On the second episode of HRN Happy Hour, Caity and Kat are joined in-studio by guest host Patrick Martins and Chef Edgar Pendley from Urban Grub in Nashville. We catch up on the latest happenings on the HRN airwaves and decompress from our recent Charleston Wine + Food Festival trip!
photo by Ted Nelson
We hear from Ron Finley, the “Gangsta Gardener” about his mission to ignite a horticulture revolution in South Central LA. Currently, he is fighting to save his HQ – the very same location where Finley took back city land and planted the seeds to cultivate happy and healthy communities. After numerous attempts by the property owner for a loan modification with no avail, the land was sold to Strategic Acquisitions Inc in a foreclosure. In order to continue their work there, they have been offered is to purchase the property for $500,000, otherwise… they face eviction. You can learn more and help save the Ron Finley Project HQ at gofundme.com/savethegangstagarden.
Next, we turn our sights to charcuterie. To learn why it’s having such a renaissance in the US right now, we speak to Francois Veccio, one of the fathers of charcuteire with over 60 years of experience. Then, we hear from Lorenza Passeti, the CEO of Volpi Foods. Lorenza’s great-uncle, John Volpi immigrated from Milan in 1900 and brought with him the ancient European art of dry curing. Now, as president of Volpi Foods, Lorenza continues to refine her great-uncle’s craft – while adhering to the techniques he brought with him to America more than a century ago. Chef Edgar Pendley has his own charcuterie program at Urban Grub in Nashville. He shares some of the challenges involved with setting up a space to cure and age meats in Tennessee – where the food inspection process hasn’t quite caught up with the new techniques being used.
Last, we chat more with Edgar about his upcoming James Beard House dinner titled “Southern Hangout.” He’s using familiar flavors from his youth to create a menu boasting mouth-watering ingredients like strawberry preserves, black truffle mole, pork jerky, and sorghum syrup.