Refusing to Quit on the Road to Ending Childhood Hunger

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

What can Chefs Cycle teach us about finding our strength? Recorded after the rain-soaked second day of Chefs Cycle 2019, Billy Shore discusses riding 300 miles in three days with Cathartes principal Jeff Johnston, ZAZU Kitchen & Farm chef/owner Duskie Estes, chef Elizabeth Falkner and Add Passion & Stir producer Paul “Woody” Woodhull. Woodhull, who is new to cycling, was inspired. “One thing I was told when I went out on a training ride was… you can shift and make it feel like you’re on a level road. For hungry kids, there’s no button they can push to level the road,” he notes. Johnston, an experienced rider, also found the experience meaningful. “It was challenging, but at the same time, you’re feeding kids, you’re doing the right the thing while you’re out riding through the vineyards,” he says.

Estes and Falkner point out that Chefs Cycle does as much for the chef community as it does for No Kid Hungry. “It’s not just that you got the chefs who are cyclists – you are making cyclists out of the chefs,” says Estes. “I hope this can be really inspirational for younger folks getting into the business knowing that if you’re taking care of yourself, then you can better take care of other people,” explains Falkner.

Listen in and experience the commitment and camaraderie that makes Chefs Cycle a powerful event for the riders and the kids they are helping to feed.

Resources and Mentions:

Jeff Johnston

Has been a principal at Cathartes since 1996 focusing on acquisitions, permitting and development management. Prior to joining Cathartes, Johnston directed leasing activities for the Flatley Company in Boston and Southern New Hampshire. Johnston earned a BA from the University of New Hampshire, an MBA from Northeastern University and an MS, Real Estate Finance and Development from MIT.

Duskie Estes

Duskie Estes and her husband, John Stewart, are chefs and co-owners of restaurant ZAZU Kitchen+Farm in Sebastopol, California. Their restaurant is an ode to seasonality and sustainability and is “as local as local gets.” They raise their own pigs, chickens, turkeys, babydoll sheep, rabbits, and goats, along with a raft of produce, from shiso to muscat grapes to heirloom tomatoes, pumpkins, and squash. Prior to ZAZU, Estes cooked for Seattle chef Tom Douglass at Etta’s and the Palace Kitchen, which was ranked one of the country’s top 50 restaurants. She also co-authored Tom Douglas’s Seattle Kitchen, winner of a 2001 James Beard Award. Estes has competed on Food Network’s Next Iron Chef, seasons 3 and 5, and has appeared with Stewart on Chefs A’ Field and Emeril Green.

Elizabeth Falkner

An American consulting chef currently based in New York. Falkner was the executive chef and pastry chef and managing partner of Citizen Cake for 14 years and executive chef and co-owner/co-managing partner of Orson for 4 years, both in San Francisco. She frequently appears as a competitor and sometimes a judge on many of the cooking competitions on television from “The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs”, 2011 and “The Next Iron Chef, Redemption”, 2012, (both Food Network), as well as “Chopped All Stars”, (Food Network), “Top Chef Masters”, “Top Chef”, “Top Chef: Just Desserts”, (Bravo), “Top Chef, Canada”, “Food Network Challenge”, (Food Network). In 2012, Falkner won First Prize at the World Pizza Championships in Naples, Italy with her innovative “Finocchio Flower Power” pizza.

Paul “Woody” Woodhull

The president of Build Better Media and is a 20-year veteran media executive responsible for the creation of dozens of highly successful spoken word programs for radio, tv, digital, and social media. Woody is the co-creator of the podcasts Add Passion and Stir: Big Chefs, Big Ideas and The Home Front with Gil Gross. In addition, he is a founding member of Bill Press Partners LLC. Woody is credited as a pioneer of the Progressive Media format with his formation and launch of the Ed Schultz Show.

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.

Cathartes

A Boston-based private real estate firm with nearly one billion in investments across the Northeast. Cathartes strives to meet the evolving needs of an ever-changing society with purposeful spaces that promote smart living. They are dedicated to developing environments that bring together work-life balance, wellness, sustainability and community engagement. Projects range from a five-acre, 400,000 square foot mixed-use development that includes hotels, restaurants, and residences, to a transformed industrial space converted to a hive of creative commerce where business, arts and sciences come together, to one of the largest solar plants in Massachusetts that produces enough clean energy to power more than 600 homes.

ZAZU Kitchen & Farm

Named a TOP 10 best new restaurant of 2002 and was listed in the San Francisco Chronicle’s TOP 100 restaurants in 2003, 2004, and 2005. ZAZU was also rated TOP 50 restaurants in the Bay Area by San Francisco Magazine. 2008 through 2016, ZAZU has been included in the San Francisco Michelin guide. In 2009, Duskie & John received the Rising Star Chef Awards for Sustainability.

District Productive Studio Rentals

A podcast network and incubator on Capitol Hill near the historic Eastern Market in Washington DC. The Productive team has decades of experience creating highly successful audio and video programs for broadcast, cable, digital and social media.

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