Podcast Spotlight: Speaking Broadly

On Speaking Broadly, host Dana Cowin sits down with trailblazing women in food to learn about their stories. These intimate conversations delve into the challenges and successes of featured guests, etching out their journey of getting to where they are. 

We’re highlighting a number of episodes from Speaking Broadly that have inspired Team HRN. 

By: Vy Duong

Episode 136: For Failure's Sake: Alex Pemoulie: Is failure the best teacher? In this episode of Speaking Broadly, writer and Director of Finance at Sea Creatures Alex Pemoulie traces the arc of her relationship with failure. She shares her first perceived failures including dropping out of a semester abroad in Paris, cutting ties with the 'good girl' within, and staying too long with an abusive boyfriend. Pemoulie then embraces failure with ferocity while working at Momofuku with Dave Chang, who is master of the art of learning from mistakes. If you've ever doubted the power of taking responsibility for risky choices and their inconsistent outcomes, you need to hear Alex's take on the healthy and not-so-healthy ways of dealing with the F-word.

Episode 141: Wine & Race, Grit & Joy: Tahiirah Habibi: The life of Tahiirah Habibi is the journey from the deadly streets of North Philly to homecoming queen AND president at Penn State to sommelier in Miami to founder of the Hue Society in Atlanta, a curated community that serves as a lifestyle hub to all things Black wine culture. A tribute to her smarts, magnetism, intuition and excellence, Tahiirah has created a space for her community, no assimilation necessary. Listen in to hear all she learned along the way. 

Episode 144: The Rules According to V: V Spehar: From auditioning for a Dolly Parton Christmas show as a lark on their birthday, to going to a job interview, soup in hand, moments after totaling their car, to catering for Mitt Romney, V Spehar has made a lot of surprising career moves. Most recently they were head of Impact Programs for the James Beard Foundation, and are currently Executive Director of Everything Food. Listen in to hear about V's approach to changing the rules ("I learned young that having a sound argument for something and making it seem easy for other people was going to be the best way to make it through life as unscathed as possible"), dealing with trauma ("I loved being a helper, I never thought that I would love being helped"), and being a good listener, which is the key to everything.

Episode 147: How an Academic Adapted to Entrepreneurship: Kiki Aranita: Kiki Aranita, founder of Poi Dog in Philadelphia is a scholar and an entrepreneur. After closing her beloved brick and mortar restaurant because of the pandemic, she has just launched a new line of Hawaiian style sauces, including Maui Lavender Ponzu and Chile Peppah Water. On Speaking Broadly, she describes the connection between academia and starting a new business.

Episode 150: Food without Borders: Yasmin Khan: Yasmin Khan, a long-time human rights activist, is the author of Ripe Figs, a book focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean — part travelogue, part cookbook, part meditation on the notion of borders in the 21st century. On the pod, we discuss the refugee crisis, what we can do as individuals and as a society to address the issues, and reasons for hope. "I've really grown to understand that there isn't some kind of (new) refugee crisis anywhere. People throughout all of history have migrated as a species when it's been necessary for our survival. It's just an intrinsic pattern of how we exist," Yasmin says. She also describes the spectacular recipes of the region and how they bring a sense of comfort, safety and a shared humanity. Tune in for a comprehensive take on how food crosses borders and bridges, rather than segregates, experiences.

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