Podcast brings together food, politics and current events
March 9th, 2019
PORTSMOUTH — The first live recording of the podcast Add Passion and Stir: Big Chefs, Big Ideas happened Friday night at the Loft space of the Portsmouth Music Hall.
Two podcasts were recorded with host Billy Shore. The first panel included U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Dondero School Principal Kate Callahan and Chef Evan Mallett, of Black Trumpet Bistro. The second took place after press time and involved Maureen Beauregard of Families in Transition and Chef Matt Louis of Moxy Restaurant.
According to their website description, “Add Passion and Stir: Big Chefs, Big Ideas is the weekly Share Our Strength podcast about people who are changing the world. Each week, Billy Shore, the founder and chairman of Share Our Strength, has a conversation with a guest from the culinary world and an industry thought leader creating a thought-provoking discussion. As much as food has become a source of pleasure and celebration, it’s amazing how food is central to our health, environment, educational achievement, sustainability, and overall quality of life.”
Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is on a mission to assure good, healthy food is available to all children in the U.S. Add Passion and Stir is the campaign’s official podcast and is available on many online podcast sites.
Shore and Sen. Shaheen have known each other for a long time. The first question he asked was likely on many minds across the country.
“As a senator known for bringing civility and sophistication to the floor, how do we get back to a place where we function as we are supposed to in Washington?” said Shore.
Shaheen said she was very disappointed at what she was seeing today. She said if the country was going to address real issues, they must all take responsibility for their actions and find common ground.
“I think we need to model civil discourse, but I also think it is about the leadership we have now,” said Shaheen. “We need to be able to have civil discussions even with those we do not agree with. The number one concern I hear from people is the question of why can’t you all work together and get back to what we need to do. We have more in common than what divides us. But this president divides us.”
Shaheen thanked Shore for the work he does, noting that on the foreign relations committee she and other committee members struggle with situations of severe poverty and hunger.
The key of the podcasts is always about food and better ways to make sure we all have what we need.
Chef Mallett is very passionate about food. He calls himself a food geek.
“I feel food is the common denominator,” said Mallett. “At Black Trumpet, we have a program called Women of the World. I invite one woman at a time to come into my kitchen and cook, food from other cultures.”
Callahan said 24 percent of Dondero students are on free or reduced lunch. She said they are very concerned with how the kids start their day.
“Food has both positive and negative impacts on a child’s behavior,” said Callahan. “We have a woman who helps us grow food and educate the kids on how important good food is. This is a part of what we do that is besides academics.”
Shaheen said the NH senate just passed a bill that will provide breakfast for all school children. It still needs to pass the House but she said she feels it will.
“Kids can’t learn if they are hungry,” said Shaheen. “We need to make sure our people have the nutrition they need.”
Mallet said he is concerned with, and is trying to find ways to use food waste, which he said is a big problem at farms and restaurants. He said they are working with farmers to take usable food waste and make it into soup, for distribution locally.
Chris Curtis, film and outreach manager for the Music Hall, said the event is part of the Music Hall’s Innovation in Leadership series. He said Share Our Strength has raised over $700 million in their campaign to feed kids.
“There is always a chef and a policy issue expert as part of the podcast conversations,” said Curtis.