On this week’s WORD OF MOUTH, we welcome LIVE chef-owner George Mendes of Aldea, and the soon-to-open sister spot Lupulo. George shares stories from his blue-collar Danbury, CT childhood among food-loving extended family and a huge Portuguese community. Mendes, who once dreamed of playing basketball professionally, shares with us how a high school field trip showed him chef-ing as a career. Plus, we’ll talk fly-fishing and the Great Outdoors.

At the top of the show, we hit the Greenmarket with Ian Alvarez of French-Japanese restaurant Bara in the East Village and talk sunchokes shopping tips. To #WINEDOWN, we catch up with Master Sommelier Lindsey Geddes, beverage director of the Charlie Palmer Group—she shares from the frontlines of being pregnant while working at the highest professional levels of wine.

“I didn’t fit into the whole oxford, preppy khaki-wearing scene. I was this guido Thunderbird-riding kid. Other than being on the basketball court” Georges professes to being “kind of a loner.” (14:00)

“My dad worked in a factory from 6am until 2 or 3pm, and then after that he was a handyman. He always felt the desire to work more. His work ethic was incredible.”

On his modern Portuguese dishes: “When my mom first had the duck rice [at Aldea], she goes, ‘This is not Portuguese.’ But I’m happy to say that some visitors would come in from Portugal and say, ‘This is not how we make it at home, but it’s still delicious.'”

–Geroge Mendes on WORD OF MOUTH