Heritage Radio is the food-focused internet radio station that broadcasts from a studio attached to Roberta's in Bushwick. Every week, many of the big players in the food world host and appear on shows, and oftentimes they reveal interesting tidbits about their work. Here's a guide to five notable pieces of programming from the last week:
1) Joaquin Baca of Brooklyn Star on Chef's Story: Dorothy Can Hamilton of the International Culinary Center gets the full story from Brooklyn Star owner and former Momofuku chef Joaquin Baca. He describes being intrigued by David Chang, who at the time was just a "random guy in the East Village" he found through a Monster.com ad when he moved to the city from Texas. On his urge to go out on his own and open Brooklyn Star:
I learned in the opening [of Brooklyn Star] that I don't ever want to do anything by myself again. I basically built the place out myself because I used to build houses when I was back in Texas, so I was pretty good at all-around general carpentry. So, I built my own place, ran through all that rigamarole of SLA and DOB and DOH, and it's just a lot for just one person to carry. [And making the menu] wasn't as fun as it should have been. When you're trying to open the place by yourself, you end up having to do a lot of things that detract from it.
2) Riesling and Brisket: Paul Grieco of Terroir and Daniel Delaney of BrisketTown join Jack Inslee and Greg and Darin Bresnitz on "Snacky Tunes" to discuss expansions, riesling, and brisket Delaney humbly talks about the simplicity of his brisket, while Grieco enthusiastically rants about riesling:
If you don't mind a little bit of RS (residual sugar) in your grape juice, and goddamnit, we all need a little more RS, because the glory of German juice is the balance between acidity and sweetness. Jesus Christ people, a German Kabinett, or Spät, 8-9% alcohol--you can get home from work, crack open a bottle of grape juice, down the goddamn thing by yourself, still read a book to your kids, have dinner with your spouse, and maybe then go out and have some goddamn barbecue afterwards, and you will still be of sound mind and body. I don't know what's greater than that.
3) Natural Sicilian Wine with Ariana Occhipinti: Jessie Kiefer of "The Morning After" talks to Sicilian winemaker Ariana Occhipinti about creating the first DOCG wine in Sicily by using indigenous grapes and natural winemaking techniques. Occhipinti started making wine at 21, and has mixed her family's tradition with current, popular winemaking techniques to build a considerable reputation:
At the beginning it was not so easy. The wine was good from the first vintage, but there was some luck of the first timer. So some people said, "Ok, she's young, so we don't know." But I think that thanks to my consistency and my demonstrating this to the people who drink my wine and to my colleagues, the growers in the area, they understand that there is something real here.
4) Assistants to Chefs: Mariana Cotlear, former assistant to Jose Andres, swaps stories with Tom Colicchio's assistant Laura Ryan, and Eric Ripert's former assistant Mandy Oser about helping these notable chefs outside of the kitchen. The three women keep things professional during the discussion, but they do share an honest glimpse into what it's like to work for, and with, these chefs. Laura Ryan comments on how working with chefs inspires her:
There's something very warm and fuzzy about chefs supporting each other. When [Colicchio's film A Place at the Table] came out, the response from other chefs was really overwhelming. I just think that chefs are some of the most generous people I've ever met - what they do is they make food for people, so it seems pretty cut and dry, but it's a pretty great group of people and anybody would be lucky to work with somebody who's generous with their time.
5) Exploring the World Through Food with Cook It Raw: Mitchell Davis invites Alessandro Porcelli to the studio to talk about his Cook It Raw conferences, which he's taken to Sweden, Japan, and Italy. Porcelli talks to everyone from traditional chefs to the more avant garde chefs in order to trace the relationship between their cuisine and their creativity, the environment, and a sense of collaboration. On bringing his next conference to the American South:
This interaction between the farmers and people who cook what the land gives, I think this is going to be a very important aspect of what is the southern food culture, and why it has disappeared from the world map of cuisine and why there aren't any new avant grade people showing that part of the world and being super proud - Sean Brock is doing an amazing job, and also the smaller farmers there too.
— Peter Henry