Hail to the Pastry Chef!

President Obama Called Him the “Master of the Crust”

Melanie says she grew up in The Crust Belt. It’s the section of the South she fondly refers as “the land of fries and pies where everything is better

with batter and butter.” That’s why we’re excited to have Bill Yosses on the show August 10th. As Executive Pastry Chef at the White House for both the Bush #2 and Obama administrations, Bill had his hand in everything from quiet First Family dinners to more elaborate State Dinners, and exhibits such as the Gingerbread White House.

Bill Yosses is author of “Dessert For Dummies”

Bill will share some of his White House memories and talk about his new ventures: the non profit Kitchen Garden Laboratory, which teaches food literacy to children in under-served communities. Kitchen Garden Laboratory uses the triad of food and cooking (Kitchen), planting and growing (Garden) and scientific experimentation (Laboratory) in its education programs to promote delicious, nutritious eating for better health outcomes, as well as foster food and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) literacy.

Bill Yosses Created Kitchen Garden Laboratory to teach kids food literacy.
Bill Yosses created Kitchen Garden Laboratory to teach kids food literacy.



Bill joined us on The Connected Table LIVE! August 10th Listen here and share:


Chef Marcus Samuelsson- Pushing Boundaries; Uniting Cultures


With almost two dozen restaurants scattered throughout the U.S., Bermuda, and across Scandinavia, a handful of cookbooks, and a growing list of media and philanthropic interests, Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s reach in the culinary world crosses multi-cultural boundaries

RR HS by Monika Sziladi

Born in Ethiopia, adopted and raised in Sweden, from an early age Marcus was taught to appreciate and respect food by parents who were driven to instill those values in their children.

“I feel like I’ve been cooking all my life,” he says. “Growing up, my sisters Anna and Linda and I spent summers in Smögen, on the west coast of Sweden. Every morning I went fishing with my dad, Lennart, and my uncles. We caught crayfish, lobsters, and mackerel, and often smoked and preserved the catch. My grandmother, Helga, would gather us in the kitchen to teach us how to pickle fresh vegetables, and make meatballs, ginger snaps, cookies, and apple jam. These experiences taught me to love and appreciate fresh and local food.”


Graham Elliot Makes Rhythm in the Kitchen & Harmony in the Home

He grew up as a Navy brat, dropped out of high school to join a punk rock band and has been to all fifty states.  Graham Elliot  fell into cooking while working menial jobs in restaurants to support his musician’s life on the road. Inspired, he enrolled in Johnson & Wales to receive his formal training and considers Rick Tramonto, Dean Fearing and the late Charlie Trotter among his mentors.

Graham first made a name for himself at Avenues restaurant at The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago where at age 27 he was the youngest chef to earn four-star ratings from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago magazine, as well as a AAA Five Diamond Award. Along the way, Graham also was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs (2004), Crain’s (Chicago) 40 under 40, and received two Michelin Stars for his restaurant – one of only fifteen U.S. restaurants to receive that honor.

He’s owner of Graham Elliot Bistro, opened in 2008, a popular dining destination for Chicagoans and foodies from all over the world, a testament to Elliot’s inventive cuisine and engaging personality.

It's Graham's first cookbook
It’s Graham’s first cookbook

The dedicated father to three sons, Mylo, Conrad and Jedediah, Graham splits his time between his home base Chicago and his TV home in Los Angeles where he co-hosts alongside Gordon Ramsey on Fox Network’s wildly popular MasterChef and MasterChef Junior series.

So where did he find time to write his first cookbook? Cooking Like A Master Chef – 100 Recipes To Make The Everyday Extraordinary  is just released, Designed to make any home cook a star in the kitchen, it’s based on Graham’s belief that A) food is best when it “tastes like itself” B) eat with seasons when possible C)  there is no right or wrong when it comes to creativity in the kitchen.

Chef Graham Elliot joins us on The Connected Table LIVE! on Wednesday October 21 at 2:00p.m EST. to discuss his new book, career, culinary philosophy, and maybe even some favorite punk bands. Connect:  twitter@grahamelliot

Graham Elliot Bistro 841 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60607 312.888.2258

Your Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple Twitter@connectedtable Facebook/TheConnectedTable
Your Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple Twitter@connectedtable Facebook/TheConnectedTable
David Ransom Drink Eat Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Joanne Weir: Kitchen Gypsy. Global Culinary Ambassador

Waiter! There’s a fly in my wine! 

This is just one of the serendipitous stories in Joanne Weir ‘s new memoir, “Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food.”

kitchen gypsy cover

I particularly loved this story because Joanne ends up in her tender 20s as a guest at a famous Bordeaux Chateau as a result of mailing the dead fly to the producer. That’s gumption!

I’ve known Joanne for years. We connected annually at The James Beard Awards where her PBS TV series such as “Weir Cooking in the Wine Country” and “Joanne Weir’s Cooking School” were honored.  I enjoy visiting her Mexican restaurant Copita in Sausalito, just a short walk from where dear friends, Valerie and David live.  Joanne’s the original “Agave Girl” and serves a fabulous selections of tequilas at Copita and a mighty fine margarita.



Joanne’s a fourth generation professional chef who grew up on a farm in Massachusetts. Originally destined for a career in fine arts, she refocused on the art of the table. Joanne trained under the notoriously tough teacher Madeleine Kamman to receive her Master Chef Diploma. She spent five years cooking with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse (Alice wrote the forward to Kitchen Gypsy.)

But Joanne’s first love is teaching, and she does it around the world. She’s a true global culinary ambassador, in this case being one of 80 chefs  appointed by Hilary Clinton and the State Department in 2012 to promote world relations through food. We’ve always known better decisions are made on a happy and full stomach than an empty one, no matter side of the political table you sit on. – Melanie Young

Joanne Weir
Joanne Weir

Joanne joins is at The Connected Table LIVE!  September 30 on ( Link to all show episodes is:

Follow us on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable
Follow us on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable