Clam Chowder; Anonymity and the Restaurant Critic; Harold McGee
Share |

Clam Chowder; Anonymity and the Restaurant Critic; Harold McGee

The Border Grill has been around for ages, but they have a new home in the old Ciudad space in downtown Los Angeles.  Pulitzer Prize-winner Jonathan Gold has a review.  We'll go to a donut shop in Anaheim with Gustavo Arellano.  How important is anonymity to a restaurant critic?  Ernie Whalley shares his experience.  Harold McGee answers questions from listeners.  We'll hear why we shouldn't put oil and grease down the drain for Doug Walters of LA's Department of Sanitation.  We'll make chowder with the LA Times' Russ Parsons.  Plus, we'll get an update on what's happening with tomato harvesters in Immokalee, Florida from Tom Philpott.   And, Laura Avery is at the Santa Monica farmers market to tell us what's fresh and in season.


(Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Guest Interview

Market Report ()

David Karp is a pomologist and a contributor to the Los Angeles Times.  At one point in his career, he wrote for Chile Pepper magazine.  On the Market Report, he describes the Bhut Jolokia, which until recently was considered the hottest chile in the world.  Farmer Phil McGrath will have the pepper at his farmers market stand for the next couple of weeks.  The Bhut Jolokia was the hottest pepper in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.  As of March, 2010, That title belongs to the Infinity chile, grown in England.  On the Scoville scale, which measures the "heat" of a chile, a jalapeño is about 2,500.  The Bhut Jolokia is over a million.  Serious Eats has some ideas for how to eat the Bhut Jolokia here.

Josiah Citrin of Melisse restaurant (1104 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica) is buying cardoons from Coleman Farms.  Cardoons are long, thistle-like plants in the artichoke family.  Josiah removes the strings and then cooks it in acidulated water (either vinegar, wine or lemon juice).

Guest Interview

Update on the Immokalee Workers ()

Back in April of 2009, Evan Kleiman spoke with writer Barry Estabrook about the slavery-like conditions for tomato harvesters in Immokalee, Florida (listen to the interview here).  The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is working to improve conditions and raise wages.  Tom Philpott, a food and agriculture writer for Grist, gives us an update on their fight.  They've succeeded by raising tomato prices by a penny per pound, charged to most fast food companies.  The next fight is for Publix and Wal-Mart to pay the price increase.  Since 2009, that penny per pound has been held in escrow by the growers.  In November, that money was released to the workers.  Read about the landmark deal here.

Guest Interview

Russ Parsons' Clam Chowder ()

Russ Parsons is the editor of the LA Times' food section.  In their test kitchen, they made clam chowder.  Here's a recipe.  Original American clam chowders were thickened with ship's biscuits instead of potatoes and used salt pork.  In today's clam chowder, you'll inevitably find clams, cream and potatoes.   

Guest Interview

The Border Grill Downtown ()

Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Weekly.  This week, he reviews The Border Grill, which just opened a new branch in the old Ciudad space in Downtown LA.  Jonathan likes their cochinita pibil, the chile relleno, the carnitas and the goat milk cajeta flan.  
445 South Figueroa Street
Downtown LA
(213) 486-5171
All of Jonathan Gold's restaurant recommendations are on the Good Food Restaurant Map.  


Guest Interview

Anonymity of a Restaurant Critic ()

In late December, 2010, the food world was abuzz when LA Times critic Irene Virbila was photographed and then kicked out of the restaurant Red Medicine.  Read critic Jonathan Gold's response here.  LA Times food section editor Russ Parsons explains the paper's reviewing policy.  Ernie Whalley is a restaurant critic in Ireland, where he says the country's size makes anonymity virtually impossible.  Ernie thinks that objectivity is more important than anonymity.  He's got a discussion forum on his website,

Guest Interview

Questions for Harold McGee ()

Harold McGee is the author of numerous books on food and the science of cooking and he has a column in the New York Times.  His latest book is Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes.  On today's show, he answers questions for Good Food listeners.  More of his answers are on the Good Food Blog.

Guest Interview

JAX Donuts ()

Gustavo Arellano is the food editor for the OC Weekly and he frequently shares his restaurant reviews on Good Food.  Today, he takes us to Jax Donuts in Anaheim, where a group of men who emmigrated from the same area of Mexico (rancho Jomulquillo in Jerez). 

Guest Interview

Disposing of FOG's ()

Doug Walters is Senior Environmental Engineer for LA City’s Bureau of Sanitation Waste Water Engineering Division.  Instructions for how to dispose of fats, oils and grease are here.

Engage & Discuss

Further the conversation with your thoughts and comments. Agree, disagree, present a different perspective -- engage.

For information and guidelines click: Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Please note, comments are moderated. KCRW reserves the right to edit and or remove posts deemed off-topic, abusive or not in accordance with KCRW's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.