We cannot run on cooking skills and raw charisma alone! These are the audio wizards that make our podcast possible.
Without these guests, Something About Food? would just be Chef Chris Clarke babbling, and she’d much rather talk all things food with them.
As a personal branding expert, social media strategist, sought-after speaker focused on building entrepreneurial brands, Olivia Omega is also the author of Beautifully Branded: The Girls Guide to Personal Branding & Understanding the Anatomy of Brand You. Through workshops, mentorship, online courses and one-on-one consultations, she provides the tools needed to successfully build a heart-centered personal brand both online and offline. She's especially fond of creating smart brand strategy and using it to develop outward-facing marketing materials and websites.
Olivia graduated with a business marketing degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds School of Business. She loves dancing, disco balls, sewing, yoga, building a business at The Wallace Marketing Group with her husband and raising their teenagers in Aurora.
Putri Martosudarmo was raised in Indonesia among many cultures such as Javanese, Balinese, Chinese, Dutch, etc. Despite her work as a professional makeup artist, her passion for food is beyond eyeshadows and lip glosses. She cooks many different types of dishes and her travel around the world brings her creativity in cooking and ways of life.
Kelly Bailey Newlon is a runner and a chef. She is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America/Hyde Park and has been cooking in professional kitchens as a line cook and/or pastry chef since the age of fifteen. She and her husband started RAD Boulder, offering tasty performance oriented meals for athletes and active people. And she launched a second organization called The Athletes' Coalition, because it shouldn't be this hard. Standing up for athletes one contract at a time.
Although kale is her most consistent medium these days, she has over a decade of work focusing on chocolate and has been fortunate enough to have made two birthday cakes for Julia Child. Kelly is also passionate about her work with recovering young adults teaching the benefits of food and nutrition as a life skill. She has been running since she was 5 and has bagged 37 road marathons and seven 100 mile ultras. She loves Great Danes, chocolate, Hardrock and Morgan's sideburns. She is a complete geek when it comes to the sport of ultrarunning.
Aaron J Clarke is 47 years old and is originally from a tiny village in upstate NY. Aarons love for food was fostered at an early age by a mother who recruited him to help with preparing dinner for all 6 Clarke kids. By his early teens he was working in various restaurants in the area and after he barely squeaked by high school he attended the Culinary Institute of America. Aaron has made his way to San Francisco, California where he is now a member of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and works as a Guest Recognition Coordinator at The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. When not working, singing or in the kitchen (or singing in the kitchen) Aaron is in search of the flawless Bavarian Cream Doughnut and pursuing the elusive, and much sought after, perfect bowl of mashed potatoes!
Jazzy Byner has lived back and forth from the San Fernando Valley and Las Vegas through her life- considering. She loves hole in the wall local favorite type restaurant, artichokes, okra, and fried green tomatoes. Mexican food is her favorite, although she loathes beans, and has a plethora of other weird food quirks. About 3 years ago she started writing and producing digital sketch comedy with our Executive Producer Curtis.
Nadeen Ibrahim migrated from the Palestinian Territory with her family when she was seven months old, and moved to Colorado in 1997. She was raised in Wiggins, Colorado – a northeastern rural community of fewer than 1000 individuals. She recently graduated from the University of Colorado Denver and will begin her graduate studies in Public Policy at the University of Oxford in England this Fall 2018.
Fluent in Arabic and a community organizer for the Muslim community in Colorado, Nadeen actively advocates for Muslim Americans in Colorado, especially resettled refugees. Nadeen organizes events and workshops empowering Muslim Americans of their civil rights and personal narratives. She also strongly advocates for socially just and equity-focused change throughout the community.
In her spare time, Nadeen travels to new places, cities, and countries, explores new restaurants and food joints and enjoys spending time with her family, especially her nephew.
For more than two decades, Jeff O’Brien has been committed to maximizing the leadership potential of high school, collegiate, and professional athletes with a specific focus on personal growth and development. Jeff is one of the nation’s leading sports based leadership development educators and provides technical assistance, training, and curriculum development for high school, college and professional sports organizations.
A native of Chicago by way of Seoul, South Korea, Won was exposed to the world of Korean food through his mother growing up in West Rogers Park. Growing up in a household where both parents were always at work, Won was responsible for making the rice for the family and being a kimchi assistant to his mother. It was these kinds of responsibilities and experiences that would teach him the importance of food and eating in general.
Art was Won's first passion but he always had an infinity for food and all it's equal amount of creativity and experimentation. Having attended culinary school for a short amount of time, he mainly learned through staging, doing pop-ups and helping friends in the industry for anything and everything food related. He has done everything from running a series of hosting beer dinners at Whole Foods Market, to being a private chef for Tom Kehoe to assisting in whole pig cookery. This would lead him down his current endeavor of running Kimski - a Korean Polish street food restaurant located in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago.
Kimberly Jung is CEO and co-founder of Rumi. While serving in the US military, Kim was an Engineer Officer who led a route clearance platoon in the Wardak and Ghazni provinces of Afghanistan in 2010-2011. She also served with provincial reconstruction teams as a female engagement team member to help empower Afghan village women. She holds a Professional Engineering license in Mechanical Engineering from the State of California, and she graduated with her MBA from Harvard Business School in 2015. She earned her bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy in 2008. Kim volunteers her time with Girl Scouts, youth volleyball, and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.
Olympic Gold medalist Brian Boitano gives a winning performance in the kitchen as well as on the ice. The star of Food Network and Cooking Channel’s What Would Brian Boitano Make has published a cookbook of the same name. His list of accomplishments includes winning a Primetime Emmy award and producing more than 30 TV specials.
Judaline Cassidy is a Plumber, Activist, Trailblazer, and Founder of the Nonprofit Tools & Tiaras Inc. She was born in the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. A multicultural country, known for its renowned carnival, steelpan, and calypso music. Judaline started her career in the field of Plumbing at the John Donaldson Technical of Trinidad. She was one of the first three females selected to pursue Plumbing at the Technical Institute. Which is now known as the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
She's been a proud member of Plumbers Local Union No. One, New York City, for the past twenty years. Being a qualified Plumber has drastically changed her life, and also the lifestyle of her family. Financially, it has afforded her and her family upward mobility in society.
Judaline was of the very first women accepted into the Plumbers Local Union 371 Staten Island New York, and the first woman elected on the Examining Board of Plumbers Local Union No. 1. She cares deeply for her fellow sisters in the trades and serves as a mentor and big sister to anyone that needs her stewardship.
Hagai Zvouloun, the founder, and co-owner of Matembezi, was born in Ethiopia to an anthropologist father and spent his early years there. An avid naturalist he returned to Africa in 1992, and back-packed extensively, exploring the wilderness areas of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. In 1994 he began guiding wildlife safaris and natural history tours, while traveling further through Africa, the Mascarenes and further afield in Asia and South America, ever seeking the best wildlife experiences. In 2001 Hagai made the choice to start his own safari operation in Tanzania, his personal Eden.
Hagai spends his free time exploring, birding and scuba diving in Africa and the Western Indian Ocean basin. Hagai holds B.F.A. in photography from the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem and is a member of the Interpretive Guides Society. He lives with his wife and daughters in a village outside of Arusha.
Rich Cho is a basketball executive who most recently served as the general manager of the NBA Charlotte Hornets, after joining the franchise on June 14, 2011. The organization’s lead basketball operations executive, Cho manages and oversees all player personnel matters, including professional and collegiate scouting, draft preparations, player acquisitions, salary cap management, training camp, preseason scheduling and the team’s athletic training, equipment and conditioning programs.
A native of Burma who immigrated to the United States with his family in 1968 when he was three years old, Cho became the first Asian-American general manager in American major league sports when he served as General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2010-11.
An avid explorer of restaurants and cuisine, Cho founded an interactive food blog site called Bigtime Bites to bring basketball fans and food lovers across the country together. Cho also enjoys staying active by playing basketball, tennis, ping-pong and softball in his spare time. During the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Cho won the NBA Summer League Table Tennis Challenge Benefiting Hoops for St. Jude for the second time (previously won in 2013). Cho and his wife, Julie, have two daughters, Miranda and Annika.
Aesha Ash is a former professional ballet dancer. She danced with The New York City Ballet, Bejart Ballet du Lausanne, and Alonzo King Lines Ballet. She is now the creator of The Swan Dreams Project which uses imagery and her art of ballet to show the world that beauty, elegance, grace, and poise are not defined by your race or socioeconomic background.
Rabbi Marc Soloway has been the spiritual leader of Bonai Shalom in Boulder, CO. since 2004, after leaving behind an acting career in his native London. Marc is part of a Jewish community goat milking coop and a chicken coop and was honored in the Obama White House in 2015 as a "Champion of Change - Climate Faith Leader." Marc hosts a podcast A Dash of Drash, weekly reflections on the world through the lens of Torah.
Uli Nasibova is originally from Baku, Azerbaijan. She moved to the U.S. to attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO, where she double-majored in French Literature and Mathematical Economics. Following graduation, she worked in the world of finance for eight years, doing everything from investment banking to investment management research. Around the same time, she and her husband and were living in downtown Los Angeles, a neighborhood that was changing rapidly from a desolate place at night to a vibrant city center.
Inspired by the infectiously dynamic atmosphere in the neighborhood, she started experimenting on gelato recipes in her home kitchen. She picked the gelato technique, over ice cream, because it is a healthier way of making frozen dessert (lower fat content, less air and served at a warmer temperature).
She draws inspiration for her inventive flavors from the city of Los Angeles and the incredible cuisines it represented –from ube jam filled pastries in Historic Filipinotown to black sesame buns in San Gabriel Valley, to that soul-cleansing thom kha gai soup at Jitlada in Thai Town. To add to the list - an abundance of delicious Mexican food at every corner that inspired one of her best-sellers Jamaica Agua Fresca sorbet with mint. She utilized her finance background to create an extensive business plan and opened the doors of Gelateria Uli in Downtown Los Angeles in April of 2014. Their second location, on West 3rd Street in the Beverly Grove district, opened on August 31, 2017.
Brian James O’Connell is a working actor, writer, director, filmmaker and teacher in Los Angeles. He currently teaches as part of the Core Improv Faculty and the Digital Program at The Pack Theater. Brian is the Creator and Executive Producer of WPCK, the Executive Producer of The Deconstruction, Creator and Executive Producer of Big Yellow Taxi, the Executive Producer and Founder of Long Hard Tuesdays, the Executive Producer and Founder of The Lady Invitational and Executive Producer of Genre Night! at The Pack Theater.
Benjamin Von Wong is a viral campaign creator focused on supporting social & environmental causes. He creates images that people think are photoshopped to educate and inspire. His work has been featured numerous times on Buzzfeed, Gizmodo, Mashable and the Huffington Post to name a few. Some of his greatest projects include, placing a Mermaid on 10,000 plastic bottles has over 30 million views and his most successful fundraising video to date has raised over 2 million dollars.
He is currently looking to work with corporations that have a Triple Bottom Line.
Christina Bartel is a person who can turn the subject of every conversation to food. As CEO and co-founder of Let Thy Food and co-founder and Creative Director of the wandering restaurant food truck Wanderculinarilust, Christina passionately believes in the power of food as an essential component of health, politics, social justice, environment, labor, the world, and life. Christina is a conscientious and heart-driven creative visionary in relentless pursuit of wisdom, peace, and collective well-being.
Christina has a degree in filmmaking and a background in journalism and photography. Never one to assume the path of the status quo, Christina is ever in a state of analysis about the pressing problems of our time, with a drive to fix those issues assiduously through the power of food and love.
A lover of precision, communication, design, travel, Hatch Valley Queso, all the vegetables, and cookies, Christina answers to the name of Cookie Monster and has been reading cookbooks and fearlessly creating recipes since the age of five.
Laci Jordan is a Multi-Disciplinary designer and truly the definition of a renaissance woman. The Huntsville, Alabama native now LA-based artist focuses her work around color, pop culture, and representation of people of color. “If you try to put Laci in a box, you’ll have an incredibly difficult time.” (Essence Magazine) Jordan works between illustration, traditional graphic design, product design, and photography. Laci is widely known for her illustrations. With a theme of “Everyday Life,” her subjects range from portraits of women of color to her favorite sneakers at the moment. Her work tends to have a “no filter” “authentic, unapologetic” tone.
Tom di Maria has served as Director of Creative Growth Art Center since 2000. He has developed partnerships with museums, galleries and international design companies to help bring Creative Growth's artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world. He speaks around the world about the Center’s major artists and their relationship to both Outsider Art and contemporary culture. Prior to his current position, he served as Assistant Director of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley. He received his MFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore, and a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Who needs a bio when it’s all in the name? Bitchy Vegan Homo
Based in Cleveland Ohio where he lives with 4 cats, 1 giant dog, and his handsome fiancé, Dave Huffman is the host of the YouTube cooking show Bitchy Vegan Homo. He would eat cake for every meal if it wouldn’t immediately lead to diabetes.
John R. Rohner was a museum curator, collections builder, professor emeritus at CU Boulder and has been called the The Godfather of the American Engraving Renaissance.
His writings on engraving appeared in numerous publications providing knowledge to buyers and practitioners alike. His passion for the art led him to create techniques and methods that are standards in the American engraver’s toolkit today. His interests in wildlife art, guns and engraving forged a lifetime of friendships with others who shared those interests including Bob Brownell, Maynard Reece, and others. He helped advance the art of engraving with wildlife artists, gun-makers, gun writers and publishers.
Now in his 95th year, John Rohner is truly a living legend among engravers.
Morgan is a native Hoosier and holds BA in Fine Art and Sociology and an MA in Sociology where she studied food, agriculture and community. She found a way to merge these passions into one by co-founding Queer Chocolatier, whose mission is to craft high-quality chocolate while standing in solidarity with marginalized communities. Morgan and her wife, Cheri Ellefson, live in Muncie, Indiana and have been married since December 2015.
Meg Favreau is a comedy, food, and history writer who currently lives in Los Angeles. She's written about weird food history for Table Matters and MEL Magazine, and she wrote the book Little Old Lady Recipes: Comfort Food and Kitchen Table Wisdom (Quirk Books, 2011). For more on Meg, including THE EYE, visit her website.
Growing up in Orange County, California, Chef Maiki Le found her passion for the culinary arts early on, constantly baking for family and friends. While in high school, she worked as a server at Norm’s and began taking classes at the Orange County School of Culinary Arts. She immediately fell in love with the restaurant industry.
Since then she has developed her skills through years of experience and cooking diverse cuisines with talented chefs. Le’s cooking is now a combination of her love for the creativity cooking allows mixed with traditional technique and a cultural twist. After graduating with a biology degree from Brown University, where she worked as an assistant manager in the school’s commissaries, Le moved to New York City in 2004 and enrolled at the International Culinary Center to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. During her time cooking in Manhattan, Le gained invaluable experience working at Chef Patricia Yeo’s Sapa, Monkey Bar, and Chef Jehangir Mehta’s Graffiti Food & Wine Bar, before moving back to California in 2009.
In Los Angeles she began working with Josie Le Balch at Josie Restaurant, and helped open the concepts Momed Beverly Hills and Next Door by Josie. In 2014, Le took on the position of Head Chef at Belcampo Meat Co., opening multiple locations of butcher shops and restaurants throughout California before establishing Belcampo’s flagship restaurant in Santa Monica.
Additionally, Chef Maiki appeared on and won Food Network’s 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Food Network’s Chopped as well as competing in the finale as Sous Chef for Jehangir Mehta of Food Network’s Next Iron Chef.
In 2016, Le became Executive Chef of Upstairs 2, a West Los Angeles based Restaurant and Wine Bar. Under Le’s direction, Upstairs 2 has become an innovative, seasonal and modern wine lover’s hidden gem.Le currently resides in North Hollywood with her husband. She enjoys dining out, spending time with loved ones, browsing through cookbooks, watching animated movies and tending to her organic herb garden.
Nikki Silva is one half of The Kitchen Sisters radio production team with Davia Nelson. They are the Peabody Award-winning producers of hundreds of stories for NPR and The Kitchen Sisters Present podcast, including Hidden Kitchens, the NPR series and book about secret, unexpected, below the radar cooking — how communities come together through food.
Since graduating from Penn in 2004, Peter has had a rather atypical career. He started out with Accenture in business management consulting, then moved on to spend 7+ years in the education space. First as a classroom teacher, then doing business development for a couple of educational software/technology companies. From there, and for the last 2+ years, he has been starting and building out his oyster farm, Peeko Oysters.
Lori Choi is a board-certified vascular surgeon and founder of I'll Have What She's Having, a women-led organization raising funds for and awareness of the crisis in women's health in Texas and beyond. The fledgling non-profit, powered by 100+ volunteer hospitality professionals, physicians, artists, and other activists, has raised almost 250k for local women's health organizations, via pop up dining events that team up and coming culinarians with established chefs.
Emmitt Muckles is a Trainer, Public Speaker, business owner and a person who deeply cares about the well-being of others. For many years he struggled with stress which was born from a single place, personal finance ignorance. The lessons he learned, pay it forward and plant the seeds of prosperity, are the goals of his Billionaire Lifestyle Website. Simple principles, tested knowledge, deliberate strategy. His podcast provides personal interviews with people who are finding and living their own Billionaire Lifestyle.
Nadine O. is a TV news editor by day and an inspirational speaker, vlogger, podcaster by night. After turning 50, she began to reflect on her life's purpose. Many around her spoke of doing things like traveling, picking up old hobbies or learning new one's after retirement. Sadly, a few didn't make it to that milestone. Then there were those in retirement who struggled to fill the hours in their days. She began to wonder, was that it? No!
So, she created her very first company, the Yandy Project. Y.A.N.D.Y. standing for 'You Are Not Done Yet', and made it her mission to inspire, to support and to share stories of hope, exploration and new beginnings, for and by, people after 50. Her first series, appropriately named, You Are Not Done Yet, followed the daily lives of 5 seniors already in retirement. Since that time, 2 of her guests have passed away. Challenging her even more, to reach all who will listen, to discover, to learn and to see the world while they can. So, she's dusting off the cobwebs and is getting fired up about her next season. Stay tuned!
After a few years working as a barista, Sumi opened his first coffee bar, Condesa, while still a teenager in Atlanta’s nascent coffee scene. He moved to Los Angeles to work for Intelligentsia where his exceptional barista skills and strong sensibilities about hospitality led to him being poached as the first barista at the landmark SQIRL/G&B Coffee pop-up that spawned several local culinary empires. His excellent palate for coffee and his skills as an auto and motorcycle mechanic led to him get poached again, this time to join the roasting team at Tonx Coffee as it scaled up. He went on to learn the business of green coffee importing with Thrive Farmers (the company behind Chick-fil-A’s brews) and consulted for a number of roasteries. Sumi was the brains and the boots on the ground behind LocoL’s successful coffee program. Sumi is the co-founder and coffee roaster of YES PLZ, a direct-to-consumer coffee roaster that aims to democratize great coffee.
Educator, author, and mentor to many. Dr. René Revis Shingles is a University Professor and Administrator. She is currently the Representative Chair of the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences and Director of the Athletic Training Program at Central Michigan University. Dr. Shingles has been a professor for over twenty-five years most recently teaching in the areas of cultural diversity and professional development. She has written numerous research articles and is the co-author of Cultural Competence in Sports Medicine, with Ms. Lorin Cartwright.
She holds a BA degree in education (Health and Physical Education) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an MS degree in athletic training from Illinois State University; and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a cognate in Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity, from Michigan State University. Dr. Shingles has received many national, regional, state and local awards for outstanding teaching, leadership, professional and/or community service. In fact, Dr. Shingles was named Central Michigan University’s Woman of the Year and an Excellence in Teaching Award recipient and received Michigan ACE Network’s Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award. This past June she became the first African American woman inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame. She also serves on the Board of Certification Board of Directors. In addition to her busy professional life, Dr. Shingles loves making time to mentor students.