Listen to a live recording of the "Goodbye Food World, Hello City Hall" panel from the Eater Young Guns Summit with Shakirah Simley and Julia Turshen. The Summit was a day-long event put on by Eater that celebrated young talent in the restaurant industry and the issues that are important to them. The panel was a purposeful conversation with tangible ideas about all sorts of ways we can all use food to get involved in our communities.
Shakirah Simley lives by the motto: “If the personal is political, then there is nothing more personal or political than food.”
Whether you work in food or just like eating food, there’s something we can all do. Remember what Shakirah said: “Revolution and food have always been intertwined.” And there’s a way, many ways!, for all of us to be part of the revolution.
Below is the list of important reminders addressed in the episode. If you have other ideas or any other questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be in dialogue with your local representatives. Save their contact information and be in touch. To make sure you’re represented, it’s good to let them know what you care about.
Use food spaces to gather - to invite people and welcome them - and then inform these groups. Create comfortable spaces to have uncomfortable conversations. This can be your restaurant or your own kitchen table at home.
Fill out the census!
Do your homework. Know what’s going on in your local elections and sign up for any election alerts or any other community notices.
Remember the term “Community Benefits Agreement” when new businesses come into your neighborhood.
Check your power and privilege and how you came to possess those things and how you can shift those things.
Shop and eat locally.
Jia Tolentino is a staff writer for The New Yorker and her new book of essays, Trick Mirror, is about to come out in August. Before writing for The New Yorker, Jia worked as a deputy editor at Jezebel and a contributing editor at the Hairpin.
Jia and Julia talked about writing, real life versus online and print versus digital, how she learned to cook when she was in the Peace Corps., the role of cooking in her life now, a bit about her new book and her anticipation of it being out in the word.
There are also answers to listeners' questions and a shoutout to Make the Road NY.
Jocelyn Guest and Erika Nakamura are the butchers behind JE SmallGoods, a newly launched quote-on-quote Mom Mom Shop that makes mail-order hot dogs, kielbasa, and bratwurst. There are more meats are in the pipeline.
They have dedicated their careers to supporting local family farms that raise animals with big space, clean water, good feed and respect. They believe you shouldn’t have to support the industrial food supply just to enjoy hot dog.
Jocelyn and Erika are partners in both business and life, which is a bit of a running theme on this show. I’m referring to my conversations with Jody Williams and Rita Sodi who run Via Carota together in New York City, Mona Talbott and Kate Arding who run Talbott Arding in Hudson New York, and the two couples on the bonus episode from Atlanta— Deborah VanTrece and Lorraine Lane from Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours and Virginia Willis, the cookbook author, and Lisa Ekus, the literary agent.
Like I was able to with each of those couples, I got to talk to Jocelyn and Erika about what drives them as business owners and what their work means to them as both individuals and as a couple.
Prior to starting JE Small Goods, Jocelyn and Erika ran White Gold Butchers on the Upper West Side of New York and then moved north of New York City, not terribly far from where Grace and I live, had a daughter named Nina, and got to work building their new company.
They joined me, Nina too!, to talk about the genesis of their new company, life as new parents, sandwiches and much much more. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
This episode features a conversation with Emmett Findley, the Manager of Communications at God’s Love We Deliver, and Craig Palmer, one of God’s Love We Deliver’s longtime clients.
God’s Love We Deliver is based in New York City and their mission is to improve the health and well-being of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses by alleviating hunger and malnutrition. Everyday they prepare and deliver thousands of beautiful meals to people who, because of their illness, are unable to provide or prepare meals for themselves. They also offer nutrition education and counseling and all of their services are given free to clients without regard to income. God’s Love We Deliver believes so much that food is love and it is medicine.
Julia and Emmett reflect on the queer community and Julia talks to Craig about what it means to be on the receiving end of God's Love We Deliver's meals.
There are also answers to listeners' questions about food and cooking.
Julia talks all things cookbooks with Matt Sartwell, the managing partner of Kitchen Arts Letters, a bookstore in New York City that specializes in food and drink. Matt came to Kitchen Arts Letters more than twenty years ago after a career as a book editor. Kitchen Arts Letters is a small shop but it holds over 12,000 titles that aren’t just cookbooks— they have books on the history of food and operation and technical manuals, plus tons of out-of-print books. They opened in 1983 and Julia Child, James Beard, and Laurie Colwin were among their early customers.
Julia also answers listeners' questions about food and cooking and gives a shoutout to the Ali Forney Center.
If you’ve ever tuned into CBS This Morning: Saturday and seen a chef or cookbook author get to talk with the anchors about their career and their food on the segment known as "The Dish," producer Marci Waldman was behind what you saw on your television screen. Born and raised in New York City, Marci started working at CBS News when she was 13 years old. Her father, who very sadly passed away after this interview was recorded, worked at CBS News for almost 50 years. Marci pretty much grew up in the building. It’s the only place she’s ever worked. Marci sat down with Julia and spoke about what goes into making television, what it’s been like to work her entire life in the same place she grew up in, how she has stood up for herself, and how The Dish came to be.
There are also answers to listeners' questions and a shout out to La Cocina whose new cookbook was just released.
On this special bonus episode, Julia shares the recording of her live interview with the cookbook author Priya Krishna in celebration of her new book Indian-ish which she coauthored with her mother, Ritu Krishna.
Indian-ish is Priya’s loving tribute to her mom’s “Indian-ish” cooking—a trove of one-of-a-kind Indian-American hybrids that are easy to make, clever, practical, and packed with flavor. Think Roti Pizza, Tomato Rice with Crispy Cheddar andWhole Roasted Cauliflower with Green Pea Chutney.
Priya’s mom, Ritu, taught herself to cook after moving to the U.S. while also working as a software programmer—her recipes merge the Indian flavors of her childhood with her global travels and inspiration from cooking shows as well as her kids’ requests for American favorites like spaghetti and PBJs.
The book is not just a collection of well-tested, approachable recipes, it’s also so much about taking pride in where and who you come from.
For more about Priya and Indian-ish, head here.
Kelly Fields is the force behind Willa Jean, a restaurant and bakery named after her grandmother, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Kelly started cooking and baking when she was young and studied under the legendary chef Susan Spicer. She worked at a number of prestigious restaurants and traveled extensively to work with lots of different chefs before she opened Willa Jean in 2015. Her hard work has been celebrated by pretty much every food media outlet there is and just a couple of weeks ago, Kelly took home a James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
In this episode, she reflects with Julia about New Orleans, about Hurricane Katrina, about mentorship and leadership, about mental health and therapy and fishing, about identity and queerness, about her dog, chocolate chip cookies, and more.
There are also answers to listeners' questions and a shoutout to SheChef, the organization started by Elle Simone Scott.
Vallery Lomas, winner of the 3rd season of The Great American Baking Show, is not only a phenomenal baker, but is also a food writer, blogger, photographer, soon-to-be cookbook author, and former lawyer.
She started backing and blogging years ago while she was in law school and while she practiced law, which she did full-time for 8 years.
She was cast on the 3rd Season of the Great American Baking Show, an ABC spin-off of the hugely popular Great British Baking Show. Vallery prepared for, competed on, and won her season, but we never actually got to see it on television. The show premiered on December 7th, 2017 and was pulled off the air shortly thereafter following sexual misconduct allegations against ones of the judges.
Julia sat down with Vallery in her apartment in Harlem and talked about her preparation for the show, how she navigated this unexpected turn of events, and what her freelance career looks like now.
There are also answers to listeners' questions and a shoutout to Sydnie L. Mosely Dances.
Some follow-up links:
Mona Talbott and Kate Arding are the forces behind Talbott Arding, a cheese and provisions shop, in Hudson, New York. Mona and Kate approach their food, shop, and community with intention and love. They sat down with Julia to talk about what their lives were like before they opened their business, how they navigate running it together as a couple, and more.
Mona has over 25 years experience in the culinary industry. She began her cooking career as a camp cook in remote logging camps in her native Canada, formalizing her training at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon where, in 1993, Talbott graduated with highest honors. She was a cook at Chez Panisse for five years before she launched Mona Talbott Catering and began cooking exclusively for “A” list private clients and catering events both in the United States and Europe working within the fine arts, media and entertainment industry. Her ongoing collaboration on special culinary projects with Alice Waters eventually led her to Italy, where, from 2006-2011, she was the founding Executive Chef at the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome. She has written and published two cookbooks: Biscotti and Zuppe: Recipes from the Kitchen of the American Academy in Rome, and contributed to over ten cookbooks authored by notable chefs. In 2010, Talbott was included in COCO, 10 World-Leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs and, most recently, contributed 50 recipes to Amy Goldman’s forthcoming book, Heirloom Peppers. Mona has published recipes and written articles for the New York Times, Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Organic Cooking.
Kate is an internationally recognized authority on cheese with over 20 years of experience in the farmhouse cheese industry. Her work encompasses cheesemongering, sales and marketing, infrastructure management for small-scale cheese businesses, affinage (cheese maturation), publishing and teaching. She is a keynote speaker at regional and national conferences. Kate’s cheese career began at Neal’s Yard Dairy, London, UK in 1993 where she developed a thorough understanding of what it takes for cheesemakers and retailers to create and sustain profitable businesses. In 1997, Kate was recruited by Cowgirl Creamery Tomales Bay Foods, the award winning cheese retailer and cheesemaker, to be their Head Cheesemonger and Cheese Buyer at their newly formed company in Marin County, California. In 2008, Kate co-founded the ground-breaking consumer print and online cheese magazine Culture: The Word on Cheese.
Kate’s consulting work has influenced agricultural agencies, cheese producers and retailers around the globe, working in places as diverse as Uganda, Ecuador, the Netherlands and Macedonia. A member of the Board of Directors for the American Cheese Society (ACS), and Co-Chair of the ACS’s Regulatory and Academic Committee, Kate also regularly judges at many U.S. and international competitions. In 2011, she was inducted into the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, where she was especially recognized for her work within the artisanal cheese industry, both in the U.S and overseas. Kate is an area editor of the Oxford Companion to Cheese (Oxford University Press, 2015). As an industry spokesperson and sought-after expert, Kate has appeared on The Martha Stewart Living Show, Heritage Radio Network and has been regularly featured in national and international press, including the San Francisco Chronicle, The LA Times, The Times (UK). As a contributing writer, editor and photographer, Kate’s work on cheesemakers and the cheesemaking process has been published in media outlets worldwide.
Follow-up links from the episode:
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