Summary: Hello beautiful people! Welcome to Food & Wine Pro's weekly Communal Table podcast. Chefs and restaurant workers take great care of everyone else, but often they need a little help themselves. Each week, Food & Wine’s senior editor Kat Kinsman talks with hospitality pros about how they manage their business, brain, and body for the long haul. Some of our very special guests include Samin Nosrat, Angie Mar, Seamus Mullen, David Chang, Pete Wells, and more. Subscribe now.
Marcus Samuelsson is many things to many people: boss, mentor, inspiration, champion, friend, adoptee, immigrant, author, and chef. But perhaps most key is his role as a good neighbor in and ambassador for his beloved community of Harlem. Samuelsson spoke lovingly of the people (especially Leah Chase, who died just days after this was recorded, and Patrick Clark who Korsha Wilson loving profiled in the July issue of Food & Wine) and places around the globe who have helped him discover where home truly is.
For many years, Billy Durney's career as a bodyguard for some extremely famous clients took him all over the world, but being at home with his family was increasingly what fueled his fire—especially in the wake of 9/11, when he suffered significant loss and developed PTSD. In 2012, Durney was close to opening Hometown BBQ when disaster struck again in the form of Superstorm Sandy. It devastated large swaths of his Brooklyn neighborhood—including his restaurant—but Durney and team took to the sidewalks to feed the community. Now, the celebrated pitmaster is learning to take care of his own wellbeing, one meditation session at a time. Learn more about Billy and Hometown BBQ: https://hometownbbq.com/menu/ Follow Billy on IG & FB: @hometownbarbque
For nine years, Laurie Woolever kept Anthony Bourdain on schedule, co-authored their book, and generally structured her life around his needs. On June 8, 2018, everything changed. In a raw, candid conversation, Woolever talks about life in the aftermath of his suicide, his cultural impact, her own journey to sobriety, and what a good self-care day looks like. http://www.lauriewoolever.com Twitter: @LaurieWoolever, @bourdain gatekeeper emeritus Podcast: @carbfacepod Appetites Cookbook: https://amzn.to/2JX8580
In 2018, Vallery Lomas was all set for stardom. The avid blogger had taken time off from her job as a lawyer to train and compete on The Great American Baking Show—and she won. But the network only aired one episode of her season, and she was left without that public victory to propel her baking career or her book proposal forward. Still, she took the leap, left her law firm to bake full-time, and the bitter has since taken a turn to the sweet. The proud Louisiana native shared the story of her love affair with pastry, finding the courage to follow her dream, and why it matters that she wears her natural hair in front of the camera. IG: @foodieinnewyork https://www.foodieinnewyork.com/
In 2013, Jason Vincent's life changed in the course of a phone call. Food & Wine called to tell him that he'd been selected as a Best New Chef, and suddenly he was thrust into the spotlight. For a while, it burned him up. Vincent made the decision to step away from restaurants for two years to take care of his mental and physical health, and that of his growing family. Now he's back in the game as the chef-owner at the much-beloved Giant in Chicago, and making a priority of creating a healthy work environment for his staff—so much so that Food & Wine came calling once again when Giant was included in the inaugural class of Great Restaurants to Work For. Vincent opened up about the ongoing challenges of staying well in a dangerously demanding industry. Web: http://www.giantrestaurant.com/ IG: @giantchicago @chefsspecialchicago Twitter: @eatgiantrestaurant
Restaurateurs talk about having skin in the game, but for Sam Hellman-Mass, the situation was more literal. In the buildup to opening Suerte—one of Food & Wine's 2019 Best New Restaurants—he had a stress-exacerbated allergic reaction to a medication that caused his whole body to turn red and his vision to be impaired for months. Still, he persevered, and from its inception, Hellman-Mass and executive chef Fermín Nuñez have set a culture at Suerte that puts the mental and physical wellbeing of their team and community first—all while making some simply masterful masa. During the recent SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, Hellman-Mass sat down for an early morning chat about the sometimes scary shift from chef to owner, and how Suerte takes care of their own and the community around them. https://www.suerteatx.com Ig @suerteatx F&W Best New Restaurants: https://www.foodandwine.com/travel/restaurants/best-new-restaurants-2019
Yasmin Khan isn't afraid to delve into the tough stuff. Growing up around a dinner table with an Iranian-born mother and Pakistan-born father who met as activists in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, politics were definitely on the table. A career fighting for international human rights was a natural evolution for her, but there was an even more direct way to bring some humanity to an often overwhelming and abstract cause. After her first cookbook The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen earned Khan a devoted following, she decided to take on an even more daunting task—documenting the people and recipes keeping the traditions of Palestinian cooking alive in her new cookbook Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen. In this intimate conversation, Khan opens up about the challenges, barriers, and personal stresses that went into creating this extraordinary document. http://yasminkhanstories.com/ Twitter @yasmin_khan Instagram: @yasminkhanstories
The public may best know Bryan and Michael Voltaggio from their fiery Top Chef face-offs, but by the time the brothers appeared onscreen, they'd collectively logged a couple of decades working in kitchens. They learned plenty from their lean years—how to survive in New York City on $300 a week, find their voice while cooking for other people, and be part of a team—and now they're the ones calling the shots. As their latest co-venture, Estuary in Washington D.C., opens its doors, the brothers reflect on their mentors, their working relationship, and the measures they take to stay balanced and healthy.
Julia Sullivan is a person perpetually in forward motion. After tenures in the notoriously demanding kitchens at Blue Hill Stone Barns and Per Se, Sullivan returned to her hometown of Nashville to open her own restaurant Henrietta Red, which opened to tremendous acclaim and earned her a spot on the 2018 Food & Wine's Best New Chef roster. But that sort of work, focus, and hustle comes at a cost, physically, socially, and mentally. The Food & Wine Chefs Cycle team captain isn't slowing down, but she is taking a moment to figure out how to find a better balance for the long road ahead.
New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells holds one of the most storied positions in journalism, and it comes with a massive helping of responsibility, physical demands, and expectations from readers and restaurateurs alike. Wells (who does his best to maintain anonymity) sat down to talk about the history of the job, its tolls and rewards, and what he hopes that chefs understand about his reviews—even when they're negative.
Kwame Onwuachi is learning when to stop and take a deep breath. In the last few weeks alone, he's been named a Food & Wine Best New Chef and a James Beard Rising Star finalist, and published a stunning memoir called Notes from a Young Black Chef. In the midst of all the accolades, he's still at the helm of Kith/Kin, the much-celebrated restaurant that he opened in the wake of the very public and swift closure of his first solo outing. This might seem like a lot all at once, but Onwuachi has been training and hustling since he was a tiny child in his chef-mother's kitchen, and he's ready to step into the spotlight—he might just need a nap first.
His Michelin-starred restaurant Aldea is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, but George Mendes has been working his way through some of the world's most prestigious restaurant since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1992. He's seen a major shift in kitchen culture along the way—and in his own attitudes toward self care. The 2011 Food & Wine Best New Chef sat down to talk about the importance of mentorship, friendship, biking, and being an ambassador for Portuguese cuisine.
David Chang isn't sleeping much these days. It was never his strong suit, but with a new baby, an ever-expanding restaurant and market empire, and a media company to oversee, rest is even more elusive. That doesn't mean that he's abandoned all self care, though. If anything, he's more determined than ever to manage his own mental health and talk about it for the good of the industry, even if it's the last thing on earth he wants to do. The Momofuku Group and Majordomo Media founder sat down to talk to Food & Wine senior editor Kat Kinsman about managing his wellbeing—with a few lessons from Star Wars. Chefs and restaurant workers take great care of everyone else, but often they need a little help themselves. Each week on the Communal Table podcast, Kinsman talks with hospitality pros about how they manage their businesses, brains, and bodies for the long haul. Is there a topic you'd like to know more about or a guest you'd love to hear from? Tell us at email@example.com or tweet to Kinsman @kittenwithawhip. https://www.foodandwine.com/chefs/communal-table-podcast-david-chang
Seamus Mullen has been to hell and back. An autoimmune condition, coupled with a hard-driving chef lifestyle, brought him to a physical and emotional low point that he—and his doctors—weren't sure he could come back from. But then he turned to food. It had been the center of his career, but it turned out to be what saved his life and let him thrive. The author of Hero Food and Real Food Heals sat down to talk about truly listening your body and nourishing it on every level. IG: @seamusmullen Web: http://www.seamusmullen.com
You may think you know Angie Mar from her ultra-luxe Instagram feed, or maybe you've had the pleasure of indulging in a meal at her inventive, over-the-top restaurant, The Beatrice Inn. But the 2017 Food & Wine Best New Chef wants you to know about the blood, sweat, tears, and terrifyingly lean times that led up to her buying this classic property and pushing its legacy forward. And that has an awful lot to do with the way she hires, and how she mentors her team. Mar sat down with Food & Wine Senior Editor Kat Kinsman for a from-the-heart chat, and you're welcome to pull up a chair.