Gender Relations & Leadership: Outlook of the Future of the Food & Bev Industry

On this podcast recorded at Fodoable.io in Seattle, our host Yareli Quintana speaks with three leaders in the foodservice and beverage industry who also happen to be women. The conversation begins by each identifying some of the changes they’ve seen happen in their respected industries throughout the years.

First, you’ll hear from Zoi Antonitsas, executive chef of Little Fish, Seattle’s first modern-day craft cannery and restaurant which will be found in the heart of Pike Place Market once it opens. Chef Antonitsas has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry and says she’s been fortunate to have worked with incredible men and women up and down the West Coast.

“I’ve never really felt like I’ve ever been discriminated against as far as being a woman, with the exception of a few, I would say, financial question marks…,” says Antonitsas. “There have definitely been a couple of times where I’ve had to fight to get financial compensation for my work, where I know for a fact that some male counterparts have received more money without having to ask.”

Then, you’ll hear from Brenda Lobbato, the Northwest Region Vice President at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. She got into the beverage industry 30 years ago and has been in her current role since 2016, where she manages 26 percent of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ revenue totaling to $698M. Lobbato shares with the speakers that she’s recently seeing a lot more women getting into the beverage industry, which, for a long time, has been a “good ol’ boys network.” She’s proud to share that she’s helping spearhead a women’s group within Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

“We have this thing we call Women of  Wine... we call ourselves WOW and so we started this WOW organization from the standpoint of having concerns that affect all employees, but that women are bringing forward,” says Lobbato. “So, if that’s a mentoring program or that’s a skills program, like public speaking or financial acumen, whatever that is… it’s making those topics and resources safe to talk about.”

Throughout the podcast, you’ll also hear from Roz Edison, co-founder of Marination Ma Kai, a food truck turned into brick-and-mortar locations serving up Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine across Seattle. Ten years ago, Marination Ma Kai’s food truck was “the first on 10 rolling in the streets of Seattle.” That number has grown tremendously since then and now Edison and her business partner are also established entrepreneurs in the fast casual space.

“Sadly, though, I just came from a 3-day conference from my industry. It’s called the Fast Casual Executive Summit, so about 150 to 300 C-level folks from chains that range from 50 to 800 units. Almost every single panel had 100 percent white, male panelists…,” says Edison. “...I had really hoped I would run into a female CEO or a female director of operations. That, I’m not seeing in the fast-casual side of it.”

The four speakers later dive into topics like employee relations, mentorship, and hopes for the future of the industry as it pertains to women. Stay tuned to hear which direction this interesting conversation took and how each panelist feels about each topic discussed!

America’s 1st Certified Organic QSR Is Giving Sport Fans What They Want

Foodable had the chance to catch up with The Organic Coup, the first certified organic fast food restaurant, once again, but this time at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. On this episode of On Foodable, Paul Barron sits down with the brand’s founder, Erica Welton, to talk about latest achievements and future plans.

We first learned about The Organic Coup in 2016 when Foodable had the chance to visit its first location to learn about the brand in depth. Although the certified organic fried chicken remains at the core of this fast food concept with the fried chicken sandwich still being the favored menu item, the brand has started to develop six grab-and-go retail products that are currently featured at some Whole Food locations in Northern California.

This fast food joint has grown to 10 locations in just a little over three years. However, Welton believes that when she looks back at the brand’s history one day she’ll say that the “breakout moment” for The Organic Coup came once it opened a concession shop at a major sports venue like Oracle Park (formerly known as the AT&T Park), home of the San Francisco Giants.

We’re at the “San Francisco Giants ballpark and of course that was not part of the business plan, not a part of our original thought process...,” says Welton. “but, the San Francisco Giants, they had so many fan requests... requesting organic, clean, healthy food... food that they can feel good about eating… and some of their executives had been eating in our San Francisco location and so they brought us over.”

This lead The Organic Coup to later open at the Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers. In the last game of the season— during the College National Championship Game— the brand ended up closing as the No. 1 concession stand for the stadium making $37,000 in just four hours.

Check out the video above to learn more about what sets this fast food concept apart to get a clue to their success!

Westward's Chef Will Gordon Shares His Matbucha Braised Wild Alaska Pollock Recipe

On this episode of On Foodable, we are featuring Chef Will Gordon, former Executive Chef of Westward, a Seattle restaurant located directly on the north shores of Lake Union. Chef Gordon will be working with wild Alaska pollock, provided by Trident Seafoods, to make a delicious Matbucha Braised Wild Alaska Pollock dish. This is the last episode out of our four-part series of chef demos that were filmed at our Foodable.io Seattle event, sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

About the Dish

Wild Alaska Pollock Braised in Matbucha with Preserved Lemon Cream, Charred Shishito Peppers and Herbs

Wild Alaska Pollock is an underutilized, sustainable fish species.

Wild Alaska Pollock is an underutilized, sustainable fish species.


Ingredients:

  • 6 ea. / skinned, Wild Alaska Pollock Fillets

  • 1 recipe Matbucha

  • Lemon juice

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 pt preserved lemon crema

  • 24 ea. medium-sized shishito peppers washed

  • 3 pts mixed pickled herbs: parsley, mint, and dill

  • Finishing salt


Method of Cooking:

This recipe serves 6 people. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Heat up matbucha in two saute pans its oven proof handles (thin with a little bit of vegetable stock, water or tomato juice to the consistency of tomato sauce). When it is at a nice simmer, nestle in three portions of fish per pan, leaving space between each piece. Move to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just done and flaky.  While the fish is in the oven, blister the shishito peppers in a hot, dry pan until black spots occur, and they are just cooked. Remove to a plate on the side.

After you remove the pans of fish from the oven, gently remove all of your fish to a plate off to the side. Put the matbucha back on the stove and reduce down if it needs it. Add a little olive oil, salt or lemon as necessary to make it taste as you like.  


Plating:

  • To serve, spoon some matbucha on each plate, nestle a few shishitos in the matbucha as well as your fish. Garnish with dollops of the preserved lemon cream and herbs that have been lightly dressed in extra virgin olive oil and salt.

Westward

“Westward is a restaurant with a real sense of place,” says Chef Gordon. “You can sit on the deck there, on the patio and look out and see all of Seattle… and eat oysters or eat a nice piece of fish out of our wood-fired oven and it’s like no where else in the world.”

To hear Will Gordon’s thoughts about what the role of a chef is today and to replicate his delicious sustainable fish dish, follow along by watching the episode above!

Chef David Glass, from Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Demonstrates His Lemon & Thyme Stuffed Wild Alaska Pollock Dish

On this episode of On Foodable, we are featuring Chef David Glass, from Ethan Stowell Restaurants’ Staple and Fancy Mercantile located in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. Chef Glass will be working with wild Alaska pollock, provided by Trident Seafoods, to make a beautiful Lemon and Thyme Stuffed Wild Alaska Pollock dish. This is the third episode out of our four-part series of chef demos that were filmed at our Foodable.io Seattle event, sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

About the Dish

Wild Alaska Pollock, stuffed with Thyme and Lemon, with Brown Butter Cauliflower and Salsa Verde

Wild Alaska Pollock is an underutilized, sustainable fish species.

Wild Alaska Pollock is an underutilized, sustainable fish species.


Ingredients:

  • 2 ea. / skin on Wild Alaska Pollock Fillets

  • 1 lemon, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 3 sprigs of thyme

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets 

  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed

  • 1/4 lb butter

  • 1Tbs extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup picked parsley, fried

  • 1/4 cup picked sage, fried

  • 1 lemon, juice of


Method of Cooking:

Take the two skin-on fillets and lay slices of lemon and thyme in between. Tie the fish with butcher’s twine to secure the two filets together. Sear the cauliflower in the olive oil. Add the capers and butter. Allow butter to brown and add the lemon juice to stop the browning process. Grill the fish on both sides (about 4 minutes per side).


Plating:

  • Plate the fish, snipping and carefully removing the twine, and top with cauliflower, caper and butter mix. Top with crispy parsley and sage. 

Staple & Fancy

At Staple and Fancy there’s a focus on seafood and utilizing the abundance of quality local resources that are available to chefs in the city of Seattle. For Chef Glass, sustainability is a personal responsibility.

“As a chef it’s easy to think about today and tomorrow or just cooking for now,” said Chef Glass. “But when we look at the big picture and we look at five years from now…, twenty years from now and the impact of the use of the ingredients we have today on the future it’s important for us to have thought in the product that we use and ensure that we’re using product that is gonna be sustainable and it’s going to be available for our children.”

Essentially, he would hate “for species to become extinct and no one would have the chance to taste them again.”

To replicate this delicious sustainable dish follow along by watching the episode above!

Tom Douglas' Corporate Executive Chef, Chris Schwartz, Shows Off His Skills with a Pan-Roasted Wild Alaska Pollock Dish

On this episode of On Foodable, Executive Chef Chris Schwartz from Tom Douglas Restaurants explains the newfound role of being a chef in today’s day and age and why it’s important to continue looking for new resources to cook with.

Chef Schwartz mentions, “When people come to Seattle, they automatically want Halibut, Salmon, or Dungeness Crab, which is great. But, as you know, those (resources) are limited to a certain extent, so we have to be on the forefront of figuring out what else is out there.”

During Foodable.io Seattle, Chef Schwartz prepares a unique dish using wild Alaska pollock, provided by Trident Seafoods. The wild Alaska pollock is paired with harissa, moroccan-like chili paste, used to glaze a newaukum delicata squash. Chef Schwartz tops his dish off with a drizzle of a charred jalapeno-basil vinaigrette, giving another kick of flavor and spice to the overall dish.

About Pan-Roasted Wild Alaska Pollock with Harissa and Honey-Roasted Newaukum Delicata Squash


dish2.jpg

About the Dish

Ingredients:

Harissa Glaze

  • 6 oz. Harissa Paste

  • 1 oz. Red Wine Vinegar

  • ½ Red Onion, minced

  • Lemon Juice, ½ of lemon

  • 1 oz. Warm Water

  • ½ c. Olive Oil

  • ¼ c. Honey

  • 4T. Chopped Parsley

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Charred Jalapeno-Basil Vinaigrette

  • ¾ c. Red Onion, diced

  • ¼ c. Red Wine Vinegar

  • ¼ c. Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 ½ T. Salt

  • 4ea. Jalapenos

  • 4ea. Red Fresco Chilis

  • ¼ c. Honey

  • 1 ½ T. Dijon Mustard

  • 1T. Garlic, finely chopped

Preparation

  1. Combine the first four listed ingredients and let sit for ten minutes

2. Begin preparing jalapenos and Fresco chilis by removing the ends and cores from each

3. Slightly char in a pan with olive oil (keep them firm)

4. Add to mixture when ready (season with salt, pepper and chopped basil as needed)

Harissa and Honey Roasted Newaukum Delicata Squash

  • 1 Newaukum Delicata Squash

Preparation

  1. Remove seeds from squash and slice into half-sized rings

  2. Toss in Harissa glaze and season with salt and pepper

  3. Preheat oven to 450°F and cook on sheet pan for 20 minutes

Pan-Roasted Wild Alaska Pollock

  • 4ea. 4-6 oz. Skin-on Pollock Fillets

  • 1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

  • Salt and Pepper

Preparation:

  1. Heat saute pan over medium-low heat

  2. Rub olive oil on fillets then place in saute pan (skin side down)

  3. Quick saute each side for 3-4 minutes, adding butter in between to baste fillets


Executive Chef Chris Schwartz has spent the last 30 years in the restaurant industry overseeing, leading and managing kitchens, along with a small army of chefs, sous chefs and cooks. He is an invaluable leader to Tom Douglas and his business-partner wife, Jackie Cross. The couple own and operate 14 restaurants, including Seatown Market Diner, another successful Seattle-based Douglas restaurant. Their variety of offerings can be enjoyed during any season, whether you’re staying warm with chowder during the winter or cooling off with a seafood cocktail during the summer!