On today’s episode, Andy shares with us the honor of sitting down with renowned Chef Roy Yamaguchi, as he shares his story. Chef Roy shares his experiences from coming to the United States for the first time to attend culinary school, starting his first restaurant in Los Angeles, and finally creating Roy’s in Hawaii.
Listen in as Roy shares with Andy, as well as the rest of us, his passion, his mission, and his hopes for the future.
How HomeEc sparked Roy’s culinary path
The moment he decided to commit to cooking and pursue Culinary school in America
Roy shares his first experience of New York compared to living in Japan
The reason Roy went with his gut on opening his restaurant in Hawaii, when everyone told him not to
What Roy took away from Cheersand the influence that played in creating his restaurant
Roy shares the value of having a team and the importance of everyone having a voice
Why sometimes you’ve got to let ideas marinate
The difference in what makes a great Chef versus what makes a great Cook
How social media has helped Roy personalize his guests’ dining experience
How Roy manages to balance his work and personal life
In today’s conversation, Andy talks with Ashfer Biju, the executive chef and food and beverage director at the iconic The Pierre, A Taj Hotel in New York City, responsible for all things culinary. To Ashfer, however, he’s more than his official job title; he’s a self-proclaimed “crafter of perishable art.”
After growing up in a small fishing town in India, Ashfer discovered his passion for food as a child and was driven to share his love with others ever since. With his entire family working in the restaurant industry in some fashion, Ashfer quickly dove into the hospitality industry and helped launch a vegetarian restaurant in India when he was only 18. He studied hospitality and pursued a degree at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California. Soon after, Ashfer traveled to open restaurants around the world, from Berkeley to Mauritius and the Maldives. By 2009, when he had already opened numerous hotels and restaurants, the time for Ashfer to move to New York City had come.
Not surprisingly, Manhattan ended up being far more than the mere short-term piece of a working travel circuit as he’d expected; Ashfer found his calling in what he considers one of the three “maximum food cities” of New York, London, and Hong Kong. Extending beyond his current work at The Pierre, Ashfer and Andy delve into the “extreme form of art” that is food, the importance of food’s personalization in weddings, why food is an experience at heart, and even why turmeric is “the next kale.”
After their conversation, Andy had the opportunity to experience Ashfer’s food firsthand through a tasting at Perrine in The Pierre. Read about his experience below the links.
“Following the interview, Ashfer was kind enough to offer me a multi-course tasting in The Pierre’s onsite restaurant, Perrine. The setting, it provided, was a perfect location for such a culinary endeavor. I proceeded to be served seven different dishes and I had to fight hard not to consume every drop and morsel in order to save room for it all! Each dish was presented beautifully, as shown in the pics, and I had to take a moment with each one just to take in the visual aspect.”
Read Andy’s comments on each dish by clicking on each photo in the gallery.
“I was really surprised to begin with such a stunning dish. It was absolutely delicious, especially with the lemon aioli and pigment d’espellette, and it set the perfect tone for what was yet to come. It was really refreshing.”
“Yet another refreshing dish – I was particularly blown away with this tasty chilled soup. I had never tasted anything like it… so simple and yet indescribably delicious.”
“This entire sampling was sooo good especially with the Sorrel and Gribiche sauces.”
“A real nice transition from the Char to the mushrooms.”
“A combination of flavors I had never experienced before…wonderfully different to have such a mix of incredibly fresh field mushrooms with a spicy leeks puree. I’m not normally into mushrooms and this changed my mind.”
“A wonderful, though unexpected, combination of flavors I wouldn’t have otherwise thought could taste so good together.”
“Believe it or not, I am not usually a fan of key lime pie, however I would’ve licked the plate if I hadn’t been in such an elegant setting with people seated nearby. A perfect ending to an incredible and over-the-top tasting!”
To operate, or not to operate. This is the question that Dr. Alexandros Powers has continuously asked himself since the beginning of his career as a highly respected Neurosurgeon. Gaining influence from his older sister, as well as his love for continual research, Dr. Alexandros Powers entered the world of medicine.
Today, Dr. Alexandros Powers sits down with Andy to discuss his early life and career ambitions. Their exchange is filled with inspiring stories, stimulating accounts, and influential testimony that will leave you wanting to hear more. Anyone in need of enlightenment about the complexities of the nervous system, topics related to spinal surgery, cranial procedures and his philosophy about recapturing a patients quality of life – prepared to become inspired. Check out the full story on Extraordinary Ordinary People.
The Grainger Brothers’ talent and prowess in the world of music and rhythm is unparalleled. Between the two of them, Gary Grainger on bass and Greg on drums have recorded or performed with the likes of Whitney Houston and John Scofield, and together opened up for Earth Wind And Fire while on tour with their band, Pockets, all while keeping their musical roots and strong brotherhood bond at the forefront of their work. The brothers took many separate paths in their musical careers, as well as some similar ones too, that led them both to finding musical success from the late 70s to present day.
Today Andy, Gary, and Greg explore the brothers’ fascinating and ever-changing journey to becoming recognized as one of the best rhythm section duos in today’s music. They also share stories on the dynamics of what it’s like to perform and create together as brothers and as colleagues, how they keep their skills so versatile, and what it’s like to perform in venues as small as a one room club to as large as Madison Square Garden. Nowadays, the brothers are still busy touring, recording, and have even helped developed The Musicianship, a non-profit aimed at bringing music to youth to empower, educate , and inspire them. Music lovers and those who appreciate the story of rising stars won’t want to miss this episode. Check out the full interview, only on Extraordinary Ordinary People.
Robert Kraft’s list of accomplishments is nothing short of incredible. He was the President of 20th Century Fox Music for 18 years, supervising the music and film scores for blockbusters like Titanic, Avatar, and Slumdog Millionaire as well as for hit television shows like The X-Files and The Simpsons. Under his leadership, Fox Music garnered numerous Academy Award nominations and awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys. He is also an award-winning songwriter, film composer, recording artist, and record producer. His talent is multifaceted and far-reaching, as is evident in today’s interview.
Andy and Robert delve into the journey he went on to achieve these great moments in his career, starting with his love of all things musical as a young child. Robert’s story is all about jumping at the chance to try something you’ve never done before, and knowing that your own passion and determination will inform the task ahead of you. The pair also discuss how his role at 20th Century Fox fit him like a glove, what the process is like to supervise the music on a big budget movie, and Robert’s interesting view on how music and movies intertwine. And with his current venture Kraftbox Entertainment, he’s not slowing down anytime soon. Anyone looking to hear about the inner workings of music production and how the cogs of a Hollywood film work will find today’s Extraordinary Ordinary People episode deeply enjoyable.
Paul Cloutier is considered to be one of the great masters of callography, an art form that involves materials being placed onto a printing plate, then varnished so it can be painted with acrylics, and then later pressed onto paper to produce a print. His technique and skill is both as intricate and detailed as it is fascinating to see the final product. Paul grew up in Quebec City with a particular inclination for the arts. His great love of classical music and painting were on display from a young age, and helped define his techniques in collography later in life. Today, he works and lives in his Montreal studio doing what he loves six days a week. Paul’s story of taking his passion to amazing heights is one full of inspiration and wisdom.
In this week’s Extraordinary Ordinary People episode, Paul and Andy discuss the technical and creative process of his callography work, and the challenges he faces working within such a niche medium. The two also delve into what a typical day for Paul looks like, the struggles he and many other artists continue to face, and how his life as a younger artist compares to life nowadays. The full interview is available now.
When you hear the name Brie, do you conjure up images of delicious cheeses spread over a board, paired with meats and wine? That’s exactly what Brie is all about. Now a Certified Cheese Professional recognized by the American Cheese Society, Brie had humble beginnings the same as all of us. His upbringing in New York City was a tumultuous one, filled with fond memories as well as some bitter ones with his parents. He decided to get away and move to Barcelona after he finished college, where his love for all things related to food and cheese were realized.
In this week’s interview, Andy and Brie share an all-encompassing chat about his passion and devotion to the art of cheese. The two also discuss how family has played a role in shaping Brie’s profession, the various kinds of cheeses he might recommend depending on the situation, and how Brie enjoys some of the greatest pleasures in life. Listen to the full interview right here.
Being Hawaii’s “Reggae Ambassador” is a title Marty Dread takes pretty seriously. The singer songwriter grew up on the island of Maui from the time he was eight years old, and always had a creative soul. In high school he was at a crossroads in life, when he thought he might want to pursue his aspiring career as a watercolor artist, after his mother. But a pinnacle moment unfolded that opened Marty’s eyes to the power of music, and showed him just how influential this medium could be.
Marty and Andy have a jovial chat about his long and accomplished songwriting and recording career. The two share stories about their most inspiring singers and performers like Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Bob Marley, Michael McDonald, and others. You can also hear about how Marty writes lyrics centered on social issues and change, how he became the gateway for reggae artists to become mainstream on Maui, and even hear a few of his original songs performed live during the interview. Listen to it all right here.
Back in 1985, before the time of countless celebrity charities and philanthropic foundations, the largest charity concert ever held was put on. Our guest this week, Fred Spanjaard remembers Live Aid like it was yesterday, because he was the Operations Producer of the Philadelphia live performance. Almost 2 billion viewers tuned in to see this 17 hour performance, both in London and in Philadelphia, where performers and celebrities of all genres came together to raise millions of dollars for Ethiopian hunger relief. The show is considered one of the most important moments in music history, and helped changed the context for how the collective public views and takes action to help causes like world hunger.
Fred’s recollections of his time producing Live Aid are nothing short of amazing. Fred discusses some of his favorite behind the scenes stories about performers like Madonna, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and other super stars, and how he and the Live Aid team pulled off the benefit concert of a lifetime.
Nowadays Fred’s busy with his business Global Media Productions, where he still produces and promote events of all sizes and magnitudes. Some of his most notable recent clients include Deepak Chopra, Ram Das, the late Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, and others. Listen to the full interview to hear what putting together a show like Live Aid was really like.
Going from Stanford graduate to designer and builder of multi-million dollar homes was a serendipitous chain of events for David Muckenhirn. David studied electrical engineering and got his first job out of school working for Sylvania Electronics Systems, but wasn’t completely satisfied with the work-life balance. After a multitude of miscellaneous jobs, he eventually landed himself in the home building business in Aspen, Colorado, first assisting, and soon running the show. It was only a matter of time before David started designing and building his own spec houses that sold for millions of dollars.
Nowadays you can find David at his beautiful oceanfront home in Maui enjoying the views. But he hasn’t lost his love for home building, as he’s still got one last passion project in the works back in Aspen.
David’s story is one of following your heart and knowing that success will follow. David and Andy share stories about how David learned his craft, where he finds the most joy in work and in life, and some of David’s favorite builds he’s ever done. Check out the entire interview now.