Have You Eaten Yet?

Chef Zack Wangeman: A Conversation From Sobre Masa Tortilleria In Brooklyn

January 24, 2022 Kassata Bollman / Chef Zack Wangeman Episode 22
Have You Eaten Yet?
Chef Zack Wangeman: A Conversation From Sobre Masa Tortilleria In Brooklyn
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

New Episode w/ Chef Zack Wangeman.

Chef Wangeman is Chef & Owner Of The Brooklyn Tortilla Brand And Cafe Sobre Masa And His Restaurant Sobre Masa Tortilleria. 

Forbes Magazine Named Wangeman As One Of Their 2022 30 Under 30 People To Watch In The Food World.

He Grew Up In Oaxaca Mexico And It’s That Upbringing That Shapes His Cuisine.

We Discuss:

Masa, Heirloom Corn, And The Small Family Farms In Mexico Growing This Corn.

We Also Talk About The Sacred Reputation That This Ingredient Holds.

https://sobremasa.com/

https://www.instagram.com/sobre_masa/?hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/dianaandzack/?hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/zack_wangeman/?hl=en



[[MUSIC]]


I’M KASSATA BOLLMAN. 

TODAY MY GUEST IS CHEF ZACK WANGEMAN.

HE JOINS US FROM BROOKLYN…..


WHERE...CURRENTLY….. HE’S CHEF & OWNER OF THE BROOKLYN TORTILLA BRAND AND CAFE, SOBRE MASA….. AND HIS RESTAURANT…. SOBRE MASA TORTILLERIA. 


FORBES MAGAZINE NAMED WANGEMAN AS ONE OF THEIR 2022…. 30 UNDER 30… PEOPLE TO WATCH…. IN THE FOOD WORLD…


HE GREW UP IN OAXACA MEXICO….AND IT’S THAT UPBRINGING THAT SHAPES HIS CUISINE.


TODAY WE’LL BE DISCUSSING…. 


MASA…..HEIRLOOM CORN…….THE SMALL FAMILY FARMS IN MEXICO GROWING THIS CORN……..IN SOME CASES…. FARMERS HAVE BEEN GROWING THESE VARIETIES….. FOR OVER 150 GENERATIONS.….


………AND WE’LL ALSO TALK ABOUT…. THE SACRED REPUTATION ….THAT THIS INGREDIENT HOLDS….



SO I’LL START BY ASKING…..AS WE ALWAYS DO….CHEF WANGEMAN…..

 “HAVE YOU EATEN YET?”......

NOW …….THIS COULD BE A MEAL FROM TODAY …..OR A CUP OF COFFEE THAT YOU’RE DRINKING RIGHT NOW….

 …...OR….. IT COULD BE …...THE LAST MEAL…. THAT YOU HAVE A REALLY GREAT MEMORY ABOUT…..ONE THAT TRULY RESONATED WITH YOU…..

IT COULD BE ONE FROM 10 YEARS AGO….. OR ANYTIME….

 

 

[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]

 









MASA



YOU’RE MAIN FOCUS IS MASA…SO LET’S START OFF WITH THE BASICS…PLEASE EDUCATE ME….. & OUR LISTENERS…..WHAT IS MASA? 

 

 

[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]



AND….. TALK ABOUT THE TECHNIQUES THAT YOU’VE BEEN DEVELOPING….


 

 

[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]



AND THROUGH THIS DEVELOPMENT…….YOU’VE GAINED A DEEP UNDERSTANDING AND RESPECT FOR THE PROCESS…..


AS A CHEF I IMAGINE THAT YOU HAVE A SENSE OF RESPECT FOR EVERY TECHNIQUE…. THAT YOU’VE LEARNED…..THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE…..

WHAT MAKES THIS JOURNEY DIFFERENT FOR YOU?




[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]














FARMERS


TO MAKE YOUR TORTILLAS….YOU’RE IMPORTING MORE THAN A DOZEN VARIETIES OF HEIRLOOM CORN…. FROM SMALL MEXICAN FARMS….


IN SOME CASES….FARMERS HAVE BEEN GROWING THESE VARIETIES FOR OVER 150 GENERATIONS.….


I'D LOVE FOR YOU TO TRANSPORT OUR LISTENERS TO THESE FARMS IN OAXACA…..


WHAT DOES THE PROPERTY LOOK LIKE?….. 


ARE THE SURROUNDINGS NEAR WATER…..DIRT ROADS…..TREES?


DESCRIBE THE ROWS OF CORN FOR US…..ESSENTIALLY….TRY TO TAKE US THERE….CONSIDER IT…. AN AUDIO TRIP…. DOWN MEMORY LANE….


 

 

[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]



AND…… MOST IMPORTANTLY….PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE PEOPLE GROWING THIS CORN….

PERHAPS YOU HAVE A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH ONE FARMER IN PARTICULAR….TELL US ABOUT THEM…..AND THEIR FAMILY…..


OR MAYBE….. YOU JUST HAVE A MEMORABLE STORY FROM YOUR TIME THERE….A STORY THAT BRINGS YOU BACK TO THAT FARM IMMEDIATELY…THAT YOU COULD SHARE WITH US….



[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]


AND IF YOU COULD TOUCH ON THE CURRENT STATE OF THE MEXICAN CORN INDUSTRY…. FROM YOUR STANDPOINT…ARE GMO SEEDS AFFECTING THESE SMALL FARMERS?


ARE THEY DEALING WITH ANY ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS?…..OR DOES THE FUTURE LOOK BRIGHT FOR THEM?


[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]

 

CORN IS SACRED

 

CORN NEEDS HUMAN INTERVENTION TO GROW…IT’S A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP….

 

IT’S ALSO CONSIDERED SACRED…..

 

THE SPIRITUALITY INTEGRATION…. WITH THIS INGREDIENT… REALLY INTERESTS ME….

 

CAN YOU EXPAND ON THE HISTORY BEHIND HEIRLOOM CORN IN MEXICO….AND THE SACRED REPUTATION IT HOLDS?

 

 

[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]

 



















 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYNCHRONICITIES



HAVE THERE EVER BEEN ANY SIGNS OR SYNCHRONICITIES IN YOUR LIFE…. THAT LED TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU….. IN THIS INDUSTRY? ……. 


IF SO, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE MOMENT….



 

[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLOW STATE:




A FLOW STATE, ALSO KNOWN AS BEING IN THE ZONE…. IS THE MENTAL STATE WHEN A PERSON IS PERFORMING AN ACTIVITY….. AND IS FULLY IMMERSED…. IN A FEELING OF ENERGIZED FOCUS, CLARITY  AND ENJOYMENT…. IN THE ENTIRE PROCESS…..


IT DOESN’T FEEL LIKE WORK….IT’S EFFORTLESS ATTENTION THAT YOU’RE GIVING THE ACTIVITY…..IT’S A EUPHORIC FEELING… 


IT’S DURING THIS ALTERED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS…. THAT YOUR MIND FUNCTIONS… AT ITS PEAK….AND A SENSE OF HAPPINESS… FLOWS THROUGH YOUR BODY.


I’VE BEEN IN THIS STATE….


HERE’S THE EXAMPLE I USE FOR MY GUESTS:


I CAN GET INTO IT….. IF I’M AT MY RESTAURANT WHEN IT’S CLOSED…. AND I’M THE ONLY ONE THERE….I MIGHT BE WORKING ON NEW DRINKS FOR MY MENU….MUSIC IS PLAYING….

THERE ARE NO INTERRUPTIONS…JUST ME, INGREDIENTS….. AND THE SOUNDS…. AND  BEATS…. OF THE MUSIC...


AND THE RECIPES FLOW….IT DOESN’T FEEL LIKE WORK….



AS A CHEF, HAVE YOU EVER REACHED THIS STATE…. WHILE IN THE KITCHEN?


IF YOU HAVE….PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR SURROUNDINGS…. LEADING IT UP TO IT….


WAS THEIR MUSIC PLAYING ?…. OR PERHAPS YOU’RE SURROUNDED IN SILENCE….AND IN DEEP THOUGHT?



AND ALSO….WHAT DID IT FEEL LIKE BEING… IN THAT STATE?


 

 

[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]




TAKEAWAY:


CHEF WANGEMAN, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH US …


I BELIEVE THAT THE JOURNEY…. IS ALWAYS GREATER THAN THE DESTINATION. 


IT’S ON THE PATH THAT WE LEARN….EVOLVE AND….. ENCOUNTER LESSONS…. THAT SHAPE US…. INTO OUR BEST SELVES.


I ALWAYS LIKE ENDING THE PODCAST…. BY ASKING…. IF THERE’S ANY TAKEAWAY THAT YOU’D LIKE TO LEAVE WITH LISTENERS…... THAT CAN POSITIVELY INFLUENCE THEIR LIVES.


IT COULD BE SOMETHING THAT WE JUST DISCUSSED…. A LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED ON YOUR JOURNEY…. OR GENERAL LIFE ADVICE THAT YOU LIVE BY ….…


 

 

[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]



AND WHERE CAN PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU  ?



[[CHEF WANGEMAN DISCUSSES]]




OUTRO:


THANKS FOR LISTENING….AND IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY….... FOLLOW  “HAVE YOU EATEN YET?” ….WHEREVER YOU GET YOUR PODCASTS….




[[MUSIC]]




MASA
FARMERS
CORN IS SACRED
SYNCHRONICITIES
FLOW STATE
TAKEAWAY