The Future of Food: Dallas 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 Chicago to Detroit to Birmingham, and lots of places in between, to ask women what the future of food means to them. Throughout this series you are going to hear talks and panels that we recorded on each stop. You'll hear from cake artists, executive chefs, food activists, and farmers. 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. 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 traveling to Dallas, Texas. Our event was held at The Adolphus, a beautiful historic hotel located in the heart of downtown Dallas. We're going to kick things off with baker Sam Cade of Cade's Cakes. She most definitely sees buttercream in her future. Before we get this show on the road, let's check in with our sponsor.
Kerry Diamond: Since Kerrygold gave us the opportunity to travel around the U.S. 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.
Kerry Diamond: One of the cheeses we love in particular is the award-winning Kerrygold Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse Cheese. So 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: And she started experimenting in my granny's jam pan. Originally she made hard cheddar-style cheeses, and then she thought, "Well why not have a bit of fun and add a bit of spice in there?" And 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 ground-breaking 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 it where you can purchase any of their award-winning cheese and butter. That's kerrygoldusa.com.
Kerry Diamond: Let's welcome baker Sam Cade.
Sam Cade: So hi, my name is Sam Cade of Cade's Cakes and obviously here to talk about the future of food but for me personally, when I wanna talk about food, I really can only talk about cake. I eat, sleep, and breathe cake all day, everyday. And this really all started with a major sweet tooth. And I know a lot of people say they have a major sweet tooth, but no, no, no, I have a major sweet tooth. I get Mustang Donuts every Friday, if you know you know. And I also eat cake for breakfast everyday. With black coffee, it is just the perfect way to start my day. So this sweet tooth is something to be dealt with.
Sam Cade: So you combine that with a knack for anything creative that tends to be on the messier side. Any arts and crafts project, really just anything that makes a huge mess. You put those two together, that's pretty much cake decorating.
Sam Cade: It all started, I've worked everywhere from just your typical bakery to a waffle dessert food truck. I worked there when I was down in Austin attending the University of Texas and I soon began to discover that millennial birthday cakes, I didn't realize this was such a thing. These tended to be shaped. I don't know why I thought I could do shaped cakes, because I was just starting, and they also were typically alcohol focused. Hence, your twenty-first birthday cake, a lot of bottles, a lot of drunk Barbies, that kind of thing.
Sam Cade: So two years down in Austin went by like a complete blur. I was attending business classes somewhat and baking cakes on the side and somewhat trying to maintain a social life, and by the end of it, as you can predict, I dropped out of school and took my last accounting final, thank God, and started French pastry school in New York two weeks later.
Sam Cade: So pastry school pretty much just confirmed everything I already knew, in that I don't have the patience for bread baking or chocolate making. I wish I did, but I really just love cake. Any cake. I got my absolute dream job at Momofuku Milk Bar. I was so excited, it was the best of the best. And the thing about Milk Bar, if you don't know it, look it up, literally right now, I don't even mind. It's the coolest. And the thing with Milk Bar is it's mass production. You seriously make hundreds of cakes at a time and the mixers are taller than I am, and I'm very tall. So just try to picture that.
Sam Cade: But with all this mass production I missed doing the one-on-one cakes that I did down in Austin. I missed that one-on-one customer interaction, and the custom orders. So before I knew it I moved back to Dallas, which is where I'm from, to start doing custom cakes.
Sam Cade: So that's a little bit about me, and you can kinda realize how I got literally right here, but now let's talk actually about cake.
Sam Cade: I think my view on cake is probably a little different than you would expect. So I think we can all agree the birthday cake is so timeless, like everyone has memories of a birthday cake. Like the concept probably of, like, cheers, few things are as universally celebrated as a birthday with some kind of version of a cake. But as we all know, everything is getting upgraded and although the birthday cake is so intertwined with tradition, it needs to be upgraded like everything else. We're competing like everyone else.
Sam Cade: To me, competition isn't really what you would expect. It's taken me I guess five years of making cakes to realize that everyone has a birthday, and birthdays are 365 days of the year, so there's plenty of birthdays and birthday cakes to really go around for everyone. So you're not really, I don't even think of, like, competing with other bakeries or other bakers as much of a thing. I feel like now, in 2018, in any food industry, you're kind of competing with things like pop cultural performances or social stunts. Everyone's trying to be the wow factor of the night.
Sam Cade: So really, what I mean by that, to put it in more simple terms, is I want any cake to be the most Instagram aspect of an event. I want it to be the most virtually shared.
Sam Cade: This sounds like a little aggressive. How are we gonna do that with a birthday cake? It's just a cake, it doesn't matter.
Sam Cade: So let's back up. I really thing that it's about, like, balancing a mix of competition and inspiration from things like food trends, artists on the rise, pop culture icons, and fashion movements. Really anything like that. The best example is my most popular cakes are my food cakes. And if you're like, "what the hell is a food cake?" It's anything, anything you want it to be. It's like your favorite food turned into a cake. So I've done everything from like a Whataburger cheeseburger for 300 people, to a sushi board, to an oyster platter, meat and cheese spread, pancake stack, I'm sure you can find your favorite food on there.
Sam Cade: This kinda cake is a direct correlation to where I think the consumer's mindset is today. If you look through your Instagram feed, what is on there more than anything else? It's probably food. And I know this crowd's Instagram feed is filled with food. So I think cakes like that are just like perfect represent that.
Sam Cade: If you can find the balance, for me, I think of balancing inspiration and competition with the categories I mentioned before, and then also you just need to add in that personal element that's direct to that customer or consumer. That's when you get the magic, that's when you get the Instagram, that's when you get the virtual share.
Sam Cade: Little things like this, I feel like every time I look at my e-mail, I seriously get a crazier request. I don't know where people get these ideas. I think it's from like Pinterest and TV shows and who knows, but everyone seems to be trying to order something crazier than the last. If they're not trying to beat their cake they ordered last year from me, they're trying to beat the cake their friend ordered last week. I seriously have people e-mailing me being like, "I need to change it immediately." It's pretty funny, and dramatic, I think it's unnecessary, but it's fun. It keeps my day-to-day interesting.
Sam Cade: So yeah, so I feel like now in any aspect, people don't always want the best seller, or what's the most popular they see, they want something that's completely custom to them, and just totally unique and one of a kind.
Sam Cade: So really as I'm baking, there's a few questions I ask myself pretty much everyday. I'm like, "How can the cakes I make today be different than yesterday?" And, "What trends am I most excited for tomorrow that I can infuse today?" And, "What are people doing in other industries and how are they setting the social media bar so high?" I don't like to look at cakes or other food industries, I like to go completely out of the box.
Sam Cade: So things like that keep my day-to-day interesting and really keep baking cakes different every single day. I know that sounds like it can get repetitive but it's really, every day's different.
Sam Cade: I've made about 20-30 cakes a week and I also got D Magazine's best birthday cake two years in a row. I'm pretty convinced they just created that category, I think they just created it to get free cake at the event to add to the open bar, but it's fine, I'll take it. I'll take it.
Sam Cade: So it's been, I've had an amazing time here in Dallas. And I just think it's important to keep the mindset I've developed here of, like, constantly creating, evolving, and looking around so that I can add on to the inspiration and definitely the competition that's gonna be waiting for me. So, wish me luck. We'll see how it goes.
Kerry Diamond: We couldn't agree with Sam more. Past, present, future, birthday cakes will always be a thing. Be sure to check out Cade's Cakes on Instagram. You will not believe what Sam does with some cake, frosting, and food coloring.
Kerry Diamond: Next up are chef Uno Immanivong, of Chino Chinatown, and her daughter, Emma, who is a Chopped Junior contestant, a high school student, singer, model, and actress. They talk about their mother-daughter relationship, and what they think the future of food is.
Uno Immanivong: I think a lot of people tried to talk me out of it. I can't tell you how many chefs and restaurateurs like, "You absolutely do not want to do this. You've lost your mind." I think my mom cried for like three days when I told her I'm leaving Peking. She's like, "Why would you do this?" It was tough.
Uno Immanivong: So at the ripe old age of 36 I decided to leave Peking, a really great career, to pursue my passion for cooking. People say, you start cooking and you think, it's just a hobby until you start getting paid for it, then it becomes redundant and it becomes a hassle, and it's like, you're stressed out, but it's been five years and I still love it because I get to inspire people everyday, I hope. And more than anything I get to become a role model for my daughter because, you know, the future of food is truly sharing the love. Because when I grew up, I watched my mom cooking and I was just like, you know, I had to define what love is first of all, and love is happiness. When you think about love you think, "oh my gosh," your heart flutters, you get butterflies.
Uno Immanivong: When my sister and I would entertain at home, we would have friends over and we would just plan this exquisite menu and it didn't matter if we burnt the cake or whatever, it's just like, we made food for somebody and there was happiness in it. And so trying to figure out how to put that into a program that actually made money, because it's really tough. And so, that's what was... trying to figure out the recipe was, and doing that.
Uno Immanivong: And fortunately I met an amazing partner, Trinity Groves, that gave me half a million dollars to open a restaurant called Chino Chinatown and I really didn't know what the heck I was doing and thankfully, somebody shared the love with me to teach me and mentor me along the way because it was the School of Hard Knocks. I was learning hospitality. I thought, you know, training 300 people across the country that's remote and they're all commission only is so much easier than having 20 people under one roof trying to cook a dinner for somebody, right?
Uno Immanivong: No, I was so, so wrong and Emma was nine years old at the time.
Emma Immanivong: Yes, and you were there all the time.
Uno Immanivong: All the time.
Uno Immanivong: I remember too, it's like, you know, I would have nights and weekends with her and my schedule was absolutely the opposite of that so, I'll let you give your perspective of how we spent our time together.
Emma Immanivong: Basically, I would go with her on the weekends and on the weekdays 'til late at night. Like really late at night. I even worked the hostess booth. People were like, "How old are you?" It's like, "I'm like, nine," you know, it was cool.
Emma Immanivong: But we still found time to steal moments together, like in between working we would walk to a nearby sushi restaurant and have some lunch together. Just fun stuff like that or even like working in the kitchen together and just kind of small stuff. Especially because being there all the time, you really have to find time for each other because otherwise we're just, it's no fun.
Uno Immanivong: It was and so, at one point I said, "Emma, do you love hosting?" Because the first person she sat was Phil Romano and he slipped her a hundred. She's like, "Oh I love hostessing!" But nobody else tipped her and she's like, "Ah, I don't know if I like this anymore." So she ended up in the kitchen and she was making up little wontons and she found it really therapeutic. And actually from that she grew to liking cooking aspect of it and ended up on Chopped Junior and I really tried to talk her out of it. I was like, "When you go on there, that means the pressure's on me to teach you how to cook." And so, with that said, I think she's a much better cook than I am, to be honest and so, tell us about your training on that.
Emma Immanivong: The training was fun. So like, obviously I tried training with her and that did not work out.
Uno Immanivong: It's like teaching your kid to drive. Who does that, right? Like, you just get annoyed.
Emma Immanivong: Yeah, it was hard. But our solution was to work with other chefs. Which was great because they all have different skills. So in Trinity Groves I worked with a bunch of different chefs from a bunch of different restaurants, so Chef Terrance taught me how to sear the perfect fish. Chef Gianni and Tita taught me how to make floating meringue and a bunch of other desserts. Chef Jay Valley taught me how to do a bunch of knife cuts, and even Chef AQ who's here tonight taught me how to make my own tortillas and that's kind of a cool thing that I got to use later on because I have all these little things I know how to do now that I can use to teach others or I can use to make food for others and that's also sharing the love.
Uno Immanivong: What was Chopped Junior like? How did you do?
Emma Immanivong: Oh, I was runner up. I like, burned something in the last stage.
Uno Immanivong: Okay so let me tell you how ambitious she was. She gets to the last round and I can see what's going on and I'm just really nervous and she's... I can't talk to her. In between things she's crying because she's so competitive, right? But the last thing was dessert and she wanted to do a floating meringue. I can't do a floating meringue. It's egg white that's whipped and one of the desserts was an ant candy lollipop?
Emma Immanivong: Yeah it was like a Jolly Rancher.
Uno Immanivong: She wanted to make a simple syrup with it. The heat was too hot so she burnt the sugar, and then she put the egg white in and she scrambled it. I was like, "oh, my gosh." And it was like, who were your judges?
Emma Immanivong: Alex Guarnaschelli, Kimberly-
Uno Immanivong: From Big Town, Little Town?
Emma Immanivong: And Sharone Hakman. Kimberly Schlapman and Sharone Hakman.
Uno Immanivong: That's it, you're so good with names. And she made this dessert and then she put some chiffonade of basil on top and some blueberries. I was like, "oh, my god, it's burnt."
Emma Immanivong: I did not know what to do.
Uno Immanivong: And then she called it a breakfast scrambled dessert. And I was like... And they ate it, like, "Oh this is so great,"
Emma Immanivong: I was freaking out.
Uno Immanivong: They knew I was back there, "Her mom must have taught her how to use herbs."
Emma Immanivong: No, I was freaking out. I turned around and I was like, I did not think the heat was that high. It's not like the stove at home. I turned around and I was like, "oh no, that was all my candy," and they were like, "You can ask Sabrina for help," and I was like, "No. I am winning by myself. Like, I am not gonna use somebody else's food."
Uno Immanivong: So yeah the host goes, "You know she has candy over there, why don't you borrow some of her candy?" She goes, "Absolutely not. Out of my own integrity I am not taking her candy because I'm gonna win on my own accord. I burnt my candy, so I'm gonna use it." So she had a little bit of a charred taste.
Emma Immanivong: It was still fun
Kerry Diamond: That might be in one of these days.
Kerry Diamond: Do your friends in school have moms who work?
Emma Immanivong: Yes, but I don't think any of them work as long and hard as my mom.
Kerry Diamond: How do you think it's shaped you in terms of what you think you might want as a career one day, your attitudes about work?
Emma Immanivong: So, because of experiencing that I am probably not gonna be in the restaurant business.
Uno Immanivong: Let's be honest here.
Emma Immanivong: It's fun and I love working with my mom, and cooking is a big hobby of mine, like, I don't know, maybe I would open up a small bakery one day. Who knows? But seeing my mom, it's such a hard business. But whenever I grow up, I've always been more of a... I love cooking food, I love cooking food. But I like eating the food probably just as much, which is saying a lot. And that's why one of the things I wanted to do was be kind of like journalist food critic type person because I like writing about things. I would say I'm pretty opinionated so whenever I was real young I went to a bunch of the Fork Fights in Trinity Groves, which was between all of the restaurants, and I would just eat it and make my own little food reviews which lead to different stuff like being on Good Morning Texas or going on KFDFW for kid food reviews. So that's probably one thing I would wanna do when I grow up, but I mean I guess I'll see. I have a lot of hobbies.
Uno Immanivong: Still trying to figure it out.
Kerry Diamond: What year are you in? You're a junior?
Emma Immanivong: I'm a freshman.
Kerry Diamond: You're a freshman, oh, my god. She's only a freshman. Well, you've got some future ahead of you. If you had to tell us what you think the future of food is, what would you say?
Emma Immanivong: The future of food? But I had the same answer. We talked about this together.
Kerry Diamond: That's a good answer, that's a good answer.
Uno Immanivong: Copy-catter.
Emma Immanivong: No! Yeah, sharing the love. I mean, some of my happiest moments were just learning to cook from other people, cooking with my mom, cooking for my family, watching people's faces when they experience it. It's a good experience.
Kerry Diamond: Well thank you both. It's really an honor to meet both of you and I hope we get to see you in New York
Uno Immanivong: Thank you guys for having us.
Kerry Diamond: Thank you.
Emma Immanivong: Thank you.
Kerry Diamond: Thanks to Chef Uno and Emma for sharing their story and sharing the love.
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. And we've loads of small meadows on the farm and loads of hedgerows, the cows out in the fields, I've also got ponies and dogs and hens and all the things you'd expect to have on a farm.
Sarah Furno: We live on the farm so we want to keep it a nice environment to be in.
Kerry Diamond: And, in addition to the beautiful landscape, Sarah also has one of the best commutes.
Sarah Furno: So our farmhouse is in the middle of the farm, and then I don't have to go very far to work. I've only got to go just across the farmyard 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: Welcome back. We had such a fun time hanging out with the Dallas Bombesquad. They really are a wonderful supportive group. Let's meet our panelists: Chef Anastacia Quinones of Tacos De Tacha, Aliza Kilburn of Come Back Creek Farms, cake maker Lo' Michelle of Sweet Thangs by Lo' Michelle, Janice Provost of Parigi Restaurant, and Chef Misti Norris of Petra and the Beast.
Kerry Diamond: When you think about the future of food, what is the first thing that comes to mind for you? What is the most important thing?
Anastacia Quniones: What you're doing, hopefully will impact our future, when that's farming and sustainability. I was recently married and I acquired a stepdaughter. My daughter pretty much eats whatever I eat, forcibly. Like this is what you're getting, there's no other pot and pan in the kitchen. You're eating what I eat. So my stepdaughter is not quite as easily convinced. So we've had to kind of work towards that.
Anastacia Quniones: I think for the future I want parents to help educate their children's palates. And that, a lot of that comes from picking our own produce and picking our own, you know, using things that are sustainable and in season. You know, not having watermelon in December but at the peak of its time which is June, July, August. Taking our kids to the farmers' market, going to the gardens, and teaching our children, really educating them, really what, the food that comes to our table, where it comes from, how it's made. That's how I grew up, I know that's how a lot of us grew up, and I really want to see our future kind of grow from that.
Kerry Diamond: So Aliza, you are the future for so many of us, so tell us what the future is for you.
Aliza Kilburn: This is a good segue coming from AQ. My thought is that the future of food is at home with home cooking. And so, you know, she talked about education, and educating the next generation, but also ourselves.
Aliza Kilburn: So I'm originally from Dallas, now live in rural east Texas, and we really do live in a food desert out there. We have very limited options of where we can shop. We have Walmart and then Brookshire's which is a local grocery store. We are getting an Aldi which people are really celebrating.
Aliza Kilburn: And so with our small food co-op, The Farmer's Wife, that was really, people knew my husband and so we were trying to sell direct to our customers out there and some of them more familiar with the CSA concept, but also as part of the food co-op we had a retail brick and mortar store and a lot of people are coming in, you know, they know about kale because it's popular, they see it on the Food Network, they're watching the cooking shows a lot, but they're not actually doing a lot of cooking at home. They're coming into the shop kind of looking for something in a box that's labeled gluten-free or that's labeled vegetarian, but they don't actually know what to do with the raw ingredients. And we also see that at our farmers' market booth, and my husband and I are going to different markets both in the city, and it's actually changed in the city for us in the last couple of years, but also in the rural areas which is people are approaching our table saying, "I'm here for kale, where's the kale? Here's the kale. I can't wait to go home and juice it."
Aliza Kilburn: Well that's wonderful to juice your kale, but it's also wonderful to remove the leaf from the central stem and chop it and saute it with some garlic and olive oil, build that flavor up, make a soup from it, massage it into a salad, etc. But people in our increasingly busy and digital world are removed from sort of the often mundane, sometimes solitary act of cooking for themselves and feeding themselves.
Aliza Kilburn: So a lot of us might still remember growing up in the kitchen witnessing that act that is mundane, let's face it, that is lonely sometimes when you don't have a date and your girlfriends are out. But it has to be done. We have to feed ourselves. So for me, thinking about the future, it's wonderful to have so many, particularly in the city, fresh options, right? We have some really wonderful fast casual restaurants that are doing things fresh and using real food ingredients and sourcing local and small, but ultimately it won't replace what you can do in your own home. And also just the education you get just in shaping your palate, you know, what do I like? What is too salty? What is it that I love at my favorite Thai restaurant? Oh, that's a sauce made from coconut milk and it's got fish sauce and sambal.
Aliza Kilburn: You know, we've got to make this kind of a part of our everyday lives so that we can know who we are, and what our own hunger tells us, you know. And ultimately that's the best way to have relationship with your family, with your friends, with your partners, with farmers, with ranchers, etc., and to take what you love about eating out at the Whole Foods salad bar, or at your favorite restaurant, but bring it into your house.
Aliza Kilburn: So that's what I think.
Kerry Diamond: That's great. So I'm really curious to hear from you what you think the future of food is.
Lo' Michelle: Well the future of food for me is definitely life. And what is life without good cake? So traditionally I'm a southern woman. I'm raised by very strong southern women. And when we think about life traditions it all centered around cakes. Sam talked about her celebration cakes and her birthday cakes. But in the southern tradition you bring a cake for every event whether it's a funeral, if your girlfriend got a divorce, or if you just don't know what to bring, your gonna bring a cake in that traditional Tupperware.
Lo' Michelle: And so that's kinda how I got my start. I wanted a grand super sweet 16. MTV was very popular when I was back in high school. My momma says, "No, no way, how are you gonna do this?" I said, "I'm gonna raise money." How are you gonna do it? I'm gonna sell cupcakes at school.
Lo' Michelle: And so that's traditionally how I got my start. After college when my first job didn't pan out to be that big paying job that we most think that we're gonna have, I relied on cakes. When I had a layoff, cakes were there and they were my backbone. What I saw and what I experienced, that there was a lot of people making cakes, but not a lot of people making good cake. And a lot of people were misinformed on what good cake tasted like as well.
Lo' Michelle: So I wanted to get back to basics, back to my southern roots to get real tradition, full butter, fat cake. And so that's where I started, that's where I started.
Lo' Michelle: So my typical client is gonna be someone who really loves cake, who is really more concerned about what's inside their cake and the ingredients and those southern traditions or those memories that they had growing up to make their day special. So I do specialize mostly in wedding cakes and so my contribution to the industry is for that client or that bride that wants a beautiful cake but also a bride that wants something that tastes as good as it looks.
Kerry Diamond: Alright, Janice. So, future food for you?
Janice Provost: As you mentioned, my restaurant's actually been there for about 34 years and I think part of the secret of its success is the fact that we stayed true to our roots. So while you sit in the now, while we're talking about the future, I also think looking to the past and the things that have been successful for us are what keep us, that neighborhood bistro, keep people coming back, that type of thing, listening to what people want. You know, kind of making sure that you are in tune with them. If there's something they don't like, being aware of that. Being able to take the criticism constructive or otherwise, and then taking that information and turning that into something that's gonna make your client, your customer happy. I think that's what builds a business and makes a business stay successful.
Janice Provost: I was thinking about this question all day today and one of the things that I love about food is that it's the one thing that does bring us together. So I don't know, I think I created a new term and I'm gonna like call it mine right now, and I'm gonna read you my little quote I wrote because this is really how I feel about it is that, food is the one thing that we all have in common. It brings people together regardless of your race, your culture, your religion. I like to think of it as social nutrition. We need more of that. Sharing, talking, listening, and spending time together all over a great meal.
Janice Provost: So social nutrition's my word. If you are, seriously, it doesn't matter, we all eat. It's the one thing we all have to do. That and breathing, you know? In our politically charged climate and all these... I feel like we need to do more of that and what better way than breaking bread together? Breaking cake together, whatever it might be, and that's kind of my take on it. So hopefully that is the way we continue to proceed.
Kerry Diamond: Wow, social nutrition is genius. Alright, Misti.
Misti Norris: I don't know, I've got a couple of different things that I kinda see going on. I mean, kind of goes along with a lot of what everyone else has already said. Especially, you know, the farm, and I think that's something that's gonna be a lot more prevalent in the future. Very soon I think it's gonna be, restaurants are just gonna be using farms. Like that's just not a thing anymore. You know what I mean? We build our relationships with these farms, you know, a lot of it... I love working with small farms personally at our restaurant because I feel like we grow as they grow, you know, and it's all about sustainability and it's about supporting your community.
Misti Norris: So I think that's a huge thing and another thing I think is really cool is that there's so much more education now that I've seen that has... I've been cooking for 15 years so I started when I was... 17, I'm sorry, I started when I was 15. And from when I came up it was like, just go, you know, and that mentality of like, you burn yourself out, you have to work harder than anyone else to prove everyone else wrong.
Misti Norris: But now, you know, there's this self-care thing going on, but there's this whole new movement going on that's super cool and then there's this no waste, you know... but also building those relationships with your farms you're like, "Hey, how can I help you out? What are you heavy on?" You know what I mean, someone's like, "Oh, I have a ton of chicken hearts." Cool, I'll take it. You know what I mean?
Misti Norris: So I think the education with that goes between the farms, the restaurants, to your customers. And I think there's this huge movement of very cool, very influential chefs that are really pushing and pushing the culture and the public and also other chefs. I mean there's StarChefs, there's MAD, there's Philly Chef Conference. There's all these really awesome conventions now that are allowing people... or making it very public about, you know, making less of a footprint in fermenting and, you know, I did FARFA a few weeks back and that was really interesting to see farmers kind of finding another outlet and by doing that they started fermenting and making pickles and doing all these things that all these chefs are doing as well.
Misti Norris: So yeah I think the future of food is going in a really cool direction currently. I think it's going really hard on education, but that's between the farmer, chef, and your guest and customer. And I think also like the whole self-care being aware of what you need to do so you can do that, so you can educate and can learn and can keep going.
Kerry Diamond: It is remarkable to see the conversation so quickly switch over to self care in terms of chefs and just over the past two years things like Kat Kinsman, who started that website Chefs with Issues for people in the food world who are facing issues related to addiction and mental health. A lot of chefs have announced their sobriety, which is a very big deal. Are you able to take advantage of what all this conversation is about?
Misti Norris: Yeah, well, what I think is helping... I mean it's never gonna be an overnight like, oh cool I'm gonna take off a week and a lot of us are like, "no, it's impossible, are you crazy? I can't shut my doors for a week." But I think what it does, it gives you a foundation. Like say, we've been doing this for so many years, a lot of us, and I grew up in the environment of it's cool to get stuff thrown at you and to be called all kinds of names and you're like, "yeah, whatever," and you go home crying every night and you come right back.
Misti Norris: But personally... okay, not everyone deals with it, I love chaos, and I love abuse, I don't know what it is, but I think what Kat did especially, she opened forum for people to publicly share, this is what I'm going through and a lot of it's very influential people that you notice on the site. So I'm not saying that overnight your gonna be like, "You know what, I really need to totally transform, do all this." But I think what it does, it takes that... when you take a day off, it takes that shame away. Because I think that's what a lot of it is, it's anxiety and shame of like, no I feel really bad because I took a day off.
Misti Norris: So I think this is starting to be like, no, you shouldn't feel bad. You have to do this. So hearing all these other people talk and post about it, it's like, oh cool, this person is going through the same exact thing that I'm doing so I should not feel bad about taking five hours off and then going off or just taking the whole day off and just saying, "You know what, tomorrow I'll deal with whatever," and that's impossible. I was talking to my fiancé today. I decided to take yesterday off but now I'm super behind and I'm like, "Shit!" I need to go back, it's gonna be a late night, but it's fine. Because I had a whole day to just, like, sit there and do nothing. Literally do nothing. And that's okay, you know. But I feel better about that knowing that there are other people that are really making strides to make, you know, self-care, mental health, a main focus. Because if we're messed up we can't teach anybody. We can't pass on anything, we can't do anything if we can't even think.
Misti Norris: So I think it's super important to really try to make an effort to do that for yourself.
Kerry Diamond: One of the questions I had asked everyone on the panel is to project ahead ten years to the year 2028 which seems like it's a million years away, but it's really not. So AQ we're gonna start with you because you're sitting right next to me. 2028, where do you see yourself?
Anastacia Quniones: Ten years I hope to have a restaurant, eventually, but my husband is also a chef and he is in the process of opening his second restaurant with a third one the following year, so hopefully he will retire me onto a beach. And I'll be done.
Kerry Diamond: I have been waiting for someone to say, "A beach."
Anastacia Quniones: We'll go to a beach in ten years.
Kerry Diamond: We'll hang out, hopefully. Alright, Aliza.
Aliza Kilburn: In ten years, what do I hope to be doing? I hope that in ten years our farm is truly sustainable because of our business from our chef customers but also from the public and that we just have that direct relationship so, you know, farming is volatile and we don't know from year to year, and obviously we're dependent on mother nature, and this and that, but if the demand remains consistent, then we know we always have something to aspire to and work towards so I'm hopeful for that.
Kerry Diamond: And you know AQ is gonna be on the beach somewhere and you can always visit her so you don't need your own beach necessarily. Alright, Lo' Michelle.
Lo' Michelle: So the future for me, so wedding cakes is a little bit different sell than a typical retail bakery, so I really want to tap into more of my southern roots and do like a tea room slash tasting room, so hopeful in ten years I'll have my first location open.
Kerry Diamond: I love that. We'll write about that as soon as you get that open.
Kerry Diamond: Janice?
Janice Provost: So I'm 50. I just turned 50 this July, thank you.
Kerry Diamond: Did you have a millennial birthday cake?
Janice Provost: I did not but I would like one and while you were talking I was listening, because I can multitask, and I was looking at your cakes, and what are the... Bugles? Did you... that Bugle thing is just... I mean I don't even like Bugles I was just like, what? This girl is... she's got mad... and 27 thousand social media people following you on Instagram, I mean I'm just like, okay, we need to talk. This is...
Janice Provost: Okay, anyway. So, and my husband's ten years older so he is probably gonna retire before I do. My goal would be actually to have someone that comes within the restaurant that works with me that would be kinda like I was where they can take it from me and we can work together and transition and do a nice hand off so that the tradition of Parigi stays the same, and it's somebody that's like-minded that gets it, all of those things that I said earlier, that they continue it and then they've got the money to buy it. And then I kinda wanna be Paula Lambert when I grow up because she's go the life. She travels and does food tours. Italy, she's, where is she right now?
Kerry Diamond: Morocco?
Janice Provost: You talk about me being an O.G.? I'm no O.G. I'm like the N.G., the new girl, I don't know what that would be. I seriously did Urban Dictionary it and see what O.G. was not this time.
Janice Provost: But no, Paula is... She's been doing... making cheese. She's been doing everything we've been talking about about knowing your sources, knowing... She's been doing it since 1984. And after 34 years of doing it... maybe '82... After this many years of doing it, she's rightfully deserved, and she's built a team that understands and knows how her business operates, and she's got great people in charge so that she can go and do this other part of her life, which is her passion, of travel. And I went as her assistant one year, and just so you know, assistant Steven Piles was also one of her assistants, so it's like a really cool thing to get to do. And we went to Tuscany. And the woman knows Italy as well as she does Dallas. She just... anyway she goes everywhere she's one of the most intelligent human beings as well and so entertaining, so funny, and so I wanna be Paula Lambert when I grow up and I wanna... in ten years that's what I'd like to be.
Janice Provost: And write a cookbook. I do wanna write a cookbook that is on my list, sorry.
Kerry Diamond: Write a cookbook, oh yeah, absolutely.
Kerry Diamond: Misti.
Misti Norris: I guess in ten years I hope to be on vacation, finally.
Misti Norris: No, but I would love to have... I have a couple more places already in planning to open that all focus on different kind of... different things whether it's a shop or it's purely based on, you know, preservation, hopefully I'd love to have... We do a lot of charcuterie, we get whole animals in, I'd love to have somewhat of a distribution thing going on, Only working with local stuff, you know, that kind of thing. But, I mean, yeah, I have no idea where I'll be in ten years.
Janice Provost: You didn't talk about your other passion.
Misti Norris: Comic books? Oh yeah. I wanna open a designer toy and comic books store. But like, graphic novels. I love graphic novels. Horror novels, in particular. So also, yes, I... that's definitely gonna happen.
Kerry Diamond: Is there a way to combine food and comics?
Misti Norris: Yeah probably, I mean, yeah we'll figure it out. I've thought of a couple of different things.
Janice Provost: I wanna see if there’s, if there's anyone who can figure it out, it would be Misti, back to what Uno had said earlier about being able to embrace learning from people and sharing with people...
Janice Provost: I hired this one because her plating skills are out of this world. And so she came in with our team for about a week and we went through the swooshes, we went through kind of like, how to make our presentations a little bit more current. And one of the things she said to me was, "Don't think inside of the box. Just cause the tomato is shaped that way, think about different ways, and your used to slicing it this way or dicing it this way. Think of other ways that you can do it." So if there's anyone that can make food and a comic book store work, it would be Misti Norris.
Anastacia Quniones: Misti's also the only person in the world that I know that can make anything inside of a paper boat look amazing. Like, if you just scroll in a little bit you couldn't even tell there was a paper boat. And somehow, she does it.
Kerry Diamond: You've got a lot of fans, Misti, that's obvious.
Kerry Diamond: From social nutrition to self-care, it's all about taking care of ourselves and others. We felt very well taken care of in Dallas, as everyone was so hospitable. The team at the Commerce Boutique at The Adolphus Hotel threw us a reception after the event, Sam Cade brought us a delicious Cherry Bombe cake decorated with drawings of our cover girls, if you can believe that, and then Chef Janice invited all of us to her Parigi restaurant for dinner. We got to see Chef Janice bring her social nutrition concept to life. And we also got to try her famous peach cobbler and chocolate glob cake. She said her customers would revolt if she ever took this unique and popular creation off the menu.
Kerry Diamond: Our show was produced by Jess Sideman and supported by Kerrygold. Thank you to all of our speakers and to the amazing members of The Bombesquad who joined us for this taping.
Kerry Diamond: Special thanks to Libby Callaway of The Callaway, and the team at The Adolphus Hotel.
Kerry Diamond: Thank you for listening to The Future of Food miniseries. Here's to a delicious tomorrow.