FROM THIS EPISODE
The older Wes Whitsell gets, the more bitter greens he wants to eat, from dandelions and escarole to mustard greens and spigarello. "I'm searching for all the bitter greens that I can get my hands on," the chef and owner of Manuela in LA’s Arts District told Laura Avery at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. Whitsell's suggestion? Toss treviso, radicchio, endives and rapini leaves with almonds, croutons, chicken and red bell pepper. Then, eat the salad with your hands! Avery also talks to Mike Handley at the market about how snowmelt from Sequoia National Park helps grow komatsuna, wasabina and mizuna at Flora Bella Farms in Three Rivers, California.
Music: "Little by Little" and "Lolita Marie"
For the Japanese, New Year's is a holiday steeped in tradition. Chef David Schlosser marks the occasion with ozoni and handmade soba at his restaurant, Shibumi, in Downtown LA. Find a primer on how he makes his buckwheat noodles on the Good Food blog. Then, go behind-the-scenes with Good Food producer, Camellia Tse, to the annual mochi-making celebration at Chino Farms in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
Music: "Maybe I Know (Cover) " (Instrumental)
Samarkand sits in Uzbekistan on the ancient Silk Road, where travelers and merchants once hawked their wares from China to the Mediterranean Sea. Food and travel writer Caroline Eden uses the Russian nesting dolls matryoshka as a metaphor to describe the Uzbeki cuisine of this region: as soon as you unveil one culinary tradition, another reveals itself. Eden’s new book is Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & the Caucasus. She wrote the book with Eleanor Ford. Find a recipe for Samarkand beef plov on the Good Food blog.
Music: "Ciudad del Swing" and "Harlem 2 Bole" (Instrumental) by BOLE 2 HARLEM
Say "Iran," and a web of complex political and religious conflicts commingle with ideologies of the modern state. Yet "Persia" evokes a broader picture of an ancient gastro-culture that encompasses many lands and peoples. Food writer and photographer Naomi Duguid spent years exploring lands bound by tradition and custom, just as the territory was opening up to travelers from the West. In Taste of Persia, Duguid writes that connections in the region are found not just in places of worship, language and alphabet, but in kitchens, in gardens and at the table. Find a recipe for Duguid's spinach borani on the Good Food blog.
Music: "Mathar" by the Dave Pike Set
Next, we take a short jaunt up the California coast to eat and drink with Allison Costa, who owns Ventura Food Tours and Santa Barbara Tasting Tours. We start in Ventura, for craft beer at Madewest and TopaTopa brewing companies, before heading to Oxnard for brunch at Brasserie Communautaire. Then Costa takes us to Beacon Coffee in Ojai for a flat white and bite of rosemary shortbread, and to Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone for chicken mole tacos at Mony’s and a slice of tomato, fennel sausage, chile, arugula and mozzarella pizza at the Lucky Penny.
Music: "Hip Hop Axe" (Instrumental) by Davi Viera
This week, our favorite food critic ventures out to Destroyer, Jordan Kahn's latest breakfast and lunch spot in Culver City. Don't be scared off by the name, the lack of parking and the dishes you may not recognize. Kahn's menu features something for everyone, from roasted beets with aronia berries, to caramelized onion financiers, to chicken confit with charred cabbage. Jonathan says you'll be pleasantly surprised. Find his full review of the restaurant on the LA Times website.
Destroyer: 3578 Hayden Avenue, Culver City, CA 90232 | (310) 360-3860
Music: "Strip Tease Organ" by Sam Paglia and "Altogether Now" (Instrumental, no drums) by Patrick & Eugene
Photo by Curtis Pickrell