The maker movement is changing the way America eats. As we increasingly want to know where our food comes from and who made it, entrepreneurs are rolling up their sleeves and becoming bread bakers, cheese makers, distillers and brewers.
Catherine Neville, long-time Nine PBS collaborator and Emmy©-winning television host of Feast TV, captures the zeitgeist with tasteMAKERS.
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TASTEMAKERS Season 2 Episode Guide
#201: "Atlantic Sea Farms // Portland, Maine"
Atlantic Sea Farms partners with lobstermen up and down the rocky coast of Maine to farm kelp in the region’s icy waters. The cultivation of this fast-growing, highly nutritious sea vegetable is creating new economic opportunities for fisheries in Maine while also benefiting the ocean: as kelp grows, it pulls in carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous and outputs oxygen, creating a halo of remediated water around every farm. Plus, it’s delicious and chefs are finding creative ways to incorporate kelp into their menus.
#202: "Smoking Goose // Indianapolis, Indiana"
At Smoking Goose in Indianapolis, Chris Eley is taking centuries-old meat preservation techniques and making them his own, creating unique charcuterie that reflects what’s coming from Indiana farms. In his aging room, beneficial bacteria and yeast work their magic over a span of weeks -- and sometimes years -- developing complex flavors and textures that only patience paired with superlative ingredients can produce.
#203: "Barton Springs Mill // Dripping Springs, Texas"
Just outside of Austin, James Brown has created a grain hub that connects the region’s bakers, chefs, brewers and distillers with organic heritage grains grown on Texas farms. The rise of artisan baking and craft brewing has spurred a resurgence in locally-milled stone-ground grain, and Barton Springs Mill is the conduit that gets unique varieties of wheat like Rouge de Bordeaux and ancient types of corn like the colorful Oaxacan Green into the hands of Austin’s culinary artisans.
#204: "Union Kitchen // Washington DC"
Everyone knows it’s tough to succeed in the food business. Union Kitchen’s Cullen Gilchrist is working to help launch and nurture culinary startups in Washington DC, offering business guidance, a communal kitchen, distribution services and even a string of grocery stores to help ensure success. In this episode, you’ll meet three entrepreneurs who have leveraged Union Kitchen’s assets to launch and grow food brands that have gone national.
#205: "Den Sake Brewery // Oakland, California"
Yoshihiro Sako uses time-honored Japanese techniques to brew small-batch sake using single-origin rice grown on Rue & Forsman ranch in the Sacramento Valley. With a focus on crafting sake that is meant to pair with northern California’s renowned cuisine, Yoshi works with the region’s sommeliers and shop owners to bring the beautifully ephemeral flavor of sake to the American table.
#206: "Marshallberg Farm // Lenoir, North Carolina"
Through sustainable aquaculture, Marshallberg Farm is raising thousands of Russian sturgeon, producing environmentally-responsible osetra caviar and smoked sturgeon in North Carolina. Simply cured with salt, this osetra caviar is a buttery, briny indulgence. The fish is critically endangered in the wild, and farmed sturgeon is categorized as a “Best Choice” on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
#207: "Bløm Meadworks // Ann Arbor, Michigan"
Mead dates back to 7000 BC in China where honey was fermented with fruit and rice. From the ancient Greeks to Medieval monks, this nectar has been enjoyed wherever honey bees thrive. At Bløm Meadworks in Michigan, honey from local apiaries is turned into dry, session-style mead. Working in partnership with farmers and beekeepers across the state, Lauren Bloom and Matt Ritchey are creating ferments that capture the essence of the region’s flavor, shifting to reflect fruit, hops and herbs that are ripening each season.
#208: "Roots Kitchen & Cannery // Bozeman, Montana"
Back before refrigeration, in order to preserve food for the winter months, meat was salted, dried or smoked, and fruits and veggies were dried, fermented, pickled or turned into jams. Today, the team at Roots Kitchen & Cannery preserves the flavor of the Montana harvest by turning fresh, organic produce into pickles, preserves and canned goods that have earned a Good Food Award. From classic dill pickles to Earl Gray-blackberry jam, summer-fresh flavor is captured in these artisan preserves.
#209: "Kô Hana Rum // Kunia, Hawaii"
Almost a thousand years ago, the first Polynesians brought sugarcane to the Hawaiian islands. Today, heirloom varieties are being preserved and cultivated on Oahu by the team at Kô Hana Rum. Unlike most rum, which is made from molasses, Kô Hana’s Agricole-style spirit is made with the juice, capturing the sweet essence of the sugarcane and preserving the unique flavor of these ancient varieties.
#210: "Ramona Farms // Gila River Indian Community, Arizona"
Just outside of Phoenix, the Button family is cultivating a bean that nourishes the soul as well as the body. Ramona Button was urged by her community’s elders to bring back the tepary bean, a nutrition-packed legume that has been cultivated by the Akimel O’odham people for centuries, but it was all but wiped out by the 1970s. Ramona and her family are cultivating tepary beans, heritage wheat and heirloom corn, sharing traditional food ways that feed their community spirit and help to revive the culture, reconnecting people to their culinary history and heritage.
#211: "Custom Foodscaping // St. Louis, Missouri"
As we become more aware of our dinner’s carbon footprint, many are seeking to grow as much as possible close to home using environmentally-sensitive methods. In St. Louis, Matt Lebon of Custom Foodscaping builds permaculture food forests, focusing on native plants and resource management to create bountiful urban harvests. From restaurants to churches to schools, his food forests fulfill a range of needs, feeding bodies as well as spirits with his innovative edible landscape designs.
#212: "Food Building // Minneapolis, Minnesota"
At Food Building in Minneapolis, makers focused on transparency, quality and sourcing are working side-by-side, supporting each other and working to build a better food system. Here, Red Table Meat Co., Baker's Field Flour & Bread and Alemar Cheese craft products using locally-sourced ingredients and the chefs at Kieran’s Kitchen pull these artisan creations together on the plate, completing the circle by connecting the makers with consumers.
#213: "Jacobsen Salt Co. // Portland, Oregon"
It’s easy to take salt for granted, but there’s a lot more to this essential mineral than you might imagine. In Portland, Oregon, Jacobsen Salt Co. harvests salt from the cold, clean waters of Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast. In this episode, we explore exactly how flake sea salt is made and then follow the salt to see how local chefs and makers are utilizing the briny crystals in unique and delicious ways.