On today's hour-long special edition of The Food Seen, we treat our time with Tom Colicchio (rhymes with "Radicchio"), not as an interview, but more so, as an apprenticeship to learn from his summers cooking in 1000-person weekend "churn and burn" establishments, to haute dining in Manhattan. He's built an empire around the idea of culinary Craft. How does this Top Chef define success? How does he stay relevant? Two 3 star reviews by the NYTimes, 10 years apart, both cite the complex simplicity that he makes looks easy. Still, Tom believes, "you're only as good as your last dish". Even more important than feeding his diners, Tom now sets his sights on eliminating hunger in this country. The film, A Place At The Table, produced by Colicchio and co-directed by his wife Lori Silverbush, seeks to foster the "food insecure" past the subsidies that have made calories cheap and nutrition expensive. Get hungry to end hunger! This program was sponsored by Heritage Foods USA.
"I don't have anybody I would consider a mentor because I never stayed in one place long enough." [24:25]
"When you're cooking for 30 years - you start wondering whether you're still relevant and how to maintain relevancy. You don't want to go out." [42:15]
"50 million Americans are struggling to put food on the table - they don't know where the next meal is coming from." [55:15]
"I believe that most chefs believe that food is a right we should have like air and water." [61:02]
"We have to make hunger a voting issue. If our politicians are not going to help solve this problem - I think they need to be labeled as 'pro hunger'" [62:50]
--Tom Colicchio on The Food Seen