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Evan Kleiman's taste of life, culture and the human species.
3 days ago
Pasta shapes, tomatoes, turnips, boiling water
Host Evan Kleiman knows her pasta. This week on Good Food, she talks to Dan Pashman, who she has been advising on his quest to engineer a brand new pasta shape. Scott Daigre of Tomatomania! is back with his annual seedling sale just in time for spring. Gillian Ferguson talks turnips at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Professor Alex Susskind discusses how restaurants are embracing operations and learning to shift costs to the consumer. Michelin-starred chef Dave Beran of Pasjoli shares how his menu shifted to takeout for this week’s edition of “In the Weeds.” Finally, J. Kenji López-Alt provides a science lesson on what happens when water boils.
Feb 19, 2021
Celebrating Black excellence with a culinarian historian, chef, and pitmaster
Good Food recognizes Black History Month by looking back on conversations with revered voices from the culinary world. Jessica B. Harris recounts her youth in New York City, rubbing elbows and cooking with James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison. Chef Marcus Samuelsson discusses the Black experience and the pillars of Black food in modern American cuisine. Dr. Howard Conyers is a rocket scientist at NASA, as well as a pitmaster. Using his experience in mechanical engineering, Dr. Conyers demonstrates his barbecue prowess in the PBS series, “Nourish.” Yemisi Aribisala reflects on Nigerian cuisine. Finally, Cook’s Country editor Toni Tipton-Martin discusses her book, “Jubilee,” and her desire to shift philosophies of food stories and family recipes.
Feb 5, 2021
Chicken wings, takeout, pomelos, GMO pigs
In anticipation of Sunday’s Super Bowl, Chef Brandon Kida revisits his childhood and love for Pioneer Chicken with his latest venture, Go Go Bird. San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho suggests embracing the chaos of pandemic pop-ups and takeout culture. Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Bill Addison has recommendations from around the world right here in LA. Pomelos are in season at the farmer’s market in time for Chinese New Year. Jessica Wu reports on the FDA’s approval of genetically modified pigs. Tezeta Alemayehu shares opening her Ethiopian-inspired vegetarian restaurant during the onset of the pandemic for this week’s installment of “In the Weeds.”
Jan 29, 2021
Bollywood cuisine, tea, birria, cauliflower
Sri Rao brings his book about Indian cuisine and film to the stage as he presents “Bollywood Kitchen” at the Geffen Playhouse. Mashama Bailey and John Morisano opened The Grey in Savannah, Georgia, and in their new book, they tackle race, gender, class, and culture while building their business and friendship. Charlene Wang reports on the lingering issues of colonialism in the world of tea. Bill Esparza examines the popularity of birria, from Tijuana to Canada. Cauliflower is in season at the farmer’s market. Finally, Monica May describes how the diverse downtown LA community saved her Nickel Diner during the pandemic.
Jan 22, 2021
Wine, foraging, balut, Brazilian food
Lou Amdur recommends which wines to drink with purpose this year. Alexis Nikole Nelson (aka Black Forager) connects to nature by exploring her surroundings, which has made her a TikTok star. After the Bobcat Fire, Gloria Putnam is rebuilding her property with a herd of goats in the San Gabriel Mountains. Margaret Magat explores the traditional and popular cultural contexts of eating balut. Natalia Pereira shares her heritage and Brazilian home cooking for this week’s installment of “In The Weeds.” Finally, making breakfast burritos with peewee potatoes.
Jan 15, 2021
Cheese, bucatini shortage, amatriciana, women chefs
This week’s Good Food is a metaphoric grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup — an hour of comfort and distraction from a headshaking news cycle. Lydia Clarke operates DTLA Cheese with her sister in the historic Grand Central Market and describes how they flipped their business model on its head in this week’s segment of “In the Weeds.” Rachel Handler’s question of “Where has all the bucatini gone?” led her to a Nancy Drew investigation. Sophie Minchilli checks in from Rome with her version of the perfect amatriciana. Kim Prince and Lien Ta have details on the upcoming “Regarding Her,” a food festival with 100 of Los Angeles’ top female chefs and restaurateurs. Finally, citrus is in season at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.
Jan 8, 2021
Gardening, dishwashing, fighting for fridge space
The new year is an opportunity to scale back and reflect. While events at the Capitol stirs a brew of complicated emotions, Good Food takes a deep breath and starts the week with the power of simply planting a seed. Kazi Pitelka guides new gardeners on what to plant now. Peter Miller describes the zen of washing a sink full of dirty dishes. Cook’s Country editor Toni Tipton-Martin discusses her book, “Jubilee,” and her desire to shift philosophies of food stories and family recipes. Dakota Kim shares how her mother’s pandemic anxiety influenced the way she stocked the refrigerator. Chef Daniel Patterson shops for greens at the Santa Monica’s Farmer’s Market. Chef Glen Ishii keeps his family’s chashu marinade alive in Little Tokyo for this week’s segment of “In the Weeds.”
Jan 1, 2021
Seeds, soil science, flavors of wood, untamed food
Good Food looks to a new year full of hope and wonder — from the soil beneath our feet, the trees growing toward the sky, and the marvel of the last wild foods on Earth. Dr. Rattan Lal has devoted his work to the land and describes the connections between soil and terrestrial life. Woodland biologist Artur Cisar-Erlach details his fascination with wood and the flavor it adds to food production. Gina Rae La Cerva traveled the world in search of untamed, wild foods. Plus, a children’s reading about seeds.
Dec 25, 2020
Best of 2020, meat alternatives, trucking during COVID, bad apples
The Best of 2020 reads like the ultimate oxymoron. In a year that may be the worst for many of us, Good Food looks back on some highlights. Benjamin Wurgaft looks to the future of food and the use of meat alternatives in the lab. Angeleno Pascal Baudar preserves all that is good after a forage with master fermentation techniques. Jay Singh lets Good Food ride shotgun on his long haul journeys delivering produce and groceries to supermarkets across the U.S. Helen Rosner reads from her piece in The New Yorker, a metaphor for how a few bad apples spoil the bunch. Food scholar Adrian Miller reflects on how food has been weaponized. Finally, Justin Pichetrungsi gave up a career in art direction and concept design to keep his father’s dream alive.
Dec 18, 2020
The power of giving back by baking, farming, and eating dim sum
A note from Evan Kleiman: I am devoting this show to something that has sustained me this year — the power of giving. No matter how comfortable our circumstances may or may not be, we are all looking for ways to help. For me, the combination of feeling powerless in isolation has made the impulse to give stronger than ever. So for this show, I want to highlight those who are giving their all, whether it’s fighting to save a community of restaurants, or urging city councils to adopt better policy. Every single person on this show made an impact this year, and I want to invite you, the Good Food community, to support them in their work.
Dec 11, 2020
Hanukkah, Filipino desserts, collards, chaat
What happens to a place when restaurants disappear? There’s something deeper than just the exchange of the food that’s lacking. Small interactions in so-called third spaces that add up to give eaters a sense of identity within their own city. The spaces, rooms, great effort and expense that go into the counters, tables, curtains, wallpaper, plateware — it’s all the great and fragile theater of dining. Restaurants provide an incalculable amount of culture, texture and humanity. In this week’s edition of “In the Weeds,” Daniel Navarro shares the story of his family’s restaurant, El Cochinito, in Silver Lake. Next, Leah Koenig explores different ways to celebrate Hanukkah through a global lens. Pastry chefs Sally Camacho Mueller and Charles Olalia describe Christmas in the Philippines and seasonal sweets. Chris Smith celebrates collards and their significance in Southern cuisines. Chef and television host Maneet Chauhan introduces snacks found along Indian railways.
Dec 4, 2020
Cookbooks, Central Asian cuisine, Ottolenghi, macadamia nuts
As Los Angeles heads into another lockdown, Good Food checks in with Celia Sack of Omnivore Books in San Francisco for ideas on which cookbooks to give your friends/family (or yourself). Two of Sack’s picks are “Flavor” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage and “Red Sands” by Caroline Eden. Evan Kleiman talks recipes and wanderlust with them. Ken Concepcion of Now Serving and Simon Davies of Somekind Press share their collaboration on the Take Away Los Angeles series of books benefitting LA restaurants. Ari Kolander describes the constant pivoting in order to keep the doors open at his year-old seafood restaurant, Found Oyster, in East Hollywood. Finally, market correspondent Gillian Ferguson heads down to the Torrance Farmers’ Market to talk Japanese shave ice and macadamia nuts.
Nov 27, 2020
White bread, sandwiches, masa, tacos
Good Food explores the two edible art forms that best feature leftovers — the sandwich and taco. Politics professor Aaron Bobrow-Strain looks at the history of white bread in America and how it became so popular and industrialized. Cheese authority Laura Werlin discusses the origin and variations of grilled cheese. Tyler Kord offers riffs on the traditional sub. Wax Paper in LA pays homage to NPR personalities with their sandwiches, and co-owner Peter Lemos explains what goes into an “Ira Glass.” Gustavo Arellano speaks with Jorge Gaviria about the role of masa in some of Southern California’s best tortillas, and José R. Ralat takes eaters on a journey of America’s regional tacos.
Nov 20, 2020
Thanksgiving, savory pies, turkey alternatives, leftovers
Chef David Chang takes a seat at the table to co-host the Good Food annual Thanksgiving show with Evan Kleiman. Nokx Majozi of London’s celebrated Pie Room shares recipes for traditional savory and individual pies that can transform this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Mark Pasternak of Devil’s Gulch Ranch suggests alternative turkey proteins for the holiday centerpiece. Cheryl Day reveals her twists on classic Thanksgiving desserts. Andrea Ngyuen has a plan for leftovers with an Asian spin. Plus, pomegranates have found their way to the farmer’s market.
Nov 13, 2020
Native American food sovereignty, farming under Trump, West Indies roti
As the nation heads down a road of recovery, Good Food looks at healing, which is at the center of the new film, “Gather.” Director Sanjay Rawal opens the film with a quote from Crazy Horse of the Oglala Lakota Nation: “The Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world, a world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations, a world longing for light again.” Rawal discusses a growing movement of Native Americans working to reconnect with their spiritual and cultural identity. Somali chef Hawa Hassan pays homage to the matriarchal cooking of eight African nations. Lisa Held reports on how policy changes under the Trump administration has reshaped farming and food. Rashida Holmes is serving Caribbean cuisine in the Arts District. Plus, jujubes are in season and at the farmer’s market.
Nov 6, 2020
Fermentation, Black excellence, Pok Pok closes, persimmons
The U.S. has been under a global microscope all week. Time and waiting are very important variables, according to fermenting revivilaist Sandor Katz. He discusses the challenges and delayed gratification of fermentation and how it is a metaphor for daily life. Chef Marcus Samuelsson discusses the Black experience and the pillars of Black food in modern American cuisine. Andy Ricker shares his thoughts on the decision to end the 15-year run of his Pok Pok restaurant group. Bali-style bungkus pops up in a driveway. Finally, persimmons are back at the farmer’s market.
Oct 30, 2020
Halloween candy, comfort food, spirit-free drinks, vegetarian meals
Good Food celebrates Halloween and the creature comforts that come with fall. Ben Mims explains how to make two of his favorite commercial candy bars at home. Polina Chesnakova has all the ooey, gooey, melty dishes that incorporate hot cheese. Julia Bainbridge mixes up spirit-free cocktails. Meera Sodha dishes on vegan and vegetarian fare. Justin Pichetrungsi of Anajak Thai shares his story for this week’s installment of “In the Weeds.” Finally, a trip to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market for bean and cheese burritos.
Oct 23, 2020
Smells and flavors, tortilla winner, pizza at the polls
Harold McGee explores how different varieties of herbs impart a range of aromas, and how heat introduces scents into raw ingredients around the world. Nik Sharma identifies the flavor equation and factors emotion into eating and taste. Gustavo Arellano recaps the finale of this year’s Tortilla Tournament and catches up with this year’s winner. Scott Duncombe explains using pizza to motivate voters in long poll lines. Omayra Dakis co-operates the only Puerto Rican food truck in LA and gives an update in this week’s installment of “In the Weeds.” Finally, winter squash is at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.
Oct 16, 2020
Thriving chain restaurants, World Food Programme, Fuerte Four
Independent restaurants employ nearly 11 million nationwide, according to the Independent Restaurant Coalition. Big chain restaurants are those thriving during the pandemic. Heather Haddon discusses why the chain restaurant model is working right now. Jonathan Dumont revels in the Nobel Peace Prize win for the World Food Programme. Gustavo Arellano announces the finalists in this year’s Tortilla Tournament. Bricia Lopez shares her family’s restaurant legacy in this week’s installment of “In the Weeds.” Finally, a visit to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market to inspire winter gardening.
Oct 9, 2020
The life of James Beard, East LA, ‘In the Weeds’ in Chinatown
Mary and Kelley Liang describe their childhood at their parents’ Chinatown-based restaurant Hop Woo in this week’s “In the Weeds.” Next, John Birdsall has written the first biography of James Beard in the last 25 years, which focuses on Beard’s childhood, personal life, and his road to food. Laura Tejada runs down favorite spots for birria and burgers in East LA. In anticipation of handing out the Golden Tortilla trophy, Tortilla Tournament founder and judge Gustavo Arellano answers listener questions about freezing and which side is up. Finally, Market Correspondent Gillian Ferguson is in search of sweetness and fall fruit at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.
Oct 2, 2020
Grocery stores, frutero street vendors, Indian buffets
This was the year that grocery workers were deemed essential. Good Food looks at the underbelly of the grocery industry with investigative journalist Benjamin Lorr, who discusses the correlation between food brands and performative eating. Gideon Brower discovers there was indeed a Mr. Smart and a Mr. Final. Rocío Rosales spent years in the field talking to the fruit vendors under their rainbowed umbrellas dotting sidewalks across the city. For this week’s segment of “In the Weeds,” Dr. Padmini Ayani reflects on immigrating from India and the status of her family’s Culver City restaurant, Mayura. Finally, Gustavo Arellano offers lessons on how to taste a corn tortilla in anticipation of this year’s Tortilla Tournament finalists.
Sep 25, 2020
Black winemakers, masa, tamarind
Restaurants are six months into pandemic life, and Good Food has decided that the only way to cover the vastness of what’s happening is to collect the individual stories that together weave a narrative of an industry at a crossroads. We launch our weekly segment, “In the Weeds” with baker Roxana Jullapat. Also, Ruben Morancy is stocking Adams Wine Shop with bottles from Black and female producers. Gustavo Arellano catches up with Jorge Gaviria, who is supplying masa to America’s top restaurants. Marion Nestle answers everything you want to know about food politics. Finally, Nik Sharma shares how tamarind can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Sep 18, 2020
Ancient seeds, babka, cheesecake, tortilla tournament
This week Good Food celebrates Rosh Hashanah. Dr. Sarah Sallon and her colleague have grown date palms using 2,000-year-old seeds excavated from Masada. Recent Los Angeles transplant Shimi Aaron breaks out of the mold to bake babka with new twists. Daniela Galarza talks about the chef trend of developing the perfect Basque cheesecake recipe. Finally, Gustavo Arellano teases what's to come at KCRW & Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament.
Sep 11, 2020
School lunch, hunger assistance, Greek cuisine
The virtual fall school semester begins this week for many students, which means bringing their laptops or tablets to the kitchen table. Zach Brooks has a repertoire of meals for lunch breaks. Clemence Gossett makes a shopping list and offers tips on meal prep. Plus, food-insecure students are getting meals via grab and go options through the LAUSD and the USDA Farmers to Families food boxes. Finally, KCRW takes a virtual vacation to the Greek island of Crete.
Sep 4, 2020
Mushrooms, tacos, traditional pastas
Usually on Labor Day, Americans are gathering around the barbecue, celebrating one last gasp of summer before settling into the routine of school or work. Routines are not what they once were during this pandemic. Nevertheless Good Food hopes this weekend is used to take a break from all the laboring — both physical and emotional. As an escape, Good Food offers a “zone out” show. From magical mushrooms on the forest floor to rare pasta shapes in Italy, grab the popcorn, tune in, and prepare to leave hungry. Plus, author Samin Nostrat and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton discuss their collaboration on the award-winning cookbook, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.”