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:

Jim Berman


Expert Columnist / Show Host


Reservation App Resy Partners with Capital One to Roll Out Modern Restaurant Week

Resy, a reservation app that has emerged as a rival to OpenTable, is partnering up with the Credit Company Capital One to release a modern restaurant week that incorporates the Resy platform.

Starting in Los Angeles from Feb. 25 through March 3, Resy will be offering reservations at 10 to 15 restaurants that will be serving lucky diners a special menu specifically for this week. This menu will feature new dishes prepared by the restaurant's chef and dishes already on the menu.

This week is catering to those foodies who want a unique culinary experience with more of a chef connection.

“We wanted people to experience what it feels like to be an insider and a regular at these restaurants,” said Victoria Vaynberg, Resy's CMO. “It’s about bringing this closer connection between the restaurants and the diners. The idea is to capture this research, development and testing phase—having these off-menu items that you can access for one week only.”

The Off Menu Week will also be making its debut in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Austin.

All of these cities are full of foodies willing to invest to get a next level dining experience.

“People are willing to pay and spend their disposable income on an experience, but those experiences have to be worthwhile,” said Vaynberg. “They really have to be a value add, and have to feel special. You don’t want to leave something feeling otherwise.”

Capital One, which launched its restaurant-focused points card Savor at the end of 2017, is partnering with Resy strategically.

Capital One cardmembers will be getting early access to book reservations during these Off Menu Weeks.

Learn more about the new restaurant week at "Ad Week" now.

We recently spoke with Stephanie Cohen, head of sales for Resy to see how the CRM platform sets itself apart from others on the market from an operator standpoint. Check out the video below to learn more how Resy is helping to streamline restaurant operations.

Cannabis Fine Dining has Arrived in California But Is it There to Stay?

Cannabis Fine Dining has Arrived in California But Is it There to Stay?

Fine dining chefs in California cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are now incorporating cannabis into their menus. 

The cannabis dining trend continues to gain momentum. There are even a few shows like Cooking on High and Bong Appetite, both focused on cannabis-infused cuisine. 

Not all gourmet ganja dishes are meant to give those diners that head "high." With the legalization of marijuana, there is an array of concentrates available.  

"THC is the cannabis compound that can get users high. CBD is different. It's another cannabis compound that lacks psychoactive properties. Fans believe CBD relieves anxiety and pain, and it's become a popular ingredient in cocktails," writes "NPR."

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Is In-Car Commerce the Next Big Foodservice Trend?

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse, we're taking a look at in-car commerce startup, Cargo. Cargo provides a solution to the question, what if I don’t want to get out of the car?

Convenience for consumers who utilize ridesharing, Cargo provides snacks, beverages and miscellaneous items like electronics and beauty products for sale. The center console box features an assortment of items provided by big partners like Coca-Cola, SnackNation, Red Bull, Kellogg's and more.

Recently partnering with the rideshare giant itself, Uber and Cargo are disrupting the retail industry.

The global partnership will be available to riders in San Francisco and Los Angeles first. Uber drivers who choose to provide Cargo’s service to their riders can go to their local Uber service hub and pick up the Cargo box.

What’s in it for drivers? Cargo allows not only for a way to upgrade rideshare service and earn shining reviews and ratings but additional income. Uber and Cargo estimates that drivers can earn about $100 extra per month through Cargo boxes.

For every product a driver sells, including free samples, Cargo will pay the driver one dollar and 25 percent of the product’s retail price.

Learn more about Cargo in the video above and at “Inc.com

Cali-Based Fast Casual Lemonade Rolls Out New Catering Menu

Cali-Based Fast Casual Lemonade Rolls Out New Catering Menu

The LA-based better-for-you fast-casual chain Lemonade has revamped its catering program and has just unveiled a new menu.

As of July 16, the new catering menu is available for online ordering. 

Keeping the consumers' love for meal customization in mind, the menu offers different create-your-own packages. 

For example, the new Lemonade Sunshine Sandwich Package comes in two sizes– small that serves 8-10 or large serving 15-20 that features the "Chef Sandwich along with a choice of salads or any of Lemonade's signature hot dishes like their famous Mac N’ Cheese, Red Miso Beef Short Rib or Harissa Roasted Cauliflower," according to a recent press release from the chain. 

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