Food on the Table brings you behind-the-scenes to meet the people who drive the food industry and keep our communities fed. From restaurant owners to food critics, food tech entrepreneurs to hunger relief nonprofits... these are the stories of those who are working hard to put more food on the table, for all.
Ken Mao joins us at Food on the Table for our longest and most in-depth episode yet.
Ken started his career in education, traveling the world and creating his own test prep company before working as a teacher on a private yacht. He learned to cook delicious healthy meals for himself, and when he came to St. Louis for his MBA, his classmates at Wash U wanted in on his meal prepping. And that's how he got the idea for what became "Ful.", a health-focused meal prep company with pickup locations all over St. Louis. He's also done a ton to lift up the community, from coaching kids to feeding healthcare workers to applying educational models to difficult conversations about social issues.
He came on the show to share his story - from the educational background that infuses everything he does, to the creation of Ful., to how he's weathered the storm that has been 2020. It's a fun, wide-ranging episode that covers a lot of ground.
Check out the Ful. website at eatful.co
Connect with Ful. on Facebook and Instagram
David Kirkland is the owner and Executive Chef of Turn Restaurant. His background is far-ranging: He spent years honing his craft in the kitchens of acclaimed cafes and restaurants throughout St. Louis before his decade-long career as a DJ in San Francisco. In 2007, he returned to STL where he helmed Cafe Osage before opening Turn Restaurant and David Kirkland Catering in 2016. Since then, he's delighted customers with his health-centered and unique takes on American comfort food.
He sits down with GiftAMeal founder Andrew Glantz for a timely discussion about his background, the genesis of Turn, and how the community has risen up to support him throughout recent events.
Turn Restaurant & David Kirkland Catering website, facebook, instagram
See David and Andrew together in a 2018 television segment
In 2008, John Matthews opened Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis, MO. Today, customers drive hundreds - sometimes thousands - of miles just to eat their award-winning 'cue. The Pappy's Family of Restaurants is has grown substantially, and is commonly credited with putting the St. Louis barbecue scene on the map. There's a reason the Food Network named them the "The Best Ribs in America"
Their Memphis-style BBQ has won too many awards to list, and in early March of 2020, things were looking great. Southern Living had just named them the 'Best BBQ' in the state of Missouri; Pappy's and sister restaurant Bogart's were also named to Ian Froeb's prestigious Top 100 St. Louis Restaurants for the year.
And then COVID-19 disrupted it all. John Matthews joins us to share his story -- from the moment he and his business partner first decided to open up shop, all the way to how they managed to survive through a pandemic.
Get ready to get hungry, on this episode of Food on the Table.
Pappy's Smokehouse website, facebook, instagram, twitter
Support Pappy's with a gift card
Order Pappy's famous ribs - shipped nationwide
CEO Ryan Rich has a sweet tooth for helping his community. With a career path like no other -- from transactional law practice to food tech investor to cookie entrepreneur -- he's applied everything he's learned into building and operating his company, Hot Box Cookies.
People love his product and Hot Box Cookies has grown quickly as a result. 2020 was poised to be a year of huge growth... and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Ryan sits down with GiftAMeal founder and CEO, Andrew Glantz, to discuss what it meant to face this disruption and how he came out stronger.
Hear about how he used his company to lift up the community, take care of his employees, and feed thousands, on this episode of Food on the Table.
Hot Box Cookies website
Jules and Tracy are sisters who opened Espresso Yourself with a simple mission: to create good vibes and serve great coffee & food. Located in the Macklind Business District of St. Louis, their joy-inspiring cafe lifts up the community, the people, and the businesses around them.
They joined us on this episode of Food on the Table to share their story, and it's a fun one.
And their story is great --- we talk about:
How they came up with the idea and what it took to open Espresso Yourself /
What it's like working together and how they play to their individual strengths /
The impact of COVID-19, and how they continued to build community despite a 6-week closure /
How they became published authors and what they learned in telling their individual stories /
What they had to do to re-open their coffeshop and cafe, and what the future holds.
This is a freewheeling episode with lots of laughter. Get ready to get happy. And stick around for a special postscript segment about how a television show proved just how much their customers care about stepping up for what's right!
Links from the episode:
Connect with Espresso Yourself on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Visit the Espresso Yourself website for gift cards, logo merchandise, and to learn more about their story.
Fearless and Fabulous: Finding Your Way Through Change & Beyond (their book)
Gerard Craft is an incredible chef, a James Beard Award—winner and the owner of Niche Food Group, whose 7 restaurants have delighted St. Louis and Nashville alike.
He comes on the show to share some of the uplifting things his restaurant group has done recently, like staffing a nonprofit community kitchen and raising more than $1,000,000 for local small businesses and workers displaced by COVID-19.
Links from the episode:
Brasserie web, facebook, instagram
Pastaria (STL) web, facebook, instagram
brassWELL web, facebook, instagram
Sardella web, facebook, instagram
Taste Bar web, facebook, instagram
Cinder House web, facebook, instagram
Pastaria (Nashville) web, facebook, instagram
Donate to the Gateway Resilience Fund
What does the coronavirus pandemic mean for family-owned fine dining establishments?
Napoli 2 owner Ande Pietoso and his family at Café Napoli and Bar Napoli have spent decades perfecting the art of consistently delighting guests with wonderful meals and impeccable service in a refined, inviting atmosphere. With dining rooms closed across the state, they had to move quickly and thoughtfully to keep serving their community.
We asked Ande to share his story, from growing up polishing silverware in his parents' Clayton restaurant, to opening Napoli 2 in Town and Country, to the challenges and triumphs of the last few months.
Hear what it was like crafting a whole new take-home Napoli experience, how the community has responded with support, and what the future holds for family-owned fine dining.
Links from the Episode:
Napoli 2 website
Cafe Napoli website
Connect with Napoli 2 on Facebook and Instagram
How do you take fine dining and hand-crafted cocktails to curbside? At Blood & Sand in downtown St. Louis, Brad Phillips and his team started preparing months in advance to find the answer.
From menu redesign to wine tastings held online, hear the story of how this restaurant, once a private club, rose to the challenge of staying relevant in a time of pandemic.
Links from the episode:
Blood & Sand website
Virtual Wine Tasting with Fred Dame, M.S.
Check out the Wine Club
Blood & Sand: Instagram
Blood & Sand: Facebook
What does it take to heal hunger during a pandemic?
Operation Food Search collects and distributes nearly 50 tons of food daily to those in need throughout the St. Louis region. And with hundreds of distribution sites and partner agencies depending on their continued work, they've had to really adapt quickly to the unique pressures of COVID-19.
Executive Director Kristen Wild joins us for an interview about how the organization has risen to the challenge with new distribution methods and strategies to make sure the community we love stays safe and fed.
Learn more and see ways to help at:
Download the free GiftAMeal app for iOS or Android