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The Future of Food: Denver & Birmingham Transcription

The Future of Food: Denver & Birmingham Transcription

Kerry Diamond: Hi, Bombesquad. Welcome to The Future of Food, a Radio Cherry Bombe miniseries. I'm your host, Kerry Diamond.

Kerry Diamond: The Cherry Bombe team toured America last year and traveled from Detroit to Portland, to Atlanta and lots of places in between to ask women what the future of food means to them. Throughout the series, you're going to hear talks and panels that we recorded on each stop. You'll hear from women ruling the wine world, top chefs turning the tables and farmers making the world a greener place. These members of the Bombesquad shared their vision for what's next in their world and the world around them. I hope this series inspires you to stop and think about your future.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you to Kerrygold for supporting our tour and this miniseries. Kerrygold is the iconic Irish brand known for its award-winning butter and cheese made with milk from grass-fed cows.

Kerry Diamond: For this episode, we're spotlighting two very different cities, Denver and Birmingham. Denver, known as the Mile High City, is the capital of Colorado. Birmingham is the biggest city in the state of Alabama and was a significant setting in the Civil Rights Movement. On this episode, we're checking in with women in each of these bustling places. Before we get the show on the road, let's check in with our sponsor.

Kerry Diamond: There are so many things you can do with cheese beyond just making a cheese board, and who knows that better than a cheese maker? We checked back in with Sarah Furno, the farmhouse cheese maker whose family created the famous Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese. We asked Sarah for some of her favorite ways to cook with Kerrygold cheese.

Sarah Furno: There's many different ways. If I'm with my kids, we might be making pizza with a Quattro Formaggi with Cashel Blue and maybe some aged Kerrygold cheddar or ... and some mozzarella, or I might pop it into a risotto. I love making inverted burgers for friends if they come over.

Kerry Diamond: Inverted burger? I've never heard of that. Stay tuned to hear Sarah explain exactly how she makes this inventive burger with Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese. Interested in putting your own spin on dishes with Kerrygold's award-winning butter and cheese? Visit for recipes and inspiration. That's

Kerry Diamond: Let's welcome our first speaker, Jen Griggs Sebastian, from Rebel Girl Bakery in Denver. Jen was super inspired by the Riot Grrrl Movement of '90s when it came to creating her business. Here, she explains the concept of Girls to the Front.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: Everything that I've done in the past few years have been about being fearless, taking a leap and having no regrets, so here we go. I believe the future of food is rebelling. The name of my business is Rebel Girl Bakery, and the mission is to rebel against the status quo as well as make yummy treats, but let me take a step back and give you some insight into the inspiration for the business.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: Riot Grrrl was an underground feminist punk movement that started in the 1990s. Out of it emerged a music genre and movement that was inspired by the punk scene in which women could express themselves in the same way men have been doing. There was a strong emphasis on building an all-inclusive environment and community from the beginning, and they had to fight for many of the basic rights such as safety. Riot Grrrl had a manifesto, and I wanted to read a few excerpts from it to give you an idea of what the movement was all about.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: Because I need laughter and I need girl love, we need to build lines of communication so we can be more open and accessible to each other. Because we are divided by our labels and philosophies and we need to accept and support each other as girls, acknowledging our different approaches to life and accepting them as valid. Because a safe space needs to be created for girl where we can open our eyes and reach out to each other without feeling threatened by the sexist society and our day-to-day bullshit. Because we need to talk to each other, communication and inclusion is key. We will never know if we don't break the code of silence. Because every time we pick up a pen or an instrument or get anything done, we are creating the revolution. We are the revolution.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: I really think that there's a strong correlation between the Riot Grrrl Movement and what the Me Too Movement and the Cherry Bombe Community, the Bombesquad, are trying to do for women and food and beyond. The Riot Grrrl Movement as well as the music of many of the bands associated with it was some of the inspiration for the name and mission of Rebel Girl Bakery.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: First, the name, Kathleen Hanna was one of the founders and leaders of the Riot Grrrl Movement as well as the front woman of the band Bikini Kill. They have a song entitled Rebel Girl, which is where the bakery name comes from as well as the whisk guitar logo that I created and tattooed on my arm. I also named one of my bread starters after Kathleen Hanna. In this song, she sings about a girl who is the queen of the neighborhood and is starting a revolution.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: Second, the mission and story, I started Rebel Girl Bakery earlier this year, but the journey here started back in January 2017 when I decided to make a career change and go to culinary school. This is the first time that I was truly fearless and took the leap without a real plan. It was the first of many fearless leaps that I would take in my culinary food adventure. I learned a lot in culinary school. In addition to kitchen skills, I also learned about myself. I learned that I love the pastry kitchen and bringing people together through food.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: After graduating, I started thinking about the next step, and I knew that it had to involve baking. There was no going back. I had to push fearlessly forward. After tons of research, I found that I could do the baking business out of my home under the Cottage Food Act. This allowed me to start the business my way, on my terms. I wanted to challenge, break and change the rules of baking and business, and build a community through food.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: I started selling my goods at a popup bakery that I set up in my enclosed front porch of my house. I got the word out old-school by plastering flyers around the neighborhood, but I also used social media, especially Instagram and Nextdoor, to reach out to the community, and it worked. People came and came back again and again. I also sell at indie artisan markets around Denver and, every Monday, I set up a table with other cottage food vendors at a neighborhood brewery. I love meeting and creating relationships with my customers and love the community that is being created there.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: Right now, I'm thinking and dreaming about what is next. I'm not sure where the baking adventure will go from here, but I feel that the possibilities are endless, and I'm just now enjoying the journey for now and continue to feed and grow my community. I believe that if you follow your passion, you will find a way to make it happen.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: I know that the future of food is bright. As long as you're willing to rebel, be fearless, take the leap, you will have no regrets, and it is the future of food that will build the community. Use local and seasonal ingredients. Encourage inclusion, acceptance and accessibility. As the original Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna would say, "Girls to the front." At Rebel Girl Bakery, I like to say, "Bakers to the front.

Jen Griggs Sebastian: Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: Rock on, Jen. We hope that now Kathleen Hannah and Bikini Kill are back on tour, they head your way and get to try your baked good.

Kerry Diamond: Next, Sara Brito of Good Food Media joins us to share her truth. Her talk was recorded shortly after the death of Anthony Bourdain last year, and Sara does talk about how suicide affected her family.

Sara Brito: My idea of the future of food and truth is more of a wish and a hope, and, to begin, I'd like to share three truths with you.

Sara Brito: Truth one, I was abandoned at birth. Being abandoned at birth, I was essentially born into a lifelong journey of seeking the truth to two basic questions. Who is my mother, and where did I come from? In the absence of this primal connection, growing up, food became my substitute for love and nurturing, and restaurants my substitute for family and connection. Don't even get me started about my love of dairy products and cheese and ice cream.

Sara Brito: Truth two, I was adopted at six months old. Being adopted, I've tended to identify as an outsider with the so-called "others" and for most of my life have found it much easier to speak out for and advocate on behalf of others. In college, this was African-Americans and Latinos. Today, it's farmers, chefs, restaurants and restaurant workers.

Sara Brito: Truth three, suicide. I lost the mother who raised me to suicide in my 20's, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that there is nothing quite like a suicide wake-up call to remind you, or me at 28, that life is short to be doing anything other than what you love. I have since found and been reunited with my true mother.

Sara Brito: I'm still advocating for farmers and chefs and restaurants, and I'm doing what I love, so, because of this, as well of years of therapy, because I think we're allowed to talk about therapy openly these days, I feel more whole than I ever have in my entire life, but, still, these are my truths, and truth is why I believe that Anthony Bourdain touched so many people so deeply.

Sara Brito: Last week, an article in The New Yorker by Helen Rosner led with the headline, "Anthony Bourdain and The Power of Telling the Truth." Pete Wells of The New York Times said, "Anthony Bourdain was a teller of often unappetizing truths," and in reporting on his death, Nation's Restaurant News wrote that, "Anthony Bourdain was a truth-teller who cut through what he identified as bullshit."

Sara Brito: Today, inspired by him, I want to call bullshit on the way mainstream media and our culture, and by mainstream media, I'm not including Cherry Bombe, mainstream media and our culture have historically over the past 20 to 30 years viewed and valued farmers, food, chefs, restaurants and restaurant workers. I want to call bullshit on it because I believe it's doing a disservice to our humanity.

Sara Brito: The truth is that food is about much more than what's on our plates, and good food is about much more than just taste, service and ambience. Good food is about stories. No one knew this better than Anthony Bourdain. Taste is just the beginning of the story or the end, depending on how you look at it. Stories of where and when our food is grown, raised and produced help ground us in space and time, in physical space and time, also known as IRL, or in real life. Stories of who is growing, cooking and serving our food and washing our dishes and cleaning the bathrooms and scrubbing the toilets connect us to each other as fellow characters in the human experience and human history. Stories of how our food is grown, cooked and eaten connect us through tradition to past, present and future generations.

Sara Brito: This is why I co-founded the Good Food 100 Restaurants, a new annual list and rating system that challenges the status quo and tries to tell the stories behind what were being served in restaurants. It celebrates the restaurants and chefs that are being transparent with their business practices, what's really happening in the back of the house, from their food purchases and their labor practices while also highlighting the economic, social and environmental impact that they're having on the food system. When we honor these true stories of food, I believe we have the power to make ourselves and each other feel whole and human.

Sara Brito: In the end, food and stories were not enough to save Anthony Bourdain, but in seeking and sharing the true and whole stories of food, his life was a generous offering to us, a lifeline to our own and other's humanity. We can honor his life every time we eat, every time we buy food, every time we choose a restaurant by doing what Anthony would do. Seek the truth and call bullshit as you see it.

Sara Brito: Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you to Sara for being so open and honest about her life. If you or someone you love needs help or just to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Life Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. That's the National Suicide Life Prevention hotline.

Kerry Diamond: Now, we're traveling down to Birmingham, Alabama. This panel was held at the Birmingham Essential, and we loved getting to meet the Alabama members of the Bombesquad. Our panelist included Kristen Farmer Hall, co-owner of The Essential; Courtney Pigford of Honeycreeper Chocolate; Celeste Pillow, owner of Odette Restaurant in Florence, Alabama; digital content director Stacey Rivera, formerly of Food & Wine; and Chef Ama Shambulia of Urban Ministry.

Courtney Pigford: For me especially being in the craft chocolate movement versus big chocolate, when you think in those terms, consumer education around food, I think it's important that we all have some understanding of where your food is coming from, what sort of processing it's been through, and then what extent of processing, what's in it, what the contents are and ingredients, and just more education for consumers understanding that so they can make more informed decisions around their purchasing choices for themselves, for their families. It's super important in terms of chocolate. I can go on and on about that for days, but I won't.

Stacey Rivera: Celeste, truly just educating people as to what they're putting in their body and what can be gained from that, there's health benefits from different ingredients and vegetables and fruits, and just understanding where it's coming from, what it can do for you and understanding that that's a health insurance at the same time. I think people get really attached to fads, and, while all of these things can work, when I came to the fruition after I had tried a lot of fads, understanding what I was actually eating is the most positive thing that you can do for yourself, and I think that ... and I hope that that's something that our community and our country and world continues to do because, if you know that, then you already are back to where it started.

Kerry Diamond: Kristen, the future of food for you?

Kristen Farmer Hall: I mean, I would also echo a lot about where your food is coming from. One of the things that I think is really important is that, especially at this point in life, ignorance is not really an excuse for not really knowing where your food comes from, and we all support a system knowingly or unknowingly when we purchase things. When we go to the store and buy products or we ... like we go to different restaurants, we are saying as consumers and as humans with big hearts, "I support the people that make this food, that grow this food, that picked this food," so I think it's a really interesting time because we have so much information right now, so I would definitely echo consumer education.

Kristen Farmer Hall: When I thought about the future of food, honestly, like the present of food, a couple of words come to mind for me, which one is honesty. I mean, I think that echoes a lot of what we've been talking about is being honest with ourselves that maybe our food system isn't where we like it to be, and honest with ourselves that we, again, knowingly or unknowingly are choosing to support these systems, and then kindness. The restaurant industry has not been kind to people at all, a lot of females, of course, but just people in general, and again we've talked about lots of screaming and lots of ego and lots of arrogance and a lot of aggression actually both from servers, service industry professionals and, honestly, from guests.

Kristen Farmer Hall: It's been a lot of animosity and just a lot of ... It's been an interesting industry, and it's changed so much really in the last five years and certainly in the last two years, so, I think, for me, the future of food is creating a system where we are very well-aware of who we are as people, as professionals, as ... in the service industry, but as consumers and that we are just really kind. Food has not really been a kind industry.

Kristen Farmer Hall: I think, for us, moving forward, our vision for The Essential was to be a place where we were honest about where our food comes from. Again, we love our farmers very much, and there is such a relationship that can happen between the industry, the actual people who serve the food, and the people who grow the food, and I think that that's a really important connection that we should all be asking those questions. We ourselves have such a powerful voice. Food is the largest industry in the entire world, so we have such a huge voice both as industry professionals and as consumers to say we do or do not support these things, so learning about where your food comes from, who picked it, how it got here.

Kristen Farmer Hall: I love that we can often say so-and-so down the street. I think the future of food is really shortening that gap between a person who grows our food and the person who serves our food.

Kerry Diamond: Ama, I'm curious to hear what you have to say about all of that because you've got a very different constituency that doesn't always have a choice in where they get their food, what they can afford, all of that, so, I don't know if f you want to weigh in on that or if that's tied into what you think the future of food is?

Ama Shambulia: It very is. I think the ultimately vision, for me, understanding that food is a human right. If the food ain't happening, there ain't nothing happening. Of course, if you've never been without food, you may not fully understand that, so I would really like to see a circumstance where ... I facilitate a community café. Just pay as you can. No one's denied a meal because they don't have money. We serve the best food that we can source, scratch-made, organic when possible, all natural.

Ama Shambulia: I am a chef. I'm a chef, and I am a gardener as well. I facilitate two programs, a community garden and a community café, one where everybody eats. It was a really cool, beautiful, funky place with vegetarian food that was just exquisite, and the thought that one where everybody can eat. God knows how much food we throw away, so one of the visions could be, whatever the eatery is, that there was at least an option to pay as you can.

Ama Shambulia: I visited such a place in Berkeley, California, Cafe Gratitude, and high-end food, really good vegetarian food, really beautiful atmosphere, but there was an option on there. If we could just at least internalize the concept on that level as a beginning, and that food is not elitist or exclusive, that you don't have to be a foodie to not only have access to good food, but good food experiences. Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: The menus for your café aren't that different from menus from nice restaurants. I was really struck by the thought and the ingredients and the sourcing that goes into what you serve there.

Ama Shambulia: Me and my chef-partner are foodies. After I said ... We are foodies, so we did start off with, "What do you want to cook? What do you want to cook?" just over the top, with the charge of preparing it in a way and sharing it with people who may not be familiar with that particular food, so it's a tenuous space that we occupy between what's familiar and what's not familiar and always pushing that, but always prepared with the best ingredients in the best ways that we know how and infused with the cultural understanding based on the community that we work in, and I think what undergirds that, to expound upon what you were saying about kindness, is we love feeding people.

Ama Shambulia: It's not a soup kitchen. We love the experience of feeding people, and it's a beautiful thing to look out and see not only the West End Community, but people from downtown, people from over the mountain, and everyone sitting together in that moment, in that space and time. If the person happens to be homeless, there is some place that's warm and comfortable and beautiful, and they're well-served, and if you are a business executive, you can just experience something different and just sit at the table and just be present with one another, so, yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Absolutely. I hope, when we come back to Birmingham, we can come visit. Are there plans to expand it beyond two days a week?

Ama Shambulia: It is pay-as-you-can, so we have to be creative. We do catering, and then another aspect of what we do is we hire young people from the West End Community and we train them, and we don't look for the culinarians and we don't look for the polished young person, so that is a process. Can you show up? Can you show up on time? Can you show up without ... all the time without an attitude, and then we slowly share with them what we know, and so, in two years' time, they've gone from no skills to actually pretty much facilitating all the food preparation, so that's the long answer to say it would take time. We don't have trained chefs that do what we do.

Kerry Diamond: Do you get a lot of cooperation from the local food world?

Ama Shambulia: To the extent that we are known, this is a very new experiment, it's a very intimate experiment, and I think when we started we were very mindful of being in conversation with the community so that there would not be a deluge coming from the outsides. We wanted the community to know that this was their café, and then it was so new. We are trying to ... have been trying to figure out what we're doing, so we didn't want to put ourselves on blast like that for better or for worse.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Stacey, your turn, future of food, what do you think of?

Stacey Rivera: Less, for good and for bad. I think I see a media person who does strategy and works with the edit teams and the sales teams. I spend a lot of time with our advertisers. There's a genuine commitment for, right or wrong, towards less ingredients, less packaging. It's just happening. It is. They don't have a choice. I'm not saying they're doing it all right, but it is happening and pretty quickly. I think I see a lot of chefs especially the past year or so thinking one restaurant done right, not 12, done spread thin, and I think I've heard a lot of regret about that spread thin part. I think I see less inflated video views and bullshit traffic, which, frankly, I'm really happy to see.

Stacey Rivera: We all suffered from the like, about three seconds after food got big, it got huge, and so much food, so much content, so many things, and it was hard to tell honestly what was resonating and what's not resonating and what's really helping people on a daily basis and what's not. I see that pulling back every day, and it doesn't scare me. It actually makes me feel really good because at least then we'll understand what our user wants as opposed to what someone is inflating.

Stacey Rivera: The last thing, it's going to have its moments that are going to not be as awesome as well. Obviously, we just closed Cooking Light, which was really hard. In the bigness of food media came a lot of food media, and I'm not sure that all of it is going to survive. I'm not sure all of it should survive, honestly. I know some of it should. Most of it is in this room, but, yeah, I mean, I think I see less for more.

Stacey Rivera: I've hired a lot of very smart, young women both at my time at Time Inc. and when I was at Bon App, and they are a different breed of people. They are smart and quiet and just rock stars, but they don't have to take up so much space. They don't have to announce where they are every time they're there. They don't have to be followed and, yet, they're doing all of this incredible, smart, really thoughtful writing, and so, to me, that's a place where I see less as a bad word, but a good thing makes sense.

Kerry Diamond: All right, so we're going to jump ahead to the 2028 question. I've asked each of these women to think about what she will be doing in the years ahead, where she hopes she is, her business, the industry, one of those things, all of those things. Courtney, again, you're in the unlucky seat right next to me.

Courtney Pigford: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: I'm sorry.

Courtney Pigford: This was the last question on the list, so I was like, "Ah." No. I think, in terms of my business and Honeycreeper Chocolate, since we're very new, right now, that's big, but for me it would be a lot more partnerships and collaborations at origin with farmers and then with makers and just facilitating more things for them and how we can be a part of it and be supporting them, because the farmers at origin at what ... and the makers are what it's all about in craft chocolate, so, personally, I have no idea. In 10 years, our kids will be both graduated college and maybe we'll be just traveling the world and finding great chocolate. I have no idea.

Kerry Diamond: Celeste, 10 years?

Celeste Pillow: As a business, we've been open for five years and a week and a couple of days, which is a pretty big deal for a restaurant, and we are expanding our catering and we are going to open a fast, casual concept in line with being able to expand the catering, and, with that said, what I really thought about was, one, that we'll still be in business in 10 years because that's double the time we've been in business, and opening another one and, genuinely, what popped into my head is that I am vacationing and not looking at my cameras and my phone and not having to be there day to day and still being in business and successful and giving people what they want.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Kristen, how about for you?

Kristen Farmer Hall: Wow. That's a loaded question. Gosh, so, 10 years from now, I hope that Victor and I have continued, honestly, to open a couple of other ventures that we believe really add to Birmingham. I'm not from Birmingham, but I chose it, and I've been here for a really long time and have seen Birmingham go through such an evolution of personality and of a place, and so I think, for me personally, I want to continue to invest in our community in a way that makes it better and not just because we like to open restaurants, because, honestly, this is a really hard business.

Kristen Farmer Hall: This is not something that people who are sane really do, and it makes you even more crazy when you open these places. I know it sounds kitschy and contrived, but, for us, for me, every single face that comes through our door, and our goal is to spring life back to this space, and 10 years from now, I hope we have another couple of places that were really thoughtfully created and have revived a specific part of food maybe. Obviously, pastry is my heart, and so I think we definitely want to continue to grow in a pastry bakery sense of things, but just for us just to continue to create places.

Kristen Farmer Hall: I know a lot of you know about The Essential, but what's really fascinating about this place is that we opened it just a few months ago, but we have been working on it for a couple of years, and where we're sitting right now was a bank drive-thru. Two years ago, when we looked at the space, where the bakery is, and majority of that kitchen was underground, and so it takes a lot to be able to see past, honestly, Birmingham's history and a lot of the things that we have stood behind and supported or not supported.

Kristen Farmer Hall: I think, for us, to be able to be a community that continues to see where we can go, because, yeah, like I said, we dug 14 feet down from the back here, so it's really quite an honor to be able to make pastries back there knowing that this building which was built in 1887 had really been buried, so, 10 years from now, you'll hopefully still see my face and a bunch of restaurants.

Kerry Diamond: Ama, 2028?

Ama Shambulia: I am living on 10, 20 acres in a little cottage with the garden and my granddaughters hanging out with me in the garden and in the kitchen, but that's not what you're talking about.

Kerry Diamond: Sure. That's what we all want.

Ama Shambulia: Yeah, envisioning we have our third generation of apprentices that have been trained by the trained apprentice. We are open five days a week. The idea of pay-as-you-can is a common concept. We have a line of product, because we do have some really good products that we have not packaged, so we have a line of packaged products. We have cookbooks. Mostly, we have a community that is happy that we are there. They're no stranger to foods, and we've seen that happening with things like blue grits, serving that Swiss chard enchiladas. We serve organic iced tea every week, and so ... and then there's a children's program that we feed, and people come through and they ask for particular things, and it's the inside joke, like, "Y'all getting real bougie, so, yeah, just ... but mainly that the young people that we have trained are able to train other young people to carry on the work.

Kerry Diamond: All right. I have to ask. I don't know what blue grits are. I know what grits are. I don't know what blue grits are.

Ama Shambulia: Yeah, that's just grits made with blue corn.

Male: Bless your heart.

Kerry Diamond: Did I hear someone else explain? Does everyone know what blue grits are? Okay. Thank you for being honest back there.

Audience Member: I didn't, till I came here, if that helps.

Kerry Diamond: Okay. That does help. Yes. All right, Stacey, your turn.

Stacey Rivera: If I've done my now right, working two to three days a week for a lot of money on the beach, being hired by one of these women I've been pulling along because I love them and they're smarter than me at an of my previous publications. I hate to answer the future of media question because the truth of the matter is that it's really ... I am 150% certain there's always going to be pictures and words giving food service to people. What platform they're going to be doing it in almost doesn't matter to me.

Stacey Rivera: I've worked print. I've worked social. I've worked digital. I've done video. Something will also come, and people will still, because since the caveman days people need to see words and pictures to tell them how to do something, so I think it's going to be thriving, and I think I know the general of people who are going to make it thrive, and I can't wait to see what they do with it to be honest, but am I going to hold it? Am I going to listen to it? Am I going to watch it? I'm not sure, and I don't think right now we could be. This has been such an unprecedented time of consolidation and change, and there's a lot of things to shake up to see what happens, but good food service from a content perspective, that's how it's always going to be. People will always need it.

Kerry Diamond: Storytelling ...

Stacey Rivera: Yep.

Kerry Diamond: ... and people.

Stacey Rivera: Yep.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah, those two things will never go away.

Stacey Rivera: Yeah, literally, since caves. Oh, I need to know a thing. Okay, I'm going to get someone who's better at it to write it down and tell me. That's never going to change. Mechanism has constantly evolved, and that's like not a thing to be scared of. That's great that I know it's going to evolve, and then I feel confident. I know the generation of people are going to evolve it.

Kerry Diamond: Maybe the cave of 2028 will be the cave again, maybe the cave of your thing?

Stacey Rivera: Possibly.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah. Yeah, so, all right, thank you for your very thoughtful answers. We're going to turn it over to you now, and if anyone has, like I said, comment, questions, statement?

Mary Clayton: Hi. My name Mary Clayton. I feel like my voice is already loud enough. Going back to the original thing, we sort of were talking about education with food. Obviously, all of us who are here are already in this world in some capacity and care about it greatly and care about making sure food ... It has always been a way to have a community and that kind of stuff, but for these people who are out in these food deserts, how do we educate them? I mean, I legitimately don't know because I'm with Jones Valley. We're trying to do this meat-and-three on the ground, but what are y'all's opinions on this because I don't know?

Stacey Rivera: Honestly, I think people like me bear huge responsibility for this because they do have access to content, and we need to let them know what's better, and it's cheap to do what I do ultimately and to consume what I do, so I think we have a huge responsibility from the food media side to make it clear which things are good and to help them close their knowledge gap because, if we're going to publish 13 pieces of content a day, which a lot of food sites do, some do more, it's our responsibility to be service journalists and to make sure we're providing service and, at the same time, put a ton of pressure on CBD companies and big food to understand, from a financial perspective, they're not going to survive unless their products are better for the same price, and then it'll happen to some degree without a struggle, but that's because we have to hit them ... and it's happening.

Stacey Rivera: It's totally happening. Their businesses are also in distress, and they have to turn around, but I think we bear a tremendous responsibility to make sure we're not just putting out words for word's sake.

Female: You mentioned Jones Valley, and I think, in terms of larger scale, I would love to see in every state and every city a program like Jones Valley in the schools beginning at kindergarten, not just feeding them, but educating them about food and having farms on site, at schools. I think what Jones Valley has done here is huge and could ... is a model that could work all over the country, and I think, if it was replicated multiple times over, that could start to make a dent of some sort.

Audience Member: We've talked a lot about the future of food. What food trend do you hope is gone in 10 years? 

Kerry Diamond: All right, speed round.

Courtney Pigford: Candy that they call chocolate, but it's not chocolate. It is candy. I wish it would go away. I would hope one day when people hear chocolate they think chocolate, not a vehicle for sugar that has really very little chocolate in it at all.

Female: Mash-up foods. I'm over it. Anything with the word Keto, Whole30.

Kristen Farmer Hall: I think, for me, it's not really a trend, but, so often, pastry means sweet. It means cupcakes and sprinkles and icing and sugar, and sugar and some more sugar, and so, for me, I'm hoping that pastry means croissant and, gosh, I mean, Danish and seasonal cake, something that's really highlighting the ingredients that in fact are naturally sweet versus there's a whole bunch of icing on this thing or a cupcake that's just covered, so, for me, I wouldn't necessarily say it's a trend, although, in the south, bakery always means sweet things, so I'm hoping to rage against that machine in that I don't dislike cupcakes, but there's so many amazing, beautiful options for pastry that does not include sprinkles, although-

Audience Member: Or rainbows?

Kristen Farmer Hall: Or rainbows or-

Audience Member: Yeah. I'm over that one, too.

Kristen Farmer Hall: Or Funfetti or those kinds of things. Don't get me wrong. I mean, we have Pop-Tarts here in this case every single day, and I love them, but just there's so much depth to pastry that is not iced.

Ama Shambulia: I'm in a room of friends, right? I would say the so-called fast foods. I wish they would just go.

Kerry Diamond: All right, one more question.

Sarah: Hey. My name is Sarah. Since we're in the south, our food has a lot of history to it, and we're talking about the future of food, but I feel like learning about our history is important. Do you see learning about the history of our food playing a part in the future of it and, if you do, how we might see that evolving or what place it might play?

Female: I guess, I can speak to that just a little bit. I do think it plays a huge part in understanding where our food comes from, and think that, so often, southern food has become the meat-and-three, which, again, perhaps a Johnny's. There's such a comfort in that type of food, but that isn't southern food. Food that is southern is food that's grown in the south, and our climate is specific to certain ingredients, which is why we have certain like meat-and-three necessarily, so, I think, for us, it's just learning what vegetables grow here and grow really well here and why that is, and that that really is southern food.

Female: I think that just becoming aware of that connection to the earth really, like this southern soil that we live and breathe every day is really southern food, and so I'm hoping that that plays ... that that has a voice in terms of what we do here in the south. We have such an incredible history that is full of very bittersweet moments, and I think that's, while honoring our past and really understanding where we are for the future, it's really understanding what does it mean to be in the south and what does southern food actually mean.

Female: I mean, I know we spoke about southern food, which is a huge educator and historic, sort of like historians of food, so I think that we should be asking ourselves questions of what does southern food mean to me. What does it mean to live in the south and be in the south and choose Alabama? Obviously, we're all choosing to live here now, and just being proud of where we live and where we work I think is really important and understanding like what grows here, what doesn't grow here and why doesn't it, and I think that's an interesting dynamic to start asking ourselves our own questions.

Kerry Diamond: All right, we are going to stop there, but all of you, a round of applause for the panel. Thank you to the panel and to our audience members for such a great discussion. We'll share all the wonderful places we visited in both cities after this word from Kerrygold.

Kerry Diamond: I know you're all eager to hear more about this inverted burger. I certainly am. You are definitely going to want to make this recipe this weekend, so be sure to take notes. Here's farmhouse cheese maker Sarah Furno describing her go-to recipe that includes Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese.

Sarah Furno: I'd buy some good quality ground steak mince. I will sweat a small amount of diced onion and just mix that in with the ground mince, and then I take a small amount of blue cheese, and I make a hole in the burger patty and pop it into the center and just close it back up, and then, as the burger is cooking, of course, the blue cheese melts in the center, so, when you bite into your burger, you've got a little sauce, a little surprise.

Kerry Diamond: Who doesn't want that?

Sarah Furno: It captures the flavor of the cheese very well and just adds a complementary element to the burger, so it works well. It's good. It's very easy as well.

Kerry Diamond: Want to make your own inverted burger with Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese or maybe some Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese? Visit to find out where you can purchase their award-winning butter and cheese. That's

Kerry Diamond: Before we go, I want to give a shout-out to some of the great places we ate and drank on tour. Let's start with Birmingham. We snuck over to the Honeycreeper Chocolate Boutique, of course, before our event began and snapped up some artisanal chocolate bars as well as some bonbons from Eat Chic, one of my favorite chocolate brands, and, of course, we had a lovely lunch at The Essential. We also made sure to stop by the Alabama Biscuit Company for a quick breakfast before we left town.

Kerry Diamond: In Denver, we had drinks at the RiNo Yacht Club and a truly beautiful meal at Chef Caroline Glover's Annette, a farm-to-table restaurant in Aurora, Colorado.

Kerry Diamond: Our show was produced by Jess Zeidman and supported by Kerrygold. Thank you to the teams at The Essential, Birmingham, and The Source in Denver for hosting us, and thank you to all of our speakers and to the amazing members of the Bombesquad who joined us for these tapings.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you for listening to The Future of Food miniseries. Here's to a delicious tomorrow.