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Just Forking Around

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A show about the wonderful world of food and beverages and the incredible people who grow, craft, brew, cook, serve and create within it. Hosted By Debi Saltzberg

A show about the wonderful world of food and beverages and the incredible people who grow, craft, brew, cook, serve and create within it. Hosted By Debi Saltzberg
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Los Angeles, CA


A show about the wonderful world of food and beverages and the incredible people who grow, craft, brew, cook, serve and create within it. Hosted By Debi Saltzberg








#083 - Kaitlin Mogentale: How Pulp Pantry is Upcycling Would-Be Waste, Changing the Food System, & Creating Delicious Snacks

In the beginning, there was juice – then there was pulp. But what do you do it? That’s the question that led Kaitlin Mogentale to found Pulp Pantry, a fruit and vegetable snack company on a mission to usher in a new wave of good nutrition and sustainability that’s accessible to everyone. “A toast to all of the amazing women who are changing our food system!” –Kaitlin Mogentale It all started with a carrot. Kaitlin saw her friend making juice and, always wearing her environmental...


#082 - Ting Feng: Kula Ai & the Future of Agriculture

Did you know we’re living in the future? It became crystal clear for me during this conversation with Ting Feng, CEO & co-founder of Kula Ai & the Kulafoods App. Kula Ai is an Australian-based Agriculture tech startup that's creating sustainable tech to find new ways to feed the world. “We want to find a new way to feed the world.” –Ting Feng They are using two technology-driven approaches to accomplish this forking huge task: the @Kulafoods app that connects users to all of the...


#081 - Malibu Farm Cafe | Friday Forkisode

From the moment you park to dine at the Malibu Farm Pier Cafe, you get the Malibu vibe: fresh, old, new, exciting, chill, and dreamy... and it only gets better from there. After a short stroll, you’re in the restaurant and it feels like Massachusetts has drifted to the West Coast; a little bit of Martha’s Vineyard sprinkled with Chatham charm. And like the Vineyard, this isn’t a cheap trip – but it is forkilicious! Debi’s order: crab cakes with caper aioli sitting gently on a bed of...


#080 - Matthew Mabel: Helping Restaurateurs Be as Good to Themselves as They are to Their Customers

Matthew Mabel is the president and organizational development team leader of Surrender, a boutique restaurant consulting firm that helps restaurateurs run successful businesses and live happy lives. “Why aren’t restaurateurs as good to themselves as they are to their guests?” –Matthew Mabel If you’d ask Matthew what a successful business was back in 1991, when he started Surrender, he probably would have had some numbers and metrics, possibly even a graph. But today he has a new...


#079 - Patrick Smith: What’s Your Food Tribe?

Today we’re chatting with a true food pioneer, Patrick Smith, who is on a crusade to make wellness a sustainable, scalable business model that celebrates local flavors, local chefs, local ingredients, and small carbon footprints – one meal at a time. “Helping people make the connection between food and health is one of the biggest challenges of the century.” –Patrick Smith Patrick is the Founder and CEO of Territory Foods, and he’s using his expertise from the software space to develop...


#078 - Little Prince | Friday Forkisode

Welcome to the very first forkisode! These tasty little audio snacks will be released every other Friday, celebrating my favorite restaurants in the LA area with a story. The star of today’s story is Little Prince, Ari Taymor's pop-up turned permanent restaurant. The setting is Main Street, Santa Monica. The plot is classy, cozy, and a little French, with Californian simplicity sprinkled on top for flavor. Debi’s brunch order: Market fruit plate with coconut yogurt and honeySmoked...


#077 - Daphne Maxwell Reid: Soulful Food, Open Doors, & Fresh Prince

I am so excited to be kicking off season two with an absolutely delightful guest: Daphne Maxwell Reid – AKA Aunt Vivian from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And as you’ll learn in this episode, Daphne is so much more than just Aunt Viv. But before I get into Daphne’s incredible story, I want to share a little bit more about why I decided to start season two of the show. It wasn’t just for a fun Summer break – I went to Costa Rica for that ;) – it was so that I could make the show even better...


#076 - A New Beginning: The End of Season 1

Today I want to share a very special toast with all of you, so let’s raise our glasses to celebrate Season 1 of Just Forking Around. We’ve spent 75 episodes talking to some of the incredible people who grow, craft, brew, serve, and create the food & beverage we all love – and we’re just getting started! I’ll be back on September 18th for SEASON TWO with new guests, new tales, and new Friday Forkisodes, a delectable bonus audio snack that will bring you even more stories and suggestions...


#075 - Ahmed Abouelenein: How The Halal Guys Brought Halal (and the White Sauce!) to America

In 1990, you had to go out to Queens if you wanted a Halal meal in New York City. So the three original Halal Guys – Muhammed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka, and Abdelbaset Elsayed – opened up a food cart for all of the hungry taxi drivers. Today, that food cart has grown into a fast casual restaurant with new locations opening up throu ghout the world – an entrepreneurial success story if I’ve ever heard one! To learn more about this incredible story and how The Halal Guys is growing like...


#074 - Shannon O'Donnell: Using Travel as a Force for Good

Motivation, inspiration, sweet scenery: this episode has it all! And that’s because we’re talking to Shannon O'Donnell, a responsible tourism advocate who was named a National Geographic Traveler of the Year for her work helping travelers use grassroots tourism as a force for good. Shannan accomplishes this through Grassroots Volunteering, the world’s largest database of social enterprises empowering travelers to connect to causes and communities in the places they travel, and her book The...


#073 - Mike Kelly: Knowing When to Pivot & Embracing the Right Opportunities

Mike Kelly is the creator of Papa Bear’s Nut Butter (and the titular Papa Bear). He started the business for a simple reason: he loves nut butter! It’s something for the healthy people out there who appreciate life’s indulgences. But here’s a funny little thing about this conversation – just days after our interview, some big changes happened in Mike’s life and business: Papa Bear’s is actually dissolving! Mike is partnering with up with two other people to start a new food brand focusing...


#072 - Matt Eisenacher: How Piada Italian Street Food Defies Fast-Casual Expectations

Today we start our show off with a toast to breakfast for lunch – one of the delicious concepts that Columbus-based Piada Italian Street Food is experimenting with right now. Our guest, Matt Eisenacher, is the Chief Concept Officer for Piada Italian Street Food. It’s a great title, and it means he oversees the branding, marketing, IT, and business development efforts as the restaurant expands nationwide. Matt joined Piada in 2013, when they had 16 restaurants open, and has overseen a LOT...


#071 - Joe Kahn: A Comfortable Culture + Made-From-Scratch Ingredients + Tacos = Condado Tacos

Today we raise our glasses to the Taco Touchers out there, which is what you call the amazing people that make your food with love at Joe Kahn’s Condado Tacos. Joe worked as everything from a busboy at Sizzler to a roller skating server to restaurant manager before he and his wife came up with the idea for Condado Tacos, the go-to taco joint for Columbus that is quickly growing through the Midwest. They specialize in creating unique (stuffed) tacos, guacamole, and margaritas at affordable...


#070 - Alessandra Manias: How Saor Project is Bringing Italy to LA

Formerly an architect and marketing consultant in Italy, now a production designer and private chef in LA: today’s guest, Alessandra Manias, is just bursting at the seams with passion and creativity. Alessandra started Saor Project with her husband, Gianluca Zago, to share the origin of ancient Italian culture, particularly northeastern Italian cuisine, with a wider audience. The real Italian traditions are based on a peasant culture and poor food, which is disappearing in the modern...


#069 - Birk O'Halloran: The Art, Passion, & Stories Behind Iconic Wine

Birk O'Halloran leads us in a toast to “getting drunk with the right people at the right time” – and it’s so forking appropriate for this episode (and, heck, the past 68 episodes too)! Birk is the owner of winemaker Iconic Wine, the author of Eat Ink, and a former sommelier. When Birk started writing Eat Ink, he was trying to answer an age-old question: Why do all chefs look like pirates? It ultimately became a cookbook, but it began as a photo story about tattoos, misfits, and the...


#068 - Nik Hawks & Lee Selman: The Couple Behind Paleo Treats

Nik Hawks & Lee Selman are the co-founders of Paleo Treats, and let me just say: you do not have to be paleo to enjoy these forking delicious snacks! These two are a really cute couple and wonderful business partners, with wild backgrounds. Nik is a former Navy SEAL and serial entrepreneur who is really just a badass, genuine, and sweet guy. Lee is pretty much an adventurer-turned-artist and entrepreneur, having previously lived in Nicaragua during the Iran-Contra war and co-founded an...


#067 - Chef Randy Siles: A Tour for the Tastebuds with Costa Rica’s Ambassador of National Gastronomy

Chef Sandy Siles is one of the best chefs in Costa Rica. He is Costa Rica’s Ambassador of National Gastronomy and the chef at the incredible Shambala Restaurant. He cooks with a really unique combination of flavors and techniques, resulting in some of the best tasting dishes you’ve never seen before. On top of that, Chef Randy Siles runs a Foundation named Artesanos de la Gastronomia or Gastronomic Artisans, where he mentors young people in Santa Teresa and gives them the opportunity to...


#066 - Chef James Kelly: Personalized Dining Experiences, a Solar Powered Food Truck, Organic Fruit & Vegetable Pops, and MORE! | Forking Around Costa Rica

Chef James Kelly, or Jim for short, is a Southern New Jersey boy who relocated to Costa Rica nearly a decade ago. He is now the Executive Chef & Owner of Soma Chef Services, in addition to being a Partner in La Buena Paleta (which produces coconut water-based organic fruit & vegetable ice pops with superfoods in them) and the Owner of Dos Santos Taqueria (a cantina and food truck). Soma is absolutely incredible – a collaborative effort between Costa Rica's finest food, beverage, and event...


#065 - Georges Lefebvre: Creating Hacienda Okhra, the Community & Farm of the Future | Forking Around Costa Rica

Georges Lefebvre is the magnanimous madman who created Hacienda Okhra, a concept community and farm located in the breathtaking hills of Las Delicias, just above the town of Mal Pais on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. Although it started as a home for Georges and a few friends, this community has grown into an impressive business and they actually supply food for a good majority of the locals in the area. This dream-like community features premium facilities, 106...


#064 - Rima Danielle Jomaa: The Jungle Girl & The Vegan Lifestyle | Forking Around Costa Rica

Today our guest leads us in a toast to meeting new people, the beautiful jungle atmosphere, and being able to do what we love and connect with people. It was the perfect toast to kick off my very first conversation with Rima Danielle Jomaa, AKA Rima the Jungle Girl. Rima is an entrepreneur, licensed marriage counselor, and vegan lifestyle advocate. She’s really incorporated an incredible brand and lifestyle, inspiring and activating others to reclaim their health, happiness, and freedom...