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Michel Richard is an author, industry advocate, philanthropist, and legendary chef. Known as a pioneer of French food in America, the Brittany native knew he wanted to be a chef at 8, when he first glimpsed a restaurant kitchen. At 14, Richard apprenticed at a patisserie in Champagne, moving to Paris three years later, where he quickly rose to the top position at Gaston Lenotre’s esteemed pastry shop. In 1974, he moved to America to help open a Manhattan shop with Lenotre and found himself at home in a new country. Three years later, he opened Michel Richard in Los Angeles—it was an instantaneous success. A decade later, Richard opened the stylized and quintessentially French-Californian Citrus and the following year was inducted into James Beard’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” Richard then opened a series of restaurants across the country, and even in Japan. Find out what it took to transition from pastry to savory chef and hear the legendary Michel Richard reflect on his career with Dorothy Cann Hamilton on Chef's Story. This program was sponsored by Heritage Foods USA.

[Savory cooking] is fun because you have to come up with something different every day. You get to create an emotion with your cooking." [15:00]

"In 10 years America will be the best. All the young chefs want to move to America." [27:00]

--Michel Richard on Chef's Story


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This week's featured guest on Chef's Story Katy Sparks, Executive Chef at Tavern on the Green. Dorothy Cann Hamilton is in Central Park this week as she chats with Katy, who's background includes cooking at NYC institutions like The Quilted Giraffe and Mesa Grill. Find out what it's like cooking at a restaurant that seats 700(!!) and comes with a storied reputation that rivals any other dining establishment in the country. From an early appreciation of food to her climb up kitchen ladders - find out how this Middlebury born culinary talent rose to the top in a candid and insightful look at her career. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market

"I was actually a hostess at a bar and little by little I just kept gravitating towards the kitchen because of memories of being in my mom's kitchen - the center of the house." [05:00]

"I learned that you don't have to be a food service to run a restaurant." [17:00]

"The first decision you make is important - but not fatal by any means." [22:00]

"My cooking is very personal. I'm not trying to cater to people's needs." [33:00]

--Katy Sparks on Chef's Story


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This week on Eat Your Words, host Talia Ralph gets into the meat and grits of Southern food with Francis Lam, Top Chef judge, food writer, and the editor of Cornbread Nation 7, an anthology of the best southern food writing in recent years. From its hazy geographic boundaries to the wealth and layering of cultures and tastes, the Southern United States is more than just a spot on the map. Lam -- himself a self-described honorary Southerner, hailing from New Jersey -- addresses some tough questions about the Dixie and its foodways. He also shares his own misguided preconceptions and stories about Southern hospitality. Is Virginia the south? Is Miami, Florida? Are you still Southern if you've lived in New York for the last 10 years? Yes, yes and yes, according to this expansive collection of writing. Curious? Craving some good quality barbecue talk? Tune in to this episode for more! This program was brought to you Edwards VA Ham.

"The idea of what it means to be Southern is in a lot of ways is the idea of what it means to be American - rightly or wrongly!" [05:00]

"I've intellectually come to realize you can't just broadly paint stereotypes of people and be comfortable with them. If you told me who I thought I would meet in Mississippi when I was 16, I'd be so embarrassed with what my 16 year self would say." [12:00]

"I think Southern food has become the national regional cuisine. We like the idea that it's a regional cuisine because it makes it seem more real. The fact that the South is perceived as being tradition minded feeds into that idea." [29:00]

--Francis Lam on Eat Your Words


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