Photo: Chef Niki Nakayama of n/naka (Zen Sekizawa)
FROM THIS EPISODE
This time last year, it's possible you did not know the names Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida. Then the dynamic duo's restaurant, n/naka, was featured in the first season of Chef's Table on Netflix. On the show, chef Nakayama and sous chef Iida walk the audience through their take on kaiseki, a formal 13-course Japanese meal prepared with careful attention to ingredients and technique.
Hear Nakayama give us the scoop on n/naka's big plans to push the envelope on local sourcing and learn how Chef's Table changed her life forever. Find n/naka's recipe for tuna poké on the Good Food blog.
Music: "A Small Escape" (Instrumental) by Fly By Pony and "Back It Up" (Instrumental) by Caro Emerald
In the natural world, we depend on birds and bees to carry pollen from tree to tree to create new seeds of life. When two trees share the same species or genus, horticulturalists cross them to produce hybrid varieties that arguably yield deeper flavors and more robust physical features than the original breeds. That's how the pluot was born. When botanist Floyd Zaiger famously crossed a plum with a plumcot — a plumcot being a 50-50 hybrid of plum and apricot — a succulent fruit that looks like a plum but tastes of apricot was born. Zaiger called it a “pluot.”
If you're in Santa Monica on a Wednesday or Sunday, stop by the Murray Family Farms' stand and taste the pluots. Farmer Sean Murray will walk you through the farm's 16 varieties and the fruit's family tree. Luke LA pastry chef Joy Cuevas likes pluots in her cobblers because they retain their vibrant hues even after they're baked. Find her recipe on the Good Food blog.
Music: "Bird of Paradise" by Fly By Pony
Jonathan Gold is no stranger to Sichuan cuisine. Now it's time to add another restaurant to the list: Meizhou Dongpo in the Westfield Santa Anita mall in Arcadia. Jonathan recommends the crispy Beijing duck that is carved before your eyes, the violently sputtering scarlet mapo tofu and the fish floating in a sea of chiles. The restaurant's interior space is grand too, one that, in his words, could swallow all three locations of Chengdu Taste and still have space for the banquet rooms at the back.
400 South Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91007
Music: "A Night Like This" by Caro Emerald and "Book of the Month" by Lovage
Kansas City, the Carolinas and Memphis have all got their own styles of barbecue. Then there's Texas. The Lone Star State has at least four kinds of 'Q all by itself, says Robb Walsh, three-time James Beard Award-winner and member of Foodways Texas. He breaks down the styles for us, and clues us into why BBQ is eaten on Juneteenth and how Upton Sinclair's The Jungle changed the lives of pit masters everywhere. A second edition of his Legends of Texas Barbecue bible is available wherever books are sold.
Music: "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughn
LA Beer Week kicks off this Saturday. The seven-day celebration of all things malty and hoppy moved us to ask Jolie Myers to fill us in on the latest trends in beer. Myers is the managing producer of KCRW's Press Play and covers the local beer scene for LA Magazine.
Music: "Groove Holmes" by Beastie Boys
Fans of vegan food can get their fix this Saturday in Pasadena at the Vegan Beer and Food Festival. Clara Polito is one of dozens of vendors selling their goods at the fest this year. But her story is unique. Polito became a vegan when she was just a tween. Seeing a void in the vegan dessert market, she started baking. Now, at the ripe old age of 19, she sells her vegan "inception" cookies, Elvis cake and cannoli around town and online as Clara Cakes.
Music: "Hög Luft (Fujasaki remix)" by Familjen and "Solomon Jones" by RJD2
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An LA pie crawl, rhubarb, and composting What’s the best slice of pie in LA? Pie Contest judge Isa Fabro and reporter Abbie Fentress Swanson are on the hunt. Rhubarb is a favorite pie filling, but its sweetness isn’t always easy to coax out. Jonathan Gold reviews Native in Santa Monica. How can composting help Angelenos control their food waste? Gillian Ferguson takes a look at mezcal production. Also, there’s fresh Thai lemon basil at the market.
Melissa Clark, clay pot rice, and the LA Food Bowl New York Times columnist Melissa Clark explains the pressure cooker craze. Culinary scientist Ali Bouzari says cooking boils down to eight essential ingredients. Looking for crispy rice in the San Gabriel Valley? Jonathan Gold has just the place. Gustavo Arellano remembers Latino supermarket maven Doña Teresa Reynoso. Also, a preview of the LA Times Food Bowl.
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