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Columbus Transcript

 “Food For Thought: Columbus” Transcript

Kerry Diamond: Hi Bombesquad. Welcome to Food for Thought, a Radio Cherry Bombe Miniseries. I'm Kerry Diamond, Editor-in-Chief of Cherry Bombe Magazine. We wanted to know what's on your mind, so we hit the road and went on tour to eat, drink, and talk with lots of you, all across the country.

Kerry Diamond: Today's stop is Columbus, Ohio. We recorded this episode at the headquarters of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, where we heard from seven women who are changing the local food scene.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you to Kerrygold for supporting our Food for Thought Tour. Kerrygold is the Irish brand known for its award-winning butter and cheese, made with milk from grass-fed cows, from family farms all over Ireland.

Kerry Diamond: We'll be hearing more about their amazing products later, so stay tuned. First up, let's listen to a short talk from Paula Haines, the Executive Director of Freedom a la Cart, a food business with a very important mission.

Paula Haines: Thank you. Thank you, so excited to be here. People ask me, "Why food?" Why did we choose food service business for our social enterprise? Well, the truth is, our founders, Julie Clark, simply wanted to start a social enterprise.

Paula Haines: As a tool to provide jobs for survivors of sex trafficking, who have severe barriers to employment. In their search for the right business model, the two discovered their shared passion for food and collective experience in the industry, so they took the plunge.

Paula Haines: They bought a food cart on eBay for $1200, launched Freedom a la Cart, and started hiring survivors. Today, Freedom a la Cart is about so much more than just a job. We're helping women rebuild their lives. There are many practical reasons that the food industry makes sense for workforce training.

Paula Haines: The beautiful surprise is the kitchen also, has proven to be an ideal environment for healing, restoration and transformation for survivors. I'd like to reflect tonight on a few of those unexpected ways, that food is empowering the survivors in our program.

Paula Haines: The first way is by building community. For generations and generations, women have bonded in the kitchen. It's where we gather. It's where memories are built, and where life's problems are sorted out. It should have been no surprise to watch the women at Freedom, become a family in the kitchen.

Paula Haines: It starts with simply working together toward one common goal, producing fresh, from-scratch food for our customers. Every employee at Freedom, quickly learns that teamwork truly does make the dream work.

Paula Haines: In the Freedom kitchen, we celebrate each other's victories, like when a woman regained custody of her children. Then while scooping cookies together, we listen with compassion as that same mom shares how she's feeling anxious and alone. How that's triggering that ugly beast of addiction inside her.

Paula Haines: She admits, she's starting to have thoughts of using, and makes plans to go to an AA meeting with a coworker that night. Like your family, in the kitchen, we love, laugh, sing, dance, tell stories, make jokes.

Paula Haines: As expected, sometimes we argue, that's an important communication skill we refer to as healthy conflict resolution. The second unexpected way food is empowering survivors is by creating structure.

Paula Haines: As a business, we fully understand the value of a clean, organized commercial kitchen for operational efficiency. A highly functioning kitchen demands structure.

Paula Haines: We've also learned, that in addiction recovery, structure helps reduce stress and anxiety, and helps those with severe trauma and mental health issues feel safe and secure. Cleaning up my workspace as I go, is not only a best sanitary practice, but cleanliness creates a sense of calmness.

Paula Haines: Returning everything to its proper place in the kitchen, helps create a peaceful environment. As we're building these habits of order, structure and cleanliness at work, survivors in our program are able to transfer these healthy habits of order into their homes and their personal lives.

Paula Haines: The third way food is empowering survivors in our program, is by building confidence. Research actually shows that executing a recipe, encourages focus and boosts creativity and happiness.

Paula Haines: We all know that receiving positive feedback and just seeing someone else enjoy, appreciate, and value our food, has major implications for rebuilding ourself worth and value. That's powerful, I see this happen every day. Let me tell you, fruit trays are magic.

Paula Haines: I've seen extraordinary boost and confidence, by simply giving someone the creative task of taking fruit and arranging it on a tray. Yes, Bombe Squad, food is empowering.

Paula Haines: Women in the kitchen are empowering. With those combined forces, Freedom a la Cart is empowering survivors of sex trafficking to move from vulnerability and poverty, to stability and self-sufficiency. Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you Paula. I couldn't agree more, food is so empowering. We wish you and the team so much success at Freedom a la Cart. Next, we'll hear from Cara Mangini, who some of you might know as the vegetable butcher.

Cara Mangini: Thank you. Hello everybody, I am an entrepreneur. I'm a cookbook author, I'm a chef. I'm an owner of restaurants and I'm a mom. Every day I am trying to balance the privilege and honor, and the responsibility and let's be totally honest, the insanity and pressure of feeding both the public and my small kids.

Cara Mangini: A little over 10 years ago, I was living in New York. I was talking to a mentor, at a time when I was trying to build up the courage to leave my career and take a leap. I didn't quite know where I was leaping to.

Cara Mangini: This mentor who was coaching me at the time, asked me a question very directly. He said, "If you could do anything on your day off, what would it be?" I am super, super, super indecisive, and I can tell you that I knew instantly.

Cara Mangini: I knew in my gut, I knew the answer. It was to cook, and to gather the people that I love. It's funny, because it wasn't until I was actually asked the question, that I recognized something consciously.

Cara Mangini: That I had actually always been in pursuit of the magic that happens around the table, with the people that you love. I set out with that core passion and purpose as my guide, matched with my knowing that there is a very deep connection between our food and health.

Cara Mangini: I got uncomfortable, really, really uncomfortable. I took risks, I made tough decisions. I said, "Yes," to everything in order to pave a path, and until the path became more clear. I went to culinary school.

Cara Mangini: I worked nights and weekends and all different jobs, working all the time until I took a leap and I left my day job. I moved out to Napa Valley. I started working at a restaurant and on a farm. I started working on my cookbook. I started working on my business.

Cara Mangini: In some crazy only-in-the-movies type scene, I ended up at the Fancy Food Show at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of aisles there, it's a massive... if you've ever been there, industry convention. I ended up at the Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams booth.

Cara Mangini: Within moments, I met my husband and he convinced me to move to Columbus, Ohio. He showed me and he told me about this extraordinary community, that has a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Cara Mangini: That has strong roots in agriculture, and small farmers doing incredible things that would just support all of the dreams that I had in the food world. He was right, and I'm so glad that I trusted that and I said, "Yes," and I kept saying "Yes." I opened pop-up restaurants.

Cara Mangini: I started selling my produce-inspired salads at grocery stores. I wrote a cookbook, I opened a restaurant, I had a baby. Oh no, I got married first. I had gotten married first, I opened a grocery store. I wrote a cookbook. I had a baby, I promoted a cookbook. I opened another restaurant, I had another baby.

Cara Mangini: There was so much more in between, I can't even keep it straight. I'm here now, and I was open to all of these possibilities. I kept saying, "Yes," and prepared myself to be the person to take on all those opportunities that came my way.

Cara Mangini: Sometimes I have to admit to you, it was because I knew in my bones that it was the right thing. Sometimes it was because I was afraid of what I'd be missing if I said, "No." Or that maybe my career would stop in its tracks if I passed.

Cara Mangini: Perhaps there was a feeling that I started late, which of course is not true, but those are the things that you tell yourself. I had a lot of catching up to do. Or maybe I was thinking that I needed to take advantage of all of these things now, before all of it goes away.

Cara Mangini: Or maybe also, because I was so busy that I didn't have the time or opportunity to think clearly, and determine if it was truly the right thing for me or for my team, or for my family or perhaps most of all for my mission, which I was and will forever be working extraordinarily hard to achieve.

Cara Mangini: I'm telling you all of this, because this is everything that's on my mind right now. I just turned over a decade in my life, and at the same time a decade in the culinary world. I have to tell you, I'm going to admit to you right now, that it's time for me to start saying, "No."

Cara Mangini: Not because it'll be easier, I can tell you that for me it'll certainly be more difficult, but so that I can create the space to know what I'm going to say yes to. I'm going to say, "No," so that I can be more present as a mom, as a partner, and a friend and a sister and a daughter.

Cara Mangini: As a leader for my team and for our goals. I'm going to try and be discerning with my yeses and my no's, so that I can strategically direct my path in the right direction, not out of fear or obligation to anyone.

Cara Mangini: I'll be sure that what I want and need is in ultimate alignment with my mission. That is to be very, very clear, to put vegetables at the center of the American plate. That brings me to some final thoughts that I want to leave you with.

Cara Mangini: My hope is that, in sharing sort of what is on my mind right now, that it might... I don't know, whether it challenges me, or gives you something to think about wherever you are on your path. This is what drives me every day. I believe that vegetables are one of life's greatest pleasures.

Cara Mangini: I believe that vegetables deserve to be celebrated. I hope that someday restaurants and my recipes and my cookbooks be recognized not as vegetarian, but simply as food that is just as much about flavor and abundance as it is about health.

Cara Mangini: That we can focus on what's on the plate, not what isn't. I know that when we cook with vegetables, when we gather around vegetables, when vegetables are at the center of our tables, when our industry makes vegetables the thought, not the afterthought, we connect with nature.

Cara Mangini: We honor our hardworking farmers, we support our health, we support the health of our communities. We support the health of the environment, and we find that magic. That extraordinary magic that happens around the table with the people we love. Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you, Cara. We're so with you on the vegetable front. Our last speaker is Faith Durand, Editor-in-Chief of The Kitchn, who is here to tell us about the good parts of the internet.

Faith Durand: I was talking to a chef, a young chef recently, who published his first cookbook a little while ago. I really admire this chef a ton, I admire his food. He was kind of complaining to me about something that I hear a lot, which is that the general public wants to dumb down his recipes and I get it.

Faith Durand: I've published cookbooks too, and I know what it's like to have a vision and vision is everything. You don't want to ever compromise your vision, and food or anything else.

Faith Durand: Then I had to laugh a little bit self-consciously, because I run a food website. I probably am that person about to dumb down his recipe, if you want to call it that. I mean, I just don't actually accept this assumption, that easier and faster means dumbed down.

Faith Durand: It's really hard to write easy recipes, as you've probably found out. Anyone who's written a cookbook knows, it's really hard to make something accessible and make it easy. We respect chefs with visions for technically dazzling, elevated food, but easy food. The food for every day.

Faith Durand: It's demands its own rigor and skill. Anyone can throw five expensive ingredients in a dish. We can throw in truffles and really delicious things, and make it wonderful. Pump up the flavor, but short, easy recipes by comparison are... I think of them as wiley and muscular.

Faith Durand: They involve thinking like a grocery shopper in the frozen and the central isles. Easy food is food that's easy to read on the phone. We're in the middle of a big overhaul of our recipes, to make them just innovatively easy to follow on your phone because that's what we have in our kitchens.

Faith Durand: Easy food is honest about time and budget. It's hard, but there're plenty of people doing easy food well in books, on YouTube, I think it's one of the highlight places of food right now. It just happens that my space is the internet.

Faith Durand: In addition to those skills and that rigor, it also needs vision. I have a vision for food on the internet. That vision can really be summed up in three words, which is compassionate, intimate and respectful.

Faith Durand: I mean, I don't know how you guys feel about the internet, but when you think about the internet, probably compassionate isn't the first word that comes to mind.

Faith Durand: The internet, if you think about the internet 12 years ago, 15, 20 years ago, it gave voice to so many people with dietary needs and special needs in their food and their eating that... like isolated communities that didn't have a voice.

Faith Durand: It took food out of the hands of a few media gatekeepers, and it put it in the hands of anyone with a blog or now on Instagram. Then someone like myself who lives in Columbus, Ohio and runs this big food website. Thanks to the internet, I think we all have more awareness.

Faith Durand: We have more compassionate about how people need to eat. Then food internet it's a really intimate space. Again, it sounds weird, like Kitchn has 20 million readers. I don't get to have coffee with most of them, most days I do. Some of them... like half my cookbook club is here.

Faith Durand: We love the Cherry Bombe cookbook, but still a lot of those people found me and found us, because they whispered a personal problem into the most intimate space known to the modern person today, which is the Google search box.

Faith Durand: Think about it, it's true. I mean, you talk to Google in a way you wouldn't talk to anybody. "Does this look normal? Am I okay?" Google's top searches are an X-ray into America's insecurities.

Faith Durand: How to kiss, lose weight, make slime, tie a tie, register to vote, register to vote is the top internet search over this past year by a mile like, yeah. We ask for knowledge and permission from the internet. It's an intimate space. Often I'm the one on the other side of that box, and that is a special space.

Faith Durand: It's an intimate space to serve and protect and say, "Hey, there are no dumb questions in cooking." Ultimately, I haven't visioned for easy food and recipes. Not just recipes, but video and memes and playful things. The internet should be a place that's magic.

Faith Durand: I came up at a time when the internet was magic, and I have such a vision for magic on the internet. Ultimately, the final word here for me is respect. I have this... I have just this fierce, restless frustration with the narrative that Americans are lazy. That they're abandoning cooking.

Faith Durand: That they are dumbing down the kitchen. I mean, sorry, I'm a little emotional. I mean, we know what Americans are. Americans are underpaid, overworked with zero parental leave. A fragile hair healthcare system, and a social safety net that is just a mess in so many places.

Faith Durand: We have a thousand pressures as cooks and as eaters. While food is important, life comes first. Food is for life, not life for food. For even the most privileged among us, and I'm super privileged. I'm a mom of two little kids, and I have like a million privileges at my finger tips.

Faith Durand: Cooking is often a struggle, and we're all just trying to make it. There is a woman here in Columbus I interviewed, we do a series on Kitchn called The Way We Eat. Where we talk to people, just ordinary people about how they eat and how they cook.

Faith Durand: She works at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, which is an amazing local institution. She was saying how, "I think a lot of times people honestly believe poor people don't know what's good for them. That there is a steep learning curve of how to scramble an egg." She said, "It drives me bonkers."

Faith Durand: It drives me bonkers too. It's not that they don't know how, it's a lack of access and a lack of time to do that prep, a pizza totally wins out. Pizza is great, but still pizza wins out.

Faith Durand: Frozen pizza wins out when you have four kids to feed and three jobs you're working, that don't offer healthcare or other benefits. You don't even have to be working three jobs, to feel the tensions between the food you want to eat.

Faith Durand: The food that's good for you, and the food you have time and budget and skill for. As food professionals, we need to be in the business of relaxing those tensions, not dismissing them. I just feel like... I mean, just to be like a little preachy.

Faith Durand: I mean, I'm a pastor's kid, sorry. It just comes out sometimes, but this is Midwest. I just feel like in the end, one of the most important gifts that we can give each other as human beings, is the reminder that our own voice is true and that we know what's good for us.

Faith Durand: I feel like my vision of food is really to tell people to keep trusting their inner voice, and to give them the easy food to make it real. It might be dumb, it might be smart, but it's definitely the internet.

Kerry Diamond: Great. Thank you, Faith. The Kitchn is for sure one of my favorite corners of the internet. Before we get to our panel, let's hear a word about Kerrygold.

Kerry Diamond: Hi everybody, it's Kerry Diamond, here to talk to you about Kerrygold cheese and butter. I traveled to Ireland this summer to learn more about Kerrygold, the family-run dairy farms they work with and the beautiful cheese and butter made from their grass-fed dairy. I hung out with cows for the first time in my life.

Kerry Diamond: I visited a picturesque cliffside farm in the Southeast of Ireland, overlooking the ocean. I walked on a lot of grass. I ate a lot of scones, slathered with Kerrygold butter, which is truly the color of sunshine.

Kerry Diamond: I learned how Kerrygold tests and grades its famous cheeses. From its award-winning Reserve Cheddar Cheese, to its nutty and robust Dubliner Cheese. I also stopped by Beechmount Farm to learn how they make my favorite.

Kerry Diamond: Kerrygold Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese. You should definitely plan a visit to Ireland, to get a taste of this beautiful country. Or you could just visit your favorite grocery store. For more on Kerrygold, visit

Kerry Diamond: Please welcome Bidisha Nag, of Create Your Curry, Ms. Ena, of Ena's Caribbean Kitchen. Jeni Britton Bauer, of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and Chef Catie Randazzo, of Preston's and Ambrose and Eve. Let's kick it off with Chef Catie. If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be and why?

Catie Randazzo: I think that word would just be, me, because I've always been unapologetically myself. I just am myself, so me.

Kerry Diamond: I love that. No-

Catie Randazzo: No other explanation there, but if you know me, you get it.

Kerry Diamond: No one has said that answer in the... it's a-

Catie Randazzo: I like to be the first at most things, so that makes sense.

Kerry Diamond: Ena, if you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why?

Ms. Ena: I'm blessed, because I'm in this business for 20 years and it makes me to live the life I want to live, raise my kids the way I want to raise them and they're very successful, even working with me. I am blessed.

Kerry Diamond: Oh my God, so many beautiful answers tonight, Bidisha.

Bidisha Nag: I would say it's being thoughtful, because when I teach my cooking classes, I want to give people an individual experience. I tell them, "It's not like what is written in the recipe, you have to do that.

Bidisha Nag: You can always change things. Don't be worried that if you don't have this, have that." Give them that comfort, so they think I'm very thoughtful and providing them help with their own ways of doing things.

Kerry Diamond: That's great. All right, Jeni, one word.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: That's a hard question. I'm going to go with my favorite word right now, just for no reason except that I just love it very much and that's meadow. I love a meadow.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: I just like how crazy it is and peaceful, and that you can think in a beautiful meadow. I don't know. There's something about it. Plus I'm making an ice cream that's called Meadow. I don't know. A lot of flavor in meadow, that you don't realize is there.

Kerry Diamond: Those are all great answers that I'm like, "Meadow. Meadow? Okay. That's..." all right, I would love for all of you to tell me about your companies/organizations/restaurant and what you do for them exactly.

Catie Randazzo: Am I going first again?

Kerry Diamond: Yeah.

Catie Randazzo: Okay, so I have Preston's, a burger joint, as well as Ambrose and Eve. Actually Preston's was an accident. Matt and I teamed up about two years ago to start working on Ambrose and Eve. Our plan was to do a pop-up a month, to generate buzz and create some funds to build the restaurant.

Catie Randazzo: To stay on people's minds, while we were building Ambrose and Eve. The second pop-up we did was a junk food pop-up, because I love junk food so much. It just turned into Preston's. Just like crazy, crazy thing.

Catie Randazzo: He and I basically had like two adolescents, and baby restaurants right now at the same time, which is very stressful. I do pretty much everything. Like this morning, I worked a shift on the food truck at the Commons, and I ran errands. I did payroll, and I answered emails.

Catie Randazzo: I did phone calls, and I did a little HR work. Then I tested a new recipe, and came up with a new dish. I do pretty much everything. Hopefully, we can get to a point at some time, where we can hire someone to take a little bit off my plate. Right now, in the moment, that's pretty much my day.

Kerry Diamond: Ms. Ena, how about you?

Ms. Ena: My day is a very long day, hardworking. We're located in Linden area, it's Jamaican cuisine. Anything in Jamaica, you can get it there as food. You like spice, you can get it. Our specialty is jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail, red beans and rice.

Ms. Ena: Where we're located, we mostly hire the kids in the neighborhood. Especially if they're going to school, we keep in touch with their principal. If you're not going to school, you don't have a job.

Ms. Ena: If you don't have the grades, you don't have a job. They're now 20 years. We have two food trucks. My son and I have one, Ena’s OuttaRoad. It was at the Commons today.

Catie Randazzo: I think you were behind us today. I really think you were behind us.

Ms. Ena: Yes. Then we have one in Cincinnati, Ena's Jerk. All of it is run by the family. My son in Cincinnati, my son here. My daughter is here, she keep us in check. Yes, but we do very good. It's a hard work, because all of our food is cooked from scratch.

Ms. Ena: We start 4:00 in the morning, and we end at 9:00 at night. It's hard work. You're in Columbus, you can stop by, 2444, Cleveland Avenue. We're hoping from 11:00 to 8:00, Tuesday to Saturday. Then Sundays from 12:00 to 7:00, and Sundays you got to call.

Kerry Diamond: What is on your job description? Is it the same as Catie's? Do you do everything?

Ms. Ena: Everything. Now I'm trying to step back, but I do everything. I don't do the payroll, because women in the whole don't like to let go off money. Isn't that true?

Ms. Ena: I do mostly everything. Hiring is my daughter and my son. I see that everything goes wrong, you get in my way. No, you got to get out of my way. We're very stern, and we keep up to the community. We try to support the community the best way we can.

Kerry Diamond: How is the stepping back going? You said you're trying to step back a little.

Ms. Ena: Yes.

Kerry Diamond: Is that hard?

Ms. Ena: It's hard. It is hard, because when you get the person in there, you train them. You try to work with them. It's like, because everything is from scratch, restaurant work is very hard especially when it's a woman. It is hard, but we keep on fighting and we are doing pretty good. We are doing well.

Kerry Diamond: I'm happy to hear that.

Ms. Ena: Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: Bidisha, tell us about your company and what you do for them.

Bidisha Nag: I moved to Columbus in 2016. I don't have any culinary background as such, because I did my PhD in Cultural and Human Geography. I was a teacher at University of Nebraska, I was a professor over there. Then we moved here from Princeton.

Bidisha Nag: While I was looking for a job, I was told that, "You have to build a network, and then go look for a job." I was thinking, "How do I do that?" I came up with this idea that, maybe I should teach some cooking classes because I'm hearing so many people saying, "Oh, we love to eat Indian food.

Bidisha Nag: Then the best Indian food we eat is in London." I visited there in summer, and I heard that like six times one summer. That, "No, this year I went to London." "What did you do there?" "Oh, I ate such good Indian food." I figured out there people like it, but they don't have any classes over here.

Bidisha Nag: I didn't really want restaurant cooking, but I wanted to teach people more... not only home cooking, but also using ingredients what you get here. I'll come back to that in a little bit. I put an ad... not really an ad, just something on this website called Nextdoor, where you get to know your neighbors.

Bidisha Nag: Since we were new to the town, we were looking for a plumbers and electrician and whatnot. I said, "Is anybody interested in taking cooking classes?" In a day or two, I had like 20 people sign up.

Bidisha Nag: I went back to the lady who was helping with me, this job search. She said, "Oh wow, then you have to form a company. I said, "I don't want to do a business. I was just trying to know my neighbors, and teach them how to cook."

Bidisha Nag: She said, "No, it has a lot of liability. There's that, whatnot, so you have to form a company." That's how I started Create Your Curry. One of the reason the name came up was, it's not my curry I'm making, it's your curry. There is not really anything, that you have to follow exactly the way I do.

Bidisha Nag: You can make your own thing. I'm just going to guide you, and tell you what to do and what would go well or not well, or however way you put it. While I was teaching, I realized that these were like small groups of four to six people. We were talking about all kinds of things.

Bidisha Nag: I felt that the teaching part came naturally to me, because I've been teaching for so many years. Then that became a bigger thing, that it was not only the cooking, but actually the teaching part I enjoyed more than just going to grocery and buying things, whatnot.

Bidisha Nag: A little background about me is that, when I was a child, maybe when I was in first, second grade, my dad was a marine engineer at that time. Me, my mother and my sister, we traveled around the world on ships. We actually came to the US on a ship. We were out of schools for like six months at a time.

Audience Member: Wow.

Bidisha Nag: If you would call it homeschooling, that's how it was. The funny thing is, me and my husband who is sitting right there, we went to school together since we were five. Today is his 50th birthday, anyway.

Kerry Diamond: Happy birthday DJ.

Bidisha Nag: I didn't remember him, but he said he remembered me from school because I would go back and tell all these stories. One thing, when we were on ships, we were told that you cannot go to places and say, "I don't eat this, I don't eat that."

Bidisha Nag: We were exposed to food around the world. Whether we liked it or not, we had to eat it. One of the trips, I remember we went to Egypt and we ate some kebabs and all. When we came out, my dad showed that, "Oh, look at that." There was camel, so we ate camel kebabs.

Bidisha Nag: That's the extent of what kind of things we have eaten. Long story short, my cooking classes became very popular. I still do the home classes, which are a little bit more intimate, like five, six people. I teach the bigger classes at 1400 Food Lab, and The Seasoned Farmhouse.

Bidisha Nag: Sometimes somebody would call me for like birthday parties and all that. I met so many people over there, through my cooking classes, now they have become friends. One of them is here, and that's Erin. She also has a group of her own.

Bidisha Nag: She has brought me under her wings, that we do a thing called Worldly Meals. Every month we go out to an ethnic restaurant. I believe she has gone for six years now I think.

Kerry Diamond: Wow.

Erin: Yeah, this is my sixth year.

Bidisha Nag: Yeah, this is their sixth year. That's part of an adventure we do. I'm also part of a group, I'm a board member of a group. We are still looking for some more volunteers, I don't want this organization to die. We just don't have too many people to work on it.

Bidisha Nag: We organize cooking classes by immigrants and refugees. Every month we would hold a class, we would find somebody to volunteer their kitchen or maybe a bigger place or something. We find somebody from a different country, and they would come and teach us, tell us about their culture, their cooking.

Bidisha Nag: We gather around and exchange ideas. It's not only just like cooking in the kitchen, or doing a restaurant or running a business, it's more of connecting through food. I'd never realized that food is such a great connector for anybody and everybody.

Bidisha Nag: Everybody eats, so there has to be some connection. I really love being a part of a community, where people are very open and they want to learn new things and do things together.

Kerry Diamond: How can people find out about your classes?

Bidisha Nag: I have a website, which I don't update very often, but my Facebook is very much updated. It's called Create Your Curry, so I list my classes over there. Anybody can of course, call me directly or email me.

Bidisha Nag: We can set up smaller classes, because sometimes they would want a special something. Or maybe just a family who wants to get together, and do something special for their birthday or dinner or something like that.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Jeni, we all pretty much know what you do. I'm going to start the next question with you. Since the tour is called The Food for Thought Tour, I would love to know one food-related topic or issue that is on your mind these days.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: Yeah, so many. I mean, I think that it's what we eat. Of course, my business is... we're sourcing incredible dairy and other ingredients, and we really believe in that.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: We believe that when you give us one of your dollars, that we're going to give it to another human being who's growing, making or producing something for us. Whether that's dairy or strawberries, or bourbon or whatever.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: It's easy to make it look like you do that, and it's really hard to actually make that happen and work, and so I get it. It's hard to do that, but I also feel like that's something that we have to figure out and solve, just where our food comes from, how we're doing it.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: It's a gnarly problem, it's not going to go away fast. You know what I mean? We all have to kind of work at it, and figure that out I guess. As we move from doing more cooking at home or whatever to just new eras that we're going into, we need help solving these problems.

Kerry Diamond: Catie, how about you? What's on your mind?

Catie Randazzo: For me, it's not so much more of a food-related issue. It's more of a, how can we get our employees working wages? Like, how can we get people's...? Specifically in Columbus, where we are a fast food test market. People want large quantities at small prices, to understand like, what goes making a dish?

Catie Randazzo: Understanding that we have to charge this amount of money, to pay for this food, to pay for the electricity, to pay for the bills. Also, to give our employees a working wage, because it's really, really, really difficult.

Catie Randazzo: I don't think people fully understand what goes into everything that we do, especially for the people who make food from scratch, and are getting up at 4:00 in the morning. Are getting into the kitchen, and they're rolling the dough and they're doing the thing.

Catie Randazzo: It's like, our time is valuable, and I don't think people necessarily understand that or recognize that. I think that there needs to be more education about that, and people need to understand that. Like, yes, prices may be high, but you're helping people live.

Kerry Diamond: Catie, that is so true. It's all a part of the same thing. It's what we pay people, whether we're buying from them or paying them to work in our world, in our kitchens. It's all about, how do we actually get beautiful food made, produced and eaten?

Catie Randazzo: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: It's all one and the same.

Catie Randazzo: One of the only things that Matt, my business partner and I argue about is like, I think there should be more money on the menu. He's like, "Well, I agree with you, but I don't think people will pay for it."

Catie Randazzo: I was like, "Yeah, but if people don't pay for it, then we're not going to survive and our employees aren't going to survive, and we're not going to make it. Like, we need to raise the price, and we need to do our job.

Catie Randazzo: Our job, educating people and educating our employees who are serving the food, to educate the people that are coming in to eat the food, as to why the prices are the way they are, if it's questioned at all.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Ms. Ena, what is on your mind these days? Give us some food for thought.

Ms. Ena: What is on my mind these days, is they looking at us as business owner running a restaurant as, it's easy, but it is not. When you go out... today you'll go out and you'll repeat $10 for... it might be a case of chicken.

Ms. Ena: When you go back tomorrow, that same case of chicken is for $20. You have to consider, "How am I going to sell this, to pay my workers good wages? Pay uncle Sam."

Audience Member: That's the worst part.

Ms. Ena: That's the worst part of it.

Audience Member: It's the worst.

Ms. Ena: I love cooking. I came here in 1982, I works, I job. When I start to cook, I cook. When I'm cooking, I block everybody out, because I want you to come back. They always come back.

Ms. Ena: You'll get the best, your chicken, steamed fish. We do most of the red snapper, very expensive. Sometimes they cry about the price, but they're not leaving it. We put our whole body in our food. When you're cooking, you got to block everybody out and focus on what you're doing.

Ms. Ena: Our seasoning is from scratch. We don't use powder, powder, powder. We use real garlic, real onion and real hot peppers. You need some hot peppers? Check us out. It is very interesting.

Ms. Ena: It is a very interesting. I learned a lot through this, and I pass it on to my kids. They are enjoying the fruit of it, yeah.

Kerry Diamond: You've been doing this for 20 years, and you know sometimes people in the food world don't want their kids to get into the food world. What's been your top piece of advice to your kids for this business?

Ms. Ena: They have to know it's hard work. If they're working with me in the kitchen and they're not producing what they want to do, I told them, "This is not for you. This is not for you."

Ms. Ena: When my son is there, he's the one that run the food truck and the one in Cincinnati, my son run that and my daughter-in-law. We communicate all the time at the phone, "Telling me how to do this." You got to teach your kids how to do it, to see if they really want to do it.

Ms. Ena: Most of my kids can cook, because girls... our culture is, women have to be in the kitchen. You have to cook, and they said, "A man is through the stomach." That's how you win him, and you got to feed him to win him.

Kerry Diamond: This is in Jamaica when you were growing up?

Ms. Ena: Yes.

Kerry Diamond: That was the rule?

Ms. Ena: In Jamaica when we were growing up, our custom was, a woman place is in the kitchen. You go get your education and everything, but you have to learn how to cook, how to take care of the house. See that the kids go to school, they come over, they got their dinner ready.

Ms. Ena: My house in the evening, when my kids come from school, it was like a party. As they walked through the door it's, "Ms. Ena, what did you cook today?" That's how we raise our kids. The community raise your kids. Even now at the restaurant, when they walked in, they said, "Ms. Hayles."

Ms. Ena: When I say, "Ms. Hayles," I know that's somebody who used to come to the house. They called me Ms. Hayles when they walked in. The business is Ena's Caribbean Kitchen. That's my pet name. That's how... it's a rooted thing. We try to let the community come together with the kids.

Ms. Ena: Even in the neighborhood, some times the kids come into the shop, "What you're you doing in there?" "Oh, Ms. Ena, I'm hungry." "Okay, we going to give you something to go, but you cannot come back out on the street for the rest of the night." We have to be a community, and food is a thing that keep kids.

Ms. Ena: You want to see a kid respect you? When they're hungry, feed them. Just feed them, and you get the best out of them. In our little neighborhood right there, we are the strength and we are the support of the community.

Ms. Ena: We support the kids, we support the school. My son keep in touch with the principal. If the child not doing good, we know. When they're not doing right, we know. Everything about the kids, we know about it.

Kerry Diamond: It takes a village.

Ms. Ena: Yes, take a village.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah. All right, Bidisha, what is top of mind for you?

Bidisha Nag: I would really like to see the next generation, the kids, they learn how to cook. Not to be just self-sufficient, but also have respect for different kinds of food, different pallets. Not just be eating whatever, Cup Noodles and freezer meals that kind of thing.

Bidisha Nag: Nowadays, it's so easily available. I think they're losing more and more interest in actually learning how to cook.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah.

Bidisha Nag: I'm not telling that, "You have to go home and cook every day, but at least you should know what is healthy. You should develop a taste for all kinds of things. I just have one child, but when he just started eating solid food, I really didn't make or... I didn't want to give him jar food.

Bidisha Nag: I wanted to make something for him, but I really didn't have time to really make something. What I would do is, whatever we ate at home, I would just put it in the mixer and make a whatever, stage three or something, Gerber food and give it to the lady who was at the daycare.

Bidisha Nag: The funny thing is, one time somebody from the health department came and said, "Oh, what does this child need for lunch?" She said, "I don't know, the mom gives food." She said, "No, you have to write down something." She told me that, "From now on, I cannot give the food you give him."

Bidisha Nag: I said, "No, I want him to eat all kinds of things, so I don't just want him to eat oatmeal and all." She said, "Okay, I'll give you the food. Then give him a spoon of apple sauce, so I can write that he ate apple sauce for lunch."

Bidisha Nag: When I went to his pediatrician... he was from Afghanistan, I asked him, "What should they be giving him? He just turned one." He said, "Maybe you should give him biryani." I actually gave him biryani, and it happens to be his favorite food.

Bidisha Nag: I think you should start early, so by the time they grew up, they eat everything. It's very, very important to me, that they are never in a place that they don't have anything to eat.

Kerry Diamond: All right, we're going to go to a speed round, so we can go to your questions soon. Jeni, we'll start with you.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: I'm always the worst at speed rounds too.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, sorry. Okay, well, pressure is on now. Your favorite thing to make, bake or cook?

Jeni Britton-Bauer: Eggs.

Kerry Diamond: How do you make them?

Jeni Britton-Bauer: Like a one egg scrambled in a little pan.

Kerry Diamond: Okay, Bidisha.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: Omelet.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, omelet. Okay, Bidisha, favorite thing to make, bake or cook.

Bidisha Nag: Any fresh vegetable, especially if I grow it in my garden. I don't have a garden, I just have a container garden. Whatever you pick up, I make it, so it's always something-

Kerry Diamond: A container garden is more than I have, so God bless. Ms. Ena, favorite thing?

Ms. Ena: Steamed snapper.

Kerry Diamond: Steamed snapper. Okay, I'm just dying to get to my car after this, and drive to your place. Catie.

Catie Randazzo: Pasta.

Kerry Diamond: Pasta. Okay, good one. All right, Katie, back to you. Culinary hero.

Catie Randazzo: Alice Waters.

Kerry Diamond: Ena?

Ms. Ena: My grandmother.

Bidisha Nag: Madhur Jaffrey.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, love Madhur Jaffrey

Jeni Britton-Bauer: I was also going to say my grandmother. Both of them actually.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Jeni, where do you do your best thinking?

Jeni Britton-Bauer: Oh, definitely in my car.

Kerry Diamond: In your car.

Bidisha Nag: When I'm sitting around with others and we discuss. I mean for Indians, especially this part of India I'm from, I'm from Eastern part, I'm from Calcutta. We say that, we eat and then we think about food again. I think when we are gathering, and we talk about food all the time.

Kerry Diamond: Ena?

Ms. Ena: Yes, when I'm cooking in the kitchen, that's where my solace is.

Kerry Diamond: All right. Katie, your favorite thing to eat or drink in Columbus, that is not connected to you personally or professionally.

Catie Randazzo: Okay, so I know this is a speed round, but I embarrassingly have a very strong love of Taco Bell. Chef Avishar at Service Bar, makes this bomb ass adult cheesy gordita crunch with brisket and it's amazing. I'm going with that, so I don't feel super trashy.

Kerry Diamond: We did pass by White Castle Headquarters at one point today, and I was like, "Wait, is that the White Castle Headquarters?" I was disappointed that they didn't have like a turret or two, on the top of the headquarters. I thought that would be kind of funny.

Catie Randazzo: Their old headquarters used to have pictures of people who went through great lengths... as like a hall of fame to get White Castle, which I always thought that was really interesting.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Ms. Ena, what's your favorite thing to eat or drink that you do not make or your kids make?

Ms. Ena: My favorite... we don't do a lot of shrimp lobster at the shop. I love to go out to Red Lobster. I do that, because we don't do a lot of lobster, but we do chicken, fish. My favorite is to go to Red Lobster, and just enjoy what is there. Especially on their lobster.

Kerry Diamond: Good. Bidisha.

Bidisha Nag: Any kind of fish at any restaurant, any cuisine. Like different varieties.

Kerry Diamond: You're easygoing. The chefs love you in Columbus. All right, Jeni. Tough one.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: Cinnamon roll. We talked about it last night-

Kerry Diamond: Oh, cinnamon roll.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: ... but I just feel like everybody has got a cinnamon roll, and they're all awesome. When I grew up... I grew up in Peoria, before I moved here when I was 12.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: In Peoria, and some places in Ohio and some places actually here in Columbus, like Windward Passage, you can get cinnamon rolls still before dinner. I love it, because I feel like... well, at least in Peoria in the middle of Illinois, it was like The Shire.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: That's what I imagine hobbits eat before dinner too. I feel like sort of like, that's the thing. Anyway, the cinnamon roll game here is pretty great.

Kerry Diamond: We had one at Fox in the Snow, and it was pretty spectacular, yeah.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: That's a good one.

Catie Randazzo: Also, Windward Passage is kind of epic and amazing. If you haven't been there, you should go.

Kerry Diamond: Windward Passage?

Catie Randazzo: Yeah.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: Fridays though, for cinnamon rolls before dinner.

Catie Randazzo: It's like stuck in time.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: ... in two-hour wait.

Ms. Ena: Yeah, it's amazing.

Kerry Diamond: We've got to come back here for a whole week. This is a lot to cram in two days.

Catie Randazzo: I'll take you guys around.

Kerry Diamond: Okay, food crawl.

Catie Randazzo: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: All right, we're going to open it up to questions. Who's got a question for us? Who wants to start? Erica, come on over.

Erica: Hi, my name is Erica. Where's Preston's tonight?

Catie Randazzo: Today is Thursday. Preston's tonight is inside of Woodlands Tavern and Woodlands Backyard. We are the chef resident inside those kitchens. The truck is not out, but big news. We are going to be opening our first brick-and-mortar Preston's in Franklinton, spring 2020. That's very exciting.

DJ Nag: DJ Nag, Bidisha's husband, turning 50 today. I am an investor. We invest in a startup companies right there in Columbus, Ohio. I also am a teacher, working with the Dublin school system and teaching young kids how to be entrepreneurs.

DJ Nag: My question really is, it's really hard to be an entrepreneur. It's even harder to be an entrepreneur who happens to be a woman. My question to all of you successful entrepreneurs here is, what would you advise a young girl who wants to be an entrepreneur?

DJ Nag: As an investor, I can tell you, one of the hardest thing is to see a woman entrepreneur. Especially in the tech arena, but it's true in every arena. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts, your motivation I guess to girls, who want to break that and become an entrepreneur.

Kerry Diamond: Great question. I mean, the numbers for the amount of venture capital that goes to women versus men, is really depressing. I think it's like over 90% goes to men's projects. Anybody who want to tackle the question?

Kerry Diamond: Any advice for would-be entrepreneurs?

Catie Randazzo: First of all, sorry mom, I'm about to curse. It's [beep] hard. It's really hard. There is a lot of stuff stacked against you. The more self-assured you are, the more confident you are, the more [beep] you can take.

Catie Randazzo: The more times you can get beat down and stand back up, the better off you're going to be. It's really sad that we actually have to say that, and that actually happens to us as women.

Catie Randazzo: You have to be strong, and you have to have a will, the strongest will to be able to withstand some of the stuff that you'll go through as a female entrepreneur. Have a good plan, have a good head on your shoulders. If someone tells you, "No," don't give up. Just keep going.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: I'll just add... this is what I tell every entrepreneur that, is to start small and build. Don't go too fast. I mean, that's how you build your own world, and you're not beholding to somebody else's ideas and values and so on. Just start little. I mean, it's hard.

Jeni Britton-Bauer: I spent 15 years where you're at, you know what I mean? When you start small and build slowly, then you get to build the world that you want to build. That is like the only thing fun about being an entrepreneur.

Catie Randazzo: I think that's really solid advice also.

Kerry Diamond: Ena, you've been doing this for 20 years.

Ms. Ena: You have to go with your guts. When they tell you, "No," you decide, "I'm not going to take no for an answer." Where I am right now, we bought the place and it was sitting in there for three years before I get a loan.

Ms. Ena: When I get that loan, that man called me every name in the book. The builder that remodeled that big place. As a woman, I have to stand up, women we have to stand up for your rights. What you want, you make sure you get it. When they come to you with something else, "Uh-uh."

Ms. Ena: I tell them, "Oh no, that's not what I want." He look at me and he said, "So what...?" I said, "You do what I told you to do." I was firm. I was firm. When we opened the first day, we made $69.

Ms. Ena: That's the first day when we opened, $69. I got to give God thanks. We are growing. Everybody asked me to open another business, but it is hard.

Kerry Diamond: It's a lot of work, I know.

Ms. Ena: It is a lot of work, it is very hard. Women, you go out there and you push. Don't think you got to stay down here. No, I can go up there with you, rub shoulder to shoulder.

Ms. Ena: We have to do that. We have to put our best foot forward. When you make your first hundred, don't go spend it out. Save 20 out of the first hundred, and then you spend the rest, okay?

Kerry Diamond: I need you on speed dial. Little inspiration coach for when I'm building Cherry Bombe. All right, anybody else have a question?

Laura: Hi, I'm Laura. This is for all of you, and Faith and Cara and Paula also. At some point, all of you... this is my question. At some point, all of you decided to make a leap. You had been on a path that maybe wasn't feeling right, or food was where your passion was.

Laura: You just chose to abandon maybe the safe path and take a risk. I was hoping you might be willing to talk a little bit about how you knew it was time to do that. How you knew it was the right thing to do.

Kerry Diamond: Thanks, Cara. You want to do that?

Cara Mangini: Yes, so I can remember there was a moment for me, when I saw the head of the company I was working at. While I was really inspired by him and I loved the work that I was doing, I knew I didn't want to run that company.

Cara Mangini: I started thinking, "Well, this is not where I'm imagining being. This isn't feeling like my path, and I better start to figure out what is that path." I think I had always felt like I maybe had some kind of entrepreneurial spirit. I can remember looking for jobs, and I'd do all these searches.

Cara Mangini: It was like, I knew I needed to make a change, but I didn't know what the change was. I'd look for jobs and look for jobs. It felt like just changing the job, didn't feel like it was going to fix whatever was in me, that felt like I was on the wrong path.

Cara Mangini: Between that, sort of seeing that I didn't want to reach that... sort of move up in where I was at, I started trying to find out what that path was. I think what's really tricky... and particularly in the food world.

Cara Mangini: In many different industries, if it's not a really clear path and you don't know how to take the steps, you just have to start taking steps. I think I waited for a really long time, both because it's scary, but also because you think that you don't know how to do it.

Cara Mangini: For me, and that's what I was talking about, you do have to start saying, "Yes." Start just sort of opening yourself up. For me, I led with my interests, and I just started following my interests.

Cara Mangini: Even if you don't have that passion, that thing that you... I feel really lucky to have the passion, as both can be a burden, but also, I feel lucky that I have that.

Cara Mangini: If you don't have that passion, that thing that you know for certain you want to do, I think you just have to sort of follow your interests and curiosity, to figure out where that takes you. I think the path will start to become more clear, but it's certainly not easy to take that leap.

Cara Mangini: I can remember really specifically, there was a moment where I thought, "God, I have this amazing job. I can pay my bills. I feel lucky that I got to go to college and to study, and get into something that I really thought that I had always wanted to do. How could I leave?

Cara Mangini: I feel very connected to my ancestry and my great grandparents, and people who took a risk and left Italy and Croatia to come here. I felt at the time thinking, "They came here to give me a better life, and now I have this wonderful life that they couldn't have even imagined. How could I leave this?"

Cara Mangini: I remember somebody at the time said, "I think actually they were a risk taker like you," and so I took the leap, but it's hard. It's not easy. It is really hard. You just have to have as an entrepreneur, I think the confidence every day to say, "I'm doing it. I'm making it."

Cara Mangini: That can only come from within you, because it can be lonely. That came up earlier. You just have to remind yourself, and give yourself the confidence and the strength to keep going through. Taking that initial leap is really tough.

Cara Mangini: I think when you do it, you start to see signs that you're on the right path. Then you reach a point where you realize, "Okay, I've got to redirect a little bit," to make sure you're ultimately staying in alignment with your vision and your mission.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you to our speakers, our attendees and to Jeni Britton Bauer and her team at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, for hosting us at their HQ.

Kerry Diamond: A big thank you to Kerrygold for supporting our tour, and providing us with beautiful butter and cheese at each stop. Our show was produced and edited by Jess Zeidman. Thanks for listening everyone. You are the bombe.