Most food and “foodie” content available today focuses on ingredient sourcing, recipes, and food preparation. While these aspects of the food world are important to understand, Menu Stories wants to get to know the people who create some of the most beloved food and gathering places — who they are, where they came from, how they ended up in the restaurant or food business, and what motivates and inspires them to maintain their excellence and authenticity.
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Explore the live episodes to hear the stories behind these culinary artists and small business owners who feed and nurture our communities.
The Menu Stories Team
Menu Stories was founded by Rebecca Goberstein, a San Francisco based product designer. She hosts and produces the podcast, photographs for each episode, and is the designer/developer for menustories.com. Rebecca comes from a long line of food lovers: her grandfather was a restaurant manager and chef in the former Soviet Union, who was known for his beef stroganoff recipe, and her great grandfather was a kosher butcher, who ran a produce market for many years (also in Russia). Rebecca loves cooking and baking, skills she learned from her talented mother and grandmother, and spent several years in the restaurant industry as an ice cream scooper, coffee shop barista, and fine dining server (for a *very* short stint). Most recently, she founded a tech startup that made it easy for food lovers to collect and share their favorite places on earth, powering the restaurant maps of popular food bloggers and major events like SF Restaurant Week. Rebecca earned her bachelor's degree in English literature and creative writing from the University of California, San Diego and holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Menu Stories videographer Patrick Wong is a big fan of eating (and cooking poorly). Equally happy with the junkiest of junk foods or the fanciest of fancy feasts, he has a very big appetite. A Seattle native, Patrick grew up with a very food-centric family. His father owns a restaurant supply company, his mother is a former baker, his sisters co-owned a restaurant, and he grew up making breakfast with his grandmother before school. Patrick has formerly done production work for documentary films and for television news and is also a freelance food writer. Currently, Patrick is the marketing and community manager for Nomiku; a co-founder of food-inspired streetwear line, Mother Sauce; and a freelance writer (who obviously enjoys writing about food). After a stint in Prague and NYC, Patrick now resides in San Francisco, where he's taken up distance running, CrossFit, and eating as much ice cream as possible. See his portfolio here.
Food is Menu Stories assisting editor and producer Siska Marcus' biggest passion. Siska grew up in Indonesia and, though her grandmother taught her how to cook traditional Indonesian food, her mother, a catering chef, was the one who taught her to experiment with cooking. After moving to China to attend Beijing University, Siska immigrated to the United States and moved to San Francisco to earn her master's degree in Media Studies. Siska has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of international news agencies, including NPR, KQED, and Sky News, and spent five years as a radio journalist at the Voice of America Beijing Bureau. She now works as a Program Manager for Verizon's New Product Group, by day, and as a pop-up chef, by night. On any given weekend, you might find Siska, an avid locavore, visiting farms around the Bay Area, where she selects the freshest, healthiest ingredients for her menu. Follow Siska on Facebook for Indonesian pop-up dinner info, recipes, and photos of her cooking.
Menu Stories contributing photographer Monica Lo is a New York City advertising creative gone rogue. Monica has creative directed and designed for full-service advertising agencies, digital shops, various entertainment projects, and start-ups. Monica is also an activist and photographer working to change public perception of cannabis users. Monica is creator of Sous Weed, the co-creator of Asian Americans for Cannabis Education, and a photo contributor at Stock Pot Images. Monica has many years of experience in food styling and photography; she has trained at The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC and with Andrew Scrivani from the New York Times. Recently, Monica worked on a photo shoot for the Sous Vide at Home cookbook with Ten Speed Press and Nomiku, slated for a November 2016 launch. In addition to Menu Stories, Monica has also cooked and shot with Top Chef Mei Lin, Dara the Bow Girl from MasterChef Junior, Opening Ceremony, Chef Jacques La Merde, and has been featured on PopSugar.
If you represent a restaurant or culinary artist who has a story to share, Menu Stories wants to hear from you. Give us a shout!