Think Tank

Sep 24, 2020, 4:11
New CAFÉ Talks Podcast Drives the Culinary Conversation
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New CAFÉ Talks Podcast Drives the Culinary Conversation

10 August 2020

CAFÉ launches new podcast featuring leading chefs, restauranteurs, visionaries, educators and more to discuss current, compelling and relevant foodservice topics.

By Paul Sorgule, MS, ACC

When the world around us is forced into a change scenario we turn to content experts, outside stakeholders, visionaries, and leaders in the field for facts, opinions, insight and advice. Culinary departments at both the secondary and postsecondary level can certainly lean on their advisory panel members and their connections with outside organizations like the ACF, NRA, CHRIE, and RCA, but will always benefit from the ability to bring prominent resources into the classroom or into the online education fold. It is with this in mind CAFÉ has undertaken the task of building and offering a podcast that does just that.

CAFÉ Talks is designed to be current, compelling, sometimes edgy, relevant and real. The interview field offered run the gamut from chefs to bakers, restaurateurs to managers, visionaries and futurists to product developers and flavorists, wine experts to brew masters and cheese makers, and educators to program administrators. I moderate each episode and you will hear:

  • An interview with an industry leader
  • My offering of thoughts and analysis in a Think Tank style that illustrates a different approach toward challenges and opportunities
  • An inspiring message of hope and positivity

All this is offered free to CAFÉ members, CAFÉ visitors, chefs, managers, restaurateurs, educators, and culinary arts and hospitality students. It is a resource for you to use.

Consider CAFÉ Talks as an information package that can be a wonderful supplement to the classroom, a weekly intro for your students to listen to as a means to kick-start their studies, and a discussion point for faculty and students alike. New episodes are available twice per month and can be accessed on all the typical platforms you would use to access podcasts.

Here is a list of current and a few future CAFÉ Talks episodes:

  • Chef John Folse - The father of Cajun Cooking and Cajun Food History
  • Drew Nieporent – The founder and operator of the Myriad Restaurant Group
  • Jack Uldrich – Futurist
  • Dolf DeRovira – Food Scientist and Flavorist from FlavorDynamics
  • Chef Keith Taylor – America’s Premier Soul Food Provisioner
  • Jack Edwards – Owner of the Jack Edwards Collection – Wine Importer
  • Chef Jonathan Deutsch – Culinary Educator – Drexel University
  • Bob Eckert – CEO of New and Improved – Innovation Company
  • Chef Kevin O’Donnell – Educator and Manager of Hunger Mountain Coop

With many secondary and postsecondary schools moving to online delivery – there is room for podcasts within your classroom delivery and supplemental assignments to drive online classroom chats.

Here are some thoughts on integrating CAFÉ Talks podcasts into education:

  • Use CAFÉ Talks as a communication piece with your faculty, which could turn into a discussion point that opens the door to new ideas and problem solutions
  • Use CAFÉ Talks as an in-service training requirement that can be documented as part of professional development for faculty members
  • Add a link to your college platform for culinary classes (Blackboard, Compass, Moodle, etc.)
  • Have all freshmen subscribe to the podcast so they automatically receive episodes as they are made available
  • Make episodes a discussion point in classes where the topic is relevant. You can even use an episode topic as a team research project requiring students to “dig deeper” into the content.
  • Share episodes with chefs who recruit your students and encourage them to subscribe so CAFÉ Talks becomes a connection point between you and employers.

Research data demonstrates today’s listener is driven to podcasts to: catch up on current events; align with those who profess specific opinions; and connections within their professional field. A 2020 study from Edison Research pointed to the following data:

  • 55% of U.S. households listen to podcasts – that’s over 60 million homes
  • 68 million people in the U.S. listen to a podcast weekly
  • 16 million are avid fans
  • 48% of avid fans are between the ages of 12-34
  • 32% of avid fans are between the ages of 35-54
  • the greatest growth in listening methods is through smartphones your students, faculty and staff have with them at all times
  • the heaviest growth in use is while they are in transit, at work, or on campus

All indications point to podcasts as a communication device that will continue to grow and the more than 1 million registered podcasts proves this point. The conclusion is: this is a very viable communication method with your faculty, staff, and students.

The opportunities are limitless, the benefits can be profound, the information will be valuable, and the chance to expand your program resources to include some of the most important people in the food industry and beyond is priceless.

We have only begun CAFÉ Talks. The future interview schedule is quite remarkable and the ways you, your faculty, and your students might benefit is profound.

CAFÉ is here for you – bringing the culinary classroom and the foodservice industry closer together all the time.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic resource and new and exciting service from CAFÉ. Click here to subscribe to the CAFÉ Talks Podcast.


Paul Sorgule, MS, AAC, president of Harvest America Ventures, a mobile restaurant incubator based in Saranac Lake, N.Y., is the former vice president of New England Culinary Institute and a former dean at Paul Smith’s College. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..