Nat Cardona isn’t much of a foodie; however, she finds herself with a food series. How does that work? Simple. She likes to talk. A lot. Especially with people who ooze “joie de vivre.” That phrase means “joy for life” in French. Nat might’ve read it on a poster once.

Grate Conversation, a new video series from Madison.com, flips the traditional food segment inside out. Sure, food is important. It is the lifeblood to every restaurant business after all. But the focus here goes beyond how to make a delicious meal. Who are the people cooking your food? What is the strangest encounter they’ve had at dinnertime? What do they really want you to order when you sit at their table?

Grate Conversation will feature sit-down interviews with chefs, managers and other staff who make their restaurant a second home for locals and visitors alike. No question is off limits. Wine is close at hand.

On today’s episode, Nat sits down with Evan Gruzis, an artist turned owner of The Heights (11 N. Allen St.) The new neighborhood eatery opened back in late October.

Chef Allie Christian focuses on food you’d want to make at home, but she does it in a way with care and creativity that a novice cook wouldn’t be able to mimic. Fresh and clean come first at The Heights; the ingredients used are sourced locally from farmers often within miles of the restaurant. You can grab a meal from The Heights seven days a week: breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

Even though you can call The Heights the “new kid” on the block, the restaurant has quickly become a neighborhood hangout. What’s next for The Heights? Watch Episode 2 of Grate Conversation to find out.

Sit down and get to know the faces behind Madison’s restaurants every week. Grate Conversation can be found on YouTube, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV and Samsung smart TVs. You can follow Nat on Twitter @nat_cardona.

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