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Our Food Journey™ Podcast

Conversations with people who are making a difference in how we create and think about food.

From Midwestern farmers, to food entrepreneurs, and from Master Chefs, to parents preparing dinner for their families. We’re all players in an interconnected food system and we all deserve a place at the table.

  • EP: 10 Finding What You Love

    IN THIS EPISODE

    Wilson Tang was working in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Like many survivors, those attacks lead him to reassess what he wanted to do with his life. Tired of sitting behind a computer screen, Tang devoted himself to the restaurant business—taking over the famed Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Now he’s innovating ways to introduce the brand into new venues.

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    Finding What You Love

Our Latest Episodes

  • EP: 10 Finding What You Love

    In this Episode

    Wilson Tang was working in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Like many survivors, those attacks lead him to reassess what he wanted to do with his life. Tired of sitting behind a computer screen, Tang devoted himself to the restaurant business—taking over the famed Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Now he’s innovating ways to introduce the brand into new venues.

    Related Stories

    Finding What You Love

  • EP9: Cooking for Superstars

    In this Episode

    Chef Kenneth Temple talks about his hometown of New Orleans and the remarkable food traditions he grew up with. Chef Kenneth runs a personal dining business for sports and entertainment superstars. He has cooked for NFL and NBA players, celebrities, politicians, Grammy award-winning artists, and Hollywood movie producers. His company focuses on delicious food with Creole, Cajun, Southern, and Caribbean influence—it’s something that Kenneth calls “Southern Creole.” If you recognize HIS voice it might be from his 2017 appearance on Food Network’s popular cooking competition show “Chopped”—he was one of the show’s winners during the 2017 season.

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    Heart & Soul

  • EP8: Would You Serve this to Your Mother?

    In this Episode

    Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis welcomes Chef Tony Finnestad who oversees culinary for Hormel Foods foodservice division. Chef Tony is a young man but already has a lifetime of experience in the food business. He has been the lead chef at fine restaurants and worked in product development before coming to Hormel Foods. Part of Tony’s job is tracking multiple trends in the food industry including the public’s shifting perception of big food and how supermarkets are increasingly becoming more like restaurants. Tony’s career represents a trend for young chefs. He’s decided he can make the biggest impact in the food business by working for a large company where he can touch the lives of thousands of families.

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    A Chef’s Chef

  • EP7: The Future of Culinary Education

    In this Episode

    Our guest, Adam Busby, the general manager of the Greystone campus at The Culinary Institute of America, has a particularly good perspective to see the energy and entrepreneurship that young chefs are bringing to their careers. Becoming head chef at a fine restaurant is no longer the only goal. Students now have wide-ranging ideas about what they will do after they leave campus—from food writing to photography to working on cruise ships or developing nutrition bars. Many young chefs are also looking for careers at large consumer packaged goods companies where their new ideas can have an outsized impact on national food trends and critical issues like food equity and environmental sustainability.

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    All in the Details

  • EP6: The Anthropology of Food

    In this Episode

    Buying, cooking, and sharing food can tell us a lot about who we are as a people. The story is never simple—there are thousands of food and cooking subcultures defined by place, history and economics. In this episode we talk with Tanya Rodriquez, the Hormel Foods in-house anthropologist, about how she tracks these constantly changing trends. We learn how she draws from diverse background in social service, academia and on-the-ground research to gain insights that other might overlook.

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    The Language of Food

  • EP5: Making the Angels Sing

    In this Episode

    Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis talks with Dominic Orsini, Executive Chef at a renowned winery in Napa Valley. Orsini pioneers new ways to connect his meals to a sense of place and season. “Food is about context,” Orsini says. “And so my inspiration mainly comes from what’s available from the gardens. What’s in season? What’s the weather like outside? Is it a warm day or is it a cold and chilly day?” Orsini has a name for the experience of finding the perfect combination of food, wine, and place, He calls it, “making the angels sing. Those are the times when a moment crystallizes in your mind, you recognize where you’re at, what’s happening, and it’s a memory that stays with you forever.”

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    Food with a Sense of Place

  • EP4: The Science of Protein

    In this Episode

    Functional food has become a major trend over the last decade and nowhere has that trend been hotter than the beverage industry. Grocery aisles that were once dominated by carbonated sugary drinks are now filling up with beverages promising sharper mental acuity, health, and increased athletic performance. Few know this trend better than Dr. Francisco Parada-Rabell. He’s overseen over 250 formulations, including dairy, plant-based proteins, teas and juice-based drinks. Francisco is now the director of beverage innovation at CytoSport, where he is responsible for managing, formulating and commercializing new ready-to-drinks beverages for the Muscle Milk®, Evolve® and CytoSport™ brands. Parada-Rabell has unique insight into the art and science of creating cutting-edge functional beverages.

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    Food Doctor

  • EP3: From Hell’s Kitchen To Napa Valley

    In this Episode

    In the last decade there has been a resurgence in interest in food shows on TV. On any given week, networks produce over 400 hours of cooking shows. Many of these are competition shows where chef’s go head to head. On this episode of Our Food Journey, Master Chef Ron Desantis interviews someone who knows how these shows have influenced food trends in our culture. She’s Christina Machamer, a rising star in the food and wine world. Chef Christina was the winner on the fourth season of Hell’s Kitchen. And went on to work side-by-side with Chef Gordon Ramsay in his restaurant in West Hollywood. After that she assisted chef Thomas Keller in the opening of Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills. She now resides in Napa Valley and has become a certified sommelier.

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    Full of Excitement

  • EP2: The Rise of Charcuterie

    In this Episode

    For the last few years charcuterie has been one of the top food trends in America and no charcuterie board is complete without a selection of fine cured italian meats. What makes a great charcuterie platter? Should you slice your salami thick or thin? Should you eat the skin? What can you tell about a salami by banging it on a desk? These are all topic that Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis discusses with Evan Inada, the marketing manager of Columbus Foods. Established in San Francisco and over a hundred years old, Columbus Foods has recently become part of the Hormel family of products. How do two companies with such storied histories in the meat business join forces?

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    Old-World Knowledge

  • EP1: Welcome To Our Food Journey™

    In this Episode

    In this introductory episode of our food journey, show hosts Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis and journalist Ethan Watters discuss why, in these times of globalization and concerns over the sustainability of our natural resources, food has become an increasingly important topic.

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    Pairings