Photo: Ed Anderson
FROM THIS EPISODE
In the radio biz, there's a standard question we ask of all our guests when we do our microphone soundchecks: "What did you have for breakfast?" We kick off our breakfast show with a montage of the best responses this year. Thanks to our guests for being such great sports: Louis Tikaram, Pawan Mahendro, Arjun Mahendro, Nakul Mahendro, Niki Nakayama, David Karp, Aubry Walch, Kale Walch, Lolis Eric Elie, Isa Fabro, Matt Biancaniello, TiGeorges LaGuerre, Anya Fernald, Christine Moore, Francis Derby, Jessica Koslow, Curtis Stone, David Jackson, Jonathan Gold and our very own host, Evan Kleiman.
Music: "Bartholomew Fair" by The Toy Band and "Evidemment" by Ben Mazué
We can't talk breakfast without talking biscuits. Though they're also eaten for lunch and supper, too, biscuits are predominantly a breakfast food, says April McGreger, a baker who owns Farmer's Daughter Pickles and Preserves in North Carolina. McGreger has done tremendous research into how biscuits have changed in the last century. The Biscuit Disciple gives us the 411 and shares a killer recipe for sweet potato biscuits. It comes from her book that is simply titled Sweet Potatoes. Make mine a cathead biscuit, if you please!
Music: "Hoya Hoye (Instrumental)" by Bole 2 Harlem and "Nage Libre" by Hervé Roy
Most of the breakfast foods we eat in the US are sweet and hearty, from donuts and pancakes with maple syrup to frosted flakes and biscuits and gravy. At Orsa & Winston in Downtown LA, chef Josef Centeno is going the savory route. Since returning from a recent trip to Japan, he's been serving up his take on the traditional Japanese breakfast. Try your hand at his breakfast in a shell, and let us know how it works out for you.
Music: "Mathar" by The Dave Pike Set
In John Currence's world, cornmeal looms large. He's the man behind the Big Bad Breakfast restaurants in Mississippi and Alabama and has just published a cookbook, Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day. Listen up to hear how cornmeal figures into his oyster hangtown fry, the Mississippi Delta tamale and his frosted homemade cornflakes.
Music: "Summer Discotheque" by Mat Camison and "Strip Tease Organ" by Sam Paglia
Next our breakfast crawl takes us in search of tasty Cantonese dim sum, where an endless parade of small plates and baskets filled with steamed dumplings, buns, balls and cakes wheeling by on carts can make even the savviest eaters dizzy. We tapped food writer and illustrator Carolyn Phillips to share ordering tips from her new book, The Dim Sum Field Guide.
Music: "Sombrero" by The Champs and "Bring Down The Birds" by Herbie Hancock
We could go on about breakfast forever. But since all good things must come to an end, we close out the show at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market with an ingredient arguably more essential to breakfast than any other: eggs. Peter Schaner talks about raising, feeding and caring for 500 egg-laying hens at his Southern California farm. Miles Thompson, the executive chef at Michael's in Santa Monica, explains the difference between cooking with eggs from the farm versus most of the eggs you find in large supermarket chains. "Food in general would not be the same without eggs. It's the glue that holds together all the crazy ideas inside cooks and chefs heads.”
Music: "Cool Cat Walk" by Angelo Badamenti & Kinny Landrum
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The Water Show Water may be the essence of life but it’s subject to near-constant misuse. Journalist Mark Arax profiles a couple running a water monopoly in the Central Valley. A once abundant Cambodian lake is in decline, leaving fisherman and half the population scrambling for fish. We’ve heard of using less water but what about eating less water? And Mark Gold (Jonathan’s brother) shares tips on water conservation in LA.
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Brian Boitano, José Andrés' philanthropy, Pete Wells on harassment Brian Boitano shares the struggle that many figure skaters have with food. Kim Severson talks about Chef José Andrés’ humanitarian work in Puerto Rico. Pete Wells asks why restaurateurs and chefs are issuing tepid responses to sexual harassment scandals. Meanwhile, Jonathan Gold ventures a review of The Hearth & Hound in Hollywood. And we’re checking out a different market this week: Smorgasburg LA.
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