FROM THIS EPISODE
The man who turned an aluminum stove-top espresso maker into a kitchen staple has died. Renato Bialetti was 93. Bialetti's ashes were buried in one of his signature Moka Express pots at his funeral earlier this month. For a brief history lesson on Bialetti and his iconic coffee machine, we turn to Jeffrey Schnapp. Schnapp is director of meta-LAB at Harvard where he also teaches Italian and comparative literature. Nerds that we are, we hung on every word of his paper, “The Romance of Caffeine and Aluminum.”
Schnapp also pointed us to some vintage videos from the 1950's and ‘60's featuring the man with the mustache — the omino coi baffi — who is stamped on each and every authentic Bialetti Moka Express.
Music: "Moka Express Montage"
The Moka Express is an Italian invention. But half the world's top 10 coffee producing countries are in Latin America. To meet the demand in Los Angeles, several specialty coffee hot-spots owned and operated by Latinos have opened their doors. Food and travel writer Valentina Silva covered it for The Guardian. Tune in to hear what's driving the rise of Latino coffeehouses in LA and where to sip a great small-batch, fair trade café de olla.
Music: "M.N.D." (Music Never Dies) by M.A.K.U. Soundsystem
If guava pastries and lonches de lomo aren't your thing, we bet you can find something to eat at your local farmers' market. At the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, chefs and farmers are talking up stinging nettles this week.
Brandon Kida, the exec chef at Hinoki & the Bird, is using stinging nettles to make kimchi and a purée he serves with cold buckwheat soba noodles. Find a recipe for that dish on the Good Food blog or try it at the restaurant on Wednesday as part of the Ichiba market menu. Dawn Birch of Flora Bella Farms says nettles aren't only good for eating: they've got a medicinal quality to them if you can handle the sting.
Music: "Moby Octopad" by Yo La Tengo
This week, a film documenting the last years of Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia and its passionate chef, George Perrier, is being screened at movie theaters in LA, New York and Philadelphia. We talk to director Erika Frankel about the documentary, King Georges, and hear from Chef Perrier about life after Le Bec-Fin.
Music: "Kevin Ayers" by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
The next time you've got the urge for a patty melt on rye with taleggio cheese and sweet caramelized onions, or some meatballs baked with tomato and ricotta that are served with great grilled bread, head to The Bellwether in Studio City. Tell them Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer-Prize winning food writer for the LA Times sent you.
13251 Ventura Blvd. Suite A
Studio City, CA 91604
Music: "Iechyd Da" (Good Health) By Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Earlier this month, the New York Times published an op-ed that took a stand against legislation that makes it illegal to videotape or record footage on farms and in slaughterhouses. Critics of these regulations call them ag-gag laws. Peggy Lowe, investigations editor for Harvest Public Media, tells us about some of the new laws on the books.
Music: "Green Arrow" by Yo La Tengo, and "Stormy Weather" by Lena Horne
To close out this week's show, we play some music that inspires Indian cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey in the kitchen. Jaffrey shared her playlist with KCRW's Aaron Byrd for the Guest DJ Project.
Music: "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra, as part of Madhur Jaffrey's Guest DJ set