As the news of coronavirus (COVID-19) reverberates throughout the world, our thoughts are with those impacted both globally and in the U.S., as well as in our local community. We are especially concerned about how coronavirus will impact our food system – from farms to restaurants. Many hourly workers in the food and hospitality industry don't have the privilege of working remotely, and restaurants with razor-thin margins are in jeopardy if people aren't able to go out to eat.
What is HRN doing in response to COVID-19?
Above all, we want everyone in our community to stay safe. HRN has enacted a plan to make all of our operations remote on a temporary basis. Our staff and hosts are beginning to work from home starting this week.
We will continue making the food podcast content you crave.
HRN will use our platform to support the restaurant, agriculture, hospitality and other food-related industries by maintaining our coverage and operations. As social distancing becomes the (temporary) norm, podcasts are more important than ever! There's never been a more crucial time to stay informed about the state of our food system and the ways that food connects our global community.
Are you a food/hospitality professional looking for helpful resources?
The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation has set up a national COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund and is working with Southern Smoke Foundation to provide individuals in crisis with cash assistance. The fund also supports small businesses and industry relief organizations.
RWCF has also put together an array of helpful resources in one place. They have collected information about healthcare, small business services, unemployment, immigration-specific concerns, financial assistance, and much more. Click here to check out their growing resource guide.
If you are looking for ways to support our friends and neighbors in the hospitality industry, RWCF is gathering donations for the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
We're keeping a running list of all of HRN's COVID-19 Coverage:
Meant To Be Eaten Episode 91: South Africa Under Lockdown: This episode is part of a special series in collaboration with Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies whose forthcoming issue is entirely devoted to COVID Dispatches—in it, authors from around the world offer short, intimate portraits of early responses to the food crises of this pandemic, and hosts from the journal’s editorial collective will be joined by some of the featured authors to share their stories, and to hear how things have or haven't changed in the past few months. Jacques Rousseau reads from his essay South Africa Under Lockdown and discusses with guest host Daniel Bender what quarantine has looked like—for him and his family, and his community—these past few months.
Snacky Tunes Episode 452: Philip Krajeck: Philip Krajeck, the chef-owner of lauded Nashville restaurants Rolf & Daughters and Folk gives us some personal insights into resilience. In early March, he and his crew survived a tornado only to be hit a few weeks later with the health crisis and business uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Enduring as best he can, Philip’s managed to keep the lights on and support his community and its farmers.
The Big Food Question Episode 5: What Should I Know About the CARES Act?: Negotiations are underway for the second round of coronavirus relief funding, as millions of Americans just received their final $600 weekly unemployment benefits. Congress cancelled its traditional August recess in order to stay in Washington to continue working on the bill, but that doesn’t mean we should expect to see them reach any decisions quickly. To understand where things currently stand on individual payments, farm aid, unemployment, SNAP benefits, PPP, and what we should watch for, we welcome Claire Brown, Senior Staff Writer at The Counter.
Meant to Be Eaten Episode 90: The Sickness Unto Hospitality: This episode is part of a special series in collaboration with Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, whose forthcoming issue is entirely devoted to COVID Dispatches—in it, authors from around the world offer short, intimate portraits of early responses to the food crises of this pandemic, and hosts from the journal’s editorial collective will be joined by some of the featured authors to share their stories, and to hear how things have or haven't changed in the past few months.
The Big Food Question Episode 4: How Can Technology Connect SNAP Recipients to More Food Options?: As millions of Americans file unemployment claims amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many states are working to make emergency SNAP benefits easily accessible for struggling families. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the USDA is allowing states to relax requirements and waiting periods so that families can continue participating in or apply for SNAP. But once someone receives SNAP benefits, how can they use them to safely purchase food? Today, we look at two programs using technology to increase access and value when shoppers swipe their EBT cards – at farmers markets, grocery stores, and online.
Cutting the Curd Episode 427: The Eye of the Storm: Another Covid Check-in With Specialty Cheese Retail: Cutting the Curd continues our pandemic-focused series of interviews with industry professionals about selling cheese in the time of COVID. We're joined by Laura Logos Downey of Fairfield Cheese Shop to hear about retail landscape now that we're through the first wave of infections in the Northeast. And we look forward to what the Fall may bring, and what actions Laura is taking to prepare.
Cutting The Curd Episode 426: Victory Cheese: The two guests are Stephanie Skinner and Molly Browne, both of whom were instrumental in starting Victory Cheese, which has attempted to help American cheesemakers during the pandemic. We discuss the origins of the movement and how Victory Cheese Boxes have helped cheesemakers through out the country sell their cheese.
Opening Soon Episode 46: The Realities of Street Patios & Take Out Windows with Chef Leah Cohen and Ben Byruch of Pig & Khao: There’s a lot more to consider when re-opening your restaurant or business then just when the local government says it’s ok to do so. Namely the health and safety of your staff and your family. Not to mention the logistics of converting your space for outdoor only dining. Our guests today are Leah Cohen and Ben Byruch. Leah is the the chef/owner of Pig & Khao and Piggy Back Bar in NYC. Ben runs the operations for the business. Leah & Ben’s business was not only impacted by COVID, but Leah also fell ill with COVID and lost her father due to the virus.
The Big Food Question Episode 3: How Can Bars Stay Open at Half Capacity?: Sother Teague shares his detailed playbook for re-opening his East Village bar with indoor seating when the time comes. He expects he will only be allowed 8 guests at a time - less than half his normal capacity. Taking into consideration capital, staffing and safety he has laid out a reservation system that he believes will decrease points of contact, provide enough revenue to stay afloat, and establish high hygiene standards. The question remains however, when he will set the plan into motion
The Big Food Question Episode 2: How Can Black-Owned Businesses Survive and Build a Stronger Future?: Cheryl Straughter is the owner of the Boston restaurant and catering company, Soleil. After her business temporarily shut down due to the pandemic, she found relief in joining The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition, which aims to preserve the few gathering spaces for the city’s many black residents. She shares the coalitions demands, offers advice for those looking to organize, and discusses the systemic challenges Black owned businesses are facing.
The Big Food Question Episode 1: How Will Rehiring Affect Unemployment Benefits?: HR Expert, Sarah Diehl of Empowered Hospitality addresses the many questions and considerations restaurant operators must take into consideration when bringing staff back to work. She shares advice about the best way for operators to reach out to employees that have been laid off, what barriers they should expect to encounter, how declinations may affect PPP loans and more.
Tech Bites Episode 213: Cook Like a Chef at Home, With a Little Help from the Pros: With the global pandemic closing restaurants and keeping people at home, how do chefs serve up hospitality and stay connected to their customers? On this episode of Tech Bites, Jennifer Leuzzi talks with chefs about their pivot to online cooking classes and new business. Philip Speer of Comedor in Texas started Assembly.Kitchen. Franking Becker in New York started 100Pleats.com. Both facilitate a live interactive cooking experience with chefs.
Snacky Tunes Episode 449: Rob Levitt + Garden Centre: Rob Levitt is the Chef de Cuisine and Head Butcher of Chicago’s lauded Publican Quality Meats. He discusses with us how the COVID-19 pandemic has compromised America’s meatpacking industry. And though things may look grim at times, Rob shares with us how this crisis can actually provide the impetus to change the industrial food complex, and why supporting local butchers and farmers is more important than ever.
The Farm Report Episode 403: How to be a "Restaurant Farm" in 2020: Chefs in Baltimore and Washington D.C. have always been Karma Farm’s best, and primary, customers. So what happens when restaurants shut down? In this episode, host Lisa Held talks to farmer Jon Shaw about how his diversified vegetable farm in Maryland has been affected by COVID-19 and about the farm’s other innovative attributes, like vegetables grown using organic practices in healthy soil outside, paired with hydroponic lettuces and herbs grown inside.
Feast Meets West Episode 84: Queen of Face Masks with Joanne Kwong: We catch up with a former guest, Joanne Kwong, President of Pearl River Mart. Joanne tells us about the changes she’s made at Pearl River Mart due to Covid, as customers shop online instead of in-stores, and the wide range of projects she’s taken on for her local communities, including her participation in Mayor De Blasio’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council.
Tech Bites Episode 212: The Business of Online Business: The global pandemic has brought some aspects of life to a stand-still, while others have accelerated at incredible speeds. eCommerce has grown exponentially. Restaurants were on the uptrend in adopting technology to increase their business reach, now those trends have become essential survival tools almost overnight. On this episode of Tech Bites, host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with David Rusenko, General Manager of eCommerce at Square, about how restaurants across the country are using technology to pivot their business into new services and products, delivering to their customers in ways they never would have imagined.
Feast Meets West Episode 83: New Plans with Lien Lin, Maiko Kyogoku & Emily Yuen: We continue our Corona Diaries conversations with Chef Lien Lin of Bricolage, the Vietnamese gastropub in Park Slope, and Owner Maiko Kyogoku and Chef Emily Yuen of Bessou, the modern Japanese comfort food restaurant in Soho. Tune in to find out how the pandemic fast forwarded Lien’s plans to move her family to the West Coast, complete with a cross-country RV adventure. Hear how Maiko and Emily have been adjusting Bessou for takeout, taking on projects to support frontline healthcare workers, and more.
Cutting the Curd Episode 424: Tyromancy: Or, An Attempt to See the Future of Cheese, and in Cheese: Continuing our deep dive into COVID-19 and its impact on the cheese and specialty food industries, we pick up the conversation with Tyler Hawes. Tyler brings two decades of industry experience and scholarship to bear, as we ask him to help us make predictions about what the retail, distribution, and production landscape will look like over the next few months and years.
Feast Yr Ears Episode 183: Keep you Lunch Date: Barbara Sibley opened La Palapa on St Mark’s place 20 years ago. She’s been through a number of other crises over the years and always adapted. We now live in a different world and it’s not a new normal, it’s just new. Barbara has a positive and pragmatic approach and discusses the trials and tribulations of running a restaurant under the current pandemic. She’s shifting everyday how to address the challenges and she approaches it all with a smile and just keeps going.
Opening Soon Episode 44: Forging Ahead Despite the Pandemic with Chef Todd Richards: Fundraising for a restaurant project is no walk in the park. One can prepare to be met with under delivered expectations from most of your list of potential investors, often times including friends and family. Ghosted calls, delays and loan denials are a natural part of the territory that comes with getting checks in hand. It is only a dedicated and impassioned person that can weather the challenge. For most, we hope the journey is fruitful in taking you to the next step. That was the story 6 months ago. Today, you can go ahead and pile on top of that: the COVID-19 pandemic and a march for racial equality and police reform. Optimistically we are hoping today will be the story of perseverance through this challenge. Our guest today is Chef Todd Richards. Todd is the culinary director of One Flew South and Chicken and Beer in Atlanta Ga. Todd is also the author of raved about cookbook, Soul A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes.
Opening Soon Episode 43: Re-Opening with Kwame Onwuachi: Stay at home orders to curb the COVID-19 pandemic are lifting across the country for better or worse. Time will yield the result of how the pandemic has truly affected restaurants. But even bigger than the pandemic, spurred by police brutality and the death of George Floyd, the US has been reckoning with a long history of systemic racism across all walks of life, including the hospitality world. That can be seen in regards to financial access, growth opportunity, and media coverage to start. Today we talk about what reopening means in this turbulent climate. Our guest is Kwame Onwuachi, Executive Chef and Creator of Kith/Kin in Washington DC. which just reopened for service this past Friday. Kwame is a JBF Rising Star and F&W Best New Chef. Kwame is also an author of Notes from a Young Black Chef. Kwame is an active member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition which has been advocating for industry support during the COVID Crisis.
What Doesn't Kill You Episode 311: The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program: Policy Director for NSAC, Dr. Eric Deeble joins to discuss the USDA program, the biggest direct payment program to farmers in history, what works, and what doesn’t.
Snacky Tunes Episode 444: #JusticeForRestaurants & The Natvral (Live): In our continuing series of conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on the food industry, we meet up with Naomi Pomeroy and Robert J. Nelson. Naomi is the James Beard Award-winning chef/owner of Portland’s Beast and Expatriate. Robert is a partner at the national plaintiffs’ law firm, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein. The pair are helping lead the charge on #JUSTICEFORRESTAURANTS, class-action lawsuits filed against insurers who are denying restaurants’ claims for interrupted business relief related to the shelter in place orders associated with the pandemic.
Meant to Be Eaten Episode 87: The Importance of Word Choice & What We Can Learn from Hong Kong's Reopenings: Andrew Genung is a Hong-Kong based writer and regular contributor to Eater. He also writes a twice-weekly newsletter, Family Meal, that covers the goings-on in and around the food/media world.
Meant to Be Eaten Episode 86: The Fistful of Rice That Fueled South Korea's Democratic Revolution (& Now, The COVID Frontlines): Esther Kim is a writer and editor of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s Transpacific Literary Project. We’ll be discussing jumeokbap—how this little fistful of rice fueled the South Korean democratic revolution, and is now making a comeback, sustaining those on the COVID frontlines.
Snacky Tunes Episode 443: Amanda Kludt (Eater) & Pearl Charles (Live): The COVID-19 pandemic has further cemented Eater as a must-read source for all things related to the food and drink industry. By leveraging its network of local city sites, while also utilizing its team of international contributors, Eater has been able to give both micro and macro views of the pandemic’s effects. The overall result is a comprehensive collection of articles that includes personal stories, government policy reports, takeout / delivery dining guides, think pieces and even a guide to all the restaurant safety guides. Eater’s editor-in-chief and longtime pal of Snacky Tunes, Amanda Kludt, fills us in on how her team has been keeping up and keeping everyone informed during this crisis.
The Line Episode 109: FIG Community Food Relief: On today’s special episode of theLINE, recordings from a single day in May following FIG – a collective of social justice-oriented members of the food community – talking about their efforts to feed people during the COVID-19 crisis. You will hear from one of the founders of FIG about how this food relief program began, a farm partner donating product, a chef whose own restaurant is closed and is now handling delivery logistics, a catering company that lost all its business and is now producing hundreds of meals a week for those in need, a volunteer delivery driver finding joy during COVID while heading to a drop-off, and a leader at a community organization whose members are recipients of these FIG made meals.
Beer Sessions Radio Episode 535: All Together During COVID-19: Jimmy welcomes Geriz Ramirez, the general manager at Other Half Brewing and the man behind All Together, a global beer collaboration generating support for hospitality industry professionals in need. Basil Lee of Finback Brewery and Tim Besecker of Twin Elephant Brewing join the conversation as well to talk about how they got involved in what Jimmy calls the “#1 hope project of 2020” that is now 800 breweries strong and counting. Beer writer, Niko Krommydas chimes in too as the discussion ranges from where relief efforts are going, to how homebrewers are getting involved, and what Geriz’s favorite versions of this open source recipe have been. The second half of the show focuses on the standstill many breweries, bars, and festivals are facing as stay-at-home orders continue. Kate Levenstien of the Bacon and Beer Classic shares her perspective on the future of events and Basil talks about the effects of postponing the opening of Finback’s second location.
Feast Meets West Episode 81: Corona Diaries with Amelie Kang & Dennis Ngo: This summer, we’ll broadcast a handful of new episodes where we catch up with our friends in the Asian food industry to see what they’ve been up to, and how they’ve adapted their restaurant operation or small business in light of the pandemic. This episode, we call on Amelie Kang, Owner of MaLa Project, and Dennis Ngo, Chef and Co-owner of Di An Di.
The Farm Report Episode 399: Chicago's Top Butcher Talks Local Meat: Since the pandemic hit, the industrial meat system has been upended. That’s made things interesting for small livestock producers selling into local markets. In this episode, Publican Quality Meats head butcher Rob Levitt talks to host Lisa Held about how his shop and the farmers he works with have adjusted to increasing demand for sustainable meat since COVID-19.
Life's a Banquet Episode 88: Bonus Episode with the Service Workers Coalition: We have a very special mini episode today featuring our pals from the Service Workers Coalition. Service Workers Coalition is a grassroots Mutual Aid Fund, and now incorporated Non-Profit Organization, that has mobilized to respond to the evolving needs of laid off hospitality workers throughout the COVID-19 crisis. We are grateful for what they are doing to help the service community during this crisis, and wanted to spread the word about their mutual aid services.
The Speakeasy Episode 380: Don't Worry, The Temperature Check is Free: Over the weekend bars in South Carolina opened their doors and let people in for the first time since March. Craig Nelson of Charleston’s own Proof on King joins the band to talk about how it went and what the future holds.
Tech Bites Episode 209: NYC's Food and Finance High School: On Friday March 13, 2020 the senior students of New York City’s Food and Finance High School got their senior sweaters. Yet instead of gathering together for a commemorative picture, the school’s students, staff and supporters, sprang into action to put together food resources and fundraisers for student families. Host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with Executive Director Eliza Loehr, Program Manager Kat Taveras, and FFHS Senior Niyah Rivers about the virtual ending to the school year. To learn more about Food and Finance High School, or to make a donation visit FoodFinanceHS.org.
Feast Yr Ears Episode 181: Coronavirus in Brooklyn: Eric Adams is the unstoppable Brooklyn Borough President. When the coronavirus pandemic started he moved into Borough Hall and has been on the ground doing everything he can to educate and help the residents of Brooklyn through this. He is an example to all of us and tells a great story.
Meat and Three Episode 75: Regulations and Relief: Food Policy During COVID-19: We’re diving into the nuts and bolts of various policy initiatives, to understand who has received federal loans, how independent restaurants have coalesced to demand greater support, why the bailout of the United States Postal Service could benefit small food businesses, and how a pilot program allowing SNAP recipients to shop online could negatively impact independent grocers.
Speaking Broadly Episode 131: These Times Have a History: Megan Elias: In these so-called “unprecedented times,” historian Megan Elias explains that there is in fact no such thing. Everything has a precedent. In this wide-ranging interview Elias, the Director of the Gastronomy Program at Boston University, looks at parallels between today’s food voices, meat shortages, community cookbooks and past disruptions. Will the experience of COVID-19 change us? History—and Megan Elias—will tell us. Listen in for a glimpse at the future through the past.
Snacky Tunes Episode 442: Bub and Grandma's + Greg Telfeian: Before the coronavirus pandemic Bub and Grandma’s bakery wholesale business was flourishing. They supplied 140 restaurants in Los Angeles, including such popular spots as Mozza, Bestia, Kismet, Sqirl and Konbi. Since the pandemic has temporarily shuttered so many restaurants, Bub and Grandma’s has been forced to adjust its business accordingly in order to survive. Andy Kadin, Bub and Grandma’s founder and award-winning head baker, shares with us everything he’s done to keep the ovens going. Then, our good buddy and engineer Jeet Paul steps up to the mic for us. Jeet met up with Greg Telfeian, a New Jersey-based singer/songwriter as well as the drummer for the bands Red Hymns and Pralaya. Greg joins us to share his experience as a musician during these unusual times, as well as to discuss his growth as an artist and songwriter.
The Farm Report Episode 398: From Teaching Students to Feeding Families: When schools in Birmingham, Alabama shut down, Jones Valley Teaching Farms’ executive director Amanda Storey had to figure out how to best utilize the organization’s seven teaching farms. In this episode, Storey talks to host Lisa Held about how the team pivoted to produce even more food to be distributed to families in the surrounding communities, and how they’re figuring out innovative ways to get farm-based lessons to students at home.
Opening Soon Episode 42: Re-Opening is Here, For Some of Us: Jenny and Alex are excited to welcome back previous OS guest Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta, Ga. Steven is in fact Re-Opening Soon, likely on June 1st, after being closed for almost 2 months. The restaurant he reopens will no doubt be a different one than was closed in March after over 10 years of service. But how will it be different? How will the guests perceive the changes? When will they come and what will they ask for?
Tech Bites Episode 208: World's 50 Best for Recovery: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, has been a highlight of the elite hospitality world for the past 18 years, creating a real-time snapshot of the best of global dinning. This year’s awards ceremony was set to take place in Belgium on June 2, 2020. With the onset of the global pandemic, and the urgent crisis it has created within the restaurant industry, 50 Best postponed the event and in its place launched the 50 Best for Recovery. Host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with William Drew, Director of Content, of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, on their aim to provide tangible financial relief for the industry, as well as offering free resources for businesses as they emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and seek actionable advice and support.
Meat and Three Episode 74: Resilience and Ingenuity in Small-Scale Agriculture: Is there a meat shortage looming? Are working conditions on large-scale farms safe? How is there food waste when some grocery stores are rationing inventory? With all of these questions looming, consumers are becoming more aware than ever before about where their food comes from and how it’s grown. We’re seeing the cracks in the consolidated system that dominates our meat and dairy supply. On the other hand, small farms are discovering they have some unique advantages amid the pandemic.
Cutting the Curd Episode 420: PPPerspectives on Cheesemaking and COVID-19: Cheesemaker and entrepreneur Mateo Kehler joins host Aaron Foster to discuss the stark financial realities facing cheesemakers in the time of COVID-19. What does the future look like for American artisanal cheese? And does the current roster of bailouts and stimulus packages do enough?
Meant To Be Eaten Episode 85: Farmworkers' Rights Amid & Beyond the Pandemic: Stony Brook University associate professor of history Lori Flores’s research and writing focuses on Latino life, labor, and politics in the United States from the post-WWII era to the present day. We discuss farmworkers’ rights amid (and beyond) the pandemic.
Snacky Tunes Episode 441: LEE Initiative + Black Crystal Wolf Kids: We head south to Kentucky to continue our series about the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on the food industry. Lindsey Ofcacek is co-founder, managing director and mentor of the LEE Initiative. She, along with acclaimed chef Edward Lee, set up the organization to promote career development, equality and diversity in the restaurant community. As the pandemic sent millions of restaurant industry workers to the unemployment lines, Lindsey connected with Thomas Bolton, diplomat for Maker’s Mark, and together they helped roll out the Restaurant Workers Relief Program and the Restaurant Reboot Relief Program.
The Line Episode 107: Feeding the Community: How Restaurants are Turning Into Emergency Relief Kitchens: In this special COVID-19 episode, hear audio recordings from some of the hospitality frontline workers that are going to work every day to feed our country. In what feels like a constant flow of insurmountable moments, these kitchens are doing what they do best – cooking for and feeding communities. This episode features voices from around the country, including: Samantha Fore in Lexington, Jose Salazar in Cincinnati, Janet Kirker in Chicago, Nadine Bailey-Joyner in Washington D.C., Maiko Kyogoku in New York and Leo Robitschek and his team in New York .
Buenlimon Radio Episode 40: COVID: Sin Sabor, Sin Olor: As the coronavirus pandemic swept around the world, multiple reports emerged about infected people losing their sense of taste and smell. And since these two senses are crucial for people in the food world, Mariana and Diego reached out to a few of their colleagues and friends in New York’s food industry to know how it feels, what exactly happens. They also talk to a good friend that has lived without both senses for more than two years!
The Farm Report Episode 397: How Mike's Organic is Connecting Farmers to Home Cooks: In Connecticut, Mike’s Organic Market sources fresh food from small farms to sell to local eaters. Now, in the face of COVID-19, founder Mike Geller is ramping up delivery options and CSA boxes to get more fresh food to people at home and support farmers. In this episode, Geller talks to host Lisa Held about how farmers in his area are faring and whether an increased interest in buying local food will extend beyond the coronavirus shutdown.
What Doesn't Kill You Episode 309: What's the Real Scoop on the Cattle Industry?: Mike Callicrate, a Colorado rancher and activist joins to talk about the beef industry and COVID-19.
Meat and Three Episode 71: Food in the Time of Coronavirus: Restaurants all over the world have been forced to close their doors or shift to takeout-only service in the wake of COVID-19. This week we learn how the industry is adapting - from important discussions about mental health, to farmers' solutions to sell their pile up of produce, one journalist's strategy for supporting restaurants, and the ways restaurant owners are processing the difficult decisions they have had to make.
Eating Matters Episode 161: Supply Chain Woes: Host Jenna Liut speaks with Washington Post journalist, Laura Reiley, about her ongoing coverage of the effects that COVID-19 is having on the food supply chain, including why we have seen a paradoxical rise in both food waste and food insecurity; why the meat industry is being hit particularly hard; and the likelihood of impending food shortages in the U.S.
Snacky Tunes Episode 440: HomeState General Store + Canyon Counterpoint: Snacky Tunes’ Los Angeles contingency is fueled by breakfast tacos from Tex-Mex champion, HomeState. Since the coronavirus pandemic hit HomeState has made the transition from full-service restaurant to general store, and has also launched a meal program to support hospital workers. HomeState owner Briana Valdez shares with us her plan to adapt, survive and thrive in these challenging and difficult times.
A Hungry Society Episode 74: What Does This Moment Mean for Women-Run Businesses? Korsha speaks with Shaolee Sen, CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen, about the unique challenges women-run and immigrant-run food businesses face in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Hot Bread Kitchen is an organization in Harlem that serves as a culinary incubator and workforce development program that trains women for jobs in the culinary industry.
Tech Bites Episode 207: StopCovid.Co: High Impact Training for Essential Workers: Information has never been more crucial to our collective livelihood and wellbeing than it is today. ESL Works, a startup dedicated to closing the workplace language gap, uses texting and SMS to deliver lessons to workers based around the tasks they do in restaurants. In March 2020, they created StopCovid.Co in response to the pandemic, adding drills based on CDC and WHO guidelines for essential workers and expanding their resources to include other industries like grocery, delivery and agriculture. Host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with returning guest Rachael Nemeth, co-founder and CEO of StopCovid.Co and ESL Works, about the urgent expansion of her company and the free training resources being offered.
Opening Soon Episode 41: A Glimpse at Our Future: In this episode we’re looking to Hong Kong. With a population of 7.45 million people, roughly the size of NYC, it has reported just over 1,000 cases of the virus and only 4 deaths. Unlike most parts of the world, they have not undergone a lockdown, instead implementing strict policies of social distancing and contact tracing. We’re taking a look into the future to understand what restaurants and businesses in the US can do to reopen, while maintaining team safety, customer health and a sustainable business. Joining us from Hong Kong is Matt Abergel, cofounder and chef of Yardbird and Ronin as well as Sunday’s Spirits. He is the author of Chicken and Charcoal from Phaidon and his neighborhood restaurant Yardbird is on San Pellegrino’s 50 best restaurants in Asia. In the second half we’re joined by Syed Asim Hussain, who co-founded Black Sheep Restaurants in 2012, becoming one of the most prolific innovators at the forefront of Hong Kong’s ever-evolving culinary scene. They now operate 26 successful establishments, 2 of which hold Michelin stars. His team has also created a COVID-19 operational playbook, which they’ve generously shared with the world.
The Line Episode 106: Ben and Max Goldberg: Eli welcomes Benjamin and Max Goldberg the co-owners of Strategic Hospitality in Nashville. The brothers operate and run properties all over Nashville including Merchants, The Patterson House, The Catbird Seat, PinewoodSocial, The Band Box located in First Tennessee Park, Bastion, Henrietta Red, Downtown Sporting Club, and The Party Line. In a very short time Strategic Hospitality has grown into a nationally recognized organization and pre-COVID employed nearly 500 people. In addition to their extensive civic involvement and business accolades, the Goldberg brothers have been nominated for the James Beard Foundation Awards for Outstanding Restaurateur 5 times over the last 6 years. They discuss the currently reality of their business and the adjustments they have made during the past 8 weeks as a result of COVID-19.
Cutting the Curd Episode 418: The Mobile Monger, Janee' Muha: Cara speaks with Janee’, the Mobile Monger about her new interview program. Each day she interviews a different American artisan cheesemaker about their current problems and resolve.
Feast Yr Ears Episode 189: Farming in the Age of Coronavirus: Kim Coulter and her family operate Stoney Hill Cattle Co. in Charlestown Rhode Island. The land has been a farm longer than there are records, and Kim’s son Josh is the 4th generation of her family to work on the farm. Now more than ever small farms are an important part of our food supply chain. With large companies and facilities seeing coronavirus outbreaks, people are turning more and more to small farms for their food. We should all be supporting our small farms and local businesses, there’s strength in our communities and they deserve our support.
Snacky Tunes Episode 439: #AskChefsAnything + Fletcher C. Johnson: The coronavirus pandemic has shut down America’s hospitality industry, financially imperiling many of its workers. Anna Polonsky, a longtime friend of the Tunes, has partnered with Galeen Quinn to develop the #AskChefsAnything campaign to support the industry’s immigrant workforce who are severely lacking access to government unemployment assistance. #AskChefsAnything has established auctions that give bidders a chance to win a one-on-one 30-minute online session with their favorite chef or other food expert, with the proceeds benefiting immigrant workers. Industry luminaries such as Eric Ripert, Enrique Olvera, Alison Roman and Gail Simmons have signed up to participate. We also check in with our good buddy, singer-songwriter Fletcher C Johnson. Fletcher and his wife recently battled COVID-19, and are thankfully on the mend. Fletcher also was gracious enough to play some songs for us from quarantine in Brooklyn. Be sure to check out Fletcher’s latest album, Are You Feelin’ It.
Meat and Three Bonus: Pursuing Culinary Education in a Pandemic: Like the rest of the education system in the US, culinary schools and work-study programs have been acutely disrupted. Classes aimed at training chefs, bakers, and bartenders are inherently hands-on. Plus, there are a lot of people who get training through work opportunities like international study programs or externships in professional kitchens. On this bonus episode, reported by Macgill Webb, we hear personal accounts of how COVID-19 has impeded culinary education.
Opening Soon Episode 40: A Lockdown is Lifted, But When Will the Doors Open: Writing for the Washington Post, Atlanta restaurateur Hugh Acheson and former OS guest, says: “My governor here in GA, Brian Kemp, has proclaimed that many businesses that have been closed for weeks can reopen on Friday…. No thank you." Despite the decree many restaurants, while anxious to resume serving guests, are not opening their doors quite yet. Our guests today are Fred, John, and Stephanie Castelluci the sibling trio that runs Castelluci Hospitality Group in Atlanta Ga. CHG has been offering pick up and delivery from each of their restaurants but despite Governor Kemp’s attempt to re-open the state, CHG like many others in ATL decided it's not quite time.
The Speakeasy Episode 374: En Route to New Earth: The band gets together from their socially distant studios to talk with Matt Pfohl of One Small Miracle about the new normal, how the old normal kinda sucked, and what we should change now that we’ve got a chance to do better.
Tech Bites Episode 206: Farm to Your Table: Digital platforms connecting farmers directly to consumers has been a growing food tech trend these past few years. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated that growth exponentially and put these platforms front and center. Host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with Simon Huntley, founder and CEO of Harvie, a farm-to-consumer sales platform, and Robyn Calvey, owner of Park Ridge Organics in Wisconsin, about the explosive growth of farm-to-consumer sales and forecasts on the summer growing season.
The Speakeasy Episode 373: Bonus: With the USBG National Charity Foundation: The band sits down with Kim Haasarud of the USBG National Charity Foundation to clear the air about their emergency assistance program: who they are, when to apply and what to do if you’re waiting to hear back.
The Line Episode 105: Dan Meiser and James Wayman: Eli interviews Dan Meiser and James Wayman who are partners in 85th Day Food Community, a restaurant group in Mystic Connecticut that employs over 100 people and encompasses Oyster Club, Grass & Bone, and Engine Room. They talk extensively about the crucial changes they’ve made to their businesses in order to survive this crisis. Dan is also chairman of the Connecticut Restaurant Association and speaks to some of the larger issues facing the state and the industry overall.
Snacky Tunes Episode 438: Feed the Front Line NOLA: Devin de Wulf is the founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, a neighborhood carnival parade in New Orleans. He is married to Annelies, an ER doctor who works at University Medical Center in New Orleans. On March 17, to help support hospital staffers like Annelies, employ New Orleans’ out-of-work musicians and support suffering restaurants, Devin and Annelies founded the non-profit, Feed the Front Line NOLA.
Meat and Three Bonus: Fasting and Feasting in Quarantine: Ramadan, the holy Islamic month where Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink (among other things) began this week. Just like virtually everything else, it’s being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In this episode, Danya AbdelHameid talks to Leila, Anum, and Nyuma, three twenty-something Muslims living in Maryland, Florida, and New Jersey, respectively, about their Ramadan traditions and how they’re navigating Ramadan in quarantine.
Buenlimon Radio Episode 39: Familia con Raices: Access to food, food security and farmers’ livelihoods have been a critical matter for many people across the world, but especially during the quarantine caused by COVID-19. In the United States, large agricultural organizations are dumping cheese, milk and meat, mainly due to an unprecedented lack of demand from restaurants. Mariana and Diego visit the now socially-distanced Union Square Market to find out how this is affecting New York State’s local farmers that bring natural, organic food to Manhattan every week.
A Hungry Society Episode 73: Irene Li on the Unsung Restaurant Fund & Having Hope: Host, Korsha Wilson speaks with Irene Li of Mei Mei Restaurant in Boston about what running her business has been like since the coronavirus crisis started and the Unsung Restaurant Fund, a fund that she and a friend started to highlight the immigrant owned and run restaurants in Boston.
Opening Soon Episode 39: P is for Pivot: Change is inevitable and in today’s landscape change is constant. It seems everywhere you look there is a story about the p word: “pivot.” While some call it pivoting, those of us in the hospitality industry call it fighting for survival. Our guest is Brandon Hoy, Co-founder and COO of our beloved Roberta’s Pizza. Roberta’s is now offering make-at-home pizza and pasta kits, baked goods, and groceries as well as delivery from all its locations. Then we’re joined by Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske of Contra, Wildair and Peoples Wine. We’ll hear how our LES neighbors have pivoted into a carry out/ delivery model dubbed Contrair.
The Line Episode 104: Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger: These business partners and industry leaders have thrived and persevered over decades of owning restaurants, through earthquakes, riots, 9/11, and fires. They know the ups and downs of a food business as well as anyone and discuss why they feel disappointed by the government's stimulus package, which has left small businesses behind. They share their experiences and strategies over the past few weeks as COVID-19 overtook Los Angeles and Las Vegas, forcing them to shutdown all their locations and furlough 300 employees.
Queer The Table Episode 12: Food is Medicine: Nico checks in on Emmett Findley, the Director of Communications at God’s Love We Deliver. The organization formed at the height of the AIDS Crisis to provide delicious, medically-tailored meals to New York City’s most vulnerable. Today, they have had to reorganize every aspect of their operations to keep serving during this pandemic.
The Farm Report Episode 395: BrightFarms Is Growing (Greens) During COVID-19: At its five hydroponic greenhouse farms, BrightFarms grows a lot of “salad.” And while the coronavirus pandemic has hurt many farm businesses, it has increased demand for the company’s leafy greens. “We wake up with a sense of purpose,” says founder Paul Lightfoot. In a conversation with host Lisa Held, he talks about keeping the farms running and employees safe in the face of COVID-19 and about how their model allows them to feed Americans at a time of crisis while continuing to grow the business.
The Speakeasy Episode 371: Ready, Aim, Help: Damon, Sother and Greg are all back “together” again from their DIY home studios talking with Tobin Ellis of Barmagic about his nationwide hospitality relief dashboard and how everyone can do the most good right now.
Tech Bites Episode 204: Tender Greens Grows into Grocery Boxes Delivery: In March 2020 when Tender Greens, a fast casual restaurant chain, was forced to downsize business due to California’s COVID-19 regulations, the Los Angeles-based company launched Grocery Boxes, boxes filled with fresh produce, pantry staples and home essentials that are available for delivery and/or pick up at all 27 California locations. Host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with Denyelle Bruno, President and CEO of Tender Greens, about pivoting the food supply chain from restaurants to grocery delivery.
What Doesn't Kill You Episode 307: COVID-19 and Factory Farming; Science: Award-winning science writer Maryn McKenna joins the conversation to talk about the rumors around factory farming and COVID-19, vaccines, mutations, and food safety.
The Line Episode 103: Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken on COVID19: Josh and Christine have always been strong advocates and community leaders. Josh was selected to participate in a James Beard Foundation Chef’s Policy Boot Camp and has spoken in Congressional briefings regarding issues relating to restaurant wages and paid sick time. Christine is the chef chair of the Step Up Women’s Network and they both were part of the Mayor’s Task Force for Working Families, which successfully spurred earned sick time legislation within the city of Chicago. They both joined Eli from their respective homes in Chicago to talk about the COVID-19 crisis.
Meat and Three Episode 72: Cultivating Connection Amid COVID-19: We’re all trying our best to stay connected despite physical distancing, and this week we’re exploring how the very fundamentals of personal connection are shifting in our new reality. Kat Johnson dives into the virtual world of Zoom Happy Hours with help from HRN Hall-of-Famer Lou Bank. Danya AbdelHameid explores how people are turning to gardening in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. We bring you an excerpt from Cutting the Curd where Aaron Foster shares insights on how food retail has been impacted by COVID-19. Finally, we have a special segment on how to manage boredom from Time For Lunch, HRN’s brand new podcast for young eaters.
The Speakeasy Episode 370: You Can't Spell "Hospitality" Without "Hospital:" As the crisis nears its apex in NYC, Greg and Sother sit down with the team from Ilegal Mezcal to hash out the uphill battle our industry faces and discuss what we as an industry can do to help those on the front lines.
Inside Julia's Kitchen Episode 84: Meet Nate Mook: Host Todd Schulkin welcomes Nate Mook, Executive Director of World Central Kitchen, the non-profit organization founded by José Andrés that’s currently turning its expertise to COVID-19 food relief. Todd and Nate discuss how World Central Kitchen’s approach delivers food to those in need, while also putting restaurants back to work.
Opening Soon Episode 38: What is the PPP Anyway? And Will it Help the Hospitality Industry?: This week Jenny and Alex focus on financial healing. There are predictions that more than 75% of independent restaurants may not make it back from this crisis. We know the industry will beat these odds but we also know we need help and support. The government passed CAREs on 3/27. Since then the SBA and banks have been scrambling to get applications live and small businesses are trying to figure out what it all means. Our guest today is Ben McCrery, president of One Park Financial in Miami, Florida. He is an expert in small business lending, and has helped secure over $7M in funding for restaurants.
Tech Bites Episode 203: Restaurants Serving Relief: Lee Initiative + Olmsted NYC: Chef Edward Lee and Lindsay Ofcacek started the Lee Initiative two years ago as a non-profit focused on mentorship for women chefs. Three weeks ago, it became a program to turn restaurants into food banks and relief centers. Brooklyn’s Olmstead, is one restaurant that has been able to re-open, hire staff, and pack hundreds of to-go meals. Host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with Chef Edward Lee (chef and owner The LEE Initiative, 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, Whiskey Dry, Succotash) and Max Katzenberg (partner at Olmstead, Maison Yaki, and the New York hospitality Coalition) on how the programs are working to support restaurant workers who have been laid off or have had a significant reduction in hours and/or pay.
The Farm Report Episode 394: A Growing Pandemic: Farmers and Markets in NYC: Although New York is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, GrowNYC has kept Greenmarkets open while adjusting operations to continue to serve the city’s residents and farmers. In this episode, GrowNYC’s director of farmer assistance, Christopher Wayne, talks to host Lisa Held about how the organization has been getting fresh food to New Yorkers throughout the crisis, implementing safety measures at markets, and supporting its network of farmers.
What Doesn't Kill You Episode 306: Getting the 411 on Farming in Pandemic Mode: Veteran agricultural reporter Leah Douglas talks about how the supply chain is doing and how smaller farms/independent fishermen are managing.
Snacky Tunes Episode 435: Chris Shepherd + Southern Smoke: Before the coronavirus pandemic completely halted the world, Chris Shepherd was one of the country’s most acclaimed chefs. Now, Chris finds himself in the role of relief aid fundraiser, stepping up to take care of his own. His charity the Southern Smoke Foundation has raised and dispensed hundreds of thousands of dollars of crisis financial assistance to unemployed workers in the food and beverage industry.
All in the Industry Episode 246: Bruce Bronster, Bronster LLC; and Kwame Onwuachi, Independent Restaurant Coalition; COVID-19: Shari’s guests are Bruce Bronster, Partner at Bronster LLP, a NY-based boutique law firm with experience in real estate and hospitality and James Beard's Rising Star Award-winning chef, Kwame Onwuachi who is a collaborator in the Independent Restaurant Coalition campaigning to #SaveRestaurants.
The Farm Report Episode 393: A Growing Pandemic: Ark Foods' Veggie Tales: In this episode, Noah Robbins, founder of Ark Foods and Ark Foods COO Eduardo Mestre talk to host Lisa Held about how their business—which includes farming speciality vegetables like shishitos and selling veggie bowls to retailers like Costco—has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the resilience of farmers, and more.
Tech Bites Episode 202: Support Restaurants: Dining Bonds Initiative: A Dining Bond works like a savings bond, where you can purchase a “bond” at a value rate to be redeemed for face value at a future date. Host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with Steven Hall and Helen Patrikis, of Hall PR, about the genesis of the Dining Bonds Initiative, and how it hopes to fund restaurants today so that they will be open tomorrow. Visit supportrestaurants.org to sign-up a restaurant and purchase a bond.
Opening Soon Episode 37: Mental Health and the COVID Crisis: In this episode, Jenny and Alex are tackling how the hospitality industry is mentally and emotionally addressing the stresses of this crisis. From lost income, to dispersed teams, upended daily routines and, of course, the isolation, there is a stark contrast to a normal day in the life of a hospitality professional. Joining the hosts is Kat Kinsman, Senior Editor at Food & Wine, host of her own podcast, The Communal Table, and author of Hi, Anxiety.
The Line Episodes 101 & 102: The COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on the Hospitality Industry - Owners and Chefs in Their Own Words: Across the nation, restaurants, bars, and cafes sit dark and quiet. Owners are unsure if they will ever be able to re-open and hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs as millions have self isolated at home. In this special two part series hear from several chefs and restaurant owners from around the nation in their own words about the impossible and life changing decisions they’ve had to make during the evolving COVID-19 crisis.
Cutting the Curd Episode 416: Running a Cheese Shop in the Epicenter of COVID-19: Elena chats with fellow Cutting the Curd host and independent cheese shop owner, Aaron Foster, about what life is like right now on the front lines of cheese retail in New York City.
What Doesn't Kill You Episode 305: How to Stay Afloat as a Small-Size, Family-Owned Restaurant During 'Rona Time: Derek Wagner owns two farm-to-table restaurants in Providence, RI. Keeping his family, his staff, and his purveyors going is the Sisyphean task he faces.
The Speakeasy Episode 369: Going the Distance: On a socially distanced episode Sother and Greg talk to Nitecap owner Natasha David to take stock of what’s happened to our industry, what we need now and what might lie ahead.
Snacky Tunes Episode 434: Keith Cohen, Orwashers Bakery: Keith Cohen, baker and owner of New York City’s legendary 104-year-old Orwashers Bakery brand, gives us the rundown of what it’s been like running a restaurant during the global coronavirus pandemic. In addition to keeping his teams employed, and providing food for curbside pickup during this crisis, Keith supports the Food Education Fund. All NYC public school students get a $7 credit at Orwashers to use on anything they would like to eat.
Inside Julia's Kitchen Episode 82: Meet Hillary Reinsberg: This week, on Inside Julia’s Kitchen, host Todd Schulkin talks to Hillary Reinsberg, Editor-in-Chief of restaurant review platform The Infatuation. Todd and Hillary discuss how COVID-19 is affecting the hospitality industry and restaurant coverage, as well as how The Infatuation is bringing back Zagat.
Tech Bites Episode 201: James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund: The James Beard Foundation has launched a fund to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On this episode of Tech Bites, host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with Mitchell Davis, the Foundation’s Chief Strategy Officer, about their Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund, and the efforts to keep the $1 trillion dollar culinary industry afloat until the pandemic passes. Visit JamesBeard.org/relief for more information on how to apply for relief, or make a contribution.
Opening Soon Episode 34 & 35: COVID Crisis & The Hospitality Community: In this two part series of Opening Soon - which we will be optimistically dubbing hereafter RE-Opening soon - we are talking to chefs and restaurateurs impacted by the coronavirus crisis. We hope to get some advice, share some of the pain, and find hope for the future. It's heartbreaking to see the very establishments that nourish our bellies and souls and serve as the heart of our communities on the front lines of this crisis. The economic impact is devastating. There are over 15.6 million people employed in the restaurant industry taking home over $300B in wages each year.
Snacky Tunes Episode 433: Kat Johnson, HRN's Communications Director: In this special episode, we sit down with Kat Johnson, Heritage Radio Network’s Communications Director, to talk about the current state of HRN, the decision to close the studio and how the community is adapting. She shares some keen insights on both logistic and content shifts, along with how the network is helping provide information and entertainment for listeners at home during this pandemic.
The Farm Report Episode 392: A Growing Pandemic: Impacts on the Mid-Atlantic Food System: In this episode, recorded at an empty Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, host Lisa Held talks to chef, restaurateur, and local food advocate Spike Gjerde. They discuss how the shuttering of restaurants like his is affecting farmers, food workers, and many others across the robust regional food system.
Tech Bites Episode 200: Happy 200 Tech Bites: Host Jennifer Leuzzi connects with guests Jack Inslee and Deepti Sharma. Deepti is the founder of Food to Eat and Bikky. Looking at the the current state of the restaurant industry she decided to use her businesses to make a positive impact, creating Project Quarantine at eat.bikky.com. The site allows people to order from restaurants directly, so businesses don't face any fees from third party systems.
Beer Sessions Radio Episode 525: Investigating Beer Business Trends in an Uncertain Time: Jimmy is joined by Sean McNulty of Selling Craft Beer Podcast, Cat Wolinkski of Vinepair and Zach Mack of ABC Beer Co. They talk about the beer trends they anticipated going into 2020 and how much has changed in recent days as a result of the coronavirus. While there has been an uptick in sales as people stock up for periods of self-quarantine, there is a grave concern that business will drop off for local breweries.
Snacky Tunes Episode 432: Restaurants In the Time of Corona: The hosts chat with Helen Rosner, food correspondent for The New Yorker (who is also covering the developing coronavirus story), and Royce Burke, chef / owner of Secret Lasagna. In both deep-dive conversations, they discuss the current state of the restaurant industry and what people can do to help both in the short term and long term.
Feast Yr Ears Episode 174: First a Tornado and then COVID-19: Bryan Lee Weaver is the chef of two restaurants in Nashville, Butcher & Bee and Red Headed Stranger. Early on the morning of March 3rd a tornado ripped through the East Nashville neighborhood. They counted themselves lucky to reopen a week later, but that was just in time for the US to start enacting severe measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Meat and Three Episode 68: Pandemics, Plagues, and Food Frauds: We have stories about COVID-19’s effects on NYC’s Chinatowns, how World Central Kitchen mobilized to provide emergency food logistics for the Diamond Princess in Japan, the locust plague wreaking havoc in East Africa and South Asia, and why food fraud is so dangerous and hard to detect.