Taste of Harmons Podcast
Join Harmons in our exploration of what’s new and trending in food, the stories behind local products, traditions of cuisine, and so much more as we interview a team of food experts through The Taste of Harmons.
info_outline Food for a Sustainable Future 04/02/2021
Food for a Sustainable Future It can sometimes feel like Earth Day, April 22, gets overlooked or pushed aside, and yet the day is extremely important, especially for a sustainable future. Here at Harmons, Kate Whitbeck, director of sustainability, thinks about the earth every day, and pretty much all day. Her job at Harmons is to help us reach our goals as a sustainable company, keeping in mind all the ways we take steps to be earth-friendly, and bringing up places where we can do better. Kate joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to discuss how Harmons is aiming for a green future. Leave us a rating and review! For more information please visit Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: For our podcast blog directory: For information on B-Corp, please visit: Harmons has always focused on being green, creating a cardboard recycling program in 2000; a food waste diversion program in 2008; and a food rescue program in 2010, among other things. In 2020 we recycled 3,270 tons of cardboard. That means 55,590 trees didn’t have to die. We also have a food rescue program, donating edible food to the Utah Food Bank. Unlike many other grocers, Harmons pulls fresh food from the shelf before it’s expiration date, so that it won’t be sold close to its expiration, and will offer fresher nutrient content for all the Utah families it feeds. And our food waste diversion program means we send tons of food—around 847 tons a year—to an animal feed organization, and whatever is left over is sent to an anaerobic digester that turns the waste into pipeline grade natural gas. Kate talks about other ways we are working for a green, sustainable future, such as using LED lighting in our new stores and solar panels on the roof of our Santa Clara store, which provides 40 percent of the store’s electricity. Our Mountain View and Traverse Mountain stores have sky lights to take advantage of natural light, which means less electricity is used. With today’s knowledge on the troubles with plastics in landfills and oceans, it’s good to know that Harmons is looking for a way to use compostable packaging whenever possible. We even use bowls made from fiber-based sugarcane in our Kitchen, and paper straws in our cafés. We are also planning for the future, as we plan to put recharging stations at our stores that will quickly replenish electric cars and other forms of electric transportation. We currently have one at our City Creek location, and three more are planned to be installed this summer. One way that everyone can help reduce our carbon footprint on the earth is to use reusable bags for your grocery shopping, and in April, in celebration of Earth Day and Earth Month, Foodie Club members are rewarded for bringing in their reusable bags, receiving 10 points every time they use a reusable bag. In addition, from April 18-24, 2021, all the proceeds from every reusable bag purchased will be donated to UCAIR, an organization that focuses on improving Utah’s air. One program that is near and dear to Kate’s heart is B-Corp, a certification program that evaluates businesses according to the highest standard of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. You can find over 500 B-Corp certified products in Harmons, and the knowledge can help you to shop responsibly. All you have to do is look for the B-Corp logo. Kate goes into a lot more detail in the podcast, explaining the differences green efforts make in very relatable terms. We hope you listen to blog and find new ways to reduce your carbon footprint and ensure a safe and healthy future for all. Kate Whitbeck is Harmons’ director of sustainability. She is a profound believer in the powers of the plant-based diet as a solution to climate change. Unfortunately, her bacon habit continues to thwart her ability to embrace plants for every meal.
info_outline Just Say No To Coronavirus 03/19/2021
Just Say No To Coronavirus In this special episode of the Taste of Harmon Podcast, Greg Jones, director of pharmacy operations for Harmons, joins our host Brandon Young to talk about coronavirus and the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a long year, but now COVID-19 vaccines are widely available to most Utahns and will shortly be available to all adults. Greg and Brandon discuss the details of the vaccine, how safe vaccines are, and the most important one, the fact that vaccines work! Listen to this episode and subscribe to be notified about all upcoming episodes. For more information on Coronavirus, please visit our FAQ's page at Learn more about Harmons Grocery at Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: For our podcast blog directory:
info_outline The Science of Bread 03/05/2021
The Science of Bread If you are one of those people who used the extra time spent at home becoming a pandemic baker, this is the podcast for you. Jason Lindsey, our Artisan Bread Program Specialist, joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young in the latest episode of our Taste of Harmons Podcast, and he is passionate about bread, including sourdough. Listen to this episode and subscribe to be notified about all upcoming episodes. You can watch the Telly Award winning "Art of Good Taste - Artisan Bread" video here: For more information please visit Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: For our podcast blog directory: If you are one of those people who used the extra time spent at home becoming a pandemic baker, this is the podcast for you. Jason Lindsay, our artisan bread program specialist, joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young in the latest episode of our Taste of Harmons Podcast, and he is passionate about bread, including sourdough. The following video gives you an idea who Jason is and what he believes in, and also a look behind the scenes of our artisan breadmaking program. The word artisan, defined, means a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand. Jason dives deeper into that definition by explaining that an artisan baker is a craftsperson trained to mix, ferment, shape, and bake a handcrafted loaf of bread. And that is exactly what he—and all the artisan bakers that he trains—does every day. As pandemic bakers learned, making bread is a science, and baking the best bread means knowing all the elements of climate and altitude, along with using the best ingredients (properly measured) and finest pieces of equipment, to insure a wonderful product. Harmons uses Miwe ovens from Germany, and their importance in our end product is something you will want to hear Jason explain. Jason is a baker by trade and has worked at it for 33 years, including owning his own bakery. He has been with Harmons for 14 years. When he started at Harmons, he knew he had found his home. One of the most important things about the company is “We never stop innovating.” The bread program was in its infancy when he arrived, and we now make numerous kinds of bread every day, a bread of the day, and seasonal varieties. One of the questions we often hear is why is our bread crust so dark? Jason explains this in detail (hint: caramelization makes for the best flavor) along with sharing many other fascinating facts about bread. From our “touchiest” bread—brioche—to our classic sourdough, all our breads have their own process and it takes time and expertise to put out the quality artisan breads you’ve come to expect from Harmons. About Jason Lindsay: Jason Lindsay is currently the artisan bread program specialist at Harmons, and has been with the company for 14 years. He trains all the artisan bakers that work for Harmons. Jason is a baker by trade, and has worked in the industry for 33 years, including time spent running his own bakery. He is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about bread, and enjoys sharing his skill with others.
info_outline Meet Cooking School Chef Daniela 02/19/2021
Meet Cooking School Chef Daniela Chef Daniela Oliveira, the instructor at our Mountain View Cooking School, came to America from Brazil, a country where “every celebration revolves around food.” In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Chef Daniela joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to discuss how she ended up in America and what drives her to cook and create. Listen to this episode and subscribe to be notified about all upcoming episodes. Be sure to leave a rating and/or review, we'd love to hear from you. To sign up for a cooking class at any of our Cooking School locations, visit us at For more information please visit Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: For our podcast blog directory: Chef Daniela de Oliveira grew up in Brazil where she learned the value of mixing ingredients to create food with a multicultural flavor. She dreamed of attending culinary school and opened up a catering company in Brasilia where she provided food for weddings, small parties, university events, and government agencies. With this experience giving her first-hand insight into what it takes to succeed in the culinary industry, she knew she had found the career she wanted. In 2002, Chef Daniela moved to the United States where she lived in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Portland. She gained even more passion for the industry while attending a variety of cooking classes while living in these cities. In 2011, her dream came true when she moved to Utah and was accepted into Utah Valley University's Culinary Institute, graduating with an associate of applied science degree in culinary arts. While working on her degree, Chef Daniela had the opportunity to hone her culinary skills as an assistant to several renowned chefs in events such as the Sundance Film Festival's ChefDance VIP dinners, and the Signature Chefs Gala of Utah. She began her professional career in 2013 at Culinary Crafts, where her passion for cooking and skills as a culinary chef developed further, and when Culinary Crafts was awarded the exclusive contract for the University of Utah’s The Tower at Rice Eccles Stadium, she was named chef de cuisine. In 2017, Chef Daniela redirected her professional and personal life, and made the decision to work as director of dietary services for an assisted living facility before joining Harmons at Mountain View, where she is a chef and instructor at the cooking school.
info_outline The ABCs of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate 02/05/2021
The ABCs of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate DeAnn Wallin, the owner of Solstice Chocolate, literally eats and breathes chocolate, and we don’t know for sure, but she might dream about it when she sleeps. She joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young in the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, and shares with us the ABCs of bean-to-bar chocolate. DeAnn is a chocolate maker, which is different from a chocolatier, as she makes her chocolate from scratch. Her love for chocolate is evident in her words, and you’ll want to listen to this episode for a special offer on Solstice Chocolate. For more information please visit harmonsgrocery.com Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: For our podcast blog directory:
info_outline Meal Prep Made Easy 01/22/2021
Meal Prep Made Easy Meal prepping and planning can seem overwhelming to the uninitiated, but it doesn’t have to be that way. On the latest edition of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Dietitian Genevieve Daly joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to discuss the ins and outs of easy meal prep and planning. From making a grocery shopping list to stocking your pantry, Genevieve offers up great tips that make meal planning and prepping efficient. Listen to this episode and subscribe to be notified about all upcoming episodes. Blog post for this episode: You can find more information about Harmons Grocery's Dietitian Choice program by visiting:
info_outline Eating for Exercise 01/08/2021
Eating for Exercise With the beginning of a new year comes a plethora of resolutions to eat better and exercise more. But what will make this year different? How can you actually keep those resolutions? In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Dietitians Sarah Kiel and Heather Lieber join our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to discuss eating for exercise and how to fuel your body properly. For more information visit https://www.harmonsgrocery.com/2021/01/06/eating-for-exercise:-fuel-your-fitness-goals/ For more information on our Dietitian's and the Dietitians Choice program in our store, please visit https://www.harmonsgrocery.com/dietitians-choice/
info_outline A Passion for Pastries 12/18/2020
A Passion for Pastries Chef Adalberto Diaz is passionate about pastries, and in particular macarons. In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Chef Al, founder and co-owner of Fillings & Emulsions, joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to talk about his upbringing in Castro-era Cuba, how he came to America, and how he made his dream of owning his own bakery in the US come true.
info_outline The Buzz About Beehive 12/04/2020
The Buzz About Beehive In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Pat Ford from Beehive Cheese Company joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to regale us with the tale of how two white-collar business owners took a career U-turn and became local artisan cheesemakers. Pat shares the stories behind their unique, tasty, and award-winning cheeses, including Barely Buzzed, which got a shout out from Oprah Winfrey and their newest customer favorite, Pour Me a Slice.
info_outline Thanksgiving Origin Story 11/20/2020
Thanksgiving Origin Story In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons, guest Aaron Ballard, executive chef for Harmons, joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young as they dive into the origin story for the first Thanksgiving. From the trials the pilgrims faced to the eventual Harvest Feast they celebrated, all aspects of the history behind the holiday are covered. With plenty of recipe ideas for your current day feast, you’ll want to tune in to the lively discussion.
info_outline Talking Turkey with Diestel 11/06/2020
Talking Turkey with Diestel Join our hosts Chef Lesli and Brandon as they talk turkey with Heidi Diestel Orrock from Diestel Family Ranch. In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Heidi gives us the skinny (or plump and juicy?) on raising turkeys sustainably and ethically, and the Diestel difference that makes their product stand out above the others. You’ll especially want to tune in to learn how their pecan-smoked turkey was actually conceived while breaking bread with Harmons Executive Chef Aaron Ballard.
info_outline Flavor without Borders 10/23/2020
Flavor without Borders In this episode, Rico Brand’s Jorge Fierro joins our hosts Chef Lesli and Brandon to share his inspiring story. As an immigrant, Jorge has embraced his journey and his love for America by giving to others, particularly with the Burrito Project SLC, a program that feeds the homeless and hungry. Tune in to hear Jorge’s take on what it means to be an American, follow your “journey” without regret, and “Find what you love to do and let it kill you.”
info_outline Oh, My Gourd! 10/09/2020
Oh, My Gourd! It’s that time of year again, and we’re celebrating all the magical pumpkins, squash, and gourds that come into our stores around Halloween. Aaron Smart joins our hosts Brandon and Chef Lesli for a fascinating look into the numerous varieties of gourds. Aaron is the produce manager at our Emigration Market, and he has an incredible depth of knowledge when it comes to the Cucurbita family. You’ll want to tune in as he talks about his personal favorites, the recipes and meals you can make, and more.
info_outline Todd Talks Local 09/18/2020
Todd Talks Local Harmons is local to the core, and in our latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Todd Jensen joins our hosts Brandon Young and Chef Lesli Sommerdorf. Todd is the executive vice president of sales for Harmons, and in that role, he gets to meet all the local Utah producers who become our partners. He’s got some great stories to tell, and you won’t want to miss this episode, which is filled with information about joining Harmons as a partner.
info_outline It's Family Meals Month...Let's Eat! 09/04/2020
It's Family Meals Month...Let's Eat! September is National Family Meals Month, and in the latest episode of our Taste of Harmons Podcast, Harmons Chef Debbie Iverson and Harmons Dietitian Heather Lieber join hosts Brandon Young and Chef Lesli Sommerdorf for a lively discussion about family meals, how to make them happen, and involving children in the cooking process.
info_outline Salsa Queen 08/21/2020
Salsa Queen One of Harmons partners, and one of our Local Grant Winners for 2020, Salsa Queen, joins Chef Lesli and Brandon as they chat about the salsa-making business, how Covid has impacted their production, and the beautiful memory in which the Day of the Dead logo is used.
info_outline It's Chile Roast Time! 08/07/2020
It's Chile Roast Time! The sound! The smell! It's Chile Roast time! Chef Lesli and Brandon chat with Chef Aaron and Robert Seegmiller about this wonderful time of year. Come learn how we started this delicious event and be sure to get your Chile Roast on!
info_outline Pioneer Day and Pie and Beer Day 07/24/2020
Pioneer Day and Pie and Beer Day Chef Lesli and Brandon sit down with Chef Aaron to chat Utah Pioneer Day, called Pie and Beer Day for some, and Utah's origin of food favorites. For more information and recipes visit https://harmonsgrocery.com
info_outline The Wonderful World of Cheese 06/26/2020
The Wonderful World of Cheese Chef Lesli and Brandon are joined once again by the Specialty Cheese buyer of Harmons Grocery, Mariah Christensen, to talk about the wonderful world of cheese. Find out the origins of blue cheese, who has the best cheese of the year, and more. Go to https://HarmonsGrocery.com for more information and subscribe to Taste of Harmons!
info_outline Loveland Living Planet Aquarium 06/12/2020
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium Brandon and Chef Lesli sit down with Brent Anderson, Founder and CEO, and Jennifer Boone, Endotherm Keeper at Loveland Living Planet Aquarium to talk their partnership with Harmons Grocery, as well as discussing environmental challenges, sustainability, and animal diets.
info_outline Made Fresh Salsa 05/22/2020
Made Fresh Salsa Learn all about Harmons Grocery's made-fresh salsa in the produce department, from its origins, the two years it took to develop, and its many uses as a dipped item or as a condiment. Brandon and Chef Lesli sit down with Bob Harmon, Harmons Grocery's Chairman of the Customer, and Robert Seegmiller, the Produce Sales Director to learn all about our salsa.
info_outline Honeybees with Hollow Tree Honey 04/03/2020
Honeybees with Hollow Tree Honey Harmons Grocery's very own Chef Lesli and Brandon have a sit down chat with Tom Bench, founder and owner of Hollow Tree Honey to discuss everything honeybees- from the differences between the queen to drones, hive collapse, the problems with almond production, and the taste of natural, raw, local honey.
info_outline Art of Coffee 03/07/2020
Art of Coffee In this episode, Brandon and Chef Lesli were able to sit down and chat with the Caffe Ibis Director of Coffee, Brandon Despain! Seriously, how awesome is that title? Brandon travels around the world for Caffe Ibis finding the best of the best to add to their coffee line. He is here to share the Caffe Ibis story, explain how coffee is produced, direct vs. fair trade and so much more. Take a listen!
info_outline Plant Based Cooking 02/21/2020
Plant Based Cooking Chef Lesli and Brandon sit down and have a lengthy discussion with Chef Callyn regarding plant based cooking, her culinary background, and meat alternatives such as Tempeh. For more information and healthy plant based recipes visit HarmonsGrocery.com
info_outline Let's Talk Chocolate! 02/07/2020
Let's Talk Chocolate! This week Mariah Christensen is back to talk a little bit about bean-to-bar chocolate with Chef Lesli and Brandon. Here she explains the difference between craft and candy chocolate, flavor notes, and why we put chocolate in the same category as cheese.
info_outline Art of Oils 01/24/2020
Art of Oils On this episode of "Taste of Harmons" we meet with Chef Aaron and Dietitian Jonnell to talk about cooking oils. We're answering the question: Why does what oil you cook with matter? Join hosts Brandon and Chef Lesli as they discuss the variety of oils, smoke points, health benefits, and more.