Photo courtesy of 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 The Breakfast Show with a montage of some of our favorite responses. 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.
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 the evolution of biscuits over 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!
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. Find out how a trip to Japan inspired 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.
In John Currence’s world, cornmeal looms large. He’s the man behind the Big Bad Breakfast restaurants in Mississippi and Alabama and author of the 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 homemade frosted cornflakes.
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 for ordering tips from her book, "The Dim Sum Field Guide".
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 farm-fresh eggs 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.”
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The rise of the chef, BraveTart, and bento boxes Journalist Andrew Friedman lifts the veil on how kitchen culture has changed since the 1970s. Just in time for KCRW’s Pie Contest, Stella Parks dishes on her bestselling cookbook, BraveTart. Dan Barber’s latest venture focuses on breeding sustainable seeds. Acadian foodways get a long-awaited spotlight. Thinking about getting takeout? Hayato is creating bento boxes that double as works of art.
Forging knives, lab-grown 'meat,' and iconic food writing It’s time to pay tribute to the makers who expand our understanding of food. Whether it’s forging cutlery like Adam Perry Lang, or inventing new forms of “meat,” it’s the restless creatives who keep food culture in constant motion. We also hear about Harper Magazine’s greatest food writing from the past 150 years, as well as an iconic Southern cookbook author. Plus: a look at Mimouna’s food traditions.
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