WXXI AM News

2018 Summer of Food

It’s our final Summer of Food conversation, and we sit down with award-winning chefs in our area to discuss if Rochester could be on its way to becoming a food destination. What would it take for Rochester to be the next Charleston, South Carolina?

Our guests weigh in:

  • Art Rogers, chef and owner of Lento, and the only James Beard-nominated chef in Rochester history
  • Derrick DePorter, chef and co-owner of Unter Biergarten

The Summer of Food conversation examines two new local businesses whose owners have come from very different places.

Steadfast opened in Rochester's East End when owner Nick Garofoli decided to move from New York City, where he was working in the same kind of restaurant and bar scene. Living Roots is a wine company and bar with ties to both Rochester and Australia.

So why did the owners envision a future in Rochester, instead of bigger markets? We talk about their efforts to grow and thrive in western New York. In studio:

  • Nick Garofoli, owner of Steadfast
  • Chuck Previte, executive chef and partner at Steadfast
  • Sebastian and Colleen Hardy, owners of Living Roots Wine & Co.

Our Summer of Food series continues with a conversation about...food! If you've ever taken a trip on the New York State Thruway, you know your dining options are rather limited at those Thruway rest stops.

Our well-traveled guests have explored cities and towns along the Thruway from Albany to Buffalo, looking for the best places to grab a bite, within minutes from the road. They say some cities are entering a period of revitalization, with new restaurants, coffee shops, and more. Will they be successful? How much will tourism and Thruway traffic impact potential success? We "visit" some of those cities with our guests:

Our Summer of Food series continues with a conversation about food trucks. Data shows the industry is booming, and it’s expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

We talk about trends in the industry and the state of the local food truck scene – what’s new, what’s next, and what’s on the menu. In studio:

Our Summer of Food series continues with a discussion on how understanding food culture impacts anthropological research. Scientists at the University of Rochester say a key factor in conducting research in remote communities is gaining the trust of the people there. They say one of the best ways to do that is to share food.

This hour, we discuss how understanding and eating local foods with different cultural groups helps open the door to better relationships and research. In studio:

  • Dr. Tim Dye, associate chair of research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Lorne Farovitch, Ph.D. candidate in translational biomedical science at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Foodlink has launched a new workforce development program aimed at bridging the middle skills gap in the food industry and helping to reduce poverty in our region. It's called the Foodlink Career Fellowship, and its 12 trainees are taking classes and receiving hands on training.

In this episode of our Summer of Food series, we talk about the program, and we hear from a member of the inaugural class about what she hopes to accomplish with her new skills. Our guests: 

  • LaRhonda "Rudy" Harris, member of the inaugural class of Foodlink's Career Fellowship program
  • Mitch Gruber, chief programs offcer at Foodlink, and member of Rochester City Council
  • Jes Scannell Rooks, director of career empowerment initiatives at Foodlink
  • John Emerson, chef and vice president of prepared foods at Wegmans Food Markets

Our Summer of Food conversation examines the slow but steady increase of female chefs in American restaurants. The majority of restaurant chefs are men. Why is that?

Our guests are women who work in the industry; they share their experiences, and offer ideas for young women who want to become leaders in restaurants. In studio:

It’s the kickoff of our annual Summer of Food series. We’re joined by local chefs who discuss the modern food movement, what’s “hot” in the culinary scene, and the legacy of Anthony Bourdain. Our guests:

  • Mark Cupolo, chef and owner of Rocco
  • Zaaqi "Zoc" Johnson, chef and owner of Zoc's Gourmet
  • Andrew Bush, chef de cuisine at Bobby V’s in Stamford, Connecticut