Adrianne Calvo on the Culinary Scene and Launching New Restaurant Cracked

On this episode of The Barron Report, host Paul Barron chats with acclaimed celebrity chef, author, and restaurateur Adrianne Calvo. Calvo opened her first restaurant, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar, in Miami in 2007, and is opening a fast casual restaurant, Cracked, this month. She has competed in Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay, had her dishes featured in Gourmet and Bon Appétit, and she regularly appears on NBC's 6 In the Mix every Thursday. Barron and Calvo discuss keeping things fresh, building a menu, and the unique struggles women face in the culinary industry.

For Calvo, real estate is always “second on the list to your product.” Having made her first restaurant—located in a strip mall—a success, and started Cracked as an artisan-driven chef sandwich food truck, she argues that location is not everything. Having a compelling brand and consistent flavor is key. “People will drive as long as it’s a good product.”

Calvo notes that her experience is uncommon to most female chefs because she owns her business. Many women struggle to rise and are quietly, but swiftly blacklisted from the industry if they have a family. Even those who do rise have to struggle with the gender pay gap and earn less than a man for the same work.

“It’s a delicate dance, the restaurant industry,” says Calvo. “I was researching how many executive chefs are women in hotels. There’s a handful in America. They can’t go up the ladder. Men are at the top of the chain.”

Calvo does not think the industry is without hope. “Roles are changing,” she notes. Men are beginning to share the load of taking care of a family. However, as Calvo adds, “It’s not going to start in the kitchens of hotels—it has to start in society as a whole.”

Check out the podcast above to learn more about the Cracked menu, crafting a “league of exceptional chefs,” and her advice for the next generation of chefs. And if you would like to keep listening, check out The Barron Report podcast on iTunes Now!

Research by:

Paul Barron

Paul Barron

Editor-in-Chief/Executive Producer


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How Pinot Wines Can Be Paired with Your Food Menu

How to build and pair your wine selection with a food menu. The featured wines, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, are from Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant.

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen and Bar, our master mixologist, Oscar Castaneda, explores flavor profiles with co-host, Adrianne Calvo—Author, Celebrity Chef, and Owner of Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami, Fla. The experts discuss strategy and explore conversations a beverage director and a chef might have when deciding which wine pairs best with a food menu. The featured wines in this episode are Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from Cooper Hawk’s Winery and Restaurant.

Pairing a dish with your wine really depends on the flavor profile of the ingredients in a dish and not always just the protein at the center of the plate. In the spread that Chef Calvo prepared for Castaneda, flavor profiles are broken down and paired with each wine.

For example, the white wine, Pinot Gris, pairs well with a light first course such as a summer salad. In this example, Castaneda tries a fresh crisp pear with the wine.

“Why pair a pear with this wine instead of something else like an apple?” asks Castaneda.

“An apple has higher acidity than the pear which will overpower the flavor. A pear is lightly sweet, has a little bit of a crunch, delicate fruit flavor,” says Chef Calvo.

The acidity of the wine overpowers the pear flavor but still retains it in its backbone.

Another alternative with fruit is a freeze-dried version. In this state, the flavor is concentrated and pairs well with the Pinot Gris. It’s an excellent wine that can go with many different dessert varieties as it can bring down the sweetness.

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Pinot Gris

Paired with:

  • Pear

  • Crunchies Freeze Dried Fruit

  • DiGiorno Crispy Pan Pepperoni Pizza

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Pinot Noir

Paired with:

  • Crudité platter (baby carrots, baby onions, and baby radishes with Publix Sour Cream Dip, French Onion)

  • Vigo Mushrooms, Marinated, in Vinegar Marinade

  • Lindt Milk Chocolate Bar


In this two-episode series, Chef Calvo’s approach to the pairing was definitely out of the box and not something we have seen before.

Want to see how day-old pizza paired with the Pinot Noir?

Watch the full episode above to find out!

Chef Adrianne Calvo and Mixologist Oscar Castaneda Dish On Wine Tasting

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen and Bar, our master mixologist, Oscar Castaneda, discusses with his co-host, Adrianne CalvoAuthor, Celebrity Chef, and Chef/Owner of Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami, FL—how to build and pair your wine selection with a food menu. The featured wines, Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon, are from Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant.

When building a wine selection based on your food menu, it’s important to match a flavor profile with a dish that will complement each other. You never want to offer a glass of wine that could be overbearing with its flavor.

“In conversations with my beverage director, I would say, ‘I have a 24-hr braised short rib that has a lot of fat and robust flavors, and I want a glass of wine that is strong enough to hold a candle to the short-rib but is not overwhelming,’” says Chef Adrianne.

As she breaks down the flavor highlights of her samplers (which Oscar tastes eagerly), we learn what reaction it has to the wine. Chef Adrianne guides Oscar’s pairing experience with a slow exercise where he takes a bite, inhales, waits 3 seconds and then takes a sip of wine. Oscar and the consumer can heighten the flavor of any dish by breathing in before tasting.

One of Chef Adrianne’s examples is a jalapeño popper paired with the Super Tuscan. The spice of the jalapeño is toned down with cream cheese, and the flavor of the wine cuts through the fat of the bacon. Similarly, Oscar tries out a couple of corn chips with the Cabernet which may seem odd but pairs fantastically.

“Some places start with tortillas or other flour-based appetizers. This is a great way to show someone that they can start with a glass of wine and pair it with this type of appetizer,” says Oscar.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Paired with:

  • Fritos Corn Chips

  • Lay's® Kettle Cooked Salt & Pepper Flavored Potato Chips

Super Tuscan

Paired with:

  • Braised short-rib

  • Jalapeño Popper

  • Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bar

  • Bark Thins Snacking Chocolate Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt

  • Aged Gouda Cheese

  • Parmesan

Give Customers What They Want With These Clean-Label Dessert Recipes

Give Customers What They Want With These Clean-Label Dessert Recipes

Welcome to Foodable’s Smart Kitchen where chefs share innovative ideas around the challenges you work with every day. In this episode, Agnes and Chef Adrianne are cleaning up your customers' favorite desserts.

Customers are demanding clean ingredients and transparency in everything they eat from entrees to indulgent desserts. Many concepts are taking, cheesecake, a classic customer favorite, and adding fruit flavors to take the traditional plate to the next level. But while apple and cheesecake are a winning pair, ensuring consistent quality and flavor can be a strife for multi-unit operators. In this episode, see how Chef Adrianne makes adding fresh and clean fruit flavors to your dessert menu easy and cost-efficient.

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The Main Dish: Target Launches $5 Wine Line, The Birth of Beervana and Craft Beer, and Other Highlights

In the age of information overload, refinement is key. That was the thought behind The Main Dish — a quick compilation of the most bookmark-worthy links from the Foodable Network. Aside from our usual daily content, every Sunday, The Main Dish will serve a fresh batch of handpicked pieces of the most appetizing lists & literature that you may have missed.

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The Birth of Beervana and Craft Beer

The beer industry has changed tremendously over the past 20 years. Today you can find a local Craft Beer in almost every city across the country, creating a new generation of beer lovers. The United States has gone from the home of the light lager to one of the most recognized beer manufacturers in the world.  If you have been following the progression of craft beer in the U.S.A, there’s one place you must explore: Portland, OR. Also known as Beervana. Arguably, the birthplace of the craft beer movement. Learn more about host Kerry Finsand in our pilot show— Beer Artisan.

Can Aquaponics Change the Food System?

In this episode of Sustain, we meet JD Sawyer, founder of Colorado Aquaponics, which houses an aquaponics farm known as Flourish Farms. “The food system is out of balance. We’ve got to figure out a way to have higher quality foods using less resources, period, or it’s not gonna work. It’s really gonna take a grassroots effort. Instead of fighting the model, we’re just gonna have to change it.” Says JD and he believes that Aquaponics can be the solution. Aquaponics is defined as an eco-friendly system that recirculates water from a fish tank through a vegetable grow bed. Nutrients from the fish waste feed the plants and the plants filter the water to keep the fish healthy. Raising fish is a huge part of the equation for Flourish Farms. 

Is Your Operation Ready to Offer Digital Ordering?

Nearly every household orders food to-go from a local restaurant at least once or twice per month (some per week) and the days of traditional ‘phone orders’ or simply waiting in line, are clearly coming to an end thanks to new and continuously improving technology. Many independent restaurants have been sitting back, watching the development of online/mobile ordering, also known as digital ordering, wondering if they need to get into this space and/or how to even get started. The question shouldn’t be ‘should we introduce digital ordering?’— the question should be ‘when will we introduce digital ordering?’ 

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Orchestrated Chaos at Chef Adrianne's

On this episode of Food as a Lifestyle, we meet Chef Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar as she begins her day with a little bit of foraging at Paradise Farms. These little adventures that she takes often inspire her menu. Today’s inspiration comes from double-yolked eggs. Before Chef Adrianne even arrives at the restaurant, she’s outlining the menu. “Eggs. Bacon. That’s a classic combination! I think I have that Berkshire pork belly... So, perhaps I will do the pork belly, but I’ll do it in, like, a square. Braise it soft…,” says Calvo.

Winemaking Sparking Consumer Interests

On this episode of On Foodable Side Dish, Rachel Speckan walks us through City Winery, a West Loop winery, restaurant, and concert hall. A lover of dusty Italian reds, lush and stony Savennieres, and funky American microbrews, Speckan is a true connoisseur. She uses her expertise to teach courses at City Winery and host wine tastings.Speckan, the National Wine Director for City Winery, loves that the modern consumer has begun to more deeply interact with the wines they drink.“People are really starting to care about where things came from, wanting to know the story behind it and its journey through life,” said Speckan. “...they really care and want to hear about its provenance and its terroir…”

From Clubs to Inexpensive Private Labels— How to Get in on the #WineTrend

Whether people are drinking more wine to get through the week #WineWednesday or to simply save the wine bottle corks for their next Pinterest project, wine culture has become increasingly popular in the U.S. showing a steady upwards growth in consumption year over year. After all, the U.S. has about 9,091 wineries, with California vineyards accounting for about 87 percent of the total U.S. wine production, giving Americans plenty of options to choose from when it comes to New World wines alone. The bottom line is wine is trending and big corporations, as well as consumers, are taking notice and doing something about it.