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.

Charlene Giannetti

Episode 40: AJ Schaller Talks About Sous-Vide Cooking


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. 

Episode 39: Dr. Casey Ann Pidich Talks About Foot Health


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.

Episode 38: Lisa Helmi Johanson Talks About Anything Goes at Arena Stage


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. 

Episode 37: Eve Goldberg Talks About BIGVISION


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. 

For more on BIGVISION, go to the website.

Episode 35: Sarah Binder Mehta Talks About PianoPiano


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.

Episode 33: Aimee Lam and Susan Engelstein Talk About Literacy


Perhaps you’ve had this experience – visiting a foreign country where you can’t speak, read, or write the language. Well, recent arrivals to the United States experience that sense of isolation which can prevent them from engaging with their neighbors, getting a job, and helping their children succeed in school. Fortunately, there are people eager to help. Aimee Lam is executive director and Susan Engelstein program and events manager for the Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County in New Jersey. There are organizations like LVSC all over the country. Aimee and Susan talk with Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti about how LVSC volunteers are advancing the cause of literacy in their community.

Read Marina Kennedy’s story about LVSC.

Episode 32: Jean Lichty Talks About La Femme Theatre Productions


Jean Lichty is an actor on a mission – to have a theater company that can explore, highlight, and honor the female experience. She made that vision a reality in 2013 when she registered La Femme Theatre Productions. Three years ago this month, La Femme appointed its first board members and Jean was elected executive director. The company began producing plays in line with its mission and this fall will produce the first New York revival of Tennessee William’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. She tells Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti about La Femme Theatre Productions, working with actor/director/playwright Austin Pendleton, and their new collaboration, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. 

Episode 31: Stephanie Thompson Harris Talks About Dancer’s Heart


In 2010, Stephanie Thompson Harris lost her daughter, Imani, to a rare disease. Children are not supposed to die before their parents do, and when that happens it upends the natural order. Stephanie was left with many challenges. First, working through overwhelming grief that followed her daughter’ s death. She also had to go back to work, trying to figure out her career path forward. And she wanted to find a way to keep the memory of her child alive, which she has done with the non-profit, A Dancer’s Heart.

Her journey was difficult, but along the way she learned life lessons that she wanted to share with other women who may also be facing challenges in their lives. We can all benefit from her wise words. Listen to her interview with Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti.

For more information, go to the website for A Dancer’s Heart. 

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