Skip to main content

Philly Transcript

 “Food For Thought: Philadelphia” Transcript

Kerry Diamond: Hi, Bombesquad. Welcome to Food For Thought, a Radio Cherry Bombe mini-series. I'm Kerry Diamond, editor-in-chief of Cherry Bombe Magazine.

Kerry Diamond: We wanted to know what's on the mind of food folk across the country, so we went on tour to eat, drink and talk with hundreds of you and recorded the whole thing live. Today's stop brings us to Philadelphia where we recorded at the new brewery, Triple Bottom Brewing.

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. We'll be hearing more about their amazing products later, so stay tuned.

Kerry Diamond: First up, we'll hear from Alexis Siemons, a tea expert who tells us a little bit about what she calls pre-eating.

Alexis Siemons: Before I jump into my story, I just want to have a quick tea PSA because I have to just share a little blurb. First and foremost, if you are making matcha at home, definitely sift it first. I know this seems like a crazy extra step because it's powder, but it's a game changer, I promise, even if it's a little tea infuser and use the bamboo whisk. It will just add the beautiful frothy texture that you cannot otherwise get.

Alexis Siemons: Step two, if you're going to be steeping tea, really good tea, make sure you're paying attention to the steep time and the water temperature. It makes it a huge difference in the flavor.

Alexis Siemons: And finally, number three, if you have dried fruit or dried mushrooms at home, rehydrate them with tea and then use that broth to cook grains and then reincorporate that dried fruit or dried mushrooms back into the dish. That's a fun way to use them. Okay, I had to get that off my chest.

Alexis Siemons: Now, I'm going to tell you a little story. Let's take a trip back to the mid '90s when my teenage self learned the art of eating from a fax machine. For the millennials in the audience, or younger millennials, a fax machine is a very, very loud beeping noise. I actually had it on my phone, but I thought it was a little annoying to play, so just Google it afterwards. I can still hear the low beeping hum of the fax machine as it slowly printed the menu being sent from Italy to my childhood home in New Jersey.

Alexis Siemons: "Don't pick it up," my father yelled from the kitchen as the fax line rang. My 13 year old self, most likely mid eye-roll, since the fax line was my unofficial phone line to discuss episodes of Friends, was totally unaware of the magic that was about to evolve. As my dad carefully tore the long stream of fax paper from the machine, his eyes lit up with excitement as he studied the tissue thin paper with faint ink revealing Italian words describing primi, secondi and dolce on the menu.

Alexis Siemons: My father was planning an edible adventure, our first family vacation to Italy, that we were about to embark upon six months later. Keep in mind that this was pre travel site, pre Instagram and pre anything that we now enjoy to plan our restaurant rendezvous. He was studying the menus of Italian restaurants digesting every word, so that he could carefully plan our taste bud route. This was the moment I understood the art of eating or rather pre-eating. The anticipation was the imaginative amuse-bouche, the wonder of the unknown versus the instant gratification of liking a photo of tonight's special.

Alexis Siemons: After an hour or so of curving up a hill towards a small town near Florence, we settled our near nauseous stomachs with the crisp, yet tender Tuscan bread being reminded to save room. I can still remember peering around the restaurant with a sense of wonder.

Alexis Siemons: Take a moment. Imagine picking up a telephone to make a reservation without ever reading countless articles about the chef, without ever seeing tagged interior photos on Instagram and wondering if you'll be seated by the window with the good light, without checking on James Beard awards, just showing up, living in the moment. Maybe there is a way to strike a balance where we can be informed and still leave a little room for the childhood joy of surprise.

Alexis Siemons: While I can't recall what I ate that evening tucked in the tiny Tuscan town, I do remember the feeling. I knew that what I was experiencing was special and that it should be savored. There was an art to pre-eating that sent my taste buds into a triumph tizzy of the unexpected before every bite.

Alexis Siemons: A few years ago, while tumbling back through a myriad of memories, I made a point to tell my parents how I learned the art of pre-eating through a fax machine. Days later, they presented me with a copy of the printed menu from that very Italian restaurant that I recalled. They had saved it as a souvenir. Carefully rolled into a scroll and then tied with a deep emerald green ribbon, the menu appeared more like a treasure map, which was quite fitting considering the circumstances. While the fax machine print was most likely swept away in a move from our childhood home, this tangible paper carried a feeling, a sense of place, and a reminder to still leave a little room for a bit of the unknown, some food for thought.

Alexis Siemons: To this day, I still find immense joy perusing menus leading up to the delight of dining, so that I can begin my edible adventure well before my reservation. I tried to only look at their Instagram page one time, maybe a week before, just so that I can experience that sense of wonder. So I leave you with a question. Do you remember your first momentous meal? What delicious details do you recall and how did they make you feel? Carry that remarkable sense of discovery with you and your heart will always be full. Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you, Alexis for both your tea tips and your insight. Next, we'll hear from Jill Weber. Jill is an archeologist and the restaurateur behind the Sojourn Philly Restaurant Group. Curious how those two professions go together? Let's find out.

Jill Weber: Thank you. Thank you. I'm Jill Weber an archeologist and who also became a restaurateur. Now, how did that happen? That's the question. Well, to start, careers in archeology and careers in restaurants have something in common, the need to be comfortable with the chaotic and the unknown. Archeology taught me to love chaos and to always, always, always seek the unknown.

Jill Weber: I grew up too poor to travel, but was always drawn to colors, all of them, names, Isfahan, and tastes, persimmon that were unfamiliar to me. Archeology meant free travel. For my first excavation, I flew to Turkey. Arriving in Istanbul as a 21 year old, my very first time out of the States, I knew that this was actually for me. This felt right. Adventure was here in the boisterous bazaar with vibrant colors everywhere, street vendors selling sesame rolls, mussels, dried apricots, rose pedals, tamarind, tea, juice, coffee, everything you could imagine and everybody yelling. This really felt right to me.

Jill Weber: As an archeologist, I stayed for several months at a time in a foreign place living among people who see and smell and taste and make different spices, odors, perfumes and food. Yet for all those differences, including those of language and cultural norms, there is inclusion and sharing in food that makes these new experiences intoxicating, happy and addictive. It hardly matters what country one is from, what language one speaks, what culture one is visiting, in every culture I've ever been in, I've been brought into the fold by women bringing me food.

Jill Weber: In Turkey, we'd gathered to henna our hair, drink pots and pots and pots of tea, eat halva pistachios, olives and bread. In Kurdistan, it was a mother and a daughter squatting over a propane tank making shfta, Kurdish meat patties. In Syria, it would be guests for Menseth, huge platters of rice with raisins and almonds and whole roasted lambs complete with their big fat tails and their skulls still full of all their organs. I adore lamb and I learned to love lamb brain sitting on carpets and cushions on the floor, scooping brain out of the skull with a piece of bread and adding some roasted almond for crunch. That's how my hosts did it. That's how I did it.

Jill Weber: While I reveled in tasting these new and exciting flavors, I was even more infatuated by food as a vehicle for connecting to people, cultures, and new perspectives. It can be surprising to people that I've so flourished in these settings and feel completely at home in Arab and Muslim worlds. After all, these are places that some expect to be stiflingly conservative toward women, but culture is not monolithic. It obviously depends on where you are and the reality is quite different. Syria had a very diverse population and census, religion ethnic and philosophical and a high tolerance for individuality. I was never excluded from male dominated public life and I was always invited into female dominated private life. Something the men amongst us absolutely were not.

Jill Weber: But what about the alcohol? Isn't that why I opened a wine bar? Yes. Alcohol can be a perfectly normal part of life in these largely Muslim countries. Not all Muslims eschew alcohol, but of course, there are also Christians and Jews and Drus who live there as well. Syria is where I developed my love for the ritual of arak, pouring the noble, honest flavored spirit in a clear glass, dropping in a single ice cube at a time, slowly pouring in water, so the liquid turns white. That's a lovely, lovely ritual.

Jill Weber: It's awe inspiring to drink a beer at the Ottoman railroad station in Damascus, or to sip Lebanese wine on the rooftop of a 14th century stone house in Aleppo, seeing the moon over the same Citadel that had been survived attacks from Sassanians and Mongols. Traditional gin and tonic gained a certain cache for me when garnished with mint and sipped on a hot July evening watching the sunset over the Euphrates.

Jill Weber: These experiences impact my life greatly and positively and I absolutely thrive on them. It is one reason I continue to work in archeology despite being unable to go back to the country where my heart lies, which is Syria. It's also why I became a restaurateur and opened first, JET Wine Bar. Not everyone has the desire or ability to experience such adventures or to visit Syria, Iraq, Oman. But I could bring my perspective on the world and connection to other cultures to Philly through the food I ate and the wine I drank. I could show that great wines come from Lebanon, Armenia, and Turkey, that muhammara and creme toum belong on the mezze tray. Mostly, I could share that Syrians and Kurds and Iraqis are caring and friendly people who connect around food just like you and I.

Jill Weber: I'm still thrilled to bring grapes like Hungarian juhfark, Turkish Okuzgozu to JET, inspiring people to learn about the culture and history behind the wines and their makers and their rituals of eating and drinking that connect us to the world and them. Hopefully, these inspire others to seek out the unknown and embrace the chaos that links these worlds, not just of archeology and restaurants, but them and us and brings me so much joy. Thanks.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you, Jill for sharing your travels with us. Before we get to our panel, let's hear a word from 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. I visited a picturesque cliff-side 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, Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish 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 restaurateur Ellen Yin, Philadelphia's dynamic duo, restaurateur Valerie Safran and Chef Marcie Turney, Chef Justine MacNeil of Fiore Fine Foods and Tess Hart, owner of Triple Bottom Brewing.

Kerry Diamond: We've got some panel questions. Ellen, since you're next to me, we're going to start with you. If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be and why?

Ellen Yin: I think the word would be resolute. My boyfriend who many of you probably know, he says that I'm like a bulldog. I grab onto something and I can't let go. I think that tenacity and being resolute is really something that as an entrepreneur of any business that you have to have because there is just so many challenges. Justine and I were just saying sometimes you just feel like there is so many challenges that you feel so overwhelmed, but you can't, you don't have any choice. So for me, I just keep pushing and keep plugging along and I guess that's why I think that stubbornness or that refusal to give up is really important.

Kerry Diamond: Resolute, that's a good word. All right, Marcie, your turn.

Marcie Turney: I'm going to give you two words, controlling and then jack of all trades. At this point, I'm, if we have someone coming in to fix something that's going to charge me $300, how do you do that? I want to know how to do that. I've learned more just fixing or troubleshooting things that I think make me a better business owner and save me money, which is always good.

Kerry Diamond: Valerie?

Valerie Safran: Efficient. Just every day, all day, every single day, it's a constant what needs to get done. We need to have blah, blah kitchen done, send me the prices, just pushing, pushing, so I'm kind of annoying, but I get shit done all day.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Justine your word?

Justine MacNeil: I think thoughtful is the first that would come to my mind. I think because I'm a trained pastry chef everything that comes to me is mapped out. I don't ever just dive in and go off the cuff. It's like I take the step and I'm like, okay, well this would produce this, but then this would produce that to the point where I overthink. I think it comes in handy in most situations where I don't ever just dive in and hope it works out. I've mapped it to a T and then sometimes it doesn't work in my favor. Like, if someone gets hurt, I'm like, well first I should probably find this and that. I'm not immediate, like boom, boom, boom.

Justine MacNeil: But I think the fact that I've mapped everything out to a T means I'm always talking with some sort of knowledge behind the situation. I'm never just putting out a recipe because I think it's good. I'm putting it out because I know where it's rooted and why it's going to produce this and how it's going to connect to people.

Kerry Diamond: Great. Okay, thoughtful. Tess?

Tess Hart: I think my word is conscientious. I'm always asking myself what is the right thing here? And then also how can I do that right thing absolutely the best that I can? Manifested in high school when I learned we didn't recycle and I set up my own recycling bins. My parents probably wanted to kill me because I loaded it up in their minivan every day after sports practice. It's really come to light here in the brewery as a Fair Chance brewery and all the values that really drive what we do every day.

Tess Hart: It also means that I'm really hard on myself. So when we talk about the challenges, like Ellen mentioned that every day it's just a challenge, I am always thinking about how I could have done that better and did I do the right thing in that situation? But I think conscientious is the word that fits me most.

Kerry Diamond: I love how in all 12 cities that we've visited, we've never had panelists pick the same word, which is really remarkable. So all right, Ellen, I would love for you to tell me and the audience what you do for your organization?

Ellen Yin: Nothing. Sometimes I just think I'm just wasting time all the time. I do. I'm like, what did I accomplish today? Nothing.

Valerie Safran: I'm not sure that I did.

Ellen Yin: I think that-

Marcie Turney: Well I know you're getting stuff done all day, I've heard.

Ellen Yin: When I had one restaurant, I felt really productive because pretty much I was the GM. I didn't produce anything. I didn't produce a croissant. I'm so lucky, I just walk around listening to people telling me how great the croissant was. And I'm like, "Oh my God, Melissa, if you could only hear what people are saying about you." So sometimes I do think to myself, wow, this is really amazing. All these people coming together to make something really phenomenal is a miracle.

Ellen Yin: But I think that people look to me to be the arbitrator of what the brand is. So what do we represent, High Street Hospitality Group? We always want to be the quality. We want to represent quality, so making sure that you have four, five, six super creative people. They all look at each other's Instagrams and they're all a little bit looking at each other and thinking, oh, maybe I want to do a little bit of that, or I'm like, stay in this lane, stay in that lane.

Ellen Yin: We have a new chef at Fork, so trying to evolve Fork again. I mean, we just went through a five year cycle of great talent and people. And so I think my job is really to try to make sure that each entity has a mission, has a vision and that they're keeping on target with that. And yet at the same time, having a culture that weaves through the entire organization of values that people feel are important, whether it's sourcing, you mentioned recycling. We really feel sustainability is important, not just from who we buy from. I mean, that's one of the most important. But I mean, silly little things, like whether we're actually following through on our recycling plan or not on, in different properties. So yeah, that's what I do.

Kerry Diamond: Valerie and Marcie, how do you two decide who does what?

Marcie Turney: I would say, net in the last probably two years, about a year and half ago roughly, we adopted our daughter, so we tried to put things into place. We have a culinary director. We have a director of operations. So it was someone for each of us. So for me, the culinary director is the person in between me and the chefs at the restaurant. His job is to inspire these chefs and work with them to change the menus. He's very inspiring and I feel sometimes like I'm worried about the businesses and I've got so much more than I'm worried about. So I think it's, he's my outlet to them.

Marcie Turney: When we were going to be become moms, we were like, "We can't open anything else. It cannot be done." And then we're like, "But this is what we love to do." So we have new projects and we can do it. And if we have these people in place, then it frees me up to do the kitchen design of this or that and the stuff that we really love to do and create these new spaces. I fix things during the day. That's what I do.

Valerie Safran: I mean, what was the question? Day-to-day was for Ellen.

Marcie Turney: It's all the same.

Kerry Diamond: How you two decide who does what?

Valerie Safran: Well, we're just different. She's kitchen, she's back of the house. I'm front of the house. I'm financial, business, all of that. I think that's why we don't fight because we don't have the time really. We don't ever even talk, really, in the day and now we're so tired that we still don't talk. When we go home, we see Harlow, and we're like, "All right, can we to bed now?" But no, I mean for us we're just, we're going through a growth and we're trying to figure out, we have a director of operations and every day we're trying to figure it out. We don't have the answer. We have six restaurants. We're about to have seven. We're growing. We're trying to figure it out.

Valerie Safran: But I think at the end of the day, what's good for us is even if something isn't quite right, at the end of the day, you can go to Marcie at the end of the day and say, "Okay, this menu item, is this going to work in this restaurant because we know we do 300 covers on a Saturday brunch?" For me, it's something where, you know what, I'm going to, can go to Val and there is an answer because this is how we've done it for a long time. Or I say, you know what, we do need a PO, a new POS system. We do need to change our reservation system, whatever it is, so I can guide that. I don't actually know how to use Toast now, but my director does and I have people who do. So it's weird for me because I used to know everything and now I don't. But I have to have people who do. So we're have to lead that.

Valerie Safran: I'm not a natural born leader, I'm a natural born doer. I just do it and do it. So it's hard for me to learn how to, how do I communicate what I want because right now this isn't working for me? But I think we've grown at just learning. We don't cut corners. This is what we want. This is how it should be. If it doesn't sound good, tough, you're going to hear it and we're going to move on. So that's how I roll.

Marcie Turney: I would say, it is hard changing and keeping the route relevant for people who have had restaurants for a long time.

Valerie Safran: Yes. Well that's the other big thing. Nothing is constant. Every day is new and we have to be new to otherwise we're going to be old and we are old.

Kerry Diamond: Well, you two and I have talked about this. You really don't get an award for keeping a restaurant open for 10 years.

Valerie Safran: No, no, no. And our award is at 7:30 every restaurant is full. If it's not, I'm not sleeping well that night. That's how I judge our successes, so anyway.

Kerry Diamond: And just to clarify, when you say Toast, is that your point of sale system?

Valerie Safran: It's just a new system that I'm trying to learn and I'm like, oh this sucks.

Kerry Diamond: Justine, it's your turn. So I was looking at your biography and I was like, wow, you've worked at a lot of male-centric places in New York. So I was curious, the move to Philadelphia, did you decide you were going to run your restaurants in a different way from what you had been part of, or were you taking bits and pieces of them and putting them through your own filter?

Justine MacNeil: Yeah, kind of. I mean, it's interesting because you're completely right. I did work in a lot of male-centric places. However, I've always been in pastry, which is predominantly female-centric. So I've only worked for one male pastry chef, Brooks at Del Posto. Otherwise, I've predominantly worked for females in female dominated departments. I have worked for a lot of men with a degree of separation. I mean always in my mind is, I like having the best people. It's never like, I'm going to only hire a female, or 50/50, or this or that. It's always going to be the best people because I do think that the right attitude just balances everything.

Justine MacNeil: However, the first call I made was my former sous chef, Gina Nalbone who was with me at Del Posto and she was out at Sqirl in LA and I was like, "Come do this with me." And it was kind of like, "What are you going to do? And I'm like, "I don't know, I'm going to do something though." And she's like, "All right, keep me posted." And then finally when we found the space, I was like, "All right, we're going to do this." And she's like, "I'm coming." And I'm like, "Yes, yes." So she got there and so we were already two to one, my husband, so we were like, "All right, this is female dominated.

Justine MacNeil: It's always, the more women I can get in our department is the better because women don't always have the opportunities, but it's never fully conscious, like it's going to be all female. But it ends up, right now we're probably honestly 50/50 at our restaurant, female to male. That's just on a full honesty who came through the door, who fit the job and who balances who. It really is about personality. We try our hardest of hire nice people. If their skills are not up to par, I can teach that, but I cannot teach being kind to each other, being respectful of each other and drive. That you have to come through the door with. So that's always what I look to first.

Kerry Diamond: That's amazing that you pulled your former colleague from Sqirl because Sqirl is a big deal out in Los Angeles.

Justine MacNeil: Yeah. I couldn't believe it and I had hoped and dreamed.

Kerry Diamond: It says a lot about you as a boss that she was willing to come there.

Justine MacNeil: I don't know. I mean, the East Coast is just the best, isn't it?

Kerry Diamond: All right. Tess, your turn. So you have such an interesting background with your master of environmental management degree. How did you wind up working at a brewery?

Tess Hart: That's the question, I think. Before going back to grad school, I worked in community development and I also was getting very into craft beer and really more even than craft beer, though I obviously love beer, it was craft breweries. It was these spaces of community. They became community centers wherever they were. Studying social justice and workforce development and all of these other sort of community development themes and my work, I just, along with my husband who is in the back taking photos right now, who was also doing community development, we just started sparking these ideas of how this thing that is inherently a center of community could become so much more a part of a community if it was built with really great intention. It could also be such a joyful contribution to community because beer brings people together. And so that was an idea that we carried with us into grad school and we're workshopping here and there.

Tess Hart: I'm originally from Philly and wanted to come back here and was seeing so much opportunity and so much need for a business like ours with a Fair Chance mission. Philly, for those who don't know, I think probably everyone in this room does, but Philly has the highest poverty rate of any big city in the US. And at the time that we were starting to think about starting a brewery, it also had the fastest growing millennial population of any city in the US. And so we, as a business, were speaking to both of these trends because our team members, many of them have overcome tremendous barriers to be with us. We have some really amazing nonprofit partners who help us meet our team members and we're making beer, which stereotypically millennials love, but it's true and a lot of other people love it too. And so that is what drew me to breweries was this opportunity to be a really strong part of a community.

Kerry Diamond: You used the term Fair Chance mission. It's the first time I've heard that term. What does that mean?

Tess Hart: So that means that our team members come from a huge diversity of experiences in Philadelphia and that we are very intentional in cultivating a space where all of them can grow and thrive. So some of our team members have experienced homelessness, some of them have experienced in the justice system and all of them, no matter what their experiences, get a chance to grow here, do internal internships and contribute and be part of the team.

Kerry Diamond: Great. Thank you. All right, our next question is, since this is the Food For Thought Tour, one food related topic or issue that is foremost in your mind these days? Ellen, we'll start with you. What's keeping you up at night?

Ellen Yin: Well, definitely I think everybody in this room knows that Philadelphia has a major, the whole country has a major shortage of folks who are in the hospitality industry. Tess, what you're doing is amazing because bringing people who haven't been in the fold and who have the potential... I think, I agree with Justine 100% is that I'm not particularly looking for women or men. I'm looking for people who have that initiative. And if they have that initiative, whether they've been in prison, whether they've been homeless, I agree with you, I think that they should be given a fair chance.

Ellen Yin: I think Philadelphia is great because one thing I admire about so many people in this audience is that they have a mission. Many of you have a mission of things that you believe in and you're following through with it in your own organization whether... I was just talking to Hannah about sexual harassment or, but I think equity in the restaurant in general, I think is a major topic and bringing people in hospitality together, programs like that, C-CAP, all these programs I think are really important and I think that a restaurant is a community place.

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

Marcie Turney: I would say, what's foremost on my mind is, we were talking about this on the way over and Val's like, "Just be honest," and I'm like-

Valerie Safran: Correct. We're in the nitty gritty of running restaurants.

Marcie Turney: We're about to open something that is scary for us, is unfamiliar to us. Love Luck is in a place where we go at night and no one is there, except for right now it's Christmas Village. So just food related, I mean what you said it's, that it's food waste that's on everybody's mind. I am literally trying to figure out what menu to put in that restaurant, honestly. People are like, "What's the food going to be?" I'm like, "I don't freaking know." It's daunting. It's in this weird place and we walk there at weird times at night and there is going to be tourists and there is going to be Philadelphians. It's crazy. She's up at 4:00 AM texting me and I'm already up downstairs on the computer and that is literally what we're trying to figure out is what to do there.

Kerry Diamond: What made you decide to do the project?

Marcie Turney: The building is awesome.

Kerry Diamond: Okay, so yeah.

Valerie Safran: Yeah. I mean, well yeah, and for us it's like you can keep opening restaurants. If we're going to open something, we want it to be something special and it's a special location. We live two blocks from there. It's totally iconic. So opening restaurant, after restaurant, after restaurant is at some point is tiresome. But if it's special, then we want to do it.

Kerry Diamond: Valerie, is your answer the same?

Valerie Safran: I think a big part of food, and again this isn't necessarily food, but everything is related to people. So we're trying to figure out again, how do we have somebody who we hired two weeks ago whose new, how do they become a leader, as a manager for me, and how do we work with them? So, so much of it just revolves around the people who are there. So we're kind of day in and day out trying to improve that culture because it's hard to find people. It's hard to find good people. It's hard to retain them.

Kerry Diamond: Justine, what's top of mind for you?

Justine MacNeil: It's not specific food, but in a broader sense just through restaurants is, so I've worked in a lot of restaurants where the kitchen culture was okay, or bad, or not great, so everything on my mind every day is how do I create a healthy kitchen culture? We're still so new and we can't put in everything into practice that my longterm goals are. But how do we make it so everyday people aren't dreading their commute into work because I've been there. I've been on the subway platform crying, and how do we make sure that doesn't happen and how do we make sure people are supported every single day and their opinion matters and they want to come back to work? There is so many goals that I want to hit along the way, but every day it's...

Justine MacNeil: Another thing onto that is, I am coming from a complete back of house perspective. I've never worked front of house before. This is the first time I'm dealing with front of house money and it's a disparity between front and back of house. I don't think it's as bad in casual dining environment that I'm currently in, but coming from fine dining it was extreme. So it's kind of trying to figure out a way to how do we get it so the cooks are fiscally appreciated as the front of house is appreciated. I think American tipping system has a long way to go to merge those worlds together. I'd like to figure out that along the way.

Kerry Diamond: Tess, how about you? What's top of mind?

Tess Hart: We're less than three months old, so everything is. Just sleeping is top of mind, so it would be nice to do that someday. But I mean, I really echo what Ellen said. And then I also think about the space that we're creating, not just for the team that we have working here, but also for all of the guests who come in.

Tess Hart: I think in the brewing world, which is a wonderful collaborative community, but it is also male dominated and it's also dominated mostly by white folks. And so trying to create a space where people who don't look like you're a typical flannel wearing bearded beer drinker feel comfortable and want to come in again and again and have a good time. We're just constantly shaping what that is and learning from our community and our guests about what we can be doing better to continue to develop a space that is welcoming to everyone and that's really hard. And so that's something that we think about all the time.

Kerry Diamond: I didn't realize you're, you've only been open three months.

Tess Hart: And we have our babies.

Kerry Diamond: Wow!

Tess Hart: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: You are a newbie. Oh my gosh, all right. We're going to do a little speed round now. Ellen, your favorite thing to make, bake or cook?

Ellen Yin: I'm addicted to Vietnamese rolls. They are really fast and I just love slipping the rice paper into water and then wrapping whatever, leftovers, rice noodles, basil, whatever.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Marcie, your favorite thing to make, bake or cook?

Marcie Turney: Anything braised, right now with this weather. I love one pot, one pot meal, easy and quick.

Kerry Diamond: Okay, give us a tip. What would you throw in that one pot meal?

Marcie Turney: What would I throw? Right now, I would throw some parsnips and Scarlet baby turnips and whatever you have. You can cut it all the same, right?

Valerie Safran: Short ribs.

Marcie Turney: A nice bottle of red wine in there, and yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Yum.

Marcie Turney: Invite some friends over and you're good.

Kerry Diamond: Okay. What protein would you throw in there?

Marcie Turney: Short rib, if it's for this one. Lamb, maybe if it wasn't for this one.

Kerry Diamond: Valerie, how about you, favorite thing to make, bake or cook?

Valerie Safran: I don't cook. I recently mastered turkey meatballs because they're good for Harlow and that's it.

Kerry Diamond: Okay, that's something. Justine?

Justine MacNeil: Gelato, gelato and sorbetto. That's my all time favorite. Throughout my whole career, I was always figuring out how to get on that station and then mastering it. I love starting from the plainest base to adding, adding, adding and mix-ins, and eating it is my favorite part.

Marcie Turney: What's your favorite gelato?

Justine MacNeil: Rocky roads is my all time favorite.

Marcie Turney: There you go.

Justine MacNeil: It's the best.

Valerie Safran: I have to say, they're really, really tasty.

Kerry Diamond: Yum. Okay. Do you have gelato on the menu? I'm guessing with three pastry chefs, you must have some gelato.

Justine MacNeil: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Okay, great.

Justine MacNeil: Always.

Kerry Diamond: Tess?

Tess Hart: This is embarrassing sitting next to a pastry chef, but I love to make, it's called a chocolate souffle. It's never once come out like a souffle. It's supposed to, but it's always really good and it's the thing that I make for birthdays and it makes me feel like I'm celebrating something.

Kerry Diamond: Your favorite thing to eat or drink in Philly that is not connected to you personally or professionally? Ellen, pressure.

Ellen Yin: I'm addicted to Pizzeria Beddia and pizza. I'm sorry. I've been there more than any place else in Philadelphia lately.

Kerry Diamond: What's your order?

Ellen Yin: Mushroom pizza, the white beans and I love his salad with the fish sauce.

Kerry Diamond: Marcie?

Marcie Turney: Turkish tehina shake from-

Valerie Safran: From Goldie.

Marcie Turney: ... from Goldie. It's so good.

Kerry Diamond: A Turkish tahini shake.

Marcie Turney: It's Turkish coffee tehina shake, yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Okay.

Marcie Turney: Vegan, as though I care.

Kerry Diamond: It sounds great. Valerie?

Valerie Safran: Ah, cinnamon bun from Cake Life in the parking lot in the truck alone, so nobody... I don't have to share it with anybody.

Marcie Turney: Thanksgiving Day when she goes to pick up the pie and the cheesecake. And I just found out upfront about 30 minutes ago that she ate it in the parking lot.

Valerie Safran: I don't like to share those kinds of things.

Kerry Diamond: We're learning so much about you tonight, Valerie.

Marcie Turney: Me too.

Kerry Diamond: Justine?

Justine MacNeil: We go basically once a week, sometimes twice a week, the diner in Fish Town called Sulimay's. It's just this amazing little diner that we stumbled into and became our ritual and the breakfast is out of control. It's so good. They're only open for breakfast. They close at 2:00 PM. I go every week. My order is boring because I just want the same thing every time and the server there makes fun of me every week and that's totally acceptable, but it's just the best.

Kerry Diamond: All right. You're a chef, you have to tell us what this boring order is.

Justine MacNeil: Oh, I just got their two eggs, toast and bacon. That's all I want, or pancakes. I really indulge, wake up, go there on my Monday, we're closed Mondays, go home, sleep for four more hours and I go to work on the computer.

Kerry Diamond: Tess, how about you?

Tess Hart: There is a great taco place called El Puerpecha just a couple blocks away and their carnitas tacos got me through very long months of construction here when we were literally laying the rebar and the floors ourselves. It's such a treat. They're so good.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you to our speakers, our attendees and to Tess Hart and her team at Triple Bottom Brewing for hosting us. 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.