Episode 164: Alex Raij (La Vara, Saint Julivert, El Quinto Pino, Txikito); San Francisco Cooking School's Jodi Liano on Culinary Students in the COVID Age

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Andrew recently sat down with the accomplished chef and restaurateur Alex Raij, who owns and operates a number of the most personal, specific, and successfully realized Spanish restaurants (La Vara, Saint Julivert Fisherie, El Quinto Pino, Txikito) in New York City, all in collaboration with her husband Eder Montero. Alex opens up about the genesis of her restaurant concepts, her food-focused Minneapolis childhood, and dream projects that linger in her imagination.

And in The Line-Up, our weekly news and commentary segment, Jodi Liano, founder and owner of San Francisco Cooking School, checks in from California to share some insights on what's different, and what remains the same, for culinary students in a late-COVID landscape. What's drawing them to cooking programs, what are their ambitions, and how many of them found the inspiration and courage to take the cooking school plunge because of the pandemic?

We also welcome a new sponsor to the Andrew Talks to Chefs family this week. To kick off the partnership, we welcome Brad Metzer, founder of Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions (BMRS), to the pod as he offers the first of what will be a weekly selection of positions that his firm is looking to fill. (Andrew Talks to Chefs listeners are encouraged to reach out to BMRS at the special, dedicated email address created just for you at ATC@restaurant-solutions.com.)

Andrew Talks to Chefs is sponsored in part by meez; please check out this revolutionary new interactive recipe database and tool for professional chefs and cooks.

Please consider supporting Andrew Talks to Chefs via our Patreon page–we have just eliminated tiered contributor levels and invite one and all to support us at a minimum of just $2 per month.

Andrew Talks to Chefs is a fully independent podcast and no longer affiliated with our former host network; please visit and bookmark our official website for all show updates, blog posts, personal and virtual appearances, and related information.

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