CAFE Talks Podcast

May 26, 2022, 13:57
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 48 – A Servant's Heart – Family First

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 48 – A Servant's Heart – Family First

Be humble, work with your employees, know that each person is just as important as the next, build trust through your brand, and make sure that you find time for family. These are words of wisdom from a successful owner team that has built a foodservice business and a family through hard work, dedication to a pursuit of excellence, connecting with guests, and mentoring a team of professionals who share in a vision and a…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 47 – The Impact of Food on Learning

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 47 – The Impact of Food on Learning

Find your purpose, align with your passion, think that you can make a difference and you just might. As chefs and educators, we have a desire to discover what we were meant to do and how what we do might just make a dent in the universe. We have the power to steer individuals in a certain direction, to fill stomachs, inspire, reward, comfort and celebrate, and give others a chance to break bread and…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 46 – Team Diversity and Development

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 46 – Team Diversity and Development

“WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK HERE?” This, to Chef Joe Faria of Quail Valley River and Golf Club is a very important question to ask. “It is my job to understand this answer and make sure that his or her reason is still relevant throughout the time that a person works here.” In Chef Faria’s kitchen diversity is a learning opportunity, teaching is a way of life, family is essential, and teamwork never allows…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 45 – Facing the Admissions Challenge

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 45 – Facing the Admissions Challenge

Matching the right student to your culinary program, opening the door to the possibilities of a bright future in food, setting the stage for success, and preparing the next generation of culinary professionals takes a team effort.  Marketing, admissions, and student retention cannot be viewed as separate departments, nor can the delivery of program material in classrooms and labs be treated as a separate silo if a program is to reach its goals.  Integration and…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 44 – Teaching, Training & Lifelong Learning

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 44 – Teaching, Training & Lifelong Learning

There is no greater calling, there is no task more important, and there is no objective more rewarding for a chef than to teach, train, and mentor. Chefs spend their careers, sometimes unknowingly, helping others build the technical and life skills necessary to be successful. This is part of the job – quite possibly, the most important part of the job. Those chefs who are most impactful are the ones who create learning environments wherever…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 43 – Problem Solving Through Mindful Leadership

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 43 – Problem Solving Through Mindful Leadership

Oftentimes management is viewed as a controlling process – a way to get a job done through other people where to lead is to inspire, and to set a course for others to follow. However, we all know from our experience, that the title of “leader” is rarely defined in a way that accomplishes the goals of inspiration and setting a course for others to follow. Leadership has become a position rather than a method…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 42 – A Farm with a Restaurant

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 42 – A Farm with a Restaurant

Some may speak of Farm to Table, but a few chefs truly live the concept. An appreciation for the work of the farmer is a great first step, but engaging in the work of the farmer, planting, weeding, nurturing and harvesting; fully integrating ingredients in your menu, working with their seasonality, minimizing waste and when it occurs – building it back into the soil as compost or feed for the animals that a chef raises;…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 41 – The Power of Service

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 41 – The Power of Service

Quality, Trust, and Service - these are the hallmarks of success in any business. In the restaurant field these hallmarks are measured each day, by every customer and every employee. For the business to succeed, these factors must come into play with every stakeholder involved in the ecosystem of restaurants. Sometimes - smaller is better, allowing the stakeholder to quickly adapt when quality, trust, and service are tempted by changes in the marketplace. Flexibility, openness,…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 40 – A Sous Vide Future

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 40 – A Sous Vide Future

Change is a challenging word. We all can recognize the need for change and even understand what might be needed but embracing and executing that change is all together a different matter. Holding on and hoping for the best is rarely an effective strategy, yet it is what most of us would prefer. Once we become accustomed to a way of operating, and a routine that has worked for us in the past, it is…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 39 – Reading Tea Leaves

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 39 – Reading Tea Leaves

When have you ever enjoyed a cup of tea in a restaurant and said: “That was excellent”?   Years ago, the same could be said for coffee; but awareness, availability, and training resulted in a coffee renaissance that brought about a new emphasis on the importance of “good to the last drop”.  Tea, like coffee just a few years ago is oftentimes viewed as a commodity product.  Restaurants pay little attention to what they offer and…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 38 – 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 38 – 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

From beer making hobbyist who intended to pursue a graduate degree in finance to owner/operator of two and soon to be three successful restaurant brewpubs and president of the New York State Craft Brewer’s Association – Chris Ericson has become a highly respected artisan beer advocate and entrepreneur. His portfolio of skills includes brewing, concept development, restaurant operations, team building, and marketing with his famous Ubu Ale as a centerpiece of operations. Join our podcast…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 37 – Curiosity and Creativity

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 37 – Curiosity and Creativity

Few things are more invigorating than an idea, an invention or re-invention, a spark of a concept that keeps you up at night – thinking, a problem solved or a new way of looking at something that has been staring you in the eye for quite some time. The creative process begins with curiosity, curiosity leads to inquiry, inquiry to research, research into formulation and development, and development into a product or concept that just…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 36 – Tell Me, Show Me, Engage Me

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 36 – Tell Me, Show Me, Engage Me

Set the stage for building competence and confidence – this is one of the most important outcomes of a culinary education. Create experiences that take a student outside of his or her comfort zone and in doing so help that person realize they can do what may seem impossible – this is the role of education. Create opportunities for not only gainful employment but a new trajectory for a lifetime career – this is where…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 35 – Finding Balance – Bees and Flies

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 35 – Finding Balance – Bees and Flies

Dishwasher to Club Chef, working for Charlie Palmer and David Burke, to Executive Chef for all food operations at Syracuse University – a chef’s progression is always remarkable to follow. “It doesn’t get any better than this – creating beautiful, delicious food that impacts other people’s lives – amazing.” Catching the bug that turns a job into a career can also catch up to you. Restaurant work is stressful – stress that can add to…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 34 – In Pursuit of Excellence

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 34 – In Pursuit of Excellence

From baking cookies with his grandmother to becoming a Subway sandwich artist and on to chef/owner of Soigne Hospitality with a portfolio of nationally renowned restaurants and partnerships with Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller – Chef Gavin Kaysen is a true example of a person in pursuit of excellence. “From an early age I knew that I wanted to make a career in the kitchen and focus on making people happy.” Chef Kaysen is a…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 33 – It's All About the Ingredients

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 33 – It's All About the Ingredients

Rainier cherries in mid-June, salmon from the Columbia River, morels, and boletes from deep in the Oregon forests, heirloom tomatoes brought to fruition in the July sun, perfect five-inch long Delicata squash for Eleven Madison in New York City (300 pounds each week), or beautiful wild asparagus flown in secretly from France – these are the special tools, the magical ingredients that help chefs to be great at what they do, and Francois de Melogue…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 32 – The Teacher's Calling

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 32 – The Teacher's Calling

What keeps you up at night and what pushes you to jump out of bed in the morning? Is it angst over work left undone, or projects on the horizon that you are not sure how to approach? Or…is it that next great idea and the desire to bring it to fruition? From an early age we are wired to think, to learn, and to build. It is this desire to create that excites us…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 31 – One Cook at a Time

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 31 – One Cook at a Time

Chef to entrepreneur, entrepreneur to trainer, trainer to teacher, teacher to innovative leader – thus is the career track for Chef Warren Leigh. His passion for food and service began as a son of a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army – living in Germany, studying in France and Switzerland, and becoming a commis to Madeleine Kamman. This chef who speaks three languages and, with his wife, owned and operated six restaurant concepts – made…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 30 – Farm, Family, Passion, Career, Life

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 30 – Farm, Family, Passion, Career, Life

One of America’s most inspiring destinations is tucked away in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Blackberry Farm has grown to represent the very best in farm to table, sustainable practices, appreciation for the land, excellence in culinary arts, and creating an environment for team members that is inclusive, supportive, and still demanding of excellence. Sarah Steffan grew up in a hard-working family, a large family influenced by the example set by her parents – an…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 29 – The Life-Changing International Experience

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 29 – The Life-Changing International Experience

Do we tend to discount and fear what we don’t know? Are untapped experiences a gap in real learning? The Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) has embraced an international presence for its programs, both here and abroad for decades. “This is where students learn to accept ambiguity, become real problem solvers, experience the joys and challenges of pure trust, and become better citizens of the world” states Jim Myers, Associate Provost of International Education and…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 28 – Excellence is a Team Effort

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 28 – Excellence is a Team Effort

Moving the bar from good to great is driven by a commitment to building a team, engaging their thoughts, and aligning everyone with the concept of excellence in everything they do. Great is not a destination, but rather an attitude that even the smallest of tasks deserves the very best effort and those involved never being truly content – always striving to improve. Great is the polar opposite of mediocre and in an environment of…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 27 – The Legend of Auguste Escoffier

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 27 – The Legend of Auguste Escoffier

“Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.” This was the core of Chef Auguste Escoffier’s beliefs and the basis by which he established standards of organization, conduct, and excellence in cooking. Michel Escoffier, the chef’s great grandson has made it his mission to present, perpetuate, and grow the legacy and teachings of the Escoffier name. Listen to this podcast interview with Michel and know that the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings promoted…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 26 – The Cuisine of the Sun

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 26 – The Cuisine of the Sun

Growing up in the home of Chef Roger Verge and his wife Denise – Cordelia Verge was likely unaware, at an early age, just how influential her parents were. The “Cuisine of the Sun” or the new style of French cooking was the way that Chef Verge approached his craft. Bringing out the natural flavors of ingredients without masking them with excessive sauce work, butter and cream, was what Verge saw as natural – chefs…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 25 – Work Ethic - Making the Commitment

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 25 – Work Ethic - Making the Commitment

Club and resort chef in quality, high-volume kitchens to classrooms preparing the next generation of cooks – Chef Pliska has always wanted to be in a position to give back. He feels fortunate to have enjoyed the work and positions that he held in operations from Washington, DC to Dusseldorf – West Germany. Today, he spends his time mentoring students at Ozark Technical Community College – a place where he has found his calling.“It’s all…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 24 – Branding your Culinary Program

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 24 – Branding your Culinary Program

Carpenter or chef – the choices were there and a chance visit to a culinary classroom solidified his decision. Frank Costantino loved cooking since he was very young helping his dad cook at home on the weekends. Little did he know at that time that his life would be filled with the challenges and joys of being a chef and educator. From an early beginning when a guidance counselor proclaimed that he was not college…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 23 – A Master Chef's Perspective

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 23 – A Master Chef's Perspective

From a young teenage boy in Detroit riding his Stingray bike to that first job as a dishwasher to one of America’s extraordinary Certified Master Chefs – Dan Hugelier talks about his journey. Those humble beginnings of mastering four egg pans and a griddle as breakfast cook to earning gold medals in the Culinary Olympics – this exceptional chef demonstrated the craftsmanship, discipline, inquisitiveness, willingness to learn, and talent necessary to be at the top…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 22 – The Healing Power of Food

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 22 – The Healing Power of Food

An accomplished restaurant and resort chef, former executive chef for the enormously complex Opryland Hotel, leader of the Culinary Team at London’s Olympic Park and Stadium, Certified Executive Chef and Board Member of The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation – shifts his career direction to healthcare foodservice operations. Working as Corporate R and D Chef for Morrison Healthcare – Chef Jeffrey Quasha is as enthusiastic about his current position and as passionate about his role…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 21 – Making a Difference

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 21 – Making a Difference

Food Truck Entrepreneur to serial restaurateur opening Mission Chinese in San Francisco and New York, operator of what Bon Appetit called one of the 10 Best New Restaurants, and one of the most important restaurants in America; James Beard semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant, and chef/operator of The Perennial – an environmentally sustainable restaurant. Recently, the James Beard Foundation as their Humanitarian of the Year recognized Chef Myint and his organization. Chef Anthony Myint is…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 20 – The Foundations Open Many Doors

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 20 – The Foundations Open Many Doors

Sometimes it’s a spark of interest at an early age, for others it may come late in life – but many young cooks experience that a’ha moment when it becomes clear that a career in the kitchen is just the ticket for them. Those who achieve their goals do so through a commitment to the foundations of cooking and the transferable skills that a kitchen can provide. Join us for an insightful discussion with Chef…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 19 – Breaking Bread

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 19 – Breaking Bread

Ah… artisan bread – such a gift, such an incredible statement of craftsmanship, such an important part of the human experience. Those who work with the four primary ingredients of bread: flour, salt, water and yeast (or starter) are a special breed. They are individuals who dedicate their lives and passion to mastering the process of mixing, shaping, proofing, and baking those incredible loaves of goodness. The job is physical, emotional, and at some level…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 18 – A Pastry Chefs Last Impression

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 18 – A Pastry Chefs Last Impression

A touch of chocolate, the crunch of a tuile cookie, some fresh fruit, crème anglaise on the plate, and a quenelle of mocha gelato – this is an incredible end to a memorable meal. The role of the pastry chef is to create these memories, to solidify the guest experience and to keep them wanting more. Whether it is a flaky croissant, a fresh fruit Bavarian, beautiful chocolate truffles, fondant coated petite fours glace, or…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 17 – On the Threshold of a Dream

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 17 – On the Threshold of a Dream

Every chef has the dream of entrepreneurship, yet only a few are willing and able to take the leap. Regardless – the dream remains alive throughout a chef’s career. Those who are able to bring their dream to fruition understand that there will be sacrifices, but those who succeed know that compromising what they believe in is not an option. Join us for a lively and candid interview with Chef Tim Hardiman – chef/owner of…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 16 – You can't cook what you don't really know

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 16 – You can't cook what you don't really know

That simple dish that your grandmother made – a dish likely passed down from her grandmother is more than just a memory. That dish reflects an understanding of source, tradition, culture, family, good times and challenging ones, economics and place. As important as it is for young cooks to understand how to cook, it is equally important to know the history of why to cook a certain way – what brought that dish to this…

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CAFÉ Talks Ep. 15 – Team Building Through Competition

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 15 – Team Building Through Competition

When a person has that a’ha moment, you know that moment when he or she thinks: “This is what I was meant to do with my life”. At that moment there is a rush of adrenaline that provides the fuel for a sense of purpose. It may be said that people choose a career, but with chefs the rule is that the career chooses them. From that point on, a person becomes a sponge –…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 14 – One Cup at a Time

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 14 – One Cup at a Time

Coffee is the universal elixir, the beverage that keeps our personal motors running, a boost of energy or a soothing friend, the start to our day and the end to a great meal – coffee is an integral part of our every day. Those who are deeply involved with the history, agriculture, traditions, brewing techniques and artistry of presenting the perfect cup are also pillars of local communities and supporters of the conversations that bring…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 13 – Creativity from Life Experience

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 13 – Creativity from Life Experience

The food industry provides limitless opportunities for careerists – opportunities that are incredibly diverse. As you walk through your local grocery outlet or browse through that vendor’s catalog of ingredients at a chef’s disposal – it is enlightening to note that there is a product development person behind each one of those ingredients on the shelf or in the catalog. Each product is the result of tireless ideation, testing, tasting, scaling for production, subjected to…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 12 – The Last Magnificent

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 12 – The Last Magnificent

We all have an opportunity to make a difference or as Steve Jobs once said: “Make a dent in the universe”. Some of us work hard at pushing change and opening minds while others simply sit back and wonder what could have been. CAFÉ Talks is proud to offer a conversation with Chef Jeremiah Tower - a truly remarkable chef/restaurateur who made such a dent introducing the world to California Cuisine, partnering with Alice Waters…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 11 – The Attributes that we should be nurturing

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 11 – The Attributes that we should be nurturing

A systems advocate throughout his career – Kevin O’Donnell has taken his career from convention center management to high-end hotels, a Sun Valley exclusive dude ranch to elegant New England country inns, and busy co-op grocery stores to teaching kitchens and dining rooms of hospitality and culinary schools in New York and Vermont. A problem solver, logistics manager, creative thinker and mentor to many – Kevin stands out as a true example of leadership in…
CAFÉ Talks Ep. 10 – The Educational Experience

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 10 – The Educational Experience

A highly successful chef chooses a different direction – a chance to give back, to be a mentor for others, to open eyes and open doors – to teach. Years later, his personal accomplishments are transformed into student accomplishments. He built a program based on an experience that goes beyond the classroom and beyond the curriculum. He created and maintains lifelong connections with students who became part of his commitment as a teacher. Join CAFÉ…

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CAFÉ Talks Ep. 09 – Changing the world - one student at a time

CAFÉ Talks Ep. 09 – Changing the world - one student at a time

A seasoned chef, Ph.D. in food studies, culinary educator, program administrator, research chef, sustainability advocate, and food waste warrior – Chef Jonathan Deutsch is on a mission to help us all see the big picture. The fragile food supply chain in America is broken and our collective malaise concerning food waste is a crisis that must be addressed. According to a United Nations study – nearly 1/3 of all the food produced for human consumption…

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