I am beyond thrilled to introduce today’s interviewee, Jeremy Salamon, executive chef of The Eddy in NYC. Jeremy is the little brother of my little brother’s childhood best friend. That’s tough to visualize, but I’ve essentially been watching Jeremy control the kitchen since he was a wee thing, whipping up dishes well beyond the comprehension of all the adults in the room. He’s worked in some of your favorite NYC kitchens like Buvette, Locanda Verde, and Prune, he hosted his own Hungarian-themed pop-up dinners, and he was even a guest judge on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race! Also, he’s only 23, so there goes your self-esteem.
If you’re in NYC and want to have a really special meal in an intimate, cozy setting, do yourself a favor and go get the tasting menu at The Eddy. Jeremy is the kind of conscientious, hard-working chef you want to support, and I can’t wait to see what he cooks up next.
This interview covers some tougher concepts like mental health, so I opted out of adding my normal silly GIFs so Jeremy’s honest and thoughtful words can shine.
My initial intention when starting this series was to post one interview each week for the final weeks of class. Well, class is over for the semester, and guess what didn’t happen?
Which brings me to important Grad School Lesson 1 – going to school at night and working full time is hard. No matter how much I love food studies and genuinely want to do all the readings in their entirety, I’m not invincible – far from it. Sometimes I just need to watch 7 episodes of 90 Day Fiancé. And that’s okay. Learning to appreciate learning for what it is, rather than worrying about grades and papers and projects, has been the most important lesson from my inaugural semester.
But now that the semester is over, my final interview project needs to be turned in. So I’m going to pack these pieces into one content-blasted week, and I really can’t wait to share them with you. I am so incredibly grateful for the collection of food industry rockstars that agreed to speak with me for this project. Next up, meet Melissa Schwimmer, culinary producer for BSTV Entertainment.
Welcome to the inaugural post of Food Studies Fridays! Every Friday for the next 10 weeks, I’ll be posting an interview with someone who works in the food industry as part of a final class project. (Yes, I’m in school, in case you missed that announcement. More info on that here.)
We’re going to kick it off this week with a very special guest from Food Network. Food media is a large part of my graduate program as many students go on to work at media outlets like Food and Wine Magazine, Food52, and Heritage Radio Network.
Without further ado, meet Madeline Langlieb, Programming and Development Executive at Food Network!
So I’m cheating a little bit because Madeline is one of my best friends. I’ve had the privilege of tagging along with her to many awesome food events. Here I am mooching off her in the VIP section of the Big Apple BBQ this summer:
In addition to keeping me well fed, Madeline is the Executive in Charge of Production for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which was nominated for an Emmy this summer. Go Mads!
Q: How long have you worked at Food Network?
A: 5.5 years.
Q: How did you end up there?
A: My first job at a talent agency led me to my current company. I previously worked with talent and production companies that star in and create shows for Food Network. I was previously on the selling side, and now I get pitched shows and work towards getting them on TV.
Q: What are a few of the major challenges in your industry?
A: There are so many ways to get content, especially food based content. Be it on linear tv, on Instagram, blogs, Snapchat, Facebook, there seems to be more and more options for food focused content. Keeping up with trends and staying relevant is always top of mind. We try to create compelling shows that will entertain and inform our viewers.
Q: What are a few of the major pleasures in your work or industry?
A: A lot of people say I have the best job in the world, and I wouldn’t say that they are wrong. I get to work for a beloved network, and make entertainment for a living. I also get to eat and drink some pretty bomb stuff.
Q: What’s the most bomb thing you’ve eaten recently?
A: Milk ice cream with honey over freeze dried honeycomb from The NoMad!
Q: What skills do you use to be successful at work?
A: It all boils down to having great relationships, creativity, and being able to execute ideas.
Q: If there was one thing you could change about your work, what would that be?
A: I wish there were more hours in the day, both to produce new shows and to eat more food!
Thanks Madeline for being Interview #1! Tune in next week where I talk to a food entrepreneur who is disrupting pasta.