Host Mitchell Davis invites experts from across the food industry and around the world to discuss reimagining culinary education. The aim is to better prepare the next generation of culinarians - amateurs and professionals alike - to understand the richness and complexity of our food culture and to inspire them to strive for excellence in whatever they do. What’s Burning is a production of the Galilee Culinary Institute’s Rosenfield School of Culinary Arts and Jewish National Fund USA.
034: Paul Hobbs - Winemaker
1:01:05Paul Hobbs is a world-renowned winemaker. In 2013, Forbes Magazine referred to Hobbs as “The Steve Jobs of Wine”. He has been twice named “Wine Personality of the Year” by Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. Over his 40+ year career, Hobbs has received more than ten 100-point scores across his portfolio—a rare feat that places him in the top echelon of the world’s winemakers. He graduated from Newfane in 1971, earned his BS in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1975, and MS in Viticulture & Enology from the University of California, Davis in 1978. Regarded as an international visionary for his accomplishments in the vineyard and winery, Hobbs combines his childhood roots on the family farm in Western New York with an innovative scientific approach to refine the art of winemaking. He is recognized across the globe for breaking with tradition and forging new paths in the pursuit of excellence; both in stewardship of the land, and the crafting of wines that represent the purist concept of place – leading the way in the early 90’s as a pioneer of site-specific, vineyard designate wines. Robert Parker notes that “Paul Hobbs is like a good truffle-hunting dog when it comes to finding great vineyards.” In 1979, he was appointed a member of the inaugural Opus One winemaking team joint venture between Robert Mondavi / Mouton Rothschild of Bordeaux. Later, a first trip to Argentina in 1988 marked the beginning of what today has become a highly consequential South American winemaking career. Prominently featured in Ian Mount’s “The Vineyard at the End of the World: Maverick Winemakers and the Rebirth of Malbec,” Hobbs is recognized for his legendary status as the pioneer winemaker who played the leading role in launching the variety’s rise to fame. Today, Hobbs is owner and vintner for eight wineries around the world: Paul Hobbs, Crossbarn, and HOBBS (California), Hillick & Hobbs (Finger Lakes, New York), Viña Cobos (Argentina), Crocus (Cahors, France), Yacoubian-Hobbs (Armenia), and Alvaredos-Hobbs (Galicia, Spain). On this episode, Paul joins host Mitchell Davis to explain terroir, share life lessons learned from winemaking, and discuss finding integrity in the way food is grown. Follow Paul Hobbs and his wineries on Instagram @phwinery, @hillickandhobbs, @crossbarnwinery and Facebook @phwinery, @hillickandhobbs, @crossbarnwine and Twitter @crossbarnwinery. For more on Paul and his wines, visit https://www.paulhobbswines.com/
033: Fruition Chocolate Works - Dahlia Graham – Co-Founder / CEO & Bryan Graham – Founder / Creative Director
1:04:43Dahlia Graham – Co-Founder / CEO, Fruition Chocolate Works Dahlia Graham is the Co-Founder and CEO of Fruition Chocolate Works, an award-winning bean to bar chocolate maker in New York's Hudson Valley that has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Bon Appetit. With her husband Bryan Graham, she sources transparent, high-quality cocoa beans, which are then carefully crafted into dark, milk, and white chocolate bars and confections. Dahlia holds a B.S. in Human Development with a minor in Spanish and International Studies from Binghamton University, and a Masters in Teaching from Pace University. She is a Teach for America Alumna, and previously held the role of Director of Educational Programs at REACT to FILM in NYC. She also founded Corazón de Dahlia, a nonprofit organization that provided education and community development to impoverished, marginalized Peruvian children and families for 10 years. Bryan Graham – Founder / Creative Director, Fruition Chocolate Works Bryan Graham is the Founder of Fruition Chocolate Works and Confectionery. From a very young age, Bryan has been passionate about chocolate, pastry and food of all types. Bryan attributes his interest in the field of baking and pastry to his grandmother, an outstanding baker. During visits to her farm in upstate New York, Bryan learned how to pick perfectly ripe ingredients and transform them into pies, cakes, jams and jellies. At the age of 16, Bryan began an in depth study through a high school mentor program where he became an apprentice at the renowned Bear Café in Woodstock, New York. Within the first week of working beside Executive Pastry Chef Heather Haviland, Bryan confirmed his love for pastry. After showing commitment to the craft and dedication to the restaurant, Bryan was offered a permanent position as an assistant to the baker and Pastry Chef. At age 18, after graduating high school, he took over that role. Five years later, Bryan decided to continue with a formal education at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He completed his externship at Jacques Torres Chocolates in NYC. However, it wasn't until Bryan made a tiny batch of chocolate from bean to bar with Chef Peter Greweling that an interest in the history and science of chocolate and confectionery was sparked. Since, Bryan has educated himself on the science, technique, and craft of chocolate. In 2013, Bryan was named Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine. He and his team continue to be recognized with a multitude of awards including Good Food Awards, Academy of Chocolate Awards, and International Chocolate Awards. On this episode, Dahlia and Bryan join host Mitchell Davis and discuss Cacao’s long journey from bean to bar, the temperamental nature of chocolate, and why every small business should find a bookkeeper they can trust. Follow Fruition Chocolate Works on Twitter: @TasteFruition, Instagram: @fruitionchocolate and Facebook: @FruitionChocolate For more on Fruition Chocolate Works, visit fruitionchocolateworks.com
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032: Gail Simmons - Food Expert, TV Host & Author
1:02:37Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her expertise as a permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series Top Chef, now entering its 20th anniversary season. She was most recently a co-host of The Good Dish, the daily syndicated series offering delicious recipes, real-life wisdom, and conversations on the topics of the day, and was formerly host of Top Chef Amateurs, as well as Iron Chef Canada. From 2004 to 2019, Gail served as special projects director at FOOD & WINE. In February 2012, she published her first book, Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater. Her first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, was released in October 2017. Nominated for an IACP award for best general cookbook, it features recipes inspired by Gail’s world travels—all made with accessible ingredients and with smart, simple techniques for successful family meals and easy entertaining. Gail frequently appears on other daytime television shows such as TODAY on NBC, Rachael Ray and The Talk, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by The New York Post. She is the co-founder of Bumble Pie Productions, and the newest Global Ambassador for Children in Conflict, an international organization committed to protecting, educating and providing critical aid for the world's most vulnerable children affected by war. Gail sits on the board of several other nonprofit organizations and philanthropic endeavors, including City Harvest and Hot Bread Kitchen. She currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy and their two children, Dahlia and Kole. On this episode, Gail joins host Mitchell Davis and discusses what it takes to stand out on Top Chef, the democratization of restaurants, and the importance of being treated with respect in the kitchen. Follow Gail on Instagram @gailsimmonseats, Facebook Gail Simmons and Twitter @gailsimmons. For more on Gail and her work, visit: https://gailsimmons.com/
031: Ivan Orkin - Famed Japan Expert & Restaurateur
1:01:31Ivan’s journey began with a dishwashing job at a sushi bar when he was 15. He discovered a culture and cuisine that would shape the rest of his life. Upon graduating high school, Ivan decided to major in Japanese language and literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After graduating, Ivan immediately moved to Japan to teach English and he quickly cemented his love of everything Japanese. He returned to the US in 1990 and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, and began his culinary training. Upon graduation from the CIA, and stints at Mesa Grill, Lutece, and Restaurant Associates, Ivan returned to Tokyo to live in the country that he fell in love with. He had still never given thought to combining his love for cooking and Japan, but that was soon to change. Ivan was anxious to start a food-related business in Japan but was unsure of which direction to take. He thought about opening a cooking school, a sandwich shop, even a pizzeria. It was his wife’s suggestion that he open a ramen shop. This move seemed destined for failure in a country where ramen enjoys a cult-like status. Incredibly, Ivan not only succeeded but became one of the top ramen shops in Tokyo, an unheard of accomplishment for a foreigner. In 2010 a second shop, Ivan Ramen Plus, was opened. In 2012, Ivan returned to NY with the hopes of opening a business back home, while continuing to operate his two shops in Tokyo. In the meantime, his cookbook "Ivan Ramen" was published. His first venture in the US, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, opened at the Gotham West Market on 600 11th Avenue in November of 2013 to huge crowds and critical acclaim. Soon after, his US flagship, Ivan Ramen opened at 25 Clinton Street on New York’s Lower East Side. Although only Ivan Ramen remains open, it continues to enjoy critical acclaim and has been mentioned in countless magazines, websites, blogs, and television programs. Ivan is widely recognized as the American authority on ramen and all things Japanese. His effortless crossover from American to Japanese cultures has given him a distinct advantage. He speaks fluent Japanese and has a deep understanding of the culture which allows him to present a product that appeals to both Japanese and American audiences. In February of 2017 Ivan was featured in the hit NETFLIX series CHEF'S TABLE, instantly vaulting him into the company of some of the world’s great chefs and restaurateurs. This honor has driven even more fans of ramen to his restaurant, where he continues to serve them his uniquely "Ivan" cuisine. On this episode, Ivan joins host Mitchell Davis and discusses how as an American he became a ramen sensation in Japan, finding wonderful inspiration from horrible restaurants, and why it’s important to have razor sharp knives. Follow Ivan on Facebook @ivanramen, Instagram @ramenjunkie and Twitter @IvanRamenNYC. Get your copies of Ivan’s books: Ivan Ramen Cookbook and The Gaijin Cookbook For more on Ivan and his work, visit: www.ivanramen.com
030: Naama Shefi - Founder & Executive Director of Jewish Food Society and Asif: Culinary Institute of Israel
1:06:48Naama Shefi is a kibbutznik and New Yorker, whose work sits at the intersection of food, culture, community building, and art. In 2017, she founded the Jewish Food Society, which preserves and celebrates Jewish culinary heritage through a digital recipe archive and dynamic events. In the summer of 2021, she launched Asif: Culinary Institute of Israel, a center in Tel Aviv dedicated to exploring the diverse and creative food culture of Israel. Previously, Naama curated programs promoting Israeli and Jewish culinary culture through the hit pop-up The Kubbeh Project and the Israeli Consulate in New York. She also immersed herself in start-up culture as the marketing director of EatWith, which hosts pop-ups in 160 cities. Food, Naama believes, is one of the most profound ways to build community. On this episode, Naama joins host Mitchell Davis and discusses Israel’s diverse food traditions, preserving Jewish culinary heritage, and why rugelach are just as exciting as croissants. Follow Naama on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn @naamashefi. Follow the Jewish Food Society on Facebook and Instagram @jewishfoodsociety & Asif on Facebook and Instagram @asif.tlv. For more on Naama and her work, visit: Asif.org & Jewishfoodsociety.org.
029: Chintan Pandya - Executive Chef / Partner Unapologetic Foods
1:01:43Born in Mumbai, Chintan became interested in the culinary world at a young age. When of age, he enrolled in one of the most prestigious culinary schools in India, the Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development where he trained under the finest chefs from Oberoi Hotels. His professional career began at a hotel restaurant in Mumbai, where he spent eight years in the kitchen learning traditional Indian cuisine and techniques. During this time, Chintan traveled throughout the sub-continent in order to develop a deeper connection with the way locals ate and became well versed in the bold spices and dishes he came across. Eventually Chintan left India for bigger opportunities. His culinary career took him to an extremely diverse set of locales including Singapore, Cleveland, Atlanta, and finally New York. It was in New York that Chintan joined the Michelin-starred Junoon for a brief stint before he met restaurateur Roni Mazumdar in 2017 and became the chef at the modern and upscale Rahi, followed by Adda Indian Canteen for which Chintan was the winner of the 2019 StarChefs New York Rising Star and within a year after Adda opened the restaurant was on the short list to be nominated for a James Beard Foundation award for “Best New Restaurant” Food & Wine Magazine’s "Top Ten Best New Restaurants 2019", Eater National's Best New Restaurants 2019” and Bon Appetit's "Top 50 Best New Restaurants of 2019". In 2020, Chintan was looked at as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards "Best Chef in the NY Region". In 2021 the duo opened Dhamaka, for which Chintan won The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef New York State. The first win in this category for an Indian chef. Dhamaka was also named the #1 restaurant of the year by The New York Times, Esquire Magazine, and one of the top 50 restaurants in the country by The New York Times. Dhamaka was also nominated for the James Beard Foundation “Best New Restaurant of 2021” award. Chintan has also taken cuisine to the next level by partnering with artist Mattia Casalegno in Aerobanquets RMX, a virtual reality experience combining food and fantasy, which took place at the James Beard House, and continues to tour the globe. In 2022, he and partner Mazumdar opened the quick service eatery Rowdy Rooster serving Indian spiced fried chicken for which Food & Wine Magazine named them as one of 16 people and companies changing the way we eat and drink in 2022. The pair will soon open Kebabwala celebrating India’s long tradition of fresh, and flavorful, kebabs which vary across the country, and Masalawala located in Park Slope, Brooklyn featuring regional Indian cuisine. Chef Pandya’s mission is to push the boundaries of what Indian food means in America. He continues to break new ground on an under-appreciated but phenomenal cuisine. On this episode, Chintan joins host Mitchell Davis and discusses Fun Dining vs. Fine Dining, the importance of being financially savvy, and why it’s okay to be shellfish in learning. Follow Chintan on Instagram @chefchintan. For more on Chintan and his restaurants, visit: https://unapologeticfoods.nyc/
028: Fabio Parasecoli - Professor of Food Studies in the Nutrition and Food Studies Department at New York University
52:02Fabio Parasecoli is Professor of Food Studies in the Nutrition and Food Studies Department at New York University, researching the cultural politics of food in the fields of intangible heritage, media, and design. His recent books include: Knowing Where It Comes From: Labeling Traditional Foods to Compete in a Global Market (2017); Food (2019); Global Brooklyn: Designing Food Experiences in World Cities (2021, co-edited with Mateusz Halawa); and Gastronativism: Food, Identity, Politics (2022). On this episode, Fabio joins host Mitchell Davis and discusses the ideological use of food as a political tool, unpacking the meaning of “Food Design”, and teaching students to think differently versus teaching them to do different things. Follow Fabio on Facebook and LinkedIn under Fabio Parasecoli, and on Instagram and Twitter @fparasecoli. For more on Fabio, visit: https://fabioparasecoli.com/
027: Bronwen Percival – Cheese Buyer for Neal's Yard Dairy and Co-author of Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the Fight for Real Cheese (UC Press, 2017)
58:38Bronwen Percival is the cheese buyer for Neal’s Yard Dairy in London. In addition to working with cheesemakers and the company’s maturation team to select and optimize the quality of the cheese they sell, she works to mobilize collaboration between cheesemakers and the scientific community. In 2012, she instigated a biennial conference on the Science of Artisan Cheese. In early 2014, she spent two months in the Dutton Lab at Harvard University studying the role of marine-associated Proteobacteria on cheese rinds. Along with Dr. Benjamin Wolfe, she co-founded the website MicrobialFoods.org, a scientific resource for producers, purveyors, and enthusiasts of artisan microbial foods. She is the co-author, with her husband Francis, of Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes, and the Fight for Real Cheese (UC Press, 2017). On this episode, Bronwen joins host Mitchell Davis and discusses cheese as a cultural artifact; coming to grips with the environment, sustainability and changing diets; and the importance of asking awkward questions. Follow Bronwen on Instagram: @bronwenpercival. For more of Bronwen’s work and cheese, visit: https://scienceofartisancheese.com/, https://microbialfoods.org/, https://www.londongastronomyseminars.com/, and https://www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk/
026: Clay Williams - Photographer & Co-founder of Black Food Folks
59:10Clay Williams photographs food, drinks, and the people and places that define food culture. Over the last 15 years his adventures have taken him on road trips through Argentina and South Louisiana. They have found him hanging off the back of food trucks from Paris to The Bronx. He has sweat it out in tight kitchens with Michelin-starred chefs and wandered through fields of livestock with butchers and chefs seeking the origins of the meat and produce they purvey. And in the last two years, he's documented how the pandemic has impacted the people, restaurants, and communities throughout New York. Most recently, Clay's work has allowed him to photograph the food and stories of James Beard Rising Star Chef Kwame Onwuachi and Gullah Matriarch Ms. Emily Meggett, whose cookbooks were released in Spring of 2022. When he's not on set shooting cookbooks, you can find him on assignment for The New York Times, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and The James Beard Foundation. In 2019, Clay co-founded Black Food Folks, a platform for professionals working in food and food media. The organization has provided a space to connect, collaborate, and share stories within the community. From 2020 through 2021, Black Food Folks hosted over 200 live conversations among members of the community and provided over $85,000 in grants to Black-run organizations in food and food media throughout the country. Most recently, Black Food Folks has launched a podcast, Black Desserts, currently in its second season. If Clay isn't behind the camera, he might be behind the stove cooking at home or out exploring local gems around the world. He lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with his wife, Tammi Williams, a textile artist and founder of Yarn & Whiskey. Clay is available for assignments and projects in New York and Philadelphia, and is happy to travel further afield. He is a member of @DiversifyPhoto. On this episode, Clay joins host Mitchell Davis and discusses the changing depiction of food in photography, the need to build trust with ones subject, and the importance of anticipating a shot and framing it before it happens (especially in the kitchen!). Follow Clay and his work on Twitter and Instagram: @ultraclay and Clay Williams Photo on Facebook. To see more of Clay’s work, visit: claywilliamsphoto.com
025: Dominique Ansel - Chef/Owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery & Workshop
57:36James Beard Award- winning Pastry Chef, Dominique Ansel has shaken up the pastry world with innovation and creativity at the heart of his work. Chef Dominique is responsible for creating some of the most fêted pastries in the world, including: the Cronut® (named one of TIME Magazine’s “25 Best inventions of 2013”), The Cookie Shot, Frozen S’more, Blossoming Hot Chocolate, and many more. He is the Chef/Owner of eponymous bakeries in New York City and Hong Kong, and has been named the World’s Best Pastry Chef by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. He is also the recipient of the Ordre du Mérite Agricole, France’s second highest honor. Perhaps what has been most widely been reported on is Dominique’s creation of the Cronut®, his signature croissant-doughnut hybrid pastry that first launched at his eponymous Bakery in New York in May 2013, soon becoming the world’s first-ever viral pastry. Within hours, photos of the Cronut® spread across the social media sphere, and a single blog post about this brand new pastry was linked to over 140,000 times in just the first day. Within days, guests visited from all around the world to line up for blocks around the bakery, rain or shine. Taking two months and more than 10 different recipes to perfect, the Cronut® isn’t simply croissant dough that’s been fried. Made with laminated dough that has been likened to a croissant (but instead uses a proprietary recipe), it's first proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronut® is 1. rolled in sugar; 2. filled with cream; and 3. topped with glaze. The entire process takes three days to complete. Today, Cronut® pastries are available only at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York, with the flavor changing every month, never repeating. In its first year, TIME Magazine named the Cronut® one of the “25 Best Inventions of 2013,” and it has since appeared in the news across the world, from Good Morning America to the The Today Show, ABC’s The Chew, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Live with Kelly & Michael, CNN’s Piers Morgan Live with Anthony Bourdain, E! News, Bloomberg, and more. It has also been featured on TV shows like Modern Family, The Mindy Project, Jeopardy!, Two Broke Girls, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Gilmore Girls, and others. But before the Cronut®, a time that our very first guests refer to as B.C. (“Before Cronut®”), it all began years ago from humble beginnings. Growing up in a small town in France just north of Paris, Dominique never set out to become a chef. At the age of 16, he began working at a local restaurant in order to help support his family. There was a free culinary school in his hometown, so he enrolled in their apprenticeship program, first as a savory cook and then as a pastry cook. It was the precision and scientific nature of pastry that appealed to Dominique immediately, and from then on, he knew what he was meant to do. At age 19, Dominique went on to complete his military service in French Guyana in South America as part of a community program teaching locals how to cook. Upon returning to France, he used all of his savings to buy a beat-up car and drove to Paris, dropping off resumes at any bakery he could find. He later landed at the legendary French pastry shop, Fauchon, as one of 30 seasonal holiday workers. He was told only one employee would remain at the end of the season, and when the time came, he was the one they chose. Dominique stayed with Fauchon for nearly eight years, eventually leading international expansion, traveling the world opening new shops. In 2006, Dominique moved to New York City with just two suitcases to serve as the Executive Pastry Chef of Daniel Boulud’s renowned restaurant Daniel. During his six years there, the restaurant earned its coveted third Michelin star and a four-star review from The New York Times. In November 2011, with a team of just four employees, Dominique opened Dominique Ansel Bakery on a quiet Soho street. Serving both sweet and savory items with pastries reigning supreme, the bakery became a neighborhood destination and was named Time Out New York’s best bakery and Zagat’s highest ranked bakery in the city. Signature creations like the DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann) and made-to-order Madeleines quickly became guest favorites. It wasn’t until May 2013 that a new creation Dominique deemed the Cronut® launched, putting this small Soho shop on the map worldwide. The Bakery became the birthplace of more new creations and internationally beloved inventions, from the Frozen S’mores to the Cookie Shot, Gingerbread Pinecone, Christmas Morning Cereal, Blossoming Hot Chocolate and more. In 2020, Dominique launched Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel in Hong Kong, featuring a capsule collection of brand new pastries created exclusively for Hong Kong, made-to-order specialties, and classic French viennoiserie. 2021 brought the launch of two new shops: a new location of Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel opened in June 2021 at H Queen’s in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central neighborhood. And in July 2021, Chef Dominique launched Dominique Ansel Workshop, a croissant counter inside of his Flatiron NYC kitchens, with a menu celebrating all things viennoiserie – from classics reimagined to old-school French recipes recreated with a modern twist. Coming up in Fall 2022, Chef Dominique will be opening his first shop in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. Dominique Ansel Las Vegas will feature a number of his signature creations as well as a collection of brand new pastries made just for the city. Dominique published his first cookbook, DOMINIQUE ANSEL: The Secret Recipes (Simon & Schuster), in October 2014, featuring a number of signature recipes from his flagship Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC. His second cookbook, Everyone Can Bake, debuted in April 2020, with his favorite go-to recipes for bases, fillings, and finishing so readers can mix-and- match and create endless possibilities of delicious desserts at home. Outside of the kitchen, Dominique is a dedicated supporter of various charitable organizations, including the fight to end hunger with Food Bank for New York City, City Harvest, and God’s Love We Deliver. In the Cronut®’s first year alone, he helped to raise over $100,000 by auctioning off just 24 Cronut® pastries. On this episode, Dominique joins host Mitchell Davis and discusses the backstory and beyond the Cronut®, the importance of not giving up easily, and why it’s best to work for people you believe in. Follow Dominique on Instagram @dominiqueansel For more on Dominique and his work, visit: www.DominiqueAnsel.com