FROM THIS EPISODE
Besha Rodell is the restaurant critic for the LA Weekly. She has long been fascinated with Cracker Barrel, a Southern country-themed chain restaurant that’s part-dining room/part-gift shop. The brand's questionable history and booming success were the subject of a presentation she gave last weekend at the Southern Foodways Symposium.
Music: "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughn
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the Los Angeles Times. This week he reviews Le Comptoir, an intimate ten-seat restaurant located in Koreatown that features a highly seasonal produce-inspired tasting menu that changes daily.
The Historic Hotel Normandie
3606 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Music: "Eyes to the Horizon" by Kristin Diable
Grace Lee is an award-winning filmmaker. Her new documentary, Off the Menu: Asian America, is a road trip into the kitchens, factories, temples and farms of Asian Pacific America that explores food as a reflection of these evolving communities.
Off the Menu: Asian America will premiere at the Japanese American National Museum this Sunday, October 25, with a panel discussion to follow. Tickets and more info can be found here. The wider release comes to PBS this December.
Music: "The Beast"
After a federal court lifted a two-year-old ban that had previously prevented biotech companies from planting genetically modified corn in Mexico, a coalition of chefs who call themselves Colectivo Mexicano de Cocina have organized to preserve the country's sixty native varieties of corn. Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco María in Costa Mesa discusses his involvement with protecting this Mexican culinary tradition.
You can taste several varieties of heirloom corn at Taco María, where Salgado nixtamalizes it for tortillas, tostadas and tamales.
Music: "Coyoacan Theme 1" by Calexico
Enrique Olvera is today's most celebrated Mexican chef. His marquee restaurant, Pujol, in Mexico City, ranks number 16 on San Pellegrino's list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants. Just last year, he opened Cosme in New York to critical acclaim. His debut cookbook, Mexico From the Inside Out, features his contemporary reinterpretations of traditional Mexican cuisine.
We've got a recipe for his Eggs with Hoja Santa and Ranchero Salsa on the Good Food blog.
Music: "The Fall" by Rhye
Laura Avery is the market manager at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. This week she speaks with Alex Ageneau, the executive chef at Aestus, who is shopping for Brown Sugar persimmons for his Grilled Persimmon Salad recipe, which you can find on the Good Food blog.
Laura also talks with Laurence Hauben of Penryn Orchard Specialties about their nine different persimmon varietals. They also delve into hoshigaki, the traditional Japanese method of drying persimmons to achieve maximum flavor and sweetness.
Music: "Marilyn Monroe" by Pharrell Williams