Molly (a San Diego native) and Sarah (originally from Vermont) met at Boston University in 2008 while pursuing degrees in journalism and hospitality, respectively. The pair then spent time eating their way around the globe, always searching for the best hidden gems, from taquerias in Mexico to shawarma spots in Istanbul. Their “restaurant bible”—a Google doc chronicling top meals eaten at home and abroad—was the blueprint for what would later become TFL. They still love to travel, but call Boston home: Molly lives in Fenway with her boyfriend, while Sarah and her husband live in Beacon Hill with their three dogs. They both enjoy working out and eating out, in pretty equal measure In this bonus episode, Catherine sits down with co-founders and BFFs Molly and Sarah to tell TFL’s origin story, and reveal what goes in to curating guides to the best food and drink in Boston.

    • 25 min
    Episode 9: Tiffani Faison Has her Head and Heart in the Restaurant Game

    Episode 9: Tiffani Faison Has her Head and Heart in the Restaurant Game

    Tiffani Faison compares working in restaurant kitchens to playing “the weirdest sport on earth”. If the popular and critical success of her ever-expanding Big Heart Hospitality Group is any indication, it’s fair to say she’s winning. With the opening of Sweet Cheeks in 2011 and Tiger Mama in 2015, followed by the bar Fool's Errand in 2018 and the upscale Italian-American spot Orfano in 2019, she's played a major role in transforming the Fenway neighborhood into a dining destination. Faison didn’t grow up tugging on a grandmother’s apron strings, she got a peek at the chaos of kitchen life working as a busser for Todd English, and felt an inexplicable tug to jump into the game. We talk about getting crushed learning to cook on the line, how she ended up in sports bar-filled Fenway, and why declining to open her “Look at me I’m a Big Deal Chef,” restaurant was the best decision ever. 

    • 40 min
    Episode 8: Irene Li Knows Basic Business Knowledge is Power

    Episode 8: Irene Li Knows Basic Business Knowledge is Power

    Irene Li isn’t afraid to talk about privilege (especially her own), share her profit and loss statements with every employee, or disclose how difficult it can be to run a successful restaurant. Li is a chef and restaurateur who walks the talk. Hearing how she and her team are working to make careers at Mei Mei as sustainable as the food, is downright inspiring. We’ve always loved Mei Mei for their addictively delicious take on Chinese-American food; now we can’t get enough of Li’s unique perspective on the business of hospitality. 

    • 28 min
    Episode 7: Building Pizza Boxes and Character, in the Kitchen with Juan Pedrosa

    Episode 7: Building Pizza Boxes and Character, in the Kitchen with Juan Pedrosa

    Juan Pedrosa knows that with food, and hospitality, it’s all about how you make people feel. From after-hours family meal at a the Greek pizza place where he started his career (as a pre-teen), to wowing guests with “Viper Chops” and flaming cocktails at Yvonne’s, Pedrosa puts in the work, to share the love. Hear the surprisingly heart-warming story of how he got fired, what went in to reimagining Locke-Ober as Yvonne’s, and a behind the scenes take on building out COJE’s newest hot spot, Mariel.

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

bkhaile ,

New fav podcast!!

I have been a huge fan of Food Lens since their inception so I was especially excited to listen to the podcast. I’m so impressed by the unique approach these ladies have taken to give us a behind the scenes view of the culinary world. This isn’t just another podcast about restaurants and food. I love the topics they discuss and the guests they bring on. I highly recommend this podcast!

therealbish ,

Taking The Boston Food Scene By Storm

As an avid food and drink lover, I couldn't be more excited about this new local podcast. The content ranges from food and wine, to entrepreneurship, business ethics, and much more. The hosts are relatable and clearly do their research before their interviews which is so important for a compelling episode. Boston needed this so badly! I can't wait to see what The Food Lens has in store for 2020.

BeardedNick ,

Former Bostonian

Ladies - love the show! Perfect length for my drive to work. So much on the food scene has changed since I lived there (JP and Dorchester) and went to Grad School (Emerson College). I'm a former server (Vinny Testa's and Legal Seafood, Prudential). Your introduction of chef’s their passions, their food vision and the conversation centered on the changing culinary scene is spot on. Yep, I’m cool calling myself a proud #FoodLensStan

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