TasteMakers: Dave Caldiero

Dave Caldiero portrait

Having spent the last few weeks in Hawaii, it only seemed appropriate to spotlight a Hawaii-based food person as this month’s TasteMaker. Dave Caldiero immediately came to mind not only because he’s a friend, but also because he’s at the front lines of the local, organic, sustainable food movement in Hawaii.

Dave is a native New Yorker and his cooking reflects both where he’s from and where he’s been. As the chef de cuisine at Town, a restaurant started by chef-owner Ed Kenney, Dave has embraced the flavors and ingredients of Hawaii while paying homage to his Italian-American upbringing. The crew at Town has been so successful in creating seasonal, local food that they have become synonymous (along with sister restaurant, Downtown) with Hawaii’s local food movement. As the next generation of chefs bring a new voice to food in Hawaii, Dave and Ed continue to lead with their mantra: “Local first, organic whenever possible, with Aloha always.”

Here’s a bit about Dave and what makes him tick; and be sure to check back tomorrow, when Dave shares his top ten essential kitchen tools.

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TasteMakers: Dani Fisher

Photo by Mia Locks

Have you ever heard someone’s name again and again before you’ve ever even met her?

That’s how it was for me with prop stylist, Dani Fisher. People kept assuming I knew her and would go on about how great she was to work with, what a fabulous eye she has, and her fabulous prop collection. It wasn’t until this summer when we were shooting cookbooks down the hall from each other that my friend, food stylist, Lillian Kang, made a proper introduction. Then, not even a month later, we ended up working on the same shoot. Not only are we both California girls and both went east for school, but we’ve also both worked at magazines and are now forging our own freelance paths. Dani was a shoo-in for this month’s TasteMakers interview because I wanted her to give us some tips for tableware shopping and table setting during this, the height of the entertaining season.

Be sure to check back tomorrow when Dani will share her tabletop gift ideas.
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Hot Mexican Pickles

Delilah Snell Easy Hot Mexican Pickle Recipe

If you caught yesterday’s TasteMakers interview with Delilah Snell, then you’re likely as convinced of her awesomeness as I am. She’s a rare breed as she’s one of a handful of Master Food Preservers in the nation and spreads the good word about preserving via her numerous endeavors from her store and blog to her line of preserves. Needless to say, when we met, it was quite clear Delilah and I were equally food obsessed and we have quickly become friends.

A few weeks ago I attended one of her pickling classes, which was a whirlwind of a day in which we made everything from kimchi and sauerkraut to preserved limes and spicy green beans. Of them all, this recipe for Mexican-style pickled carrots was a crowd favorite so Delilah is sharing the recipe here.

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TasteMakers: Delilah Snell


I strongly subscribe to the belief that we should never stop learning and I’m fortunate to have fabulous people in my life who help make that happen. They’re some seriously talented folks and have all taught and inspired me in some way. I realized it was no longer fair to keep them all to myself, so I’m starting a monthly feature I’m calling TasteMakers where I’ll be sharing their amazingness with you.

The first TasteMaker is the fun food wonderwoman (or, funderwoman, as I call her), Delilah Snell. She may be the most prolific person I know with her hands in numerous activities at once, not to mention she’s also a Master Food Preserver, of which there are only a handful of in the nation. Master Preservers evangelize the lost art of putting up your food, which I’m drawn to it because it helps us learn more about where food comes from, how to respect it, and how to make the most with what you’ve got (a good philosophy for life, no?). When she’s not busy spreading the good word about preserving you can find her dabbling in one of her other activities be it her store, her preserves line, her blog, or one of the craft shows she has helmed. But let’s hear about Delilah’s adventures in her own words. Oh, and be sure to check back in tomorrow when I’ll post a recipe for her Hot Mexi Pickles.

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