From trailblazing chefs to pro-skaters and the "Mayor of Flavortown" himself, we spoke to influential characters in 2017's cultural landscape who gave us some unique insight into eating, drinking, and cooking.
By putting some of our favorite conversations and profiles from 2017 together in one place, we get a glimpse into some very creative minds and how they relate to the food we eat. Some were famous, some were not, but they all had a very intense connection with food and were generous enough to share that passion with us as we bombarded them with questions. This is perfect for holiday reading next to the fireplace, or whatever the main source of heat is in your apartment, and tuning out all the outside noise with the laser-like focus of a chef.
Preeti Mistry isn’t one to hold back on any topic, and she was candid as ever when our staff writer Mayukh Sen spoke to her about her restaurant Juhu Beach Club closing, the eliteness of fine dining, and diversity in the kitchen.
Pierre Koffmann’s name might not be as recognizable as, say, Rene Redzepi or Guy Fieri’s, but among chefs, it is synonymous with elevating offal to true gastronomic greatness. We touched down with Koffmann in Montreal while he was cooking with his buddies Chris Cosentino and Derek Dammann at Maison Publique to discuss everything from his legendary pig’s trotter dish to how he got his infamous nickname “The Bear.”
When chef Dominique Crenn isn’t flipping the tasting menu game on its head at San Francisco's Atelier Crenn, she’s in Haiti to help restore food crops ravaged by hurricanes. In conversation, she’s adamant about the social obligations of chefs and tells us what she’s learned from working in Haiti. It's a great read if you're trying to be a better person in 2018.
Bam Margera’s reputation was not made in the world of gastronomy, but his relationship with fame is deeply connected to the issues he's had with eating and drinking. When we spoke to Bam, he opened up about his struggles with drinking and an eating disorder during the darkest years of his life. Not surprisingly, Bam’s triumphant return to skateboarding has been facilitated by eating well and getting sober.
Earlier this year, we got fearless writer Daisy Meager to conduct an interview during a date—of sorts—with Fred Sirieix, who's not only the GM at London’s posh Galvin at Windows, but sets up couples on TV for the dating show First Dates. Over the course of their adorably awkward conversation, Fred waxes eloquent about the service industry, ideal first date dishes, and his opposition to Tinder.
British cooking show legend Nigella Lawson doesn’t pretend to be a culinary technician like Gordon Ramsay or Jacques Pépin, nor does she care to be. When MUNCHIES UK editor Phoebe Hurst spoke with Nigella about her new series Simply Nigella, she had a lot of wisdom to share about embracing home cooking, no-bullshit recipes, and mainstream success.
Sure, we spoke to a bunch of celebrities, but we also pride ourselves on letting the voices of the service industry be heard, and these four Dutch chefs gave a brutally honest account of the reality facing women in kitchens who also want to be mothers.
READ: Who Is Guy Fieri?
In 2017, our editor-in-chief Helen Hollyman asked Guy Fieri a very important question: “Where exactly is Flavortown, USA?” and the mayor himself gave an answer that was surprising, thoughtful, and philosophical. It's the kind of conversation that can only arise after spending a couple of days in Vegas with Guy Fieri.