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Food Psych #23: The Need to Feed

Nate Starkey James Simpkins food

Comedian Nate Starkey and chef James Simpkins discuss what it means to feed people, why they thrive on playing host, how cooking helps balance their personalities, and lots more. Plus, a listener opens up about the eating disorder she's hiding from her loved ones.

Nate Starkey hails from Denver, Colorado, where he was first introduced to the world of improv while doing shows at The Comedy Works. He performed over 1,000 shows with Comedy Sports of Denver before moving to Orlando to perform improv at Disney’s Comedy Warehouse, Disney’s MGM Studios, and at SAK Comedy Lab. Nate now performs improv and sketch comedy at venues all over New York City. He has been teaching improv almost as long as he has been performing it. He taught Comedy Sports Workshops in Denver, was a teacher/coach at Disney and now coaches New York improv ensembles. Nate received improv training from Keith Johnstone, Ali Farahnakian, Burn Manhattan, Armando Diaz and the Second City training program. You can see Nate perform with Big Black Car every Saturday at The PIT, catch him in his new web series Grilling in the City on YouTube, and get his recipe for green chili from this episode on our Facebook page.

James B. Simpkins is a private chef and cookbook author with years of experience in cooking, baking, and pastry. After earning his culinary arts degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2003 and spending a year studying and working in Provence, James returned to academia to earn a Master's degree in food studies and teach culinary arts in the classroom. Since then, he has written, consulted, and cooked for a variety of clients. He wrote a cookbook for Allagash Brewing Co. (Allagash: The Cookbook, Blue Tree 2012), in which he developed recipes for pairing with the brewery's beers. He also consulted with author and lifestyle expert Tim Ferriss on The 4-Hour Chef. In addition to writing and consulting work, James has worked as a private chef for numerous high-profile clients. He currently consults for a food-oriented tech company called Eat Club. In all he does, James works to turn the human need to eat and drink into a source of happiness. Find him at