Behind the Mic
DJ / Radio Personality
Ann Delisi received her BA in Music from Wayne State University and landed at Detroit Public Radio Station, WDET, where she honed her skills as a freeform radio host and interviewer. She went on to work at a number of Detroit radio stations as a nationally recognized Music Director and on-air host. While working in radio, she hosted the television show “Backstage Pass” on Detroit Public Television that highlighted the arts and culture scene in Detroit. While working as a product manager and producer for Kingberry Productions, she found her way back to WDET to host Ann Delisi’s Essential Music, now in its 7th year. Her curiosity about the creative mind has served her well in interviews with musicians, actors and artists including David Bowie, John Malkovich, Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde, Adele, Tom Cruise and Chef James Rigato, of course!
Chef / Restaurateur
In Jams Rigato’s restaurants, diners experience everything he loves about growing up and living in Michigan: community and the bounty of the earth. At nationally acclaimed Mabel Gray in Hazel Park, the Top Chef Season 12 contestant creates dishes with ingredients sourced from his favorite local farmers and artisans. Rigato welcomes his guests as if they are family, aiming to nurture and delight them. Rigato’s work has won local, regional and national honors including Food & Wine The People’s Best New Chef: Great Lakes Region 2015; The Detroit Free Press 2012 Restaurant of the Year; 2013 Best Chef by Hour Detroit; a James Beard “Best New Restaurant” semi-finalist and one of “The 21 Best New Restaurants in America” by Eater food critic Bill Addison both in 2016. A native of Howell, Michigan and a Schoolcraft College graduate, Rigato’s cooking philosophy started with his grandparents who exposed him to the art of hand-crafted Italian cuisine. After culinary school, he spent eight years working in some of metro Detroit’s finer restaurants. In 2007, Rigato became a personal chef for local businessman Ed Mamou. The two formed a partnership developing and opening The Root Restaurant & Bar, followed by Mabel Gray.
About Culinary Remix
Chef James Rigato and Detroit Radio Personality Ann Delisi crossed paths at a cooking event and discovered they had a mutual passion for what the other one did for a living. Chef Rigato’s love of music equalled Ann Delisi’s love of food, so they decided to start recording their conversations in which they talked about food and music.