Foodie Call with Justin Warner: Meet the Guests

Find out about the chefs and food lovers who star with Justin each week.

Whiskey Pancakes: Reid Mitenbuler

If you've ever wondered who wrote the book on bourbon, you're looking at him. Reid Mitenbuler is the author of Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey, so, yeah, he knows a thing or two about the subject. But leave it to Justin to surprise his guest with a whole new way to enjoy the spirit: whipped into a stack of pancakes.

Brick Chili: David LaForce

Justin's got his work cut out for him this week as he prepares a twist on chili in front of a legit chili champion. Chef David LaForce took NYChiliFest 2016 by storm with a recipe that included dry-aged beef, heirloom rattlesnake beans and Oaxaca chiles. Other bona fides? Chef LaForce is the executive chef at El Vez, and he designed Mexican-inspired menus for both the Philadelphia and New York City outposts.

Chickpeazza: Einat Admony

If you're looking for impeccable Middle Eastern food in New York City, look no further than Chef Einat Admony's trio of restaurants: Balaboosta, Bar Bolonat and Taïm. Celebrating flavors both specifically Israeli and broadly Mediterranean, Einat creates offerings that are unique, yet they're joined by a common thread: chickpeas. This week on Foodie Call, Justin and Einat explore the essential ingredient and — believe it or not — make it feel totally new again.

Chocolate Wine Cubes: Jacques Torres

Not many people become so prominent in their fields that their profession becomes their nickname — but Jacques Torres (aka Mr. Chocolate) is not most people. Master chocolatier and pastry chef Torres courts countless visitors to Jacques Torres Chocolate shops each year. This week he schools Justin in the art of tempering chocolate at home.

Cheese Danish Upgrade: Elizabeth Chubbuck

Murray's Cheese is renowned in New York City for its obsessive selection of Bries, cheddars, Goudas and more (much more). In this episode of Foodie Call, Murray's VP of sales (aka "big cheese"), Elizabeth Chubbuck, walks Justin through the surprising and delicious world of pungent washed-rind cheeses.

Chicago Dog Barbecue: Jeff Mauro

Jeff Mauro has a way of popping up everywhere you look on Food Network. He's our resident Sandwich King, of course. He pals around on The Kitchen with Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Geoffrey Zakarian. And he hosts our side-splitting Web series Kitchen Fails. On Foodie Call, Jeff tapped into his Chicago roots to concoct a new kind of barbecue with Justin — inspired by those famous Chicago-style hot dogs.

Greek Dakos: Andy Milonakis

Fans of his off-the-wall comedy likely know Andy Milonakis from his sketch show that appeared on MTV in the mid-'00s. But Milonakis' love of food is as strong as his funny side — after his MTV days, he even hosted an online cooking show for a bit. His heritage places Greek cuisine especially close to his heart, and he shares with Justin his enthusiasm for a bread salad called dakos.

Maryland Crabs: Mo Rocca

Journalist, "presidential history buff" and all-around funny guy Mo Rocca likes his food with a side of nostalgia. He takes cooking lessons from some of the best home cooks around (read: grandmas) as the host of Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli, and is also a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. There, he often covers stories at the intersection of history and pop culture.

Squid Splatoon: David Young of Nintendo

Justin's love of video games finally connects with his love for food when Nintendo's PR guru, David Young, stops by to discuss the surprisingly wide crossover of games and food.

Steak & Cake: Sam Mason and Elizabeth Valleau

Founded in 2011 by Chef Sam Mason and designer Elizabeth Valleau, Empire Mayonnaise creates homestyle mayonnaise with exotic flavors and formulations such as black garlic, ghost pepper and Sriracha. The company is based in Brooklyn.

Scrapple Apple Pie: Matt & Allison Robicelli

Allison and Matt Robicelli opened their Brooklyn bakery in 2008. Since then, Robicelli's has become one of NYC's premier bakeries and wholesalers of creative desserts. (Have you heard of Nutella lasagna? They invented it.) They're currently on a path to world domination, so look for their next outlet — opening soon in Baltimore. 

Hot Ice Cream: Doug Quint

Douglas Quint (and partner Bryan Petroff) jumped on board the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in 2009 and turned their weird notion into one of the most-successful dessert businesses around. Big Gay Ice Cream has two shops in New York City and one in Philadelphia. Quint and Petroff have also written the Big Gay Ice Cream Book (published by Random House in April 2015). 

Spam S'mores: Nick Subic

Nick Subic is the chef and owner of Brooklyn restaurant King Noodle — an eatery that specializes in Southeast Asian noodles and street food in a fun, funky setting. He loves to put Spam in his fried rice. Nick has also worked in restaurants in Chicago, Philadelphia and Portland, Ore.

Space Food, Unearthed: Karen Nyberg

Dr. Karen Nyberg has been a part of NASA since 1991. After completing her doctorate, she began working as an Environmental Control Systems Engineer with the Crew and Thermal Systems Division. She was selected as a mission specialist in July 2000. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, she was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations branch, where she served as Crew Support astronaut for the Expedition 6 crew during their six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. She has since served in the Space Shuttle and Exploration branches, and as Chief of the Robotics branch. A veteran of two spaceflights, she served as a Mission Specialist on STS-124 and a Flight Engineer for Expedition 36/37. She has accumulated 180 days in space. Karen enjoys running, sewing, drawing, painting, backpacking, playing the piano and spending time with her family.

Matcha, The New Green Tea: Eli Libman and Armand Jayet

Eli Libman, originally from Canada, met Graham Fortgang (cofounder of MatchaBar with brother Max) on their first day of college. The brothers introduced Eli to matcha, which he found to be the perfect fuel for long days. Max and Graham invited Eli onboard as partner and chief financial officer of MatchaBar, where they celebrate their shared past in the music industry (Graham and Eli ran a live music production company in college) with a live music series at the cafe.


Armand Jayet is from Paris. After graduating with a degree in film studies, he started working at Mariage Frères, a French gourmet tea company, where he fell in love with the world of tea. He moved to New York in 2012 and continued his journey in tea at Harney & Sons. He answered a mysterious ad on Craigslist and met Max, Graham and Eli. He immediately saw the potential of taking matcha out of the rigid traditional tea salon environment and believes matcha is the coffee of a new generation.

A Lesson on Goat's Milk: Sophia Brittan

Sophia Brittan is the proud owner of Victory Garden NYC, a shop in the West Village of Manhattan that specializes in goat’s milk soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt. Victory Garden was founded in 2011 with the mission of providing a healthy dessert made with local goat’s milk, inspired by flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond. Prior to opening Victory Garden, Sophia hosted an online cooking show called Kitchen Caravan, which focused on healthy recipes inspired by different cultures around the world. Sophia currently teaches private cooking classes to people who are interested in shifting their eating habits toward a more seasonally focused and health-based diet. She also frequently blogs for Victory Garden, as well as her own Mexican food blog.

Binge-Watching Snack: Laura Gómez

Actress, voiceover artist, writer and director Laura Gómez has been making a name for herself in the entertainment industry for the past decade. Laura is best known for transforming herself into Blanca Flores, a cunning and disheveled inmate on the award-winning smash Netflix hit series Orange Is the New Black. Laura can next be seen in the film Daughter of God (Central Park Films) and recurring as Selena Cruz on Law & Order: SVU. She will play Dama Montero in the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero.


Laura grew up in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and moved to New York City at age 21 to study acting. Laura is a member of Spanish Repertory Theater and is also an established voiceover actor. In 2011 Laura, an aspiring filmmaker, was a recipient of the IX Screenwriting Developing Grant from the Carolina Foundation in Spain. She currently resides in the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her cat, Morenito.

Corn in 12 Forms: Kyle Cameron and Alejandra Trinidad

Kyle Cameron is from Brawley, Calif. He studied film and graphic design and moved to New York in 2011 to pursue these careers. He started Los Tacos No.1 in 2013 with two of his closest friends.


Alejandra Trinidad was born in Veracruz, Mexico, and has been living in New York for the past 12 years. She was Los Tacos No.1's first employee and has been working at Los Tacos for two years. 

Sous Vide: John Poiarkoff

John Poiarkoff is the executive chef at The Pines and Willow, modern-American restaurants in Brooklyn known for their ingredient-driven food. In 2015 John and The Pines team competed in Bravo's Tom Colicchio-hosted Best New Restaurant. Previously a sous chef at The Modern, the Museum of Modern Art's fine-dining restaurant, and a graduate of The French Culinary Institute, John grew up stomping cabbage and making the foods of his Eastern European heritage in western Pennsylvania.

The Complexity of Gochujang: Matt Rodbard

For the past decade, Matt Rodbard has written about restaurants, chefs, drinks, music –– and relishing it all in New York City. His writing has appeared in Bon Appétit, Travel & Leisure, and Men’s Journal, and he currently serves as executive editor of Food Republic. A cookbook he is writing, Koreatown: A Cookbook, will be released in February 2016 by Clarkson Potter.

Turmeric Spiced Cocktail: Antoine Hodge

Antoine Hodge, senior bartender at NYC’s The Modern, attributes his culinary beginnings to the recipes, techniques and efficiency he learned while watching his grandmother and mother cook. He pursued his love of cooking at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., graduating with an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree in culinary arts management. He completed his externship at Medinah Country Club in Chicago under CMC Derin Moore and received a baking and pastry certification from the CIA Greystone campus in California. After graduating, Antoine became more focused on service and began to learn about the beverage world. He worked as captain and front waiter in the dining rooms at Craft Atlanta and The Modern. After being given the opportunity to bartend at The Modern, he realized it was the ideal role to exercise his culinary, beverage and service skills. In creating cocktails, Antoine frequently uses ingredients and techniques he learned in the kitchen, and considers himself to be a “cocktail chef.” In addition to working at The Modern, Antoine does cocktail consultations for restaurants.

Basil Sorbet Caprese Salad: Nicole Baum

Nicole Baum joined the Gotham Greens team in April 2014 as their marketing and partnerships manager with a background in international business and marketing. Prior to joining Gotham Greens, Nicole spent a few years working for a private equity placement firm in NYC while running a weekly supper club with her chef husband. She also co-founded and ran a wine touring company in Northern Italy and produced pop-up food and wine events in collaboration with chefs and artists in NYC. When she’s not out grazing the rooftop greenhouses at Gotham Greens, Nicole can be found cycling around Brooklyn and hosting friends for elaborate dinner parties.

Deep-Fried Deviled Eggs: Anita Lo

Anita Lo is the chef and owner of Annisa and one of the most-respected chefs in the country, having earned numerous accolades for her inventive contemporary American cuisine. Anita opened Annisa, an intimate restaurant in Greenwich Village, in 2000. In June 2009 a fire destroyed the restaurant and while plans for rebuilding Annisa got underway, Anita appeared on Top Chef Masters and finished fourth out of 24 chefs. In April 2010, after a complete renovation, Annisa was reopened. In October 2011 Anita released her first cookbook, Cooking Without Borders, which highlights her passion for bringing multicultural flavors to her American kitchen. Fifteen years later, Annisa continues to impress critics and members of the media and recently received a glowing three-star re-review from Pete Wells at The New York Times.

The Ramen Boom: Ivan Orkin

It was a teenage dishwashing job at a sushi bar on Long Island that first opened Ivan Orkin’s eyes to Japanese culture and cuisine, rendering him a lifelong Japanophile. After majoring in Japanese language and literature in college, and moving from the United States to Japan and back again, Ivan attended The Culinary Institute of America, followed by stints at many acclaimed NYC restaurants, where he honed his understanding of hospitality, food and cooking. The draw of Japan lured Ivan back though, with wife and kids in tow. After teaching cooking classes, Ivan opened a ramen shop at his wife’s urging and made history as the only American to do so in Japan. The tremendous success of Ivan Ramen Tokyo led to plentiful media coverage, a cookbook — Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint (2013) — and the opening of two NYC restaurants, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop and Ivan Ramen. At Ivan Ramen, Ivan seamlessly merges his love of Japan with his knowledge of Western cuisine and techniques. The restaurant was given a glowing two-star review by The New York Times in 2014.

Jerky for Breakfast: Brent Young

Brent Young will do more pushups than you. He will beat you at arm wrestling. He will also make you the best chicken liver mousse you've ever tasted. Brent has worked in many kitchens, including Diner. He's been a butcher for eight years. Brent is one of the owners of The Meat Hook.

Cold Brew Coffee: Sarah Leslie

Sarah Leslie is the former director of education at Gimme! Coffee. She currently serves on the Barista Guild of America Executive Council and is the vice chair of the Barista Certificate Committee. She holds the Barista Level 1 and 2 Certificates, is a credentialed Lead Instructor through the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and is a credentialed Barista Certificate Examiner. Sarah has been teaching people to make coffee since 2010. Her coffee career began in 2006 in NYC, and since then she has taken on many roles with companies in the city.