PODCAST: MATTHEW HILL OF KITE HILL ON DAIRY FREE CHEESE & FOOD STARTUPS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

Matthew Sade

Matthew Sade

In the last few years San Francisco Bay area has emerged as a hub of food startups, who are using technology to create new products and Kite Hill is one such company. We talk with Matthew Sade, CEO of Kite Hill to find out what they are doing differently about making cheese that is dairy free.

Here is an interview with Sade, where he describes how Kite Hill makes its cheese using traditional cheese-making methods. Sade also shares how they got started and what propelled this well-funded startup to go this route. One of the reasons Kite Hill was successful was because of the work of biochemist Pat Brown of Stanford University, who is also part of the startup.

LISTEN TO MICHAEL SADE, CEO OF KITE HILL

Sade has been involved with the food industry for the past couple of decades. Kite Hill is at the fore front in creating dairy free cheese from almond milk. The company started with a line of various cheese products, and in the last year has branched out to creating entrees and cheese cakes from their ricotta cheese.

Here is an interview with Sade, where he describes how Kite Hill makes its cheese using traditional cheese-making methods. He also shares how they got started and what propelled this well-funded startup to go this route.

I first tasted Kite Hill cheese at the BiteSV conference and was surprised by the quality of the cheese. It was hard to tell that the cheese was made from almond milk.

This interview was originally aired on TV in San Francisco Bay area in 2015.

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VIDEO: SAMANTH MOITKE OF MAYFIELD BAKERY & CAFE

Meet Samantha Moitke of Mayfield Bakery and Cafe in Palo Alto. We caught up with Executive Pastry Chef Moitke at the first food and technology event called BiTESV at Santa Clara.

Moitke was part of the original team when Mayfield Bakery and Cafe opened. In this interview we spoke about the food served in the bakery and cafe, a typical day in her life at the bakery and her favorite places to eat in Silicon Valley. Manresa Bread of Los Gatos was on the top of her list.

 

PODCAST: MANRESA BREAD’S AVERY RUZICKA

Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread

Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread

We caught up the talented Avery Ruzicka, head baker and partner of Manresa Bread in Los Gatos, CA at the BiteSV conference in Santa Clara. BiteSV was the first food and technology conference that was held in June 2015 in Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara.

Chef/Owner David Kinch heads Manresa, a Michelin-starred restaurant that consistently gets rave reviews.  About a couple of years ago Ruzicka started selling her bread at local farmers market in Campbell and Palo Alto. Then about a year ago Chef Kinch and Ruzicka decided to take the plunge and open a bakery right next to the restaurant. Manresa Bread opened in February 2015 and has already acquired devoted followers.

LISTEN TO AVERY RUZICKA OF MANRESA BREAD

 

In this interview we talk to Ruzicka about how she got into baking  and what led her to start a bakery? We also wanted to find out about the artisanal bread trend in the San Francisco Bay area. We were also curious to find out how she gets her loaves is such perfect shape? We also wanted to find out what tips she had for bakers, especially those that are just starting off. Don’t be afraid when it comes to baking and bread dough is very forgiving were some of her tips. And yes, we did talk to her about Chef Kinch and what is it about Manresa’s food that draws so many people to its restaurant? Finally, we could not resist – we had to ask her about Superbowl 50 since we were recording the interview at Levi’s Stadium, the venue of Superbowl 50.

Manresa Bread is located at 276 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos,CA.

Here is a short video interview with Avery Ruzicka.

 

VIDEO: ROBERT EGGER ON THE POWER OF FOOD TO BUILD COMMUNITIES

 

Food is about  buiiding your community, your tribe, your family and the deeper hunger to be connected to each other to be loved and needed says Roger Egger. The power of food is what Egger digs and he shares how he came to dig the power of food. The kitchen is a beautiful bad ass machine of love and opportunity he points out. Egger’s twin objects are feed people and help create job opportunities in the process. I caught up with him at BiteSV, a food and technology conference held in Santa Clara (June 5-7,2015).

Egger is an activist, nonprofit leader and the founder of  DC Central Kitchen, one of the first community kitchens in America. He is now starting a new project in California called L.A. Kitchen to help tackle the issue of senior hunger. He is teaming up with AARP Foundation that is reportedly committed a million dollar for this latest project.

In this interview he talks about the power of food and kitchen in our lives. Egger sounds almost poetic when he talks about food and the power of the kitchen in helping build communities and empower people. Don’t waste food is his mantra. America wastes about 30 to 40 % of food that is produced he says. Egger worked on that concept of how not to waste food for  the last 25 years.

Growing up Egger heard leaders talk about real change and he wanted to be part of it. He ran right clubs and found music was an amazing Trojan Horse. You could get people reluctant to talk about equality and race to dance to those same ideas if it was put to music he says. Food and music are the same he says. He is using food as a Trojan horse to feed and help change people’s attitude towards food, hunger and food waste.

From music Egger went on to organize DC Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization.  This is  an organized central kitchen,where they  collected food from various restaurants and feed people. They got about 2 tonnes of food everyday that helped make about 5,000 meals 7 days a week.  They produced 30 milllion meals over a course of 20 plus years. During the interiew he underscores a couple of times how these meals were made from food that would have otherwise been thrown away.

Besides DC Central Kitchen, Egger helped create Campus Kitchen, which is is now in 40 different campuses. The idea of using a cafeteria in a small college to teach kids about food and cooking was wildly appealing to Egger.

Egger is now gearing up to work on creating healthy meals for seniors. He is the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen and wants to help tackle senior hunger challenge. Hunger is going to be a  real challenge for many seniors in the coming years he adds. Just like what he was able to do for DC Kitchen, he he wants to get fruits and vegetables that would go to waste from Ventura and Central Valley and create meals. He  plans to work with celebrities in Los Angele with his mission to address senior hunger.

 

 

Food And Technology Come Together At BiteSV

Josh Tetrick

Josh Tetrick

BiteSV was a 3-day conference held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Food was center stage at the conference, and more imporantaly our relationship with food and the challenge to feed billions of people in a healthy way. Chefs, technologists, and others from the food industry came together to talk about  feeding 9 billion people, which is what the population is expected to be by 2050.

The first day consisted of panel discussions and the opening remarks were made by Chef Jose Andres. What are the challeges of feeding healthy food to billions of people? How do you decrease food loss? How do you manage food waste? How can technology help create healthy food? A couple of key takeawys stuck in my head. The first was the sharp focus on how to get people to move from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one. The second takeaway was a sharp focus to find ways to feed healthy meals to seniors and people in inner cities, instead of fast food. The third takesaway was the use of technology. How farmers are using technolgy to find answers to their questions, increase crop yield and find new way to sell their produce.

Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank addressed the issue of food loss and waste, supporting family farming, esp women farmers and educating people about eating. She highlighted how technology and mobile apps are helping farmers around the world to increase their yield and get their farming questions answered in real time.

It was an eye-opener to find out about Google’s holistic approach to food. The company feeds healthy food 75k people around the world said Michiel Bakker, Director of  Global Food Services at Google. He underscored that one of the key quesitons they are focused is how can they move their workforce to a balanced, plant-centric diet. The company operates teaching kitchens to help people learn to cook. If you have ever been to Googleplex you must have been the amazing range of food that is available in thier cafeteria. Now, you know what kind of thought and planning goes into feedng Googlers.

What can we do if we start all over again was the question Josh Tetrick asked himself when he started his company Hampton Creek. This food technolgy company’s goal is to help people eat better. The company is focussed on using plants in food products. For instance, their Just Mayo product is created out of plant-based proteins and not eggs. The San Francisco startup  has raised over $100 million in multiple rounds of fundings.

Chef Roy Choi of Kogi truck fame spoke about a new project he is working with Chef Dan Patterson. Their goal is to put the best chefs in inner cities and create healthy fast food consisting of fresh vegetables, grains and meat. Loco’l is the name of their project and they plan to open their first restaurant in Watts, Los Angeles.

The final panel was an interesting and renewed debate about GMO food. Dr. Robert Fraley, CTO of Monsanto was part of the panel, who fielded questions from his co-panelist Chef and Vintner Michael Chiarello and the udience. As expected there were quite a few questions about GMO food and its safety. It was interesting to hear Dr. Fraley say that they should have gone to consumers first, instead of the farmers with reference to GMO seeds. Reaching out to the consumers first might have helped dispel some of the criticism levelled against them he said. Dr.Farley clearly came  preapred to address questions about Monsanto’s GMO food. His team handed out a USB stick filled with information about Monsanto.

The second and third day was a combination of tasting and demos. This colorful collage of pictures will give you a taste of what we got to experience at BiteSV.

 

Chef Roy Choi On Revolutionizing Fast Food Restaurants In America’s Inner Cities

 

Chef Roy Choi of Kogi truck fame and a pioneer of the food truck movement in America has a crazy idea called Loco’l. He is working with San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson and others to bring this idea to fruition. They want to revolutinize the food movement in inner cities of America, which are often described as food deserts.

“Us chefs are really idealistic people,” he said in a talk at BITESV, a food and tech conference held for the first time in Santa Clara.  “That is what drives us as chefs … this idealism of …lets feed everyone and have fun that is rooted in deep pain and   complex emotions. But then there is always this hope.”

What Roy and Patterson are doing is going head-to-head with the big fast food giants and create healthy alternatives in inner cities, where healthy options are almost non existent. “People are starving up there,” he said.

Roy wants to take the best chefs and put them in inner cities and serve healthy food instead of the frozen brown stuff that comes in boxes and served in fast food places he explained. Loco’l will serve vegetables, grains, rice bowls and other healthy food with prices ranging from $2-6 he said.

Choi and Patterson raised money through a Indiegogo campaign are working on opening their first Loco’l in Watts in Los Angeles.