Florida Foodie hosts look back at some of their favorite interviews

Candace Campos, Lisa Bell talk about some of the memorable guests from the past year

Florida Foodie has been running since May 2019, sharing thoughtful conversations about the food we eat and how it affects our lives.

Florida Foodie has been running since May 2019, sharing thoughtful conversations about the food we eat and how it affects our lives.

Over the course of 78 episodes, hosts Candace Campos and Lisa Bell have spoken with some of the state’s premier chefs, small business owners, activists and CEOs who work daily to feed Floridians.


On the latest episode of Florida Foodie, hosts Candace and Lisa take a look back at some of their favorite interviews from the past year.

Check out the Florida Foodie podcast. You can find every episode in the media player below:

Here are all of the guests featured in this week’s episode:

Jeff’s Bagel Run

A wife’s wish for a good bagel quickly spiraled into a new business and career for a couple who had spent much of their working life in retail.

Jeff and Danielle Perera are the owners of Jeff’s Bagel Run.

In 2019, Jeff Perera found himself out of work. His wife, Danielle Perera, had been a stay-at-home mom for a few years at this point and had been planning to rejoin the workforce, allowing Jeff Perera to take over the stay-at-home parenting duties.

“We were both home — we had that overlap and neither of us were working,” Jeff Perera said. “And we were driving to Winter Park, 45 minutes to get bagels. And (I said) ‘This is silly — Like, there’s no bagel shop on our side of town.’ So she said ‘Why don’t you make me one?’”

Since then, the pair have been able to open two brick-and-mortar locations — one in Ocoee, the other in Orlando.

Find the whole story here.

Richard Blais

Chef, restaurateur and author Richard Blais’ culinary journey started when he was just a teenager.

“My first job was at McDonald’s when I was 14,” he said. “I was the poissonier there — which means fish cook in French — which is a very important position at a fast-food hamburger restaurant that arguably has one seafood item.”

Despite these humble beginnings, Blais ended up at a prestigious culinary school and has since gone on to make a splash in the world of culinary reality television, both as a host and a contestant.

The chef also recently opened his first Florida restaurant Four Flamingos at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.

Find the full story here.

Professional Eaters: Randy Santel and Katina DeJarnett

Scarfing down five 10-ounce burgers along with seven sides in less than an hour may sound like a good time or torture depending on your perspective, but for Randy Santel and Katina DeJarnett, it’s their job.

The couple call themselves “professional eaters.” They make a living from touring around the country and filming themselves devouring massive food challenges at restaurants along the way, then posting the results online.

On YouTube alone, Santel, who also goes by “Atlas,” has 1.47 million subscribers. DeJarnett has about 437,000 on her “Katina Eats Kilos” channel.

Read the whole story here.

Phat Ash Bakes

Ashley D’Acunto, the co-owner of Phat Ash Bakes, says she has always enjoyed baking for fun — feeding her husband, Israel Erazo, and her co-workers — but when the pandemic hit she suddenly found herself with more time on her hands.

“I was working at Lululemon in Winter Park and the store closed for COVID. And it gave me time to, you know, actually make a website and focus,” D’Acunto said “And then it just really took off you everyone was on their phone. Everyone was quarantined, spending time on social media and Instagram, scrolling and so it really just worked out for us in that sense.”

Her social media success continued to swell. Now, with more than 17,000 Instagram followers, Phat Ash has moved into Orlando’s Trendy Mills 50 District.

Read the whole story here.

Hotter Than El

Dino Ferri is the type of guy who doesn’t sweat when the heat is on.

“It’s a rush. It literally is a rush,” Ferri said.

The “it” in question here is capsaicin — the stuff in peppers that make them spicy. Ferri loves the stuff and downs it like a champ. He shares his love with the world through his own hot sauce company: Hotter Than El.

“I’ve always loved spicy foods,” Ferri said. “Its own cult, like craft beer was. Now, hot sauce is the new craft beer as far as being something that people really follow.”

After losing his job in 2015, Ferri took his love of spice and turned it into a business, selling his handcrafted sauces.

Find the full story here.

Please follow our Florida Foodie hosts on social media. You can find Candace Campos on Twitter and Facebook. Lisa Bell is also on Facebook and Twitter and you can check out her children’s book, “Norman the Watchful Gnome.”

Florida Foodie is a bi-weekly podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact that has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.