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Alpana Singh, Master Sommelier and host of "Check, Please!"

Alpana Singh is the owner of Terra & Vine, the host of “Check, Please!” and is a master sommelier. At the time she earned that title, she was the youngest woman ever to achieve it and is still the only South Asian to claim it. In this episode, we discuss what it was like working at Everest at 23 years old, coming up in the wine world as a person of color and how that population is still under represented in wine. Singh shares her thoughts about reopening restaurants in the wake of COVID-19, shifting part of her restaurant to open a retail wine shop and how humor plays a big role in her approach to wine.

Cliff Rome, owner of Peach’s Restaurant

Cliff Rome is a longtime chef and powerhouse in Chicago’s restaurant industry and owner of five food and events businesses in Bronzeville, including Peach’s Restaurant. On this episode, Rome shares his history being one of a few Black chefs in the room and the infectious power of intentional community reinvestment. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent nationwide protests against police brutality that have exposed deep-rooted system abuse and racism in hospitality, Rome joins Ari, Maggie and Ernest to wade deep into the issues of justice, responsibility, cancel culture and empathy. Buckle up and get ready. This is one episode you don’t want to miss.

Tony Dreyfuss, owner of Metropolis Coffee Company

Recession-proof as coffee may seem, this massive industry hasn't escaped the effects of COVID-19. In this illuminating, energetic (thanks to its highly caffeinated participants) episode, Ari and Maggie talk with Tony Dreyfuss, owner of Metropolis Coffee Co., on how the pandemic has forced his independent roastery to adapt, its enduring impact on coffee growers and cafe culture, and how Dreyfuss continues to challenge the notion of what "great" coffee is after 20 years in the business.

Julia Momose, partner and creative director at Kumiko and Kikko

As Chicago's dine-in ban approaches two months, it was high time Overserved unpacked what the bar industry is up against. Enter Julia Momose, partner and creative director at Kumiko and Kikko and bartendress extraordinaire who also launched Cocktails for Hope, an initiative advocating for the sale of pre-mixed, sealed cocktails to-go, which are currently illegal in the state of Illinois. In this illuminating episode, we learn about Momose's tireless efforts to make cocktails to go a reality (and thus bring back jobs to the struggling bar industry), how she recreates the luxury of Kumiko in miniature through her to-go storefront, and the beguiling song that plays in her head whenever she mixes one of her impeccable cocktails.

Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark, co-owners of Parachute and Wherewithall

Since the statewide order for restaurants to shutter in-room dining to the public due to the COVID-19 crisis, Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark haven’t stopped working to feed their customers. The married James Beard Award-winning owners of Michelin-starred restaurant Parachute and the highly acclaimed newcomer Wherewithall, both in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, shifted their business focus to carry out and delivery while still taking care of and home-schooling three young children. We spoke with the talented couple over Zoom about staying afloat financially and mentally in uncertain times, using Kickstarter to self-publish a mini-sized cookbook, how they eventually plan to re-open to the public — and why “Young Frankenstein” is the classic movie we all need to revisit for much-needed laughs.

Erling Wu-Bower, executive chef and co-owner of Pacific Standard Time and The Laurel Room

It’s been just over a month since Gov. JB Pritzker issued a statewide ban on dine-in restaurants to slow the spread of COVID-19–all but decimating Chicago’s thriving dining industry. To help make sense of a harrowing few weeks for independent restaurants in particular, we chatted on Zoom with Erling Wu-Bower, executive chef and co-owner of Pacific Standard Time and The Laurel Room. This important episode covers what it looks like when a dine-in restaurant pivots to carryout, whether the federal government’s response will be enough to save independent eateries, and what listeners can do to help their fave spots (buy merch!). We’ll also hear about what this longtime chef is cooking at home during these trying times (hint: plenty of chicken).

Mindy. F***ing. Segal.

Because we are all in desperate need of a little comfort and love, in the Season 2 premiere we sat down with Chicago’s OG queen of culinary cannabis and perfectly burnished pastries: Mindy Segal. The James Beard Award-winning owner of Bucktown stalwart Hot Chocolate and innovative mind behind Mindy’s Artisanal Edibles shares her journey into cooking and baking, her dancing alter ego and how to make proper cannabutter—for all those of us holed up and in need of weekend projects. And note, we recorded this just before the growing coronavirus pandemic required us to become shut-ins.

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