Welcome, everyone. This is Chris Spear, your host of the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. On this show, I have conversations with culinary entrepreneurs, and people in the food and beverage industry who aren’t working in traditional restaurant settings. I’ll be speaking with caterers, personal chefs, food truck operators, chefs working in research and development, distillers, cookbook authors and all sorts of culinary renegades. At the time of this recording, I’ve actually released 73 episodes of the show so far. I’ve made a lot of changes over the past year, and wanted to go back and update this first episode for people who may have been starting here first.
I started the show in November 2019, and it was co-hosted with Andrew Wilkinson who operates a mobile woodfired pizza business called Pizza Llama here in Frederick, Maryland, where we live. The podcast was actually Andrew’s idea, and I’m so grateful he gave me a kick in the butt to get this thing going. But when the world started to spin out of control in March due to COVID, Andrew stepped back and hasn’t been a part of the show since. So if you’re listening to the earlier episodes, you’ll hear him up until about Episode 30 or so.
So, what is Chefs Without Restaurants anyway? I have my own personal chef business called Perfect Little Bites, which I started about 10 years ago as a side project. I’ve been doing it full time now for a little over four years. As I started to figure out things, and how to run my business, more and more people were asking me for advice. I spent a lot of time talking to people on the phone, and having meetings over coffee. Then I realized that there was a better way to do this, and decided to start a networking group, which I called Chefs Without Restaurants, where we could share best practices, resources and gig opportunities. The group quickly grew to over a couple hundred people. We were interacting in Facebook groups, on Instagram, Twitter, and pretty much everywhere else on the web. We even did a couple of meetups, and a few collaborative pop-up dinners.
Last November, Andrew was helping me with a job, and he asked why I didn’t have a podcast. I hadn’t really thought about it before. I knew nothing about podcasting, but I thought we could figure it out. I’ll admit that the first few shows were a little rough. I didn’t know anything about audio engineering, and I didn’t do much, if any, editing. But we had some great guests, and I think it’s still worth listening to those early shows. As time permits. I’ve been going back and editing and re-uploading a few of those episodes. Some of our guests so far have included certified master chef Rich Rosendale, who led the United States culinary team at the Bocuse d’Or in France, Tu David Phu, who was on season 15 of the Bravo TV show Top Chef. We’ve had Jamie Simpson who’s the executive chef of The Culinary Vegetable Institute, and chef liaison at The Chef’s Garden. We’ve also had Aliza Eliazarov, who recently released a book called On the Farm, which takes a closer look at the heritage animal breeds taking center stage on sustainable farms and homesteads. I really hope you take a deep dive into the archives, and listen to all of our shows.
I also want to direct you to the website ChefsWithoutRestaurants.org. Every week, I’ll be putting the newest episode there. But you can also find links to all of our other social media platforms, as well as how to sign up for the Chefs Without Restaurants email list. I’d love for you to sign up for the email list. It’s the best way to ensure that you’re going to find the newest episode every single week when it’s released. I really appreciate your time, and I hope you enjoy the stories, and the tactical information shared on the show. I’m going to leave you with an audio clip from the show I did with Matt Jennings a few months ago. As always, thanks so much for listening, and have a great week.
“You know, unfortunately, our industry has been built on these, like, top 20 list,s and the awards, and the accolades…and who’s going to get the cover of the next Food & Wine? And who’s going to get this and who’s going to get the feature article, and who’s going to get the TV show. And, you know, I think while there’s value in some of that stuff, it definitely, you know, warps the perspective of perhaps what your real goals should be. And for me, I mean, like that was the case. And and I think it was a combination of the realization of that, at the same time as like, it was like all these colliding factors. It was that, and then it was my family. My family was certainly being very vocal about like, wait a minute, this is actually not cool that you’re working 80 hours a week. You know, I’ll tell you what, looking on this side at restaurants as of September 2020, I’m not jealous of much. ” -Matthew Jennings
Thanks for listening to the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast, and if you’re interested in being a guest on the show, or sponsoring a show, please let us know. We can be reached at ChefsWithoutRestaurants@gmail.com. Thanks so much.
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Outro music provided by podcast guest Dylan Ubaldo (check out Toyomansi)
Intro Music: District Four by Kevin MacLeod