Á la Carte Alabama shines spotlight on state’s compelling food scene

Á la Carte Alabama shines spotlight on state’s compelling food scene
Willie Chriesman is executive producer and co-host of Á la Carte Alabama, a multimedia venture that takes a fresh look at the many facets of food in Alabama. His website is displayed on the screen behind him. (Karim Shamsi-Basha/Alabama NewsCenter)

Á la Carte Alabama, the online and social media venture that brings a fresh take to food and drink across the state, has launched a new podcast telling the stories of the state’s culinary scene.

Few things are bringing more positive attention to Alabama these days than the booming food and drink sector. From white barbecue sauce in the north, to fine dining and meat-and-three’s in the middle, to seafood on the gulf, Alabama food is winning raves in national magazines and newspapers and prestigious awards from all over.

The Á la Carte Alabama podcast talks to the top names in food and drink in Alabama, introduces some of the new faces drawing attention, takes the listener to places exploring unique approaches and looks at the things adding to the special nature of the food and beverage industry in our state.

“More and more, food is becoming part of our cultural identity and sparking all kinds of positive attention to Alabama,” says Willie Chriesman, executive producer and co-host of the Á la Carte Alabama podcast. “We want to explore this topic by telling the stories of the people, places and trends that make the food and drink scene here so unique and so compelling.”

Á la Carte Alabama pulls together many sides of state’s food scene, culture and history from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Among some of the people and places the podcast highlights are James Beard Award winners Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill, Chez Fonfon and Bottega, and Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club and Ovenbird; as well as Clif Holt of Little Savannah; Hunter Lewis, editor of Birmingham-based Food & Wine magazine; Food Network Star finalist and author Martie Duncan; Yo’ Mama’s; Dreamland; tips on baking from Greensboro’s Pie Lab; and much more.

In the first two episodes, Á la Carte Alabama talks to culinary legends Stitt and Hastings about how they think about food and what is unique about their approach. The podcast offers advice on how to avoid packing on those extra pounds during the holidays, and popular TV weatherman James Spann talks about the food he always avoids when visiting school cafeterias. You will learn the story of The Green Book, a travel guide for African-Americans during the segregation era, and whether cocktails should be shaken or stirred, from an expert on craft cocktails.

The Á la Carte Alabama podcast is co-hosted by Teresa Zuniga Odom, who blogs as Southern Senora at www.southernsenora.com, and produced by Jessica Chriesman, podcaster, social media content creator and award-winning filmmaker. Music is by noted Alabama jazz guitarist Eric Essix.

The podcast is available on the Á la Carte Alabama website at www.alacarteal.com, and at the iTunes store and Google Play Music.

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