show episodes
 
Remember the last time you and few close friends stayed up too late at the Diner because no one wanted to leave? You didn’t need that grilled cheese with a side of pancakes but damn if it didn’t hit the spot! You laughed until you cried or cried until you laughed. Regardless of which lead to what, you left feeling a little more thoughtful, grateful, and actually full. Those are the best conversations we have in our lives, and the reason why Diner Talks with James exists. I’ll be your bearded ...
 
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show series
 
Sourdough or brioche? One cheese, two cheeses, three cheeses...four? Halved lengthwise or diagonally? Molly and Declan talk about the most incorrectly named sandwich, debate butter vs. mayo, augments vs. condimenti, and whether a grilled cheese without cheddar is one at all. Special thanks to our listeners for your questions—especially those who to…
 
On Side A we revisit The Cardigans. We have featured The Cardigans before and their brilliant cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.” This time, the Cardigans are covering Kraftwerk – a German band known for being the innovators and pioneers of electronic music. Our Side B takes us down South to New Orleans and Alabama as we discuss Fats…
 
Strawberry or grape (or neither)? Creamy or crunchy? Is a PB&J really just a sweet dumpling? Molly and Declan debate whether a sweet sandwich is a sandwich indeed, and if this is the one place for squish bread. Special thanks to our listeners for your questions—especially those who took the time to call in. Send your burning sandwich questions (not…
 
Episode 37 is going to make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. On Side A we talk about one of Amanda's favorite new artists, the Canadian singer/songwriter, Charlotte Cornfield, and her cover of Lucinda William’s “Fruits of My Labor.” Amanda was first drawn to Cornfield when she heard the song, “Pac-Man” which has quickly become a staple on her…
 
Today’s episode is one that Amanda has been waiting to record, perhaps, since the 7th grade which was when she first got her hands on one of her favorite cassette tapes of all time: The Pixies Doolittle. On Side A we talk about Nada Surf’s cover of the seminal classic by The Pixies, "Where is my mind?". And, as promised on our last episode, we are …
 
Episode 35 was a delight to record. Our Side A features a beautiful cover of Paul Simon’s Graceland by Justin Townes Earle - a brilliant songwriter who built his own legend but couldn’t outrun the darkness that came with it. Our Side B features legendary singer, songwriter, and musician Chris Cornell and his band Soundgarden. Their song Black Hole …
 
Few things bring me more joy than seeing someone shoot their shot, and that’s how today’s episode came about. I got an email from Brandon Fong saying he loves the show and wants to kick it with me in the Diner and I just had to say yes. Brandon is the host of the podcast 7-figure Millennials and wise beyond his years (which sounds like an old-perso…
 
Today in the booth is TV Host and all-around badass, Elizabeth Ries! I’ve had the privilege of sharing the microphone with her before on live TV, but today we got to kick it via audio. Elizabeth is the host of Twin Cities Live and is a breath of fresh air (which I feel like we all could use in our lives). She shared so much wisdom in this episode a…
 
Sliding in the booth with me this week is Extreme Meetings emcee, Brian Walter! To quote Brian, we are both “raging extroverts,” so this was a good time! We discussed our mutual love for mac n’ cheese and then dove into Brian’s band-geek-trombonist past. After that we talked about being extroverts and how we both have a need to be liked and how bot…
 
The episode features a band that inspired us to "Get Back" in the recording studio for Cover Story! We kick off the episode talking about The Beatles cover of Buddy Holly’s “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” on our Side A. And, to further wet your whistle, Side B features a very hip cover cover cover of Leonard Cohen’s Lover Lover Lover…We hope you enjoy Ep…
 
Diner Talks with James this week is with my dear friend, Sexual Violence Awareness and Healthy Relationships Speaker, Bonny Shade. We first kicked it off talking about buffalo wings with proper “wingo” and diner orders. She then told me about growing up with less than enough in Lake Worth, Florida, and what decisions her family made to set her up f…
 
This conversation was so powerful that it had both of us welling up. Joining me in the booth was former Fire Chief and lifelong first responder, Rich Gasaway. It’s so fascinating to think about individuals in those roles that we often take for granted until we need them, and it was so beautiful to hear Rich describe the work that he does, how he go…
 
We are excited to bring you this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes. We hope you enjoy! This week’s diner guest is my favorite human because it’s my wife - Tina VanSteenbergen Robilotta!!! We kicked off the conversation learning about Tina’s love of bourbon and bubbly water then we dove off the deep end. Tina told me about why …
 
Episode 31 is super dynamic as our Side B takes us 50 years back in time to talk about Woodstock, the most important music festival of all time, and some legendary cover songs that catapulted little known artists at the time like Joe Cocker and Santana into mainstream rockstars. Our Side A takes us not nearly as far back but still feels like a time…
 
With me in the Diner today is the man, the myth, the musical comedian – Tom McGovern. I love having fellow comedians in the booth with me because we can riff on everything from grape jelly to sharks (which is… what we did). In this episode Tom shared about his early love for theatre and how it morphed into this amazing career that he now has creati…
 
This week I got to hang out with communication expert, Dr. Amelia Reigstad, and I’m walking away with so many thoughts and ideas on how I can improve my communication and self-awareness. With her badass purple mohawk, she shares about the importance of living an authentic and brave life and I’m here – for – it! She discusses her research on gender …
 
Today I got to kick it in The Diner with fellow New Yorker, Arel Moodie. He’s a professional speaker who helps other speakers start and grow their own businesses. We talked about the experience of fitting in during our younger years (and the difficulty of blending his life growing up in the projects while simultaneously attending Jewish Day School)…
 
Today’s conversation with Jennifer Cassetta was incredible. She shared a powerful story about her experience in New York on 9/11, how she found safety in her martial arts dojo, and how that moment and that feeling would become a thru line for her work in self-defense and personal development. We talked about confidence and our relationship with our…
 
Today in the Diner is my man, Joshua Rivedal – he’s an amazing storyteller who is full of compassion and wisdom, and he’s got a wit that won’t quit. He gave me so much to think about regarding how we as a society are approaching suicide prevention, and what we can do as individuals to be there for others. He has some dope insights on vulnerability,…
 
My man Dr. James Smith Jr brought the heart today – the wordplay and wisdom was on point! He shared about his experience growing up in West Philadelphia (you know he sang it when he said it) and his experience growing up Black in America. We had a thoughtful conversation about the problematic phrase of “picking yourself up by the bootstraps” and th…
 
Today I was joined by professional speaker and storyteller, Joe Mull. This conversation was full of wisdom and wit as Joe shared about his experience of being a social chameleon and learning the moments where it’s more important to give up being liked in order to do the right thing. This ties into his work as a “leadership nerd” (his words) where h…
 
Kicking it in the booth with me this week is Resilience Expert and Leadership Speaker, Summer Owens! I love that Summer’s late night guilty pleasure is dark chocolate and red wine. Pretty sure that makes her the classiest guest in the diner so far! Summer and I then discussed how she used to pull her hair out as a nervous twitch when she was much y…
 
Executive Coach and leadership presence expert, Justin Patton, slides into the diner booth with me this week! We reminisce about eating late-night pizza and our topping preferences. Then I learned that Justin grew up on a farm in Kentucky shoveling manure and bailing hay. Though that was not his destiny it is where he learned a work ethic that he c…
 
We are excited to bring you this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes. We hope you enjoy! Rick Daniels dropped all of the knowledge in this episode. He and I recorded this the week that George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis so you already know that we had a lot to talk about. We discussed parenting in the middle of a powerful …
 
We are excited to bring you this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes. We hope you enjoy! This week I am joined in the Diner by social media expert, Dr. Josie Ahlquist! We kicked it off by randomly talking about Josie’s high school dating life. We then discussed her huge transition moving from Wyoming and South Dakota to Los Ange…
 
We are excited to bring you this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes. We hope you enjoy! Tom Krieglstein became my first guest to actually eat while he was in the diner! Since he was munching on a veggie pizza, we started by chatting about the impact The Simpsons had on Tom’s dietary choices. We then dove into Tom’s passion of c…
 
We are excited to bring you this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes. We hope you enjoy! I got to sit down with entrepreneur, speaker, and great friend Jess Ekstrom and we jumped right in with their decision to sell their apartment and move into an Airstream. Hearing about her relationship and having different ambitions as a par…
 
We are excited to bring you this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes. We hope you enjoy! Joining me this episode in the Diner is body image expert, coach, speaker, and badass mom, Stacy Nadeau! She and I first discuss why she was in her underwear in Times Square and the journey to being comfortable in your body for men and women…
 
Today I was joined in the diner booth by leadership consultant and owner of Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, Becky Schmooke. Becky, her wonderful sarcasm, and I dove in discussing popcorn in bed and Minnesota diners. We then talked about what she wanted to be when she grew up and how she got to meet both Michelle Kwan and Jill Biden (but didn’t realize it …
 
Today I was joined by storyteller and activist, Ferene Paris Meyer. This episode was humorous and heartfelt as Ferene shared about her experience growing up in a family of Haitian immigrants and how that shaped her current world. She spoke about her awakening and coming alive as a proud Haitian woman and how she dove into her culture through food, …
 
My dear friend, Leslie Meisel, joins me this week in the diner. She is an actor who has appeared on Broad City, RISE, Difficult People, and a director. Recently she has also become a practicing reiki master! We talked about whether you should order steak at a diner and a fun quirk about her related to Grease 2. I loved hearing about how Leslie’s ac…
 
My man Odell Bizzell II slid into the diner booth with me this week. He and I have known each other for a number of years from the speaker circuit and I have always respected his hustle. We talked about how he and I travel differently and why he typically spends all of his time on the road in the hotel. He told me some of the powerful lessons he fa…
 
This week in the diner I had a thoughtful and vulnerable conversation with Survivor and CEO of Candle In A Dark Room, Desi Garcia. Desi shared her gripping and heart-wrenching story of surviving childhood physical and sexual violence. She told the story of how she turned her “mess into her message” and how she felt called to help other survivors an…
 
For the past 10 years, the Food52 Editors have been answering the community's questions on the Food52 Hotline. We've debated the very best way to cut an onion, whether garlic pressing is sacrilegious, and compared notes on how to get the crispiest chicken skin. And now, we're taking those questions to the airwaves! Hosted by chef and restaurateur E…
 
You can skip today’s cup of coffee because today’s guest – Ernee Peppers – has enough energy for all of us. Ernie has an electric and contagious personality and will inspire you to drop your baggage and step into your badassery. Todays episode centered around the power of forgiveness and the gift that is for yourself. Ernee shared about some trauma…
 
Today we’re kickin’ it in the Diner with your new friend and mine, Jake Kelfer. He’s an incredible entrepreneur who shared story after story about how he would bet on himself and keep pushing and trusting his ideas until they either came to fruition or failed. He shared about massive successes – writing a bestselling book and starting an NBA draft …
 
Today in the booth, Jason Hewlett is coming in hot and ordering up a Moons Over My Hammy and dishing out advice that’s good for the soul. We talked about body image and being comfortable in our own skin, ways to discover our signature moves – or our natural strengths, how to be comfortable in the different seasons of parenthood and ditch the idea o…
 
Sliding into the diner this week is actor, Alessandra Torresani. You’ve seen her on Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story, and most recently the movie, Women is Losers. She and I kicked things off by disclosing our first on-stage kisses (spoiler, hers was Frankie Muniz) then made our way back to our favorite diner orders. Alessandra told me about …
 
This week in the diner I hung out with my man, Stu Massengill. What I appreciate about Stu is that he is so dedicated to looking for what’s next and building his legacy, but he’s also so in tune with the present moment and savors every day, and I loved the way he talked about striking that balance. In this episode, we talked about Stu’s career as a…
 
In the booth with me this week is the one and only Ercole Perrone (say it with a thick Italian accent or you’re doing this glorious name (and man) a disservice). This conversation was so good – it centered around the theme of being a better listener, leading and taking care of others with great empathy, and being a good human who stands up for othe…
 
"Our Happy Divorce" authors, Nikki DeBartolo and Benjamin Heldfond slid into the diner booth with me this week. Divorce is never easy but these two have figured out a way to make it work for their son Asher. We started our conversation talking about how Ben and Nikki met, when the sparks flew, and what brought them from San Francisco to Tampa, Flor…
 
Buckle up, y’all because this episode is jam-packed with nuggets of wisdom that will stick with you long after listening. Today I kicked it in the booth with bestselling author, socially conscious entrepreneur, and speaker Laura Gassner Otting (aka LGO). We talked about finding what you love to do, defining success and what is enough for yourself, …
 
I don’t even know if there are diners in the Canary Islands, but I do know that this week’s guest, Geneviève Pépin, slid into this diner all the way from off the coast of Morocco. Geneviève and I started off discussing the magical foods that are poutine (because she’s from Quebec City) and arepas (because they are delicious). Then she told me about…
 
For the season 1 finale, Molly and Declan recap our learnings thus far; hear from some of you on your most wild, weird, and wonderful sandos; and dream up what may be the greatest sandwich of all time. Stick around to the end—Molly and Declan call up our final winner of a year-supply of Cabot cheese! Special thanks to our listeners for your questio…
 
Longtime friend and Emmy-nominated anchor and reporter, Joe Mauceri, slid into a Brooklyn diner booth with me for this episode! Joe and I talked about a few childhood memories and what kind of burger you’re allowed to order in a diner. After asking Joe what he wanted to be when he was a kid, we learn about the home videos where his on-camera experi…
 
Shrettuce or slaw? Potato buns or sliced bread? Spicy or spicy? Molly and Declan talk about the recent resurgence in popularity of the fried chicken sandwich, the sandwich's true origin, and ease any anxieties re: at-home deep frying. Thanks to our listeners, especially those of you who called in. Send your burning sandwich questions (not burning s…
 
This week in the booth is networking expert and Twix connoisseur, Tollisha Joseph. We spent our time talking about how to form relationships, how to stand out in a room full of people, and how to get out of our own way. We talked about boundaries and values, and she shared advice for looking to your past to help you figure out what you should do wi…
 
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