Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.
Jennifer Knowles from a very young age developed a passion for fine dining and wine. After majoring in chemistry at Syracuse University, she moved to San Francisco so she could take a course in oenology at UC Davis. Her career has been on an upward trajectory ever since. She’s worked with a who’s who of people in the wine and restaurant industry, and has passed, well not only passed, but in one case, crushed, some of the most difficult exams for a sommelier. After helping to open Requin at The Wharf on the waterfront in D.C., she was eventually named general manager and beverage director of Mirabelle, an elegant restaurant that is winning rave reviews. We’re excited to talk with Jennifer about her own career and what advice she would give other women who aspire to careers in the restaurant business.
For more information, go to the website for Mirabelle.
The holiday season is upon us and while those celebrations bring joy to many, for others it’s a difficult time. An estimated three million adults experience seasonal depression every year in the U.S. due to circumstances such as the loss of loved ones, a lack of family connections, financial hardships, and many other factors.
Christianne Kernes is a marriage and family therapist and director of clinical services at HealthRIGHT 360, a non-profit for those seeking treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues. She is also the co-founder of LARKR, a mobile platform that lets users have video therapy sessions in real time with licensed and highly vetted therapists. She talks with Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti about seasonal depression, who’s at risk, and what can be done to help.
Sous-vide cooking is fast becoming a food revolution. Recently, Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti visited Cuisine Solutions, the force behind this movement. (See the story.) In this WAT-CAST, she talks with AJ Schaller, who is on the forefront of training chefs in this slow-cooking technique.
AJ Schaller is a 2005 graduate and former teaching assistant at the Culinary Institute of America. She worked at Restaurant Daniel and Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group for ten years. After a series of promotions, she finished with the title Culinary Manager. The position included work on restaurant openings, testing recipes, cooking for events, producing cookbooks, food styling, and overseeing health department matters.
In 2015, after a stint at Corkbuzz Restaurant and Wine Bar, she took the opportunity to work under Bruno Goussault for Culinary Research and Education Academy. At CREA, AJ assists Dr. Goussault in training chefs in sous-vide and extraction, as well as managing consulting projects for a variety of food service establishments.
Runners will take off in the 2018 New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 4. While finishing that 26.2 mile race is a big achievement, training to run the race is essential, and runners log in many miles and go through lots of running shoes before they get to the starting line. But the marathon is just one day. Many of us are running and working out constantly. And all that activity can be tough on our feet. Add to that our love for stilettos and fancy shoes and keeping our feet healthy can be a challenge. Dr. Casey Ann Pidich, aka Dr. Glass Slipper, is a foot specialist and an attending surgeon at Fifth Avenue Surgery Center and Gramercy Surgery Center in Manhattan. She also volunteers her time as a medical volunteer for New York City Marathons and half marathons. In an interview with Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti, she gives tips on how we can keep walking and running without pain or injury.
We need a fun musical now and D.C.’s Arena Stage is delivering just that with a rollicking production of Anything Goes, featuring classic Cole Porter songs. Lisa Helmi Johanson plays Hope Harcourt, a debutante who is about to get married, but meeting someone else on board a cruise ships changes all that. In an interview with Woman Around Town’s Charlene Giannetti Lisa talks about her career, how she’s managed to amass a collection of musical instruments, and how Arena’s production of Anything Goes has been updated with a multi-cultural cast that will resonate with audiences in the nation’s capital. Lisa is playing Hope at a time when we need just that.
After her son, Isaac, died, Eve Goldberg was overwhelmed with the number of people who came out to comfort her and offer to help her with whatever she needed. A few weeks after the funeral, Eve decided that she would do something to make sure that her son’s death would somehow help others struggling with addiction. Tapping all those friends, she set out to create the type of community that might have saved Isaac’s life. What he needed was a safe and comfortable place where he could socialize with other young adults without having to worry about withstanding peer pressure when those around him were using alcohol or drugs. Eve’s efforts created BIGVISION, a warm and welcoming substance-free space where young people can enjoy fun activities while they forge new friendships. The number of young people coming to BIGVISION events has grown, with more organizations and individuals getting involved. In the interview with Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti, Eve talked with openness and honesty about Isaac, his addiction, how she made her way through such a difficult time, and how Isaac would be proud of what she has created.
Madonia Bakery on Arthur Avenue in The Bronx is celebrating its 100th anniversary. What a milestone. Not only are those connected with this family-owned business excited, but the bakery’s many customers are excited, too. Located in the Belmont section, the bakery, of course, serves the community. But fans also travel, in some cases long distances, to stock up on the traditional breads, cookies, biscoti, cannoli, and other treats Madonia continues to produce.
The bakery’s founder, Mario Madonia, immigrated from Sicily. In 1918, he opened the first Madonia on Adams Place in the Bronx, moving 14 years later to its larger location on Arthur Avenue. In the 1960s, Mario’s sons, Pete and Frank, took over running the bakery. In 1982, the third generation represented by Pete’s son, Mario, stepped in. Tragedy struck when Mario was killed in a car crash when he was only 38. His brother, Peter, who had earned a master’s degree in urban studies at the University of Chicago, was working as a deputy commissioner for the New York Fire Department. Family came first, and Peter left the NYFD to run the bakery.
After managing the bakery for six years, Peter took on a partner, Charlie LaLima, who had been working as a baker in Brooklyn. When Charlie came on board, Peter was able to return to work in the public sector, becoming first Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s chief of staff, and then the chief operating officer of the Rockefeller Foundation. Peter’s father, Pete, died last year, so Peter retired from the Rockefeller Foundation and returned to run the bakery.
We visited the bakery recently, stocking up on our own favorites and being greeted by Peter himself. He graciously agreed to talk with us about Madonia and what it means to be celebrating as the Italians say, cent’anni.
Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano” is a popular song that has been recorded by a who’s who of vocalists. We love a piano, too, one reason why we asked Ian Herman to record that marvelous introduction to WAT-CAST.Sarah Binder Mehta, president of PianoPiano, not only loves the instrument, she supplies pianos, renting these luxury items, to those who need them. The company’s clients include Broadway shows, musical stars, special events, and advanced players, as well as beginners. PianoPiano has even supplied pianos for real estate stagings.
PianoPiano is taping into a trend – allowing people to rent rather than make an expensive purchase. How smart is that? Sarah is continuing in the family business and in an interview with Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti she talks more about the company.