Terroir Pop-Up 6: Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz of The Gefilteria

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Today’s episode is one of the pop-up episodes of AnthroDish which focus in on some of the speakers and guests of the 2019 Terroir Food Symposium. These are quick mini episodes that capture some of the perspectives of folks in the food industry around the theme of choices – the choices they make within their own work and its impact on their communities, businesses, and selves. 

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Today mini-episode features Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz, two of the co-founders of The Gefilteria. Launched in 2012, it’s mission is to reimagine eastern European Jewish cuisine, adapting classic dishes to the values and tastes of a new generation. Jeffery and Liz believe that Old World Jewish foods can be beautiful, inspiring, and delicious. They produce limited runs of their signature artisanal gefilte fish each spring and fall, cooking a wide range of Jewish foods from the Ashkenazi culinary tradition for unique dining events.

They seek to inspire others to reimagine and rediscover this incredible cuisine in their home kitchens. While they don’t have a storefront, they host tons of classes and experiences in their community around Brooklyn and worldwide, and have a brilliant cookbook called the Gefilte Manifesto. Jeffrey and Liz are so delightful to speak with, and the conversation that unfolded is one that I still think about on a fairly regular basis! 

Learn More About The Gefilteria: 

51: Organic Agriculture and Farming in Urban China with Dr. Sacha Cody

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Organic agriculture is a term we hear and use an awful lot, but do we stop to think about how complex and fascinating different organic farming systems are? This week's guest, Dr. Sacha Cody speaks with me today about organic agricultural movements in China, framing them as a form of exemplary agriculture. Sacha is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. 

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Australian-born, Sacha has spent the last 17 years in Asia, mainly across Greater China, working with senior executives at multinational corporations and decision makers in government in decision making and strategy building. Sacha has diverse research interests, he’s spent 18 months ethnographically immersed in China’s organic food movements, 14 months consulting with Huawei, China’s global telecommunications firm, and published articles on China ranging in topic from consumerism and corporate culture to exploring the role of the countryside in China’s modernity.

We explore some of the key discussions from his recent book, Exemplary Agriculture: Independent Organic Farming in Contemporary China, and explore some of ethnographic work within the organic food world of China, and some of the interesting and important tensions and relationships between urban and rural sectors of such a diverse country. 

 Connect with Sacha 

 

Terroir Pop-Up 5: Jesse Baillie from Top Shelf Distillers

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Today’s mini episode is a pop-up live from the 2019 Terroir Food Symposium in Toronto this past may. It features Jesse Baillie of Uncle Jesse Cocktails and Brand Ambassador for Top Shelf Distillers. Top Shelf Distillers was born in Perth Ontario, and crafts spirits from locally sourced natural ingredients, with a tree being planted for every bottle sold. I spoke with Jesse about how Top Shelf works with communities to create their spirits, and he shared some really fascinating information about the history of moonshine in Canada as well. Jesse’s one of those people who’s passion for their work immediately shines through, so I hope you enjoy learning from him as much as I did!  

 If you’re suddenly in the mood for a drink after this episode, he was kind enough to share a cocktail recipe with you listeners, which you can find below! You can find Top Shelf Distiller products across LCBOs if you live in Ontario, or on their website below.

Get Social With Jesse! 

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50: Being a Girl in the Kitchen with Katy Osuna

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A topic we’ve hinted at in earlier conversations on the show is what it feels like to be a women working within the restaurant industry, but it’s one of those conversations that deserves a much deeper exploration, and today we’re doing just that. My guest this week is Katy Osuna, the co-creator and host of the James Beard Award-winning podcast, Copper & Heat. The podcast explores the unspoken rules and traditions of restaurant kitchens, and challenges exclusionary systems that have traditionally gone unquestioned.

A James Beard Award-Winning Podcast… No big deal!

A James Beard Award-Winning Podcast… No big deal!

 Katy herself is formally trained as both a cook and an anthropologist, with a Bachelors in anthropology and sociology. She then worked at a non-profit training refugees and others with barriers to employment in the food industry and helped them find jobs in Boise, Idaho. She left Boise for San Francisco to pursue the culinary arts and has been working in the restaurant industry for seven years, 2 of which were spent as a chef de parti at Manresa, a three Michelin star restaurant. In 2018, she left Manresa to start her podcast.

 This podcast quickly became one of my absolute favourites to listen to on commutes in 2019. Copper & Heat launched their first season, Be A Girl, in July 2018, which was a serialized narrative of Katy’s story about being a woman working in Michelin-star fine dining restaurants around the San Francisco Bay. In the series, she has conversations with friends, family, coworkers, line cooks, prep cooks, and other kitchen employees about the challenges of being a woman in the industry and the pressures that traditionally masculine kitchen spaces create for the people that work in them.

 We speak today on how she takes an anthropological approach to telling these stories of women in the kitchen on her podcast, and discuss her super awesome win at the James Beard awards this past year, exploring whether or not that’s changed her connection to the show and the stories she wants to tell in the future.

Get Social with Katy!

Terroir Pop-Up 4: Ghille Basan, Food Anthropologist and Writer

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This pop-up episode is live from Terroir 2019 in Toronto, with writer, broadcaster, and fellow food anthropologist Ghillie Basan. Based out of the Scottish Highlands, Ghillie has worked in different parts of the world as an English teacher, ski instructor, cookery writer, restaurant critic and journalist. She has a degree in Social Anthropology and a Cordon Bleu diploma, which, along with her passion for different culinary cultures has culminated in over 40 books! Some of these have been nominated for the Glenfiddich, Guild of Food Writers, and Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards.

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Ghillie’s most recent book is called Spirit and Spice through Kitchen Press, and was released this past May. She has a reputation for being a spice expert, and hosts whisky and food pairing experiences in her traditional barn by creating flavour toolkits and global menus for Chivas Whisky and Captain Reserve. As a host to many international guests, Ghillie won the Highlands and Islands Innovation in Tourism Award in 2017. In addition to her truly incredible writing and tourism, she is also the creator and host of her own podcast, Spirit and Spice with Ghillie Basan. It’s always a nice treat to be able to meet other food anthropologists out in the real world, and this conversation with Ghillie was pretty special to me – despite many differences in our lives and our paths, there was that core passion for exploring culture through food, and experiences of motherhood while being anthropologists that really resonated with me. 

Learn More About Ghillie! 

 

Sometimes the choices you make happen because of circumstance.
— Ghillie Basan

Terroir Pop-Up 3: Chef Selassie Atadika of Midunu

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In this pop-up mini episode I chat with the brilliant Chef Selassie Atadika, live at Terroir Food Symposium 2019. Selassie spent over a decade engaged with humanitarian work with the United Nations and years of self-teaching in the culinary arts before she went on to complete course work at the Culinary Institute of America. She is a founding member of Trio Toque, the first nomadic restaurant in Dakar, Senegal.

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In 2014, Selassie brought her innovative approach to African cuisine back home with Midunu, a nomadic and private dining experience in Accra which embodies ‘New African Cuisine.’ Midunu celebrates Africa’s cultural and culinary heritage, aiming to create experiences where culture, community, and cuisine intersect. With an eye towards biodiversity and sustainability. Midunu employs local, seasonal, and underutilized ingredients including traditional grains and proteins to deliver Africa’s bounty to the table.

Chef Selassie’s cuisine has been features at a State Dinner and the James Beard Foundation in the US. In addition to her incredible culinary visions, she also holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. Her ability to bring together her humanitarian, academic, and culinary knowledge into Midunu is incredibly inspiring, so I can’t wait for you to hear what she had to say! 

Listen in the player above, or download on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher!

Learn more about Chef Selassie: