This week’s guests: Jessamyn Rodriguez & Gail Simmons.
After devoting herself to a career promoting Human Rights, Jessamyn Rodriguez landed in New York in 2002, earning a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University, and then had an idea. She would start a baking coalition that would empower immigrant, low-income women by teaching English and business management classes alongside technical baking skills. The now thriving Hot Bread Kitchen makes over $2 million a year in just bread revenue, proving that a social mission with a good product can succeed in today’s market. Heritage Radio Network recently chose Jessamyn as one of our 100 Future Food Leaders for her innovative and inspiring work on the advancement of Human Rights.
“New Yorkers are craving authentic stories and foods across cultures.” [10:07]
“I was the first woman that had ever been hired in the bakery at Daniel and that was a huge feather in my cap to go out and talk about Hot Bread Kitchen.” [26:45]
—Jessamyn Rodriguez on Radio Cherry Bombe
Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as a permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef. Gail is also the new head critic on Top Chef Duels and was previously host of Top Chef Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry-focused spin-off of the Top Chef franchise. She is also co-host of The Feed. Part talk show, part food adventure, and part buddy comedy, The Feed airs on FYI, A+E’s new lifestyle network.
Gail joined Food & Wine in 2004 and directs special projects for the magazine, acting as liaison between the marketing and editorial teams on magazine events and chef-related initiatives, working closely with the country’s top culinary talent. During her tenure, she has been responsible for overseeing the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, America’s premier culinary event. Prior to Food & Wine, Gail was the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire.
Gail currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy and daughter, Dahlia.
“I always say I’m not an American but I’m a New Yorker.” [8:35]
“I kept going back to food and I kept cooking, and ultimately decided I wanted to write about food.” [13:45]
—Gail Simmons on Radio Cherry Bombe