The Rebel Yell: Saying "No" To Diners

On this episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman sits down with the unapologetic Chef Norrawit “Wit” Milburn, who claims “I don’t do hospitality, I just make bomb-ass food.” Wit, as he prefers to be called, is the Chef and Co-Owner of Delaware’s Ubon Thai Cuisine, Kapow Kitchen and two food trucks, alongside his wife.

The two restaurant industry veterans share their insights on how to go about encouraging “picky eaters” about trying new foods and tips for chef and operators who are not sure what they should serve kids at restaurants.

One of the questions our host, Chef Berman, poses is “Is it our job, is it our responsibility to educate customers? Is that a fool’s errand? Is that a higher calling that maybe we just can’t answer to?”

Chef Wit eloquently responds: “As a business person? No. But, as a Chef? Yes!”

Take a listen to this fun episode to make sense of all this information and laugh alongside these two cooks as they help us understand a chef’s creative mindset!


Hosted by:

Rachel Brill

JIM BERMAN

Expert Columnist / Show Host


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Why the Food Scene in “Forgotten Cities” Is As Important As Those in New York, Chicago, and L.A.

On this episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman sits down with Chef Derek Stevens— a Steel City “burning star,” as he calls him, for shining bright in the local food scene. Stevens is the co-owner and executive chef of Pittsburgh’s Union Standard. Both gentlemen are Pittsburgh-natives and they focus their conversation around those cites that seem “forgotten” in the food world.

The two agree that as chefs they are always on the hunt for honest food. Chef Stevens is candid about his favorite Pittsburgh food spots, highlighting establishments like LeoGretta located in the Carnegie neighborhood and ran by Chef Greg Alauzen; as well as, DiAnoia’s Eatery in the Strip District and ran by Chef Dave DiAnoia.

“When I talk about those chefs… when I eat their food, I think ‘Damn, I wish I could cook like this guy’ you know?,” says Chef Stevens. “It’s really heartwarming in a way, you know? They really got it figured out. And sometimes they’re thinking the same thing [about other chefs].”

Listen to the podcast above to hear the full conversation, Chef Steven’s thoughts on the resurgence of downtown areas in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee, and how to cultivate interest for a local food scene in a “forgotten city.”


Show Notes:

  • 1:55 - Chef Derek Stevens’ Background

  • 4:07 - Favorite Pittsburgh food spots

  • 7:37 - Comfort Food vs. Fine-Dining

  • 12:47 - Cultivating Interest for local food scene

  • 17:19 - Incubators and the food scene

  • 23:13 - Labor Shortage

Hosted by:

Rachel Brill

JIM BERMAN

Expert Columnist / Show Host


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Is The Future of Dining Digitization? Allset CEO Thinks So!

We are living in a world with a live and thriving “on-demand” economy.

From having the choice to watch your favorite TV shows on your own time and schedule, to ordering meals and groceries through your mobile phone or online.

Companies seem to have finally figured it out…

Time is of the essence!

People seem to be willing to pay for their precious time to avoid time-consuming, mundane tasks. And with so many efficiencies taking place in different aspects of people’s lives, consumers are getting accustomed to speedy services so they can get back to what’s most important to them.

This phenomenon has us thinking… Is the future of dining digitization?

On this episode of On Foodable Feature, we learn from Stas Matviyenko, CEO and co-founder of Allset—a San Francisco-based application that aims to help restaurants provide a more efficient dining experience to guests who are short for time.

Watch the full interview to learn how this app can help increase a restaurant operation’s bottom line, how the technology integration would look like, and costs associated with the service!

The New Wild West... Food Trends, Cannabis & The New Hospitality

It’s been a little over six years after recreational cannabis was legalized in the state of Colorado through Amendment 64 and the impact has been huge on many fronts. In this episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman sits down with Denver-resident, Chef Brandon Foster to talk about one way the cannabis industry has unexpectedly impacted the food service industry.

The gentlemen also dish about the Colorado food scene, culinary trends across the nation, as well as, the Denver work environment for chefs.

“It’s a very homegrown scene and everybody has worked kind of with everybody, so to speak. And, you know, there’s not necessarily a lot of bad blood or competition. Yeah you want to succeed but you want to see your friends succeed too,” says Chef Foster. “And that’s an environment between restaurants where that’s not always the case in a big city...I think this is something that sets us apart, if you will.”

Chef Foster started his culinary career by working in hotels and then went on to work for restaurants. About three years ago, he made a change to work for a non-profit, Project Angel Heart, an organization that makes medically-tailored meals for people who are living with life threatening illnesses.

Listen to the podcast above to hear the full conversation about the positive and not so positive impact of the cannabis industry on Colorado and, more specifically, the foodservice industry!


Show Notes:

  • 1:21 - Meeting Chef Brandon Foster of Project Angel Heart

  • 3:58 - Restaurant Industry trends happening in Denver, Colorado

  • 8:48 - Describing the Colorado food scene

  • 14:23 - What do you look for food trends-wise when traveling?

  • 19:20 - Cannabis legalization impact on restaurant industry

  • 23:16 - Positive impact of CBD on a local farmer and what he decided to do with his farmland

Hosted by:

Rachel Brill

JIM BERMAN

Expert Columnist / Show Host


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The CBD Craze Is Taking the Food Industry by Storm

In this episode of On Foodable, we’re exploring the latest industry craze: Cannabidiol. Popularly known as CBD, this cannabis compound has non-psychoactive effects, unlike those felt from ingesting substances containing THC. In recent months, CBD and its uses have not only increased in popularity amongst health and wellness fans, but have also gained traction from the medical community. This trend isn’t going anywhere, as science begins to support the overwhelming anecdotal evidence in the herb’s favor. Studies have found that CBD helps boost gut health, decreases inflammation, and can be as effective as anti-anxiety drugs.

Today, CBD can be found in almost anything; from gummies and chocolate bars to honey and bitters, there are plenty of ways CBD can be used that you might not have thought of, making Culinary Cannabis one of our most watched trends. During this episode, we’ll take a closer look at a few CBD-infused products that are taking the industry by storm.

Cordial Organics

Cordial Organics is a new generation of clean beauty products formulated with CBD to help you change the way you think about your skin and body. All of their products are made with CBD, extracted through a supercritical CO2 process from medicinal grade hemp grown in the USA, meaning they offer one of the cleanest forms of CBD extract possible. In addition to their beauty line, they’ve created a few edible products, including “Celebrate Bitters.” With just ½ - 1 dropper of the bitters to any beverage or cocktail, you can feel relaxed instantly without the “out of sorts” feeling, thanks to the low dosage of CBD.

Luce Farm

Hemp farmers Joe and Rebecca, both firm believers in natural living and healing alternatives, are the husband and wife duo running Luce Farm in Vermont. Although CBD can be found in many plants, the compound is most abundant in the hemp plant, which Joe and Rebecca grow, process, extract, and test right on their farm site! Luce Farm has created many products, including Hemp Honey. Each jar contains its high-quality CBD extract with certified organic coconut oil and raw Vermont honey. Each teaspoon of honey contains 10 mg of CBD for a total of 360 mg of CBD per jar.

Just CBD

Just CBD was founded on the premise that CBD is nature’s secret miracle. When taking a look at the industry, they felt the CBD business was consistently misrepresented and taken advantage of. Just CBD makes it their mission to keep customers aware of what’s in their products with the help of world-class labs that do all of their testings. Just CBD Peach Rings offer 500mg of CBD per jar, which equates to 25mg of CBD per piece.

Kickback CBD Cold Brew

Not only is Kickback’s CBD cold brew coffee organic, gluten free, and vegan… it’s also a perfect balance between caffeine and hemp to give your body the energy surge it needs without jitters or overstimulation. Instead of forcing your body to adjust to high levels of caffeine from regular coffee, Kickback has made a “functional chill” possible by adding CBD to their 100% single origin and shade-grown coffee beans that are infused with the highest quality hemp available. Their concept is “energetic harmony,” a calm, energizing feeling felt from drinking their CBD coffee.

New Age Beverages Corporation

New Age Beverages Corporation plans to be the leader in CBD health drinks, according to Forbes. The company recently announced their plans to release a line of CBD infused drinks under their current relaxation beverages Mellow Mood, inspired by reggae legend Bob Marley to promote mindful, healthy living. Marley+CBD Mellow Mood is packaged in 15.5-ounce cans and contain 25mg of pharmaceutical grade CBD per serving in three different flavors: Herbal Honey, Lemon Raspberry, and Peach Raspberry. “After successful showcasing of the Marley CBD line at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco this month, New Age received orders from grocery retailers across the U.S.,” New Age CEO Brent Willis said during an interview with Forbes.

Has the Culinary Cannabis movement caught your attention, too? Hear our take by watching the video above.