Ep. 70: Travis Milton, Shovel and Pick (live from the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival)

Photo: PPM

Photo: PPM

What you’re about to hear is a little like sitting with Travis and me at the back of a bus. Giggles, tangents, and references to past escapes are all included, but that’s what happens when we get together. Chef Travis Milton is a Southwest Virginia native who is about to open three -- yes, you heard that right -- three restaurants in Appalachia in the next year. He’s been in Garden & Gun, The Washington Post, Tasting Table, cooked at the James Beard House, and through all of it, has championed his beloved home region and its cuisine. He is a chef’s chef (including during his tenure at wd-50 on the Lower East Side and Comfort in Richmond). I give him that moniker because he’s a cook who works from a theoretical place, and he deftly wields food as his language. A couple of notes about the following: the night he references in Charleston? he was the one living wild and I was the DD. And secondly: I cannot wait to see what he does next. Let’s get this party started.    

Episode 70 >

Ep. 71: Matt Jamie, Bourbon Barrel Foods

photo: bourbon barrel foods

photo: bourbon barrel foods

If you’ve listened to this show a while (or read my work), you probably know that I find how people find their great ideas very interesting. Eleven years ago, Matt Jamie of Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, Kentucky had one of those great ideas -- to become the U.S.’s only soy sauce microbrewery, incorporating, wait for it, used bourbon barrels into the process. He had what he calls a “chef’s arrogance” at getting the whole thing started, and these days, he’s not only making a Bluegrass Soy Sauce sought after and used by some of the country’s leading chefs, he’s branched out into various other directions as well, from making products for Woodford Reserve to cookbook writing to smoking salts and spices. Still, it all comes back to the barrel, and to Louisville, of course, where he works to make soy sauce, an item essentially “branded” on another continent, all about Kentucky local.

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Ep. 72: Christiane Lauterbach, Knife & Fork and Atlanta Magazine

photo : christiane lauterbach

photo : christiane lauterbach

Each year, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is a magical place, and not just for food and beverages and chef interactions, but for straight up serendipitous events. Just a few weeks ago, I was enjoying a Friday afternoon cocktail class at the festival when I heard a familiar voice, a voice from a woman who seemed knowledgeable and curious and extremely specific in her line of questioning. I was seated near Christiane Lauterbach, famed Atlanta food critic who has documented the rise of this Southern city’s food culture through her mail-order publication Knife & Fork. She’s also been a voice in Atlanta Magazine for years, and I had heard that unmistakable French-accent first in an episode of Gravy, my favorite podcast from The Southern Foodways Alliance. Christiane is a critic’s critic, and although I don’t write reviews and instead cover the culture, folklore, and the people in food, I immediately wanted to ask her about a thousand questions. Her passion, dedication, and determination to try everything and do things her own way has built her maverick publication a cult following of chefs and those in the know. How does she do what she does? Well, it’s simple and yet so complicated -- she’s never lost her appetite for the next bite.

Episode 72 ›