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The History of the Hamburger

Taste of Harmons Podcast

Release Date: 05/28/2021

Join the Caramel Club show art Join the Caramel Club

Taste of Harmons Podcast

There are few things as good as a mouthwatering caramel, especially when they are made with love by a dedicated candy maker, and that describes Rowena Montoya perfectly.  Rowena is the Utah-based owner of JulieAnn Caramels, which can be found in all of our stores, and is one of our favorites (admittedly, we have quite a few). On the latest edition of Taste of Harmons, Rowena joins Brandon Young and Chef Lesli to discuss her story, trials, and ultimately her successes.  You’ll want to tune in to hear her inspiring story, and you’ll be glad you did when you hear about the...

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Gluten Free Sweets from Lucky Spoon show art Gluten Free Sweets from Lucky Spoon

Taste of Harmons Podcast

When her husband was diagnosed with celiac disease, Pamela Schulte went on a mission to make the sweets and treats he still craved but couldn’t eat. She spent hours and hours refining recipes to take the “tasteless” out of gluten-free baking, and her husband was happy when she came up with some cookies, muffins, and cupcakes that were moist, delicious, and completely free of gluten.  Her quest became her passion, and Lucky Spoon Bakery was born. Pam joins our hosts in the latest episode of The Taste of Harmons Podcast, to talk about her experiences developing delicious treats that...

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The Art of Asian Cuisine show art The Art of Asian Cuisine

Taste of Harmons Podcast

All of our chefs have amazing culinary skills, but almost all of them specialize in a certain food culture or cuisine, and Chef Jake Driffil is definitely that way. He knows the art of Asian cuisine inside and out. In this episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Chef Jake joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to talk about all the different varieties of food that fall under the “Asian” category.  Chef Jake also shares his “aha” moment, the day he realized that he wanted to make a career working in the food industry. You’ll have to tune in to the podcast to...

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Cookie Chat with RubySnap show art Cookie Chat with RubySnap

Taste of Harmons Podcast

There’s nothing like cookies fresh from the oven. Nobody knows this better than RubySnap's owner, Tami Steggell. And she is passionate about them. Especially those that feature distinctive and unique flavor combinations. Tami joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young in the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast. RubySnap is a past winner of our Local Development Grant. And we are thrilled to work with Tami and company, selling delicious frozen cookies that you take home and bake yourself.  You’ll want to listen as Tami shares her fascinating journey...

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Mama Africa's Super Spicy Sauce show art Mama Africa's Super Spicy Sauce

Taste of Harmons Podcast

Cathy Tshilombo-Lokemba says the heat in her intensely spicy pili pili sauce “talks to you.” We believe this is true, and it has quite a story to tell. In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, she shares the story of how her family history—and the history of her people in the Congo—shaped the flavor of the family recipe that makes up Mama Africa’s Pili Pili sauce. Pili pili is a popular condiment in the Congo and Ivory Coast regions of Africa. “Pili” means pepper and, legend has it, the sauce is so spicy you have to say pepper twice. Hot peppers, onions and garlic...

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Sustainable Seafood show art Sustainable Seafood

Taste of Harmons Podcast

Our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young are joined by Chris Smith and Ashley Quadros. Chris is the director of meat and seafood for Harmons, and Ashley is one of our amazing dietitians, and together they are sharing some really important and relevant information about sustainable seafood. August 10-16, 2021, is wild salmon week at Harmons, and it’s a great time to get savings on the freshest wild salmon. Chris and Ashley share their knowledge of how we get the tasty king, sockeye, and soho salmon, along with a lot of other seafood and fish that make healthy eating a tasty...

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The Pro's and Con's of GMO's show art The Pro's and Con's of GMO's

Taste of Harmons Podcast

In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Dietitian Sarah Kiel joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young. Sarah and our hosts discuss produce hybrids and genetically modified varieties of our food. The somewhat controversial subject of GMOs has many pros and cons to it. The practice involves altering the DNA of a plant to improve or change its properties. We’re fortunate to have Sarah’s knowledge as she breaks the details down for us.  GMOs basically come two ways: genetically engineered and genetically modified. An example of genetically...

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Meet Cooking School Chef Casey show art Meet Cooking School Chef Casey

Taste of Harmons Podcast

Chef Casey Bowthorpe joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to discuss his career with Harmons. In an interesting journey, he joined Harmons as an associate in 2007. But he held many positions, including dairy manager and café manager, before he took a job as the cooking school coordinator in 2013. It was then that the “chef” fire was lit. Chef Casey took a three-month sabbatical from Harmons to work as an intern at a New York restaurant. But when he was ready to return to his position as cooking school coordinator, he was instead offered a job as sous chef. After that,...

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Local Flour Power show art Local Flour Power

Taste of Harmons Podcast

In this episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Sheri Brailsford Cutler and Steve Brailsford join our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young. Sheri and Steve are from KEB Enterprises, and their father Ken Brailsford purchased Lehi Roller Mills in 2013. You’ll want to listen to the story of how the original owner’s family, the Robinsons, are still involved in the mill, along with how the Brailsford family has managed to keep the Mills local.  Another guest on this podcast is Todd Berry, who has a longstanding history with Lehi Mills going back 35 years. He has learned the...

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The Coral Reef Rescue show art The Coral Reef Rescue

Taste of Harmons Podcast

It’s fairly common knowledge that our coral reefs across the world are in trouble, but not many people know a Utah man is behind an effort to save them. Brent Andersen, CEO of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young in a fascinating discussion focusing on Brent’s and LLPA’s efforts, along with marine biologists and others worldwide, to rescue the coral reefs and the marine life they support. The marine biologist, despite being born in land-locked Utah, has made extensive efforts to be a part of the rescue of coral reefs and you’ll want to...

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More Episodes

In a fascinating episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, recurring guest Chef Aaron Ballard joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young in a lively discussion focusing on the history of one of America’s favorite meals: the hamburger. You won’t want to miss this episode, which includes not only the history of the hamburger, but Chef Aaron discusses the origin story of Just Burgers, our amazing hamburger restaurant at the City Creek Harmons location. As he talks about creating the perfect burger and fries, you’ll probably realize you can jump into your car to drive to Just Burgers at our City Creek location. Or if you have some hamburger at home, like our Bob’s Burgers, you can grill those up. Or try some of the amazing hamburger recipes our chefs’ have cooked up.

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About Aaron Ballard

Experimenting with new tastes and flavors is second nature to Chef Aaron Ballard. He started playing in the kitchen at a young age and immediately began cultivating his love of cooking and fine food. Chef Aaron started his journey of food exploration with his parents inviting him to try new foods. If you offered him food, there were few things he refused—he tasted everything from Pacific Northwest oysters fried fresh at Pikes Place Market to pungent durian from the local Asian Market. Taste was an adventure he rarely passed up.

Chef Aaron worked in the food manufacturing and beverage industry for a decade before following a lifelong dream that eventually led him to attend culinary school at the Culinary Arts Institute at Utah Valley University. Chef Aaron’s first lessons however were at the foot of his grandfather who was a chef. “Watching my grandfather cut open a loaf of bread was a lesson in gratitude and delight. You could see him honoring the process, savoring the ingredients, and deconstructing the method before the food even hit his lips.” Chef Aaron has carried on that tradition creating “life changing” moments for his students.

Chef Aaron has worked as a Kitchen chef, cooking school chef, and now serves as Harmons Executive Chef. When he is not cooking or writing new recipes, Chef Aaron immerses himself in fine food, brewing, music, and family. “Nothing spells joy in my life like being outside on a late summer evening with a sizzling grill, a glass of wine, and a guitar in my hand singing with my family and friends.”