THE SHIFT LIST is a new podcast from BGS, talking to chefs about the music that fills their kitchens, restaurants, and recipes.
EACH EPISODE offers a casual and concise chat with a chef about the music that plays in their kitchen before, during, and after a shift, as well as the sounds that have influenced their creative life.
Mark Buley - (Odd Duck Market, Sour Duck) - Austin, TX
This week, Host Chris Jacobs continues The Shift List's feature on music and restaurants in Austin, Texas with Mark Buley, Chef and Partner at Odd Duck and Sour Duck Market.
In 2009, Bryce Gilmore opened a food truck, the Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, with his brother in South Austin. The trailer featured dishes utilizing fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, which was still something of a novel idea at the time, and it became the cornerstone philosophy behind all of their endeavors moving forward, including the eventual brick and mortar version of Odd Duck and the more casual Sour Duck Market.
Mark Buley, originally from a small town in Wisconsin, journeyed to Austin in 2012 to partner with Gilmore in anticipation of Odd Duck opening as a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The pair have been working together ever since, and in the last decade, the Odd Duck collective has become a staple of the Austin food scene — fun and interesting, not too serious, and done well. Perhaps more than any of the restaurants recently featured on The Shift List, Sour Duck Market is intentionally communal. It’s a bakery, cafe, coffee shop, outdoor patio, and multi-service kind of place that’s designed for customers to stay a while.
Sour Duck and Odd Duck are both open for curbside pickup as things in Austin still move to fully open up during the coronavirus pandemic; listening to this conversation is a reminder of how much we’ve temporarily lost and have been taking for granted, but it also serves as a hopeful promise of what we’ll get back when the time is right.
In the meantime, if you want to bring the Sour Duck ethos into your own home, order a copy of The Odd Duck Almanac, a recently-released, annual cookbook/magazine-style publication that’s as true of a representation of the restaurants as you can get while we wait for everything to reopen.
Chef Fermín Núñez (Suerte) - Austin, TX
This week, our first in a series of shows from Austin, Texas, starting off with Fermín Núñez, executive chef of East Austin’s Mexican-inspired restaurant Suerte and Eater Austin’s 2018 chef of the year.
As you’ll soon discover, Chef Fermín is a man with a mission: To create the perfect tortilla, every single day. As he recently told Eater, “It takes a village to make tortillas every night, and the foundation of Mexican food is masa.” The process starts with one of the restaurant’s staffers bringing a pot of water to a simmer, adding the necessary ingredients including the masa, cooking it to a certain level of doneness, and then letting it sit overnight. Another employee comes in the next morning to rinse the masa, the source of the day’s tortillas.
It’s this attention to detail that has made Suerte one of the most beloved new restaurants in Austin, and Chef Fermín’s love of music is woven into each part of the day, from the making of the masa, to prepping his mise en place, to the entire staff stopping at 4pm to clap to a cover of "Achy Breaky Heart" in Spanish and prepare for the night of service ahead.
Speaking of service, Suerte closed for a few weeks back in early March to regroup and recalibrate as the city of Austin sheltered in place because of the new coronavirus. In mid-March they reemerged with the Suerte Taqueria, providing highlights from Suerte’s menu for takeout -- a highlight being the Suadero Taco Meal kit for families to enjoy at home. The kit includes all the ingredients needed to prepare Chef Fermín’s signature dish at home, including confit brisket, avocado crudo, black magic oil, signature tortillas, and sides. In addition to cooking instructions, they rounded out the experience with a video of Chef Fermín cooking along in his own kitchen, and a link to his favorite playlist in an attempt to bring the full Suerte experience into your kitchen.
The kits are still available, so if you live in the Austin area and need some high quality sustenance, head over to Suertetx.com.
Chef Dyan Solomon (Olive et Gourmando, Foxy) - Montreal
This week, The Shift List closes out its miniseries focusing on the food of Montreal with chef, restauranteur, and cookbook author Dyan Solomon.
If you’re from Montreal, Dyan Solomon needs no introduction. She’s the co-owner of multiple restaurants there, including Foxy, one of the city’s essential fine dining establishments. Back in November 2019 she released the Olive & Gourmando cookbook, a collection of 150 recipes from the namesake cafe that put Solomon on Montreal’s culinary map when it opened back in 1999.
Host Chris Jacobs checked in with Chef Dyan via email the other week to see how her restaurants have been affected by the stay-at-home orders in Canada. She replied with cautious optimism, saying that while all of her restaurants are are closed until further notice, they are surviving and trying to remain positive about the future.
If you’ve listened to the last two episodes of The Shift List with Chef John Winter Russell of Restaurant Candide, you'll know that he highlighted the work that's being done to help support the Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, an organization set up to provide emergency relief to restaurant employees who are facing economic hardship due to COVID-19. Coincidentally, the fund was set up by Kaitlin Doucette, the Sommelier at Solomon’s fine dining restaurant Foxy, and donations are still being accepted at mtlrestorelieffund.org.
Chef John Winter Russell (Restaurant Candide, Montreal) - Part 2
This week on the show, part two of our conversation with John Winter Russell, chef and founder of Restaurant Candide in Montreal.
This episode was recorded a few months back, before the world was thrown into chaos, and it serves as a reminder of how integral chefs and independent business owners are in shaping the culture of our cities.
Restaurant Candide is named after 18th century writer/philosopher Voltaire’s book of the same name, inspired particularly by the last line of the book: “Let us cultivate our garden."
This line is the guiding force to Russell’s food, as he works closely with producers local to Montreal and creates four-course meals inspired by those ingredients, crafting dishes that are produce forward, but not exclusively vegetarian.
The experience of eating at Restaurant Candide is unique and only something that can be experienced in Montreal. From the restaurant’s location, set in an old gothic church basement, to the warm interior that utilizes refurbished pews, and exposed brick along the walls that look into the kitchen. The restaurant is a defining part of the fabric of Montreal’s restaurant scene, not only in 2020, but overall.
Thankfully, Russell feels that he and his staff will weather COVID-19 and should be able to resume business at the restaurant once restrictions are lifted, and in the meantime he's given back to restaurant workers affected by job losses in Canada by offering beer deliveries every Friday. If you live in Montreal and are craving some craft beer delivered to your house, send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds will go to the Montreal Restaurant Workers Crisis Relief Fund.
Chef John Winter Russell (Restaurant Candide, Montreal) - Part 1
This week, a conversation in quarantine with John Winter Russell, Chef and Founder of Restaurant Candide in Montreal.
Host Chris Jacobs first had the chance to speak with John at Candide before everything shut down, and decided to reconnect with him recently on FaceTime to see how he is facing the challenges of being an independent chef and restaurant owner in the time of Covid 19.
They get a chance to talk about some of the music he’s listening to in quarantine and the food he’s making at home, but John also talks about some of the ways he’s been able to give back to the restaurant workers affected by job losses in Canada, as well as a recent opportunity to create menus for the food banks of Montreal.
If you live in Montreal and need some craft beer delivered to your house, send an email at email@example.com. All proceeds will go to the Montreal Restaurant Workers Crisis Relief Fund.
We’ll be airing our non-quarantine episode from Candide in Montreal on April 17.
Edward Lee - Restaurant Workers Relief Program
This week, a replay of our conversation with Chef Edward Lee, recorded back in 2018.
Chef Lee is helping to lead the way in bringing restaurant workers relief with his Restaurant Workers Relief Program through The Lee Initiative. Due to the closure of restaurant and worker across America, thousands of restaurant workers have an urgent need for assistance, and they need our help now more than ever.
In partnership with @makersmark, Chef Lee is transforming restaurants across the country into relief centers for any restaurant worker who has been laid off or has had a significant reduction in hours and/or pay. The Lee Initiative, in conjunction with local chefs in every majorly affected community across the country, is offering help for those in need of food and supplies, and each night, they’re packing hundreds of to-go meals that people can come to pick up and take home.
Restauranterus like Nancy Silverton in Los Angeles, Jose Salazar in Cininnati, and Lee’s Succotash team in D.C and 610 Magnolia team in Louisville, along with many others across the country are doing so much good right now, so we at BGS want to do what we can to spread the word and shine a spotlight on this important relief work.
For more information and to donate, visit leeinitiative.org, and in the meantime, while we’re all trapped indoors, continue to support your local community by ordering takeout and pickup.
Good people, good places, good music, good food,
What more could you want? And it’s done with heart. Just long enough to listen to on your lunch break.
Another great BGS Podcast
Super fascinating conversations with the culinary artists behind some of my favorite restaurants across the country. Love hearing about the music that inspires them and their staff.
Wonderful short episodes that give you a behind the scenes look at restaurants around the globe. It's great to hear what these creators grew up listening to, what they prep to and what they choose to play for their customers. I am also enjoying the playlists on Spotify!