Podcasts WORD OF MOUTH with Leiti Hsu

Daniel Holzman

Episode: 21

Welcome to WORD OF MOUTH with Leiti Hsu on HeritageRadioNetwork.org! Leiti, a fixture in NYC dining culture, is joined by in-studio guest #PEOPLEWELIKE Daniel Holzman, Chef-Owner of The Meatball Shop.

This is the BALLS & BURGERS Edition of WORD OF MOUTH.

At the top of the hour, we’ll talk to Adam Fleischman, Founder, Umami Burger, about how #ChocoChicken came about, weeks after Jimmy Kimmel described it this way: “it’s as if God has been reading my food journal.”

We’ll catch up with Daniel about his thoroughly Jewish-American upbringing in the Upper East Side and this early bloomer’s earliest crush and stint in the kitchen at Le Bernardin at the age of 15. Daniel shares how he met his best friend and business partner Michael Chernow when they were just teenagers. Also: the Bible, the Dalai Lama, matzo ball soup and blintzes.

To #WINEedDown, we’ll get Adam back on the line from LA. This former journalist started out in the wine industry before starting Umami Burger, and they talk Dom Perignon and the development of Umami Burger house wine.

Tweet at #WOMshow @leitihsu.

Thanks to our sponsor, The International Culinary Center. Music by takstar.

“I played the flute in orchestra. Michael [Chernow] was going to be attending [LaGuardia High School], and he was going to play the tuba. We met on the Metropolitan Museum of Art steps and I riding my bicycle and I think he was rocking some rollerblades and we got to talking.” [27:35]

“I picked the piccolo, I think my teacher was like: listen if you haven’t come out of the closet yet, I’m gonna with you the flute, just to give you some chance.” [30:00]

“I desperately care what you think about me and yet I pretend that I don’t give a sh*t.” [29:05]

What makes our partnership work so well is that it’s authentic. Working together we hated each other at times, and it threatened our friendship at times…We went to couples therapy for about eight months trying to learn how to draw boundaries. [33:10]

“One of our first bigs fights was at the lunchroom at LaGuardia High School. I was kind of being a pretentious d*ckhead, and Mike threw a tater tot at me.” [34:35]

Daniel Holzman on WORD OF MOUTH with Leiti Hsu

Latest Episodes

An Accountant, a Fashion Model and a Chef Walk into a Bar

An Accountant, a Fashion Model and a Chef Walk into a Bar


Chef Carla Hall, entrepreneur, star of The Chew on ABC, who's about to open her hot chicken restaurant Southern Kitchen in NYC. How this accountant-turned-model-turned lunch caterer ended up on TV. Why she found herself in tears on her knees in the shower at age 40, plus hamburgers, high school and Match.com.But first, we have on the line ...
Steven Satterfield

Steven Satterfield


WORD OF MOUTH is live from across the Atlantic this week as Leiti is on the line from Berlin chatting with Erin Fairbanks in studio with Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta and author of Root to Leaf. Steven believes in making the most out of the edible parts of the plant, from root to leaf and embodies an authentic approach to ...

Kisses, Roadtrips, Fundraising Tips (Bo Bech, Geist)


We catch up with chef-partner Bo Bech of Geist in Copenhagen at Charlie Bird in NYC one weekend afternoon, November 2015. He's recently landed into town to start a restaurant here. But first, he'll host a popup series called The Bride of the Fox that will happen on a boat, in a firehouse, onstage at the ballet, in a chef-friend's apartment. ...
Mortality, Petanque, & Paris in the 1950s

Mortality, Petanque, & Paris in the 1950s


This week on WORD OF MOUTH, Leiti visits celebrity chef, author and Dean, Jacques Pepin at the International Culinary Center. Beloved as Julia Child's TV counterpart and a game-changer in American cuisine—and French food in America, we get to know this son of a cabinetmaker and a cook. We'll talk mortality, how he met his wife, painting, ...
Bongos with Matthew McConaughey, Manchester, the American South

Bongos with Matthew McConaughey, Manchester, the American South


This week on WORD OF MOUTH host Leiti Hsu kicks off thew show on the line with Jenna Zimmerman, TV producer and James Beard Awards judge. Talking about how she landed her dream job plus career highlights like playing bongos with Matthew McConaughey, she also forecasts the future of food media. After the break, Mark Maynard-Parisi, partner ...
Ellen Yin (Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson)

Ellen Yin (Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson)


Award-winning Philly restaurateur Ellen Yin behind Fork and High Street on Market. Now, she's about to open High Street on Hudson, their first non-Philly foray; we'll get a preview of the much-anticipated opening. And we'll get to know Ellen the rebellious Asian kid and learn how how landed in resaurants after both business school and the ...
Justin Smillie

Justin Smillie


WORD OF MOUTH is back this week as host Leiti Hsu shares a clip with her time spent with Anthony Bourdain talking whisky, 3-D printing, and his daughter's favorite food before welcoming in studio guest Justin Smillie to the show. Justin shares his path through childhood as well as the New York food scene, having mentored at Jonathan Waxman's ...
This “Fempire” Runs on Eggs

This “Fempire” Runs on Eggs


The San Francisco restaurateur Anna Weinberg takes us on an adventure as we nosh our way through her nightly rounds to beloved institutions Marlowe, The Cavalier and Park Tavern. We hear about mentor and former boss chef Jonathan Waxman, plus the formidable #fempire, her business partners, the acclaimed chefs Jennifer Puccio and Emily ...