Foodie Interviews

//Foodie Interviews

Interviews with food professionals

Chadwick Boyd

For our visit, Chadwick Boyd whipped up a batch of biscuits and served them warm with salted butter and grapefruit-thyme jam. This month, you can catch him making these quick breads on the big (AKA movie) screen in "Reel Food," his 4-minute cooking and entertaining segment that precedes the trailers in many theaters nationwide. Screenvision Media launched this series last fall, with each episode running a 4-week cycle. They've already commissioned Chadwick through June. Smart idea for sure, encouraging moviegoers to get there early enough to catch the pre-entertainment show. While spreading some jam on the tender biscuits, I learned that Chadwick helps organize International Biscuit Festival. How fitting, I [...]

By | March 28th, 2017|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Suzen O’Rourke

Suzi O’Rourke was ahead of her time. In the 80s, she created a cooking club where she sent kitchen-tested recipes to friends, saying the first one to respond got their choice of which to make! Her dinner parties were such a success she ended up with a waiting list of friends wanting to attend. She then realized she might have just have a business concept — Cooking by The Book was born. That business — located in Tribeca — morphed from those dinners into a culinary corporate team building experience. Suzi's clients from Fortune 1000 companies learn to work together in her new state-of-the-art equipped kitchen and dining room. Suzi [...]

By | March 1st, 2017|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Cathy Cochran-Lewis

I recently reconnected with Austin-based Cathy Cochran-Lewis, the global marketing programs coordinator for Whole Foods, when I was headed to her city for a mini-sibling vacation. I wanted to pick her brain about where to eat, knowing she'd have fabulous recommendations as she's so involved in her city's culinary activities. When we spoke, Cathy reminded me that we first met at the Greenbrier resort (West Virginia) at the then Symposium for Professional Food Writers where she also first met Julia, as Julia and I were both presenters. Our paths have crossed umpteen times since then. We both served on the board of the International Association of Culinary Professionals; she served [...]

By | February 8th, 2017|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Nathalie Dupree

I met Nathalie Dupree — a multi-talented food professional — many decades ago in Ashville, North Carolina on a chicken original (3074) trip. That was when the then National Chicken Council hosted food editors on yearly press trips to teach us about the industry. Nathalie actually got married during one of those trips, as I and two other editors stood up for her as her bridesmaids on the beach in Jamaica. Best known for her approachability and her understanding of Southern fare, Nathalie is a best-selling author with 14 cookbooks and more than 300 television shows. She's a productive food professional having been the Founding Chairman of the [...]

By | January 3rd, 2017|Foodie Interviews|2 Comments

Florence Fabricant

If you're a New York Times reader, you'll recognize the name Florence Fabricant. She's one of their longtime food and wine writers, who contributes the weekly Front Burner and Off the Menu columns. We first met at a table on the ocean-view terrace of Beechwood (Astor) Mansion in Newport, RI with Jeremiah Tower and his crew on the lawn grilling our lunch. It was an Ocean Spray cranberry event in the 80s. Florence has written 12 cookbooks, including The New York Times Dessert Cookbook (St. Martins Press), The New York Restaurant Cookbook (Rizzoli) and The New York Times Seafood Cookbook (St. Martins Press). Now that I'm a full-time New Yorker, [...]

By | November 25th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Devin Alexander

When 15-year old Devin Alexander tipped the scale at 200 pounds, she decided to do something about it. By the time Devin left for Smith College she had trimmed down. Devin has maintained her own 70-pound weight loss for over 20 years, turning the nondeprivational way she did so into her successful career. Devin lives and eats her message —  you don’t have to deprive yourself to be fit and healthy. Devin is the author of 8 cookbooks including “The Biggest Loser Cookbook” Series and “The Most Decadent Diet Ever." She's appeared on numerous national TV shows and has been featured in magazines, including Prevention, Men’s Health and Shape. Today, [...]

By | August 29th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Alison Awerbuch

Alison Awerbuch grew up in a home where her mom read Gourmet and enjoyed entertaining — creating a menu, setting the ??????????????? stage, preparing the food and serving it with style. This upbringing planted the seeds that grew into her catering career. It wasn't, though, until half way through college that she realized those passions. She finished college with a business degree then headed to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) for another. Her first job was at Abigail Kirsch, then a small catering company in Westchester. More than 25 years later, Alison is still with the company — only now she's a partner, running and expanding the [...]

By | August 15th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Maria Loi

When Maria Loi and I met in 2013 on a French wine crawl that stopped at her then Upper West Side eponymous restaurant, she mentioned that she felt we'd met before. After chitchatting, we discovered that we actually may have met in the 70s on the Greek isle of Hyra! I stopped by her year-old restaurant Loi Estiatorio in Manhattan — where she's the executive chef — recently to learn more about her beginnings. I knew she had written more than 35 cookbooks (including Ancient Dining, the official cookbook for the 2004 Olympic Games and her most recent The Greek Diet HarperCollins 2014), cooked for President Obama at the White [...]

By | July 18th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

David Bonom

You may not recognize him, but David Bonom is the face behind many of recipes you might use. He develops these creations Marge Perry David Bonom Love, Lobster, Strawberry Cupcakes Cookbook for myriad food companies and — along with his food-writing wife Marge Perry — has a regular column in Rachel Ray Every Day. If  you're one of those who can't sleep, you might catch him cooking on ABC's World News Now, an overnight television news program airing during the wee hours. David and I met umpteen years ago at one of the many press events we both attended. With me as his agent, we also worked together for [...]

By | July 3rd, 2016|Foodie Interviews|1 Comment

Sara Moulton

My first memory of meeting the talented Sara Moulton was at the Good Morning America set in the 90s. She was working in the GMA kitchen as their executive chef prepping for the food segments; I was appearing in my inaugural network spot to promote Rice, my first cookbook. We worked together many times after that as I did numerous GMA food trend segments. Our paths would then cross on press trips or at media events, as the food community during that era was quite small. But Sara's food career began long before her GMA days when she was associate chef for Julia's Julia Child & More Company TV show [...]

By | June 5th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Darra Goldstein

I ran into Darra Goldstein recently at the James Beard Foundation Media awards; I was a judge and her latest book was nominated. Funny, as we first connected long, long ago when I — as a newspaper food editor — judged the then Tastemaker Awards and her first cookbook A Taste of Russia, was nominated for that award. Darra and I later met at a Stolichnaya vodka event at The Russian Tea room when she was consulting for the restaurant and a spokesperson for the vodka. I recall her teaching us how to chug that libation while keeping a clear head. Be sure to first have some bread slathered in butter!  [...]

By | May 22nd, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Kerry Heffernan

I first met Kerry Heffernan when he was the executive chef of South Gate, which at that time was at the Jumeirah Essex House; today it's a Marriott. Sadly, I missed him cooking at Eleven Madison, where he had opened that restaurant as Executive Chef and eventually become a partner before heading to South Gate. Kerry is currently chef at Grand Banks, the seasonal oyster bar and galley on the deck of the Sherman Zwicker, an historic cod fishing schooner moored at Pier 25 New York. The floating "oyster barges" that lined Manhattan's waterfront in the 18th and 19th centuries inspired this restaurant that serves up sustainably harvested oysters, ingredient-driven [...]

By | April 10th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Dana Jacobi

Like many of us in the food business, Dana Jacobi has followed her passions and has been doing what she loves for decades. She started her food career as an unpaid kitchen worker in France; Dana says that she’s “the first woman to apprentice in several French 3-star restaurants.” I met Dana a bit further along in her career when she was working at Prodigy  — one of the first online consumer services. That's were her writing career began, with one of first food blogs. Beginning in the late 80s, she penned  The Bytable Feast, an online only food column. Since then she’s written 15 cookbooks, including the most recent The [...]

By | March 27th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|1 Comment

Charlie Marshal

I met Charlie Marshal last fall at a holiday event where he was sampling root beer popcorn balls, ones that ended up on the pages of In Style magazine. Soon after that, I visited his farm-to-table eponymous restaurant in Hell's Kitchen and became impressed with his emphasis on cooking locally, seasonally, and sustainably. He is passionate about all this as he grew up in the business — on his family's farm and in their restaurant on Lummi Island, WA. The Marshal was just received three stars from the Green Restaurant Association and was awarded NY Wine & Grape Foundation’s Restaurant Award. Charlie's currently working on opening a yet-unnamed wine bar [...]

By | March 13th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|1 Comment

David Ransom

David Ransom's career in the wine business began when his parents and brothers collectively decided to buy the Rivendell Winery in the Hudson Valley. That was the mid-80s. Today he's a wine and spirits writer, speaker and educator, whose work can be seen in print (Tasting Panel Magazine, SOMMjournal) and on the web (The Connected Table, InsideFandB), and heard — along with his wife Melanie Young — on radio (The Connected Table, Live!). When we spoke recently, he was preparing to fly to Houston for a TV spot on wine. I had to ask, what he likes best about his current career. He chuckled, “When someone says, ‘I’ve read you [...]

By | February 28th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Eric Kayser

Eric Kayser was in town to promote the opening of his first Maison Kayser in Brooklyn (57 Court Street). Luckily for him, that visit coincided with a contest for NYC's best baguette that was held late last month at the Sofitel hotel. I was at that contest, sampling crusty baquettes and specialty breads from more than a bakers' dozen bakeries, who were the finalists of French Morning’s readers’ poll. The bakers' breads were pitted against each other in a blind juried tasting to win the title of Best Baguette in NYC. Eric Kayser's baguette was crowned best — both the public's and jury’s choice. So when I posed our Guest [...]

By | February 14th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Brian Lewis

I first met chef Brian Lewis when I was invited to dine at the elm, his former restaurant in New Canaan, though I had sampled his cooking prior to that. He was the executive chef at actor Richard Gere’s The Bedford Post Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property. I had been impressed with his unusual blend of flavors and textures and gladly followed him to his newly opened The Cottage in Westport. (A review of that meal will post later this month.) Brian was raised in New York (Westchester) and studied at the Culinary Institute of America and Johnson and Wales University. He, his wife Dana and their twin boys [...]

By | January 31st, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Marci Izard

I first met Marci Izard when she was a traffic reporter for WTNH in New Haven. She's come a long way since then with stops anchoring in Springfield (MA) and reporting and hosting cooking and mindfulness segments in Houston (TX). Marci currently writes her blog (Marci's Table) for the Houston Chronicle's chron.com, launched her own site (marciizard.com) and published her first cookbook, "Nourishing Your Whole Self: A Cookbook with Feelings" encouraging her readers to become more aware of how food makes them feel. We spoke to Marci recently, and asked her to respond to our Guest Foodie questions. - bonnie BonnieBOTB Follow @BonnieBOTB Which food product or gadget would you [...]

By | January 18th, 2016|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Sara Jenkins

I've known about Sara Jenkins since she was quite young, as her mom Nancy Harmon Jenkins — a noted food writer/authority and professional colleague — had boasted about her daughter as all mom's do. Following in Nancy's love of Italian food, Sara opened two restaurants in Manhattan. Porchetta, a storefront in the East Village focusing on the Italian roasted pork, typically sold as street food, and Porsena, a sit-down casual-style restaurant with a changing menu focusing on authentic Italian pastas. Sara grew up all over the Mediterranean — as her dad was a foreign correspondent — spending much of her time in Tuscany where her family still has a home. [...]

By | December 7th, 2015|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Joanne Lamb Hayes

My two sons — Bryan and Eric — know how famous Joanne Lamb Hayes is for her gingerbread houses. When they were quite young, this dear friend — and cookbook co-author — orchestrated a workshop for one of each of their birthday parties. Their friends still talk about it. Joanne teaches these “Gingerbread House Workshops for Children" annually during the holiday season at the James Beard House and has for 22 years. At the class, the children go from dough to a completely constructed, frosted, decorated, candy-covered and cellophane-wrapped gingerbread house ready to travel in just 3 hours. This year she will be teaching her workshop twice on Saturday, December [...]

By | November 9th, 2015|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

François Payard

François Payard has baking in his blood. He's third generation, as his maternal grandfather owned a pâtisserie, his dad took that over and both he and his brother are pastry chefs. François is the owner of FP Patisserie and François Bakery in NYC and a former pastry chef at Le Bernardin, Restaurant Daniel and Le Cirque. In 1995, he was named The James Beard Foundation “Pastry Chef of the Year.” Two years later, he opened his own bistro on Lexington Avenue, which is where I first met him. He closed that place after 12 years when the landlord doubled his rent when his lease ended. Speaking with him recently on the eve of [...]

By | October 26th, 2015|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Karen MacNeil

I first met Karen MacNeil more than a decade ago when she was part of the teaching team at the Brown-Forman Center for Global Wine Education that I attended in Mendocino County, California. During the seminar, we learned to taste, building our own wine-tasting memory while understanding the subtleties of terroir, vineyard, and vintner. After tasting well over 100 different wines, we could identify wines by grape, country of origin and more. Karen had warned me that to continue to be able to do so, I needed to constantly train all the time, educating my palate by tasting a variety of wines all the time, as she does. Karen, who [...]

By | October 14th, 2015|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Abigail Kirsch

When researching the first sous chef awards that Michael Anthony won in 2001, I discovered that that's where I met the amazing Abigail Kirsch. We were both judges along with Alain Sailhac, who was at the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center) and Paul Barrett, who was Bertolli's communications manager. I knew of Abigail's eponymous catering company, but wasn't aware of how it began. She shared the story of her beginning by teaching cooking in her Chappaqua kitchen. Her neighbor complained about too many cars in her driveway, he told the town board and they told her to stop. Abigail took it to the New York Supreme Court who [...]

By | September 13th, 2015|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Michael Anthony

When dining recently at Untitled at the new Whitney Museum of American Art, executive-chef and director Michael Anthony stopped by the table to say hi. I had met Mike long ago at the now defunct Bertolli Sous Chef awards. It was in 2001.  I was a judge; he was the first winner with his roulade of chicken stuffed with Swiss chard and mushrooms. That same year he was named one the “Best New Chefs” by Food & Wine magazine. From then on his awards and accolades haven't stopped! In 2003 under his leadership, Blue Hill at Stone Barns received a three-star review in The New York Times, and in 2005 [...]

By | August 17th, 2015|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments

Jimmy Bradley

Earlier this summer, a friend took me to The Red Cat for my birthday, and owner Jimmy Bradley noticed us and came by to give my friend big hug. At the end of the meal, having heard about our celebration, Jimmy sent out a decadent chocolate dessert with a lit candle. Nice touch. I've learned that's Jimmy's style. Or I should say, The Red Cat's style. They work at making you feel special, so you'll return. I did so a week later with my visiting niece to discover the menu had changed. The fresh peas that were offered the week before, were no longer fresh enough for Jimmy to keep [...]

By | August 2nd, 2015|Foodie Interviews|0 Comments