Living Longer, Living Better and Rediscovering our Humanity

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

What did we lose when we became a generationally segregated society? Encore.org President and CEO Marc Freedman and celebrated chef Stephan Pyles join hosts Debbie and Billy Shore to talk about aging well and how to make a lasting impact in the world. “An important part of purpose in later life is connecting in ways that flow down the generational chain and that nurture the future that we won’t even see,” explains Freedman about why Encore.org bringing older and young people together to solve social problems is a rare approach in this time of ‘age apartheid’ in our society. Chef Pyles describes how a recent trip to India impacted his perspective on life as he ages. “It made me understand that I’m just a person living in the moment and have to be a part of all that’s around me… I’ve gotten closer to my humanity the older I get,” he reflects.

Freedman cites research about how older people who connect with younger generations are much more likely to be happy as those who fail to do so. “This idea of connecting the generations is about so much more than efficiency, it’s about humanity and something fundamental in the human experience,” he says.

Chef Pyles has found this in his own career, fondly remembering the influence Julia Child had on him as a young chef. “I remember how important it was when she took an interest and told a story…I learned so much from her and I’ve tried to return that gift to the people that I’ve mentored,” he says.

Get inspired by this conversation that offers keen insights into how we can leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

Resources and Mentions:

Stephan Pyles

A celebrated chef, cookbook author, philanthropist, and educator. He has created 22 restaurants in 5 cities over the past 30 years, including Routh Street Café, Baby Routh, Star Canyon, Stephan Pyles and Stampede 66. Pyles newest restaurant, Flora Street Café, in the Dallas Arts’ District, has brought serious fine dining back to Dallas. Pyles was first introduced to the restaurant industry at any early age, bussing tables and chopping vegetables at his family’s Truck Stop Café in Big Spring, Texas. His big break came when he was invited to The Great Chefs of France Cooking School at the Mondavi Winery, where he served as Chef’s Assistant and worked with Michelin 3-star chefs of the day such as Michel Guerard, Jean and Pierre Troigros, Alain Chapel, Paul Bocuse and Gaston LeNotre. There he also met and worked closely with Julia Child and continued a warm friendship with her until her death a few years ago. Bon Appetit magazine has credited Pyles with “almost single-handedly changing the cooking scene in Texas” while The New York Times called him “an absolute genius in the kitchen.” Chef Pyles was named Esquire magazine’s Chef of the Year for 2006. He has authored four highly successful cookbooks and hosted two seasons of the Emmy-award winning PBS series New Tastes from Texas. The undisputed founding father of Modern Texas Cuisine, he was the first person in the Southwest to win a James Beard Award for Best Chef and was the first Texan inducted into Who’s Who of Food and Wine in America.

Marc Freedman

President and CEO of Encore.org, is a renowned social entrepreneur, thought leader and writer. Under Marc’s leadership, Encore.org has pioneered innovative programs and sparked a growing movement in the United States and beyond to tap the talent and experience of people past midlife as a human resource for solving our most vexing social problems. He is the author of the recently published “How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting Generations.”

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Encore.org

Believes the decades of life beyond 50 become a time of social contribution and impact— and we should leave the world better than we found it. Encore seeks to change hearts and minds through innovation, thought leadership and research; help organizations develop and cultivate new ways to engage encore talent in solving social problems; and build a network of encore champions, innovators and organizations in communities across the U.S. and the world.

Flora Street Café

Located in Downtown Dallas’ Arts District. Chef Pyles has created elevated modern Texas cuisine in an intimate, modern, sleek and posh setting with meticulous attention to detail, from execution of service to food and beverage and design. Sophisticated dishes combining Texas ingredients and modern techniques join with intuitive, individualized, highly knowledgeable service provided for each guest. The focal point of the dining room is a 25” X 10” abstract, jewel toned, silk, 3D tapestry designed by fiber artist Tim Harding to replicate dramatic, stage curtains.

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