Wild Foods of Central Park; California Wines; Pet Food Scare
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While Pulitzer Prize-winner Jonathan Gold shares his latest restaurant review, Steven Brill discovers the wild foods of New York's Central Park. Kara Zuaro meets the challenge of finding quality food while traveling on a band's tour bus, and Kim Stewart learns what it takes to live on food-bank handouts. Food educator Marion Nestle studies the food supply for people and their pets, Nicolette Niman reveals the ingredients in animal feed and Mira Advani Honeycutt highlights the new regional wines of California's central coast. Laura Avery talks natural pest control with Tony Peltier in the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery talks to Tony Peltier of Ladybugs Forever about natural pest control. Worm casings are rich in nutrients and work as a natural repellent to white fly, aphids and other pests. Tony also reveals the secret of killer snails -- these seashell or corkscrew shaped snails eat the eggs of the vegetarian snails that take over gardens and plants. It’s economical, too -- $15 will get enough snails for 200 square feet of garden space.
It’s also asparagus season! Asparagus are in their prime now -- grown in Stockton with bright green and fresh stalks. Peeling the stalks is not necessary, the lowest inch is simply snapped off. To keep asparagus fresh, store them out of a plastic bag in a small amount of water at their stems. Fresh asparagus can last up to two weeks in the fridge.
Music Break -- Strict Scrutiny -- Cougar
Strictly Sushi ()
Jonathan Gold visits one of the most dependably delicious sushi restaurants in Los Angeles, Hiko Sushi. The restaurant has strict rules -- patrons must order a minimum of four dishes, anyone who sits at the sushi bar must do Amakase (chef’s choice) and when you are served sushi you must eat the accompanying rice. The house policies create an environment of high expectations, which the food actually transcends. Hiko serves traditional sushi only -- no tempura, no teriyaki and no California rolls, but the combination of steaming hot rice and soft fish are a delectable and mouth-watering mixture.
11275 National Blvd.
Jonathan Gold’s restaurant reviews can be found on the LA Weekly website.
Music Break -- Perculator -- Shawn Lee's Pong Orchestra
Born To Be Wild ()
“Wildman” Steven Brill is an expert at foraging for wild food in one of the most unlikely places: New York City’s Central Park. When arrested in 1986 for “destruction of park property” (for picking and eating a dandelion on a jaunt through Central Park), Brill publicized the arrest, the city dropped the charges and the parks department hired him. He now teaches classes and organizes educational tours explaining the medicinal and edible plants found in the park. He shares how he became interested in eating wild foods, the reactions from his tours and the best eats from the flora of Central Park.
A few Central Park edibles:
Music Break -- Thin Brown Layer -- Tommy Guererro
Recipes That Rock ()
While touring on the road, a common lament for band members is “I’m tired and I’m hungry and I can’t wait to go home.” When truck stops and roadside diners no longer fit the bill for traveling musicians, their creativity can be channeled towards inventing their own tour-bus meals.
Kara Zuaro has compiled on-the-road recipes in her new book, I Like Food, Food Tastes Good: In the Kitchen with Your Favorite Bands. With contributions from indie music faves like Belle & Sebastian, Calexico, Death Cab for Cutie and the Violent Femmes, Kara outlines the culinary life of musicians – from their favorite drink to the best hangover remedy.
Music Break -- Snack Attack -- C-mon and Kypski
Living on Handouts ()
While preparing to write her book, Eating Between the Lines: The Supermarket Shopper's Guide to the Truth Behind Food Labels, author Kimberly Lord Stewart, her husband and her teenage son agreed to live on food rations for one week. The food they received was from a non-profit food bank in her hometown of Denver, Colorado, which distributes food to 90 agencies.
The ground rules for the experiment included eating food bank provisions only, except for her son, who would eat the hot lunch that is part of an assistance program at his school. Also, the family could not accept lunch or dinner invitations.
Kimberly was surprised at the food she received – they were given tuna, peanut butter and tofu dogs as a protein source; their bread was moldy and they received many sugary, stale pastries; old produce had to be separated from the fresher, more edible produce; and the oil she received for cooking could not be used because it was a butter-flavored oil used for popping popcorn.
Kimberly shares her family’s experience and challenges -- how they made the food last and what meals they prepared; and discusses some of the larger community issues related to hunger and social services.
Along with her book, Kimberly Lord Stewart is also editor-in-chief of Dining Out Magazine and regularly contributes to numerous publications such as Alternative Health, Better Nutrition, Eating Well and Vegetarian Times.
Kimberly’s experiences were with a Denver food bank and are not related to the non-profit organizations that provide food in Los Angeles. A note about the L.A. Food Bank: They inspect all of the food that is received -- all expiration dates are checked and they reject any food that is unacceptable. Approximately 80% of the produce is useable and any produce that is unusable is discarded.
Music Break -- Nod Your Head -- Shawn Lee's Pong Orchestra
Food Contamination ()
The recent pet food scare has shed light on both the human and pet food supply. Marion Nestle talks about food contamination: what’s happening and why it’s getting worse, and what we can do in our own homes to increase food safety.
Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She's an activist and educator and her most recent book is What to Eat.
Music Break -- Rock Di Mexicano -- C-Mon and Kypski
Animal Feed ()
If you are what you eat, then what about the animals we consume and their diet? Can it affect us? Nicolette Hahn Niman is an environmental lawyer and the wife of rancher Bill Niman, who produces humane beef and pork products. Nicolette reveals the surprising ingredients of typical animal feed, which can include arsenic, dyes, poultry manure and antibiotics. She discusses the animal feed industry, how it is regulated and her thoughts about organic food.
Music Break -- West Coast Blues -- Wes Montgomery
Central Coast Wines ()
In her new book, California’s Central Coast: The Ultimate Winery Guide: From Santa Barbara to Paso Robles, Mira Advani Honeycutt features the largely undiscovered wine region that is gaining popularity for its wineries, down-to-earth communities and close proximity to Los Angeles.
Two of Mira’s suggested trips:
Paso Robles Weekend Trip
Drive: approximately 4 hours from Los Angeles
Where to Stay:
Paso Robles Inn
1103 Spring Street
3443 Mill Road
Winery features Rhone blends and has a hospitality center with classes and summer concerts.
EOS Estate Winery
5625 Highway 46 East
3810 Highway 46 East
Winery owner, Gary Eberle, is known to cook Santa Maria-style barbecue in the parking lot.
Martin & Weyrich
4230 Buena Vista Drive
Winery features Italian vintages like Nebbiolo and has a picnic area.
3380 Branch Road
Winery has lovely architecture and a small, man-made lake. They specialize in Chardonnay and Zinfandels.
Where to Eat:
Shop at the cafes and bakeries in the town square to get lunch. More information
There's a farmers market with breads, meats and even a petting zoo every Saturday from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the park at Sixth & Crocker Streets, in Templeton.
McPhee's Grill (Dinner)
416 S. Main Street
Santa Ynez Day Trip
Drive: 2 1/2 hours from Los Angeles (north of Santa Barbara)
Lafond Winery & Vineyards
6855 Santa Rosa Road
Winery features Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Babcock Winery & Vineyards
5175 East Highway 246
Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery
Rancho Santa Rosa
6121 East Highway 246
This winery is one of the area’s newest.
Buttonwood Farms Winery
1500 Alamo Pintado Road
Fresh peaches are available in the summer.
Where to Eat:
Picnic on the grounds of the wineries
475 First Street
Ballard Inn Restaurant (dinner – reservations recommended)
2436 Baseline Avenue
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GOOD FOOD THANKS ITS UNDERWRITERS:
Du Vin Wine & Spirits: In business for more than two decades at San Vicente in West Hollywood, Du Vin offers more than 10,000 bottles of hand-picked wine, with staff specialists in the wines of France, Italy, Latin America and California.
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