The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, are the team behind the Hidden Kitchens series on NPR’s Morning Edition. This week they join us in the studio to discuss four of their most recent stories.
Highlights from this week’s show:
1. Turnspit Dogs–The turnspit was a breed of dog that was once an essential part of every large kitchen in Britain. The small cooking canine was bred to run in a wheel that turned a roasting spit in cavernous kitchen fireplaces. The Kitchen Sisters bring to life the story of the now-extinct turnspit dog in the UK and New York.
2. Communal Kitchens–In the decades following the Russian Revolution, most people in Moscow lived in communal apartments; seven or more families crammed together where there had been one, sharing one kitchen and one bathroom. In this story, the Kitchen Sisters explore the role of communal kitchens in Soviet Russia.
3. The Tequila Chamber of Commerce–The Kitchen Sisters take us to Tequila, Mexico where they introduce us to the people behind some of the most recognizable and celebrated tequila brands – Sauza, Herradura and Fortaleza.
4. The Pizza Connection–Over recent decades the effort to bring the Mafia under control in Sicily has spilled over into the world of food. Today, a movement of small agricultural cooperatives has sprung up across the island to farm confiscated Mafia land and bring their goods to a global market. Under the banner of Libera Terra, the group produces organic olive oil, wine and pasta and provides Mafia-free jobs in a country with staggering unemployment, deep-seated corruption and a rich kitchen tradition. The Kitchen Sisters bring us this story of intrigue and bravery.
5. Jonathan Gold Reviews Union–Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the Los Angeles Times. This week he reviews Union, a farm to table spot in Old Town Pasadena from Chef Bruce Kalman.
The menu changes daily, but Jonathan recommends the King salmon crudo, asparagus and radish salad, spaghetti alla chitarra, porchetta and the olive oil cake.
6. Market Report–Laura Avery interviews Ari Taymor, chef and owner of Alma, about how he incorporates melons into his tasting menu. Taymor is enamored with the melons from Munak Ranch.
Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms also grows melons. He and his farmers pick the melons when they are vine ripe and bring them to markets across Los Angeles.