The Future of Food: Atlanta Transcript
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 Atlanta to Detroit to Portland and lots of places in between to ask women what the future of food means to them. Throughout the series, you are going to hear talks and panels that we recorded on each stop. You'll hear from farmers, bakers, teachers, chefs, activists, and even a poet. These members of the Bombesquad share 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: For this episode, we're traveling to Atlanta, Georgia. Our event was held at Star Provisions, the wonderful eatery and shop owned and operated by Chef Anne Quatrano. We're going to kick things off with a talk about the future of baking by Amanda Faber, co-host of the Flour Hour podcast and a winner of the Great American Baking Show. Before we get this show on the road, let's check in with our sponsor.
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. Since Kerrygold gave us the opportunity to travel around the US and hear from women all over the country, we thought it would be fascinating to take a virtual detour to Ireland to hear how some of their delicious products are made. One of the cheeses we love in particular is the award-winning Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese. We placed a call to Sarah Furno, a farmhouse cheese maker who happens to know the history of how this very unique cheese came to be and who happened to create it.
Sarah Furno: Well, in the early '80s, what you did is you went to the library and you got a recipe book. So, she went to the library and asked for a recipe book for making cheese and it took three months to arrive because most people in Ireland weren't making cheese in the farmhouse kitchen. Maybe a bit of butter, but not cheese.
Kerry Diamond: The "she" in the story isn't Sarah but her mother, Jane Grubb, who invented the recipe for the famous Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese.
Sarah Furno: She started experimenting in my granny's jam pan. Originally, she made hard cheddar-style cheeses. Then, she thought, "Well, why not have a bit of fun and add a bit of spice in there?" so she started making blue cheese, and she was the first person in Ireland to try to do that.
Kerry Diamond: Want to try this groundbreaking blue cheese, or maybe Kerrygold's savory shredded cheddar cheese, or the garlic and herb butter? Visit kerrygoldusa.com to check out the store locator and find out where you can purchase any of their award-winning cheese and butter. That's kerrygoldusa.com.
Kerry Diamond: Let's kick things off with Amanda Faber, co-host of the Flour Hour podcast and a winner of the Great American Baking Show.
Amanda Faber: Kerry brought up the topic of baking in the future so of course my brain went to spaceships, the Beastie Boys song Intergalactic, and freeze-dried astronaut food, but since those were all really crap ideas I decided to ask Instagram what the future of baking would be. Here's what I heard.
Amanda Faber: There was speculation about baking with herbs, 3D sugar printed bakes, baking with even more alternative flours, sugars, fats, super foods, baking on space stations, more focus on using sustainable ingredients in baking, using natural food dyes, baking with cricket flour, plant-based vegan baking, I heard that over and over again so it's very important to pay attention. I could go on and on from my Instagram research. Maybe one day we'll get together and 3D print up some chocolate eclairs made with cricket flour. I would eat them. Would you guys? You'd at least try. Why not?
Amanda Faber: I figured, before we got into the future, we need to talk about now and why we bake. To me, it's very personal. Baking is currently a beautiful, delicious way that we treat ourselves and others. It's a way to celebrate the good days and get us through the tough days. I hope in the future that we we'll be baking mostly for celebrations, because those are the most fun bakes, but for now I'm happy to bake the cakes for the Tina Fey style sheet caking on the times when that's the appropriate thing to do and I'm happy to pan bang cookies. Have you guys made the pan banging cookies where you take the sheet pan and flatten the cookies out? That's a great way to get out some angst.
Amanda Faber: I cannot wait for the day, I feel like when I think about the future I can't help but to think about the events that we'll bake for, and I cannot wait for the day we bake for celebration of our first female president. That would be pretty awesome. I can't wait to bake for my daughter when she gets a job and she has equal pay, and it's hopefully not even a thing by then. She's five years old right now, and I'd love her to come in and say, "I got a job. Here's what I'm getting paid," and I'm so excited because it's equal, and I hope she doesn't even know why I'm excited.
Amanda Faber: Another thing that we can use to predict the future of baking is currently who are the bakers? I lurk around on social media and I've noticed and you probably have too if you follow bakers, that the community is crazy strong. For a topic that can go really nostalgic, very gingham, full skirts, very Betty Draper, I thought about wearing that tonight but then I was like, nah. The bakers I know are thoroughly modern. The trend of collaboration over competition is something that's talked about often, and I'm really happy to say that I see it in action every day.
Amanda Faber: The passionate bakers that I know are fantastic people. There's a flurry of idea sharing, idea honing, encouragement. Bakers come up with very creative ways to help their communities in a generous sharing of skills. This, to me, is the way of the future. Women are amazing, you guys know that, but sometimes I think we let the amazingness of another woman make us feel less amazing, and I don't don't see that so much with baking. In baking, I see less comparison and more celebration of our differences. For example, something as simple as frosting a cake, there are endless ways to do it. You can pipe your frosting, smooth your frosting, comb your frosting. You can cover your frosting, and then that's not even talking about all the different flavors that you could have.
Amanda Faber: But, I do see that bakers don't divide up into groups of frosting people. We don't just support the smooth frosting people because I'm a smooth frosting girl, or support the rough frosting people because I'm a rough frosting girl. It crosses all the lines, and there's a respect for another bakers art that comes without having to make yourself feel lesser or suspicious of the other person. We learn from each other and we're excited to see the other baker succeed because it means baking is succeeding, and that means we all win as bakers.
Amanda Faber: So, all that babble about who the bakers are and what are we baking, what is the future of baking? I think there may be less opportunities to work with our hands in the future, just because of technology and all these things that are really wonderful, but I'm sure that we'll still make bread. Bakers will still mix up flour, salt, sugar, yeast, because it's amazing. We love to eat it, and the process making it is an experience like no other.
Amanda Faber: In the future we'll be able to do even more with our devices. I can't even come up here without my device. I do think that we'll put our devices down, put some candles on a cake, celebrate another year of life, and enjoy the cake together even in the future. I think that we will still, no matter how much we learn about our health and make decisions on how to build our best bodies, we'll still continue to eat things like a warm cookie because it makes all the shitty moments worth it to get that cookie. It's totally worth it.
Amanda Faber: In the future the techniques will change, the ingredients will evolve, our equipment will look and perform differently. The future of baking is super solid because baking is a way to bring people together. It brings communities together, friends together, families together, and whether we're living in cities, on a farm, apartments, houses, or even future science space pods, which I really like to think about, I think something sweet and baked will still draw us out and draw us together. It's an affordable luxury. t's creative. It's comforting and it's fun. It was all of these things for our grandmothers and it'll be these things for our children, too.
Amanda Faber: So, cheers to baking.
Kerry Diamond: Thank you to Amanda Faber and to all the bakers out there. I really, really hope the future includes cake.
Kerry Diamond: Our next speaker is Tiffanie Barriere, AKA The Drinking Coach. Tiffanie is a creative and passionate mixologist. What does the future hold for her? Let's find out.
Tiffanie Barriere: The future of food is booze, and me. No. No, the future of food is booze, because you guys, every time you go and dine you have this beautiful menu. You're looking for the chef, you're looking for the ambiance, you're looking for Italian or Asian or Southern. You're looking for something, but when you see that cocktail menu, you guys freak out. You're like, "It's foreign to me. I don't know what to order. I think I know what I like. This is kind of the Trader Joe's wine I do. My husband drinks this." You guys get a little overwhelmed.
Tiffanie Barriere: Cocktails for sure are very exciting for me, but then there's something that comes outside of cocktail pairing, there's beer pairing. Something that we, I know as a woman I love beer, but then I'm like I can't. You see high ABV, low alcohol, you see dark, you see stout, you think beer is a man thing, but women are drinking beer as well, and that is moving forward. It's not 16 ounces and 12 ounces, it's small tastings. Those flights are for you, and it's an entry level to things.
Tiffanie Barriere: Those flights of mescal, those flights of vodka, those flights of gin, get 'em. You don't know what to order in a cocktail, get a flight. Go ahead and show you are inquisitive enough to have a flavor profile. Our palettes are personal. Yes I'm the drinking coach, but I can't tell you what you like. Your friend can't. Dad can't. Mom didn't. You can read, but you're not gonna figure it out until you take that first swallow, so there's no fear in flavor. Can you repeat after me? There's no fear in flavor. Ooh, that sounded great.
Tiffanie Barriere: Don't you dare say "I don't do gin. I don't do cognac. I don't that." Come on ladies, you do it, but you have to take in dose. You have to take it the way it is, and I think the future of food is honestly sipping neat. I think sipping neat for one, I'm gonna say this out loud, makes you look like a badass. I think when you sit at a bar and you order something neat, you have the time first to sit there and go, "Why did I order this?", for one. "Why did I just look at the bar and go, "That bottle looks good. I'm gonna grab it, put it in a glass. Give me two ounces of it," and sit there and sip it and go, "Whoa, that was hot," because that's the first thing you're gonna do. Whoa, that was hot, and then that second sip is like ooh, like huh, like hm. The shoulders start to wiggle, the music is jammin'. You're sipping neat to feel the appreciation of the spirit of those master distillers. Those distributors work really hard and put a lot of money into the process, he fermentation, the distillation, to make you enjoy it. Yes, I'm a cocktail girl, but I love a good sip of neat because I want to appreciate the spirit.
Tiffanie Barriere: The future of food is proper pairing. It isn't always a cocktail, it isn't always wine. White meat doesn't always go with white, red steaks doesn't always go with red. You are you. Your palette is personal. The seasons change. Whatever you're craving, order it. "I want tequila right now." Get it. Stop feeling weird about your comfort zone. Don't feel like it's gonna take you crazy. Don't feel like, "Oh, I don't do that because of, or it's too early, I can't." You know what you're feeling, it's anatomy. Enjoy that.
Tiffanie Barriere: The future of food to me is booze, so that you can enjoy it. It's not to get smashed. We're not in college anymore. We're mothers, we're sisters, we're daughters. We have social media and we can not do this. We cannot be smashed, and when you do it if you are, and I hate to use the word smashed but I use it a lot because we do drink and we do enjoy good spirits, but be able to enjoy in good spirits.
Tiffanie Barriere: So, I'm gonna say all that to say I also think the future of food is water. I think the future of food is water, honestly. It is one of the most essential, plentiful, ancestral, things to drink and it's free. Water is very important. In order to balance your palette. In order the balance the booze that I told you to talk about. In order to keep our skin as lovely as it is. Don't drink the water just in the morning and don't drink the water just at night. I'm talking to myself by the way. Water is very essential.
Tiffanie Barriere: I know when I first started in the cocktail game it was stirred and boozy, it was heavy. It was heavy rums, dark rums, gin cocktails, straight liquor. I'm not contradicting what I said earlier, but water is so needed when you're balancing your dinner. My new favorite thing where I see America going is sparkling water. Sparkling water not only gives you that extra burp, it's making room for dinner. It's making room for you do have a little more food for that dessert maybe. It's also cleansing your palette.
Tiffanie Barriere: You're seeing a lot of bar tenders do low ABV, which is low alcohol, we are trying to effervesce a very stiff cocktail. We are trying to stretch you all the way to end when we put sparking soda into a cocktail, and water is so, so, so, so, so, so, so important to me, and I feel like the future of food is going to head there with the booze with great water. Whether it comes from the French Alps, whether it comes from cave in Tennessee, it's very, very, very, very important. Vital. Of course chefs use water all the time cooking, tasting, it's everything, and of course, drinking.
Tiffanie Barriere: I'm gonna end off with this. Everyone's got their phone in their hand? Yeah? I need you to google water of life. Just google it for me please. Google water of life. Someone tell me what it says. What is the meaning of water of life? Anybody see what the meaning of water of life is?
Audience: The fountain of youth.
Tiffanie Barriere: The fountain of youth. That's one. No one's gave me my answer, at least what I googled.
Tiffanie Barriere: Say it louder.
Tiffanie Barriere: Say it again.
Tiffanie Barriere: Whiskey. The phrase water of life comes from Christianity. Water is pure. Water is clear. Water is the fountain of youth. Water is also whiskey. Don't forget your whisky, ladies. Women and whiskey are crushing it. Keep crushing it. Order a whiskey neat. Be adult about it and be proud that you ordered whiskey.
Tiffanie Barriere: Cheers!
Kerry Diamond: Cheers to Tiffanie Barriere. Don't forget what she said. There's no fear in flavor, so switch up that drink order and try something new.
Kerry Diamond: Next up is Yasmeen Salaam, the founder of Carvers Produce, a distribution company working to improve access to fresh food. Yasmeen might be inspired by the past, but as we're about to learn, she is very much focused on the future.
Yasmeen Salaam: In 1896, a man by the name of George Washington Carver came to Tuskegee by the request of Booker T. Washington to see about the farmers who lost their crop to the boll weevil epidemic in 1896. That challenged Carver to come with a solution. That solution was to create a method through soil enhancement and crop rotation to increase their harvest, and also to increase the soil. This worked. The farmers were increasing their yield at a rapid demand, and so they had no use for the surplus of produce that they were growing. So, this forced Carver to invent over 300 uses of the sweet potato, soy bean and peanuts, essentially transforming southern agriculture for as we know it today.
Yasmeen Salaam: This is the leading industry in Georgia, generating over 71.1 billion dollars of economic impact. However, when we look at food insecurity, we see that every one in seven Americans are living food insecure, and here in the state of Georgia it's the same statistic, and 23.2% of children are living food insecure. That means we have children going to schools who are coming from homes that are not eating, and going to school and that may be their last meal for the day.
Yasmeen Salaam: So, essential what Carvers Produce is, we are a Georgia grown food distributor that aggregates food 500 miles from our storage space to process for last mile distribution for food into our communities. We work with restaurants, we work with chefs, even consumers in food deserts. We just partnered with Wholesome Wave Georgia for the EBT snap dollar benefits program. We'll be able to actually increase our benefits in these communities.
Yasmeen Salaam: When we think about the current climate right now in urban agriculture, we see a lot of our urban agriculturists are relying on farm direct sales like farmers markets and CSA's, mobile markets, to get their profit. However, Carvers Produce serves as a one stop shop for the buyer and for the grower, where they're able to actually come and see the marketing potential of sourcing sustainably sourced produce, and also the grower is able to see how they're able to increase their profit through tripling their bottom line last mile distribution.
Yasmeen Salaam: So essentially, what it is that we're doing, we're doing what George Washington Carver did 2.0. We're taking his tradition and we're emerging it into the communities that need it the most. What's so surprising is that when people think about food deserts, they think about urban communities, but really, food deserts are rural communities and urban communities. They have no social class, no race, or no gender. Matter of fact, the biggest food desert here in Atlanta is in Gwinnett County. Go figure, right?
Yasmeen Salaam: The whole method of what we're doing here in Atlanta is we are working with farmers to make sure that they are meeting their bottom line and we're also making sure that the communities are meeting their bottom line as well, too. Making sure that the health disparities are decreased, and also the economic disparities are decreased, therefore adding $1.73 to the economic impact to our Ag dollar.
Yasmeen Salaam: So, when I think about the future of food, I think about justice, and why I say that is because I was a college student. Carvers Produce actually came about as a research project. My professor gave me the assignment to assess, define, and solve a problem within an urban community, and within that, implement a business system. So, as a college student I went to Tuskegee University where I studied Sales and Marketing and Supply Chain Management. I literally was sitting in my apartment when I noticed on campus I had to travel 30 miles outside of Tuskegee just to go to the nearby Walmart to get fresh produce, and sometimes there were times where I had to actually split my lunch to make my dinner, because I didn't have time to travel all the way out to Auburn to get my fresh produce or to get fresh food.
Yasmeen Salaam: When I came to Atlanta, I resided in the east Atlanta area, and what I saw is that we had a Publix, we had a Bond Market, but those markets weren't carrying the local produce. That's a problem, because our farmers work hard to produce the produce. Not only do they work hard, but they're implementing programs to teach the younger generation, who honestly is not interested in land ownership and land preservation, buy they're getting them interested into actually learning how to preserve the land. How to cultivate the land. These are soft skills that can be developed into hard skills.
Yasmeen Salaam: So, when you think about what we're doing and how we're doing it, we're here to connect communities, empower growers and buyers, and transform food security in food desert communities. When I think about the future of food, I think about justice. I think about equality for food for all. It doesn't matter which race you are, what neighborhood you live in, you must have equally access to fresh produce.
Yasmeen Salaam: Thank you.
Kerry Diamond: Thank you to Yasmeen for carrying on the legacy of George Washington Carver, and fighting for justice in the food world.
Kerry Diamond: Before we get to our panel, let's return to my chat with Sarah Furno, the farmhouse cheese maker whose family created the award winning Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese.
Kerry Diamond: I wanted to know more about Beechmount Farm, Sarah's family farm, so I asked her to tell us a little bit more about this magical place.
Sarah Furno: We have a lot of trees, that's why it's called Beechmount. We've got lovely deep soils here. It's a very traditional farming area in Ireland. We've loads of small meadows on the farm, and loads of hedge rows. The cows in the outer fields. Obviously we've got ponies and dogs and hens and all the things that you'd expect to have on a farm. We live on the farm, so we want to keep it a nice environment to be in.
Kerry Diamond: And, in addition the beautiful landscape, Sarah also has one of the best commutes.
Sarah Furno: Our farmhouse is in the middle of the farm, and then I don't have far to go to work. I've only got to go just across the farm yard and down at the cheese dairy.
Kerry Diamond: It sounds like Sarah has the perfect situation to go with the perfect cheese.
Kerry Diamond: Want to try Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese for yourself? Or maybe you'd like to try Kerrygold's famous butter or their new slices and shreds. Visit kerrygoldusa.com to find a stockist near you.
Kerry Diamond: Ready to hear from our panel? We brought together four women who represent different aspects of the Atlanta food scene. Let's welcome Anne Quatrano, one of the most celebrated chefs in the south, Chef Deborah Van Trece of Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours, Jamila Norman, AKA Farmer J, the founder of Patchwork City Farms, and Jen Hidinger Kendrick, co-founder of The Giving Kitchen.
Kerry Diamond: Chef Anne, why don't we start with you since we're in your house? The phase "future of food", what comes to mind when you hear that?
Anne Quatrano: Accessible good food for everyone. I think that's it.
Kerry Diamond: Jamila?
Jamila Norman: Farms everywhere, right? Farms interwoven into the city landscape. I think Atlanta is really unique in being able to actualize that vision, and that's part of what I'm trying to do. And, just like good food. I think really it's going back to our roots more than it is creating new, weird, interesting, different things that we don't know what the effects are gonna be, but we do know what good food is, what good systems and clean systems are, and just kind of like really going back to that. That's what the future is for me.
Kerry Diamond: Chef Deborah?
Deborah VanTrece: Accessibility and inclusion. I also dream of the world where there is no hunger. I don't see why it's necessary. Sustainability. Getting more control of our waste. The food deserts, making them disappear. And also, the inclusion of all food and all people's food. I'd like to see that happen.
Kerry Diamond: Jen?
Jen Hidinger-Kendrick: Sustainable comes to mind as well, and so does the word welcome. I love that you use the word inclusion, because that really speaks to kind of our over all organization. I definitely come from a different background than these amazing women here sharing a seat next to me, because Giving Kitchen pays attention to there's no color, there's no gender. It is all inclusive, so I do, I feel like there's a world out there that exists where more restaurants can be of bigger purpose, sustainably speaking, from your food sourcing to the way that you treat your guest.
Kerry Diamond: Alright. The next question is one thing you'd like to see change in the industry? Jamila?
Jamila Norman: Oh, wow. I'm an urban farmer, and being female, people are like, "What are you doing? Are you really trying to farm?" So, I think as more women take more of a leadership role and are more visible, so more visibility for women and for just kind of different cultures around food and food growing.
Jamila Norman: I had an opportunity to travel internationally because of the work I do. I went to Italy for Terra Madre. It was like this huge food conference, and the year we went, it was the year of the family farmer. One of the statistics that really stuck out to me was that most farming and most farm work is actually done by women globally, but in terms of what you see in the media, what people think about when they think about the average farmer, they think kind of like white male. But globally, women are the ones that really do the work on farms, and so it's about just changing the narrative. I just want to see kind of like more light shown on women and just people who don't look like the average people doing food, and just kind of like more respect around farming as a profession.
Jamila Norman: That's something that I'm always kind of sharing with people. They're thinking it's a side thing. So like, "What do you really do?" "I farm full time." It's a full on business. Marketing, social media, gotta keep books, plan, sourcing. I've got to figure out my contract with restaurants. All of that. You're a small business like any other small business, I just farm, and I'm committed to making sure people have really good food. I started farming because I love food, and I wanted good food for myself and for other people, you know?
Jamila Norman: So, just being able to shine a light on farming as a profession, and just like the diversity of that.
Kerry Diamond: Chef Anne?
Anne Quatrano: Respecting that. There's very few people that stick with farming. Everybody loves the idea. They get out of college with a sustainable degree in agriculture, and come and work on our farm for six months and say, "I'm gonna become an advocate because this is too hard." One of my wishes for the future is that more people stick with farming, because it's so incredibly important and admirable, both. But, anyhow, thank you for what you do.
Anne Quatrano: I feel like, I know this may be not exactly the answer, but I think the change is happening. I just came back from the Beard Awards, and things happened this year that were monumental. A barbecue chef won Best Chef Southeast, his first time nominated. I think his most expensive dish is nine dollars. And, I think that this is where food is going. We are showing respect. These people who have the same passion that fine dining chefs do. I'm probably shooting myself in the back here, but they have the same passion. They care as much about the food. They put all the care into that we do, and they don't manipulate it as much, which I kind of find endearing, and they're being rewarded for it on this stage right next to the molecular chefs that rule the world. So, that's huge.
Anne Quatrano: It's huge that women, I think we had 10 Beard winners this year on stage out of 19 or something. So I definitely think the future, but I've always thought that the future in food is women for me, and the change is happening, so I'm super happy about that.
Anne Quatrano: I think that also the other thing that's changing is that all of you feel just as comfortable having a meal at 3 o'clock in the afternoon that's pretty awesome, than going out to a nice restaurant at 8:00. I think that that's changing the way we all look at food, and it's also changing the lifestyle of so many chefs. You can have an exquisite restaurant that closes at 4:00, because people are coming to you at all different times of the day. I mean, we're busy at 10 o'clock. People are having breakfast. I think that's fantastic. Eat at odd hours please. It's so good for us.
Kerry Diamond: Chef Deborah, one thing you'd like to see change?
Deborah VanTrece: I think I would love to see us, and we are on that path, but we continue to educate ourself about food. All aspects of it. Where it's sourced. Where it's coming from. What it's doing to our bodies. What it's doing to our children. What's going to be left for the future? All of that, for me, is about educating yourself.
Deborah VanTrece: In my community, and with that I'm speaking of the African-American community, I see that as a big problem, a big issue, that we're not necessarily moving as fast as I would like us to. We have health issues that a lot of it could be controlled with our food choices if we were educated to know. Quite often, and not just in my community, but in communities that are lower income communities that don't have accessibility to organic foods, they don't understand the risk involved with hormone, GMO. They don't even know what it is. For me, it's important for us to educate them so that all people understand why it's important for us to know what's on the label, why it's important for us to read the label, and what the benefits are for us health wise to make the right choices in what we are putting in our bodies. What we are putting in our children's bodies.
Jen Hidinger-Kendrick: I think one of the things that I'd like to see change, this was actually something I spoke to Kerry about this morning, is wishing and hoping for small businesses in general, but mainly in our industry, to be able to be and to have the platform where they can really and truly take care of their own. By that, I mean be a strong business that can offer health insurance. Yes. You would think that it's so easy and it's not. We have a strong platform at Staplehouse. We have an emotional story, and we have an incredibly talented team producing some really high quality experiences in an atmosphere, but we do struggle with being able to provide for our own. It's important that with the platform that we carry under Giving Kitchen, that we do, we have set aside a lot to be able to create a fund that pays for health insurance for our full time employees and for our management. And, so I feel like something like that is extremely important.
Kerry Diamond: You know, I should let you explain a little about The Giving Kitchen, because it's remarkable what they do, and the service that they provide might actually help one of your friends one of these days. Do you want to just talk a little bit about what you do and how people can access the help that you provide?
Jen Hidinger-Kendrick: Sure. Are most of you here in Atlanta? Yeah? Okay. Oh, yay. Who's heard of The Giving Kitchen? Raise your hand. Thank you.
Jen Hidinger-Kendrick: So, for those of you who have not, The Giving Kitchen is a 501C3 Atlanta based non-profit started just about five years ago. We're celebrating our five year anniversary this week. Thank you. Thank you very specifically to all of you in the room who've either don't know us or haven't become our friend yet, or who do know us, because you have helped change the landscape of this city and you have helped change the landscape of the food movement across the nation with what you have done to help support this non-profit.
Jen Hidinger-Kendrick: This non-profit offers financial assistance to restaurant workers who are in crisis. So, natural disaster, the death of an immediate family member, a sickness or an injury, we pay your basic living expenses, your rent or your mortgage to help keep you in your home, off the streets and on your feet again back to work when you're able. That's the short version.
Kerry Diamond: If you know someone in need, can you apply for them?
Jen Hidinger-Kendrick: You absolutely can. There's two options. You can either apply for a direct grant at thegivingkitchen.org or givingkitchen.org, or if you know somebody who's in crisis, because most of the time those people who are in crisis are not thinking about applying for a grant, you can go through our referral program and fill out the application process for them. Our team, an eight person dedicated full-time staff, will be there to help you. We're extraordinarily responsive, and can help every step of the way. Givingkitchen.org.
Kerry Diamond: Jamila, we're gonna time travel to the year 2028. And now, Amanda's already talked to us about baking brownies in space, so what do you think farming for Patchwork City Farm and yourself will look like in 2028?
Jamila Norman: The idea of Patchwork City Farms was to find spaces within urban environments and transform them into farms, so I currently have purchased a property. I was leasing before, and now land is Atlanta is so expensive.
Audience Member: You bought it?
Jamila Norman: I bought it. I bought a property in Atlanta, about an acre and a half, and that's what I'm farming on full-time right now. For Atlanta and for Patchwork City Farms, the idea is to see a patchwork of farms and farm spaces and food producing spaces around the city. The other thing that I'm really passionate about, my family's Caribbean and we're from Jamaica, we're from Trinidad. My dad's from Trinidad, my mom's from Jamaica, so I want to be able to then go overseas and go to my family's properties which are just sitting there, we're not doing anything, and transform that. Because, in a lot of tropical places people have kind of moved away from farming as well, and a lot of those communities are very dependent on import. They're importing their food from the U.S., they're importing their food from everywhere, and you're like, you live on a tropical island. You've got a 24 hour growing season. It makes no sense.
Jamila Norman: And so, that's something that I'm really passionate about. Seeing that here, but then also taking that to more developing areas of the world and just doing what I can to grow food man. Grow food and be close to food. I mean, I love farming. It's hard work. It's the best time I have in my life though. I'll just zen out all day, and people are like, "I just see you out there all day." Yeah, that's what I like to do.
Jamila Norman: So, that's what I see in 2028.
Kerry Diamond: Is your product at a farmers market? If somebody wanted to see what you're up to.
Jamila Norman: Yeah, so I used to be at the Grant Park Farmers Market. I used to sell to restaurants. I had a year and a half kind of lull, where I was looking for property because I was leasing, so I'll be back. I'm looking for markets. I'm looking for chefs. I'm starting from ground zero, but it's really good because I'm on stable ground because I own property. So, I'm really excited about launching Patchwork what I call 2.0.
Jamila Norman: The landscape has changed a lot in Atlanta for urban farming. I started in 2009. There weren't as many people. There's a lot more people now. There's a lot more farm to table restaurants, and it's different. It's shifted, and it's a little bit more challenging, but I'm really excited about it.
Kerry Diamond: Well, everybody's here to support you.
Kerry Diamond: Chef Anne, 2028.
Anne Quatrano: Me?
Kerry Diamond: Yes. What do you see?
Anne Quatrano: 2028.
Kerry Diamond: Will it look like the Jetson's around here?
Anne Quatrano: Yeah, we'll all be just drinking our food. We won't have any real teeth, and everything will be coming through a blender and a straw.
Kerry Diamond: No.
Anne Quatrano: No, I don't really believe that. You know what I think what I would love to see is a little more integration between the restaurant world and shelters or place that feed people. Right now it's really difficult. There's a lot of bureaucracy that really interferes with us. We recycle as much as we can by feeding our animals and composting, but it would be really great if our bread could go to a shelter at night. But, there's laws about certain things and it makes it difficult, so I think more integration so that we could really, honestly feed people that can't afford our food would be excellent. I think by 2028 we'll figure that out.
Kerry Diamond: Chef Deborah, get in your rocket ship.
Deborah VanTrece: Me. I live in the dream world. I am all about the under represented. I would like to see more women business owners, more people of color business owners, and a society that embraces the diversity that hopefully by then we as a world have created. There's a lot of women who cook, and unfortunately there's a lack of brick and mortar for so many women, so many people of color, and so I am very hopeful that in the future that we will see more inclusion of women who own their own business. We can get there. I think the respect of diversity, the support of women in positions to go back and pull other women up. Not be afraid that I am the one that's got here and so I don't want anybody else to get here because I'm going to be put out. Let's stop thinking that way and start taking those positions seriously, and understanding once you get that power, what you can do with it, because believe me, the boys have been doing it for years.
Kerry Diamond: Jen?
Jen Hidinger-Kendrick: 2028. I love the question because I'm gonna start with some statistics. Some of my favorite things to put in perspective kind of of our reality. Based off the last year or two, we through research, there's 240,000 restaurant workers in metro Atlanta alone. Any given moment, one to two percent are in crisis. You can imagine how many people that means there is in need during the year. Since our inception, Giving Kitchen has been able to award almost two million dollars to 1,100 members of our community. That's in five years. And, what makes the question of 10 years from now where we see ourselves, I'm most excited to say I've never been more proud of seeing something grow with heart and soul and dedication as I am this community effort. By 2020, the end of 2019, our strategic plan is to be throughout the entire state of Georgia. By 2021, throughout the southeast. Which means by 2028, I hope that we are a nationwide non-profit helping our own.
Kerry Diamond: Great answer.
Kerry Diamond: Alright, Chef Deborah and Chef Anne, let's say Elon Musk or Richard Branson or Marissa Meyer, one of them came to you and said, "I would like you to open the first restaurant on the moon." Would you do it?
Anne Quatrano: I wouldn't.
Kerry Diamond: You said you wouldn't?
Anne Quatrano: I would not. I could send somebody, but I wouldn't want to do it. I like it here. I'm happy here. I know nothing about the moon. How would we even grow anything?
Kerry Diamond: I don't know. I have no idea.
Anne Quatrano: That would be a really big a gap between your product.
Kerry Diamond: You all saw that Matt Damon Movie.
Deborah VanTrece: I would be all about soul food on the moon. I'm not gonna lie. Baby, we would have chitlins, neck bones, ham hocks. I'd be, "Come on little martians, I got something for you."
Kerry Diamond: If I could hang out with these chefs on the moon, I certainly would, and maybe we'll find out if the moon is really made of cheese.
Kerry Diamond: Our show was produced by Jess Zeidman, and supported by Kerrygold. Thank you to our Atlanta host Chef Anne Quatrano of Star Provisions, and thank you to all of our speakers and to the amazing members of the Bombesquad who joined us for this taping.
Kerry Diamond: Thank you for listening to the Future of Food Miniseries. Here's to a delicious tomorrow.