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Soup & Hope Speaker Bios-OLD

To protect community health, this year Soup & Hope will be delivered via Zoom. Please register in advance to attend any or all of the the talks. Registration links are provided in each speaker bio. 

Speaker Bios

Hei Hei Depew

February 4: Hei Hei Depew

Hei Hei says that, according to Workday, she's been at Cornell for 5.79 years, which is approximately the same amount of time she's been in Ithaca. She moved to Ithaca from Brooklyn on a Friday, started work on Monday. Since moving here, she says she's met many kind, warm-hearted people; and has done her best to be a part of the community, to find her place here at Cornell and in Tompkins County overall. This has led Hei Hei to volunteer time at the Advocacy Center and with the Cornell University Employee Assembly. Hei Hei's talk will focus on how she has come to think about hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Enjoy this recording of Hei Hei's talk.

Hei Hei's Wonton Soup Recipe

Download a copy of Hei Hei's recipe for Wonton Soup (pdf).

Watch as Hei Hei discusses and prepares her soup.
(Cooking demonstration begins at 4:06.)

Complete How To:

Wonton Soup

2 bunches of scallions
1 pound of pork 3
tablespoons of sesame oil
½ teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 package of wonton wrappers (Hei Hei uses Twin Marquis Wonton Wrappers, Hong Kong Style)
Chicken Stock (about 2 boxes, or however much soup you intend on making)

Wash & chop scallions. Mix in all the ingredients, sauces, meats, scallions.  Assemble wontons: Put about 1 tsp. of mixture in the center of the wrapper. Fold wrapper into a triangle, using water around the edges to fold it down. Take the two edges of the triangle on the acute edges and fold them together, use water to get it to stick (making something that looks like a purse). Repeat process with wrappers until all the meat is used. Bring a pot of chicken stock to a boil, drop in the wontons. Once they float to the top, cook for another 2 minutes. Then they’re ready. Serve with noodles or some scallions on top. 

George P. Ferrari, Jr

February 11: George P. Ferrari, Jr.

George has served as the CEO of Community Foundation of Tompkins County since August, 2005. He has been an active participant in the Tompkins County community since 1980. George has served in a variety of roles in many mission-driven organizations such as Head Start, Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, AIDS WORK, and Catholic Charities. George has a degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology. He enjoys camping, working out, opera and many varieties of chocolate. He lives in the City of Ithaca with his spouse, Daniel Hirtler, an architect and founder of the firm Flatfield Designs. 

No recording is available of George' talk.

George's Crab Chowder Recipe

Download a copy of George's recipe for Crab Chowder (pdf).

Complete How To:

Crab Chowder

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 yellow onion, finely chopped 
4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices 
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
salt and ground black pepper to taste
7 potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 
2 cups whole milk
1 (15 ounce) can fish broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (8 ounce) bottle clam juice
1 ½ pounds Dungeness crab meat, chopped

Step 1
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir onion, celery, thyme, salt, and pepper in hot butter until onion and celery start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir potatoes, milk, broth, cream, and clam juice into onion mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

Step 2
Pour broth mixture into a blender no more than half full. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Puree in batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and stir in crabmeat. Cook until soup is hot and crab is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Marty Stallone

February 25: Martin Stallone, MD

Dr. Martin Stallone (Marty) is a graduate of Cornell University, CALS Class of 1998. Marty is married to Ami (Walter) Stallone, also a graduate of CALS, Class of 1998; they live in Lansing, NY with their six wonderful sons. An internist by training, Marty is currently the CEO of Cayuga Health System and also a 20-year member of the Air Force, still currently serving as flight surgeon in the N.Y. Air National Guard. His talk will discuss his finding meaning, purpose and hope in family, friends, teamwork and a career in healthcare.

Enjoy this recording of Marty's talk.

Martin's Sausage & Kale Soup Recipe

Download a copy of Martin's recipe for Sausage & Kale Soup (pdf).

Complete How To:

Sausage & Kale Soup

1/2 cup of diced carrot 
1/2 cup of diced onion 
1/2 cup of diced celery 
2 Tablespoons of olive oil (I use extra virgin) 
3 or 4 Italian sausage s (casings removed and chopped) 
1 can of drained cannellini beans 
1 large can (48 oz.) of College Inn Chicken Broth (that one tastes the best) 
1 can of Del Monte diced tomatoes (flavored with oregano, garlic, and basil) 
4 cups of chopped Kale 


  1. Sauté carrots, celery, and onion in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until quite soft (about 7 to 10 minutes.) 
  2. Add Italian sausage and cook until sausage is no longer pink. 
  3. Add the 1 can of drained cannellini beans and stir. 
  4. Add the 1 can of diced tomatoes, stir, then add large can of chicken broth and bring to a slow boil.
  5. Lastly, add 4 cups of chopped kale and cook until kale is wilted. 

You can sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top of individual bowls if you like . 

Eric Acree

March 11: Eric Acree

Eric Kofi Acree is currently Director of the John Henrik Clarke Africana Library and the Curator of Africana Collections for the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library at Cornell. He is also the Frank Scruggs Faculty Fellow at Ujamaa Residential College at Cornell. He presently serves on the board of Cinemapolis. He attained his Masters of Library Studies degree from the University of Buffalo. While living in Buffalo he developed a fondness for Buffalo Wings and Beef on Weck sandwich (a roast beef sandwich served on a salted kummelweck roll with au jus sauce and horseradish). His hobbies include model trains and fish-keeping. He set a goal of reading 100 books in 2021!

Enjoy this recording of Eric's talk.

Eric's Sicilian Seafood Stew Recipe

Download a copy of Eric's recipe for Sicilian Seafood Stew (pdf).

Complete How To:

Sicilian Seafood Stew

 1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
 1 cup chopped celery
 1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes or 1 pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 cups bottled clam juice
1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped and undrained
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 lb. scallops, rinsed
1/2 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 lb. cod (any white fish), diced into squares
1 lemon, juice of
salt & fresh ground pepper


  1. In a large pot, over high heat, sauté onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add in the celery and red and green bell peppers; stir and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, and marjoram; stir to mix.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the clam juice, tomatoes, and wine.
  6. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add the scallops and shrimp; cook and stir for about 4 minutes or until the scallops are no longer opaque and the shrimp are pink. The cod is cooked when it easily flakes apart. Add in the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste; stir to combine.
  8. Ladle stew into individual serving bowls.
  9. Sprinkle capers and chopped black olives on top, if desired.
  10. Season with your favorite hot pepper sauce. 

Amaris Henderson

March 25: Amaris Henderson ‘21

Amaris is a singer-songwriter, poet, and journalist from El Paso, TX. She is married to a wonderful New Zealander named Luke. At Cornell, Amaris studies Performing & Media Arts and is a Meinig Family Cornell National Scholar (MFCNS) and is a member of its student executive board, the Public Relations Chair for Cornell Ambassadors for Media & Performance (CAMP), a writer and editor for Slope Magazine, and a Communications Assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be found on Instagram@amaris.janel.henderson. Amaris will share how she learned to value herself again after being othered as a woman of color and harassed/assaulted in the workplace. She will discuss navigating through “otherness,” stages of healing, and show how she was able to turn her negative experiences into a collection of poetry under the working title "The Year was 2020: Poems of Crisis, Love, and Identity."

No recording is available of Amaris' talk.

Amaris' Caldo De Rez Soup Recipe

Download a copy of Amaris' recipe for Caldo De Rez Soup.

Complete How To:

Caldo De Rez

Beef shanks with bones or beef ribs (2 lbs)
Carrots, peeled and cut
Diced tomato
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, chopped or whole
1/2 head cabbage, quartered
2 medium potatoes, quartered (with or without skin)
Cilantro, to your taste
Chayote, 2 halves, cut into quarters
Mexican squash, ends trimmed and cut up
Pinch of cumin
Salt to taste
Prepared Mexican rice

Rinse beef. Place in a large pot with 10-12 cups of water. Bring to a boil, skimming off the foamy
scum that rises to the top. Once foam stops accumulating, add salt, onion, and garlic. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender. Add cumin and vegetables. Continue to simmer until vegetables are tender. Serve over Mexican Rice. 

Sarah Brylinski

April 8: Sarah Brylinsky

Sarah cut her teeth on sustainability as a student of Ithaca College ’08 and ’12 and gladly returned to Ithaca as the Sustainability Communications & Integration Manager for the Cornell Campus Sustainability Office in 2016. She is Vice Chair of the Mobility, Accessibility & Transportation Council for the City of Ithaca, a long-time bike commuter, and alternative transportation advocate. She currently manages the Rainbow Rangers Mutual Aid Fund, a rapid-response grant mechanism which targets support for queer, disabled, people of color, and service worker communities impacted by COVID-19. Sarah's talk will focus on recovering from two serious bicycle accidents which happened in the span of six months, which nearly took her life in 2015. Touching on the medical unknowns and frustrations of recovering from traumatic brain injury, and the importance of flexible work arrangements, she will share how the grace and resilience of one’s community can buffer the loss of identity, sorrow, and frustration that comes from having your life slowed down due to medical illness and recovery.

Enjoy this recording of Sarah's talk.

Sarah's Finger Lakes Dutch Oven White Bean Soup Recipe

Download a copy of Sarah's recipe for White Bean Soup

Finger Lakes Dutch Oven White Bean Soup

(Cook time approximately 30 min. start to finish)

Olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, whole
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
3 (15-oz.) cans lower-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 dried bay leaf
3 cups packed roughly chopped Swiss chard (stems and ribs removed; from 1 [8-oz.] bunch)
Shaved Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and
translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add beans, broth, rosemary and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf and rosemary sprigs (or leave in pot – just don’t eat them later!) [Optional: Blend 2 cups of soup in food processor until completely smooth, 1 minute. Return pureed mixture to soup and bring to a simmer.] Stir in chard. Cook, stirring often, until wilted and softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan. Eat with giant helpings of crusty, local bread.

Listen to previous talks on CornellCast

Bill Alberta: Kindness in little things has big impact
J.T. Baker:  From receiving hope to being a symbol of hope
Shirley Collado: Ithaca College's president reflects on hope 
Sue Mann: Falling apart and putting yourself back together 
Imani Majied: A journey toward services 
Luca Maurer: Survival built on generous human connection 
Daniel McMullin: Choosing hope in the face of life's difficulties
Cal Walker: Reflections on hope, faith, and clarity of purpose
Angela Winfield: Lean into uncertainty 

Note: While Soup & Hope talks have been offered since 2008, the talks were not posted to CornellCast until 2019.