Just say yes! Slow, authentic, sustainable Italy, featuring Mike Reisman

“It’s such an interesting, eye-opening experience of people and their relationship with their culinary foundation; just the way that they eat and survive in their world. I think where that bar is is extremely telling about the priorities of a culture and the priorities of the people within it.” Mike Reisman, on eating in Italy.

Shortly after he returned from a trip to Rome, Florence, and Milan, I sat down for a Zoom chat with Mike Reisman, mixologist, foodie, cook, musician, and first time Italy visitor. This episode covers Mike’s approach to Italy, his professional and personal expectations for the visit, and what ended up impacting him the most. Once back in Philadelphia, Mike reflects upon solo and off-season travel, making deep connections and forging friendships through cultural curiosity and humility, respect, and openness. We also talk quite a bit about food, wine, and cocktails as well as the importance of honoring and appreciating one’s craft and that of others. Don’t miss some great stories about Mike’s adventures in Italy, his advice for meeting people and gaining precious cultural insights even if visiting for Italy for the first time, and for a short time. Mike Reisman Bio. Mike Reisman runs the bar program at Vernick Food & Drink, one of Philadelphia’s top restaurants, located in the Center City neighborhood. He has years of experience in the food and beverage industry, both in back and front of house, including being a cook in French and New American restaurants, working for a wine producer, and “speakeasy” craft cocktail bartending. This cumulative experience created a well-rounded base of knowledge in food, wine, and spirits. Mike’s travel experience stems largely from being a professional touring and recording musician for primarily Rock and Pop artists including writing and recording for several albums, singles, and sharing bills with famous acts such as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Steven Van Zandt & The Disciples of Soul, and The Hooters, as well as appearing in publications such as Rolling Stone Magazine.


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