Sandra Gutierrez, Cookbook Author and Recipe Developer (Cary, NC)

 photo: matt hulsman

photo: matt hulsman

I recently moved to a new neighborhood, and in a move, it becomes painfully apparent how many books one has. These days, I have multiple shelves of cookbooks, and many people have asked me if I’ll ever write one. The answer is not for now, as I don’t enjoy creating recipes nearly as much as making them. Sandra Gutierrez is completely different. A nationally recognized food personality, cookbook author, freelance food writer, and cooking instructor, her articles and recipes have been published in newspapers and magazines around the world. She is also one of those behind the scenes folks that makes this whole food world spin, yet super generous with her time too. We sat down in her home one lovely summer morning recently in Cary, N.C. and she opened up about her creative process in the kitchen. If you’re not planning on cooking tonight, beware; Sandra just might change your mind.

Episode  113 >

Craig Rudewicz, Crude Bitters and Sodas (Raleigh, NC)

 photo: stacey sprenz

photo: stacey sprenz

I’ve always been a sucker for pharmacies, apothecaries, and perfume counters. I just can’t get enough of those little bottles and the treasures and tinctures they hold, so part of the fun of visiting a craft cocktail joint for me is looking at all the bottles at the bar. Bitters are always present, but in recent years, the number of brands of these somewhat mysterious concoctions have exploded, and Craig Rudewicz of Crude Bitters and Sodas in Raleigh, NC, is making some of the best. He started building bitters while working at a restaurant, put some sweat equity into his new business at local farmers markets, raised additional monies through Kickstarter, and these days distributes country-wide  and teaches cocktail classes too. The bitters go beyond the normal flavor profiles, and our conversation goes beyond the normal too, jumping from alcohol laws to Leprechaun Stew. Join us for a ride on what I call “the bitter train.”

Episode 114 ›

 

 

Katie Button, Curate and Nightbell (Asheville, NC), Live from FAB Charleston

 Photo: evan sung

Photo: evan sung

Chef Katie Button and I spoke a few months ago at the FAB Conference in Charleston, but I’ve held onto this interview a bit because only a couple weeks after it, Katie gave birth 5 weeks early to a little boy. Mom, son, and the whole family are doing splendidly, and life is returning to normal for them, which means her husband and business partner Chef Katie Button and I spoke a few months ago at the FAB Conference in Charleston, but I’ve held onto this interview a bit because only a couple weeks after it, Katie gave birth 5 weeks early to a little boy. Mom, son, and the whole family are doing splendidly, and life is returning to normal for them, which means her husband and business partner Felix is in Spain right now with Curate Trips (check it out, you’re going to want to go), Katie is supervising the final stages of a new restaurant, and Asheville is ramping up for leaf looker season. But Katie likes to live her life with purpose and her drive to excel is strong and shows up in consistently excellent food. She was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Rising Star Chef of the Year 2012, 2013, 2014, (and twice a semifinalist during those years), Best Chef: Southeast semifinalist in 2015 and nominee in 2018. But she’s also committed to being a responsible business owner. Cúrate and Nightbell are living wage certified and work with local companies and organizations to recycle, compost, and reduce food waste and environmental impact. And she’s working to focus more on her leadership skills, as you’ll hear in this interview. You’ll also hear someone trying to come into the room where we’re interviewing. I locked the door but forgot to put up a sign, so they’re insistent. Ha. Welcome to podcasting on location.

Episode 115 >