Photo: Camellia Tse
FROM THIS EPISODE
After returning from a revelatory trip in the Philippines, Isa Fabro started making desserts in LA’s Far East Plaza that pay homage to her Pinay roots: rich flaky isamadas, coconut malas that mash up Hawaiian malasadas with Filipino karyokas, and halo-halo, or Filipino shaved ice. Find out what inspires this funny, driven Filipino-American chef as she makes isamadas for KCRW’s video team at Unit 120.
Music: "Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey's Head" by Gorillaz, "Des Knaben Wunderhorn-Revelge" by Mahler & "Immigrant Check" by The Beastie Boys vs. Led Zeppelin
Next we linger at Unit 120 to devour more Filipino food with our favorite food critic, Jonathan Gold. This week, he dines at LASA, the Filipino-American pop-up run by Chase and Chad Valencia that has a weekend residency in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza. Find out more about the ingredients and dishes on the menu and try LASA’s recipe for red snapper kinilaw on the Good Food blog.
Music: "Nevada" by Robert and The Roboters
North of Los Angeles along California’s Central Coast, the grape harvest has begun. We phoned Ruben Solorzano, the man whom insiders call the “Grape Whisperer,” at Stolpman Vineyards in Los Olivos to get a report on this year’s crop. Solorzano is a partner at Coastal Vineyard Care Associates, which focuses on putting organic and biodynamic practices into place at vineyards.
Music: "Pass The Timbau (Instrumental)" by Davi Vieira
The average American supermarket carries more than 42,000 items for consumers to choose from. The possibilities are endless. What are the motivations that drive our buying choices and how do our personal values define our eating habits? These questions keep Sophie Egan up at night. She’s a food and health writer who works at The Culinary Institute of America. Her new book is Devoured: From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies — How What We Eat Defines Who We Are.
Music: "So High" by Tom Maxwell
Eggplants are in season now in our neck of the woods. In this week’s Market Report, Noah Schaner shares tips for how to grow the nightshade on his family farm in Valley Center, Calif. Then Chef Chris Feldmeier has pointers for cooking different kinds of eggplant at his restaurant, Moruno. Find Feldmeier’s recipe for baby eggplant rescoldo on the Good Food blog.
Music: "Bartholomew Fair" by The Toy Band
If you’ve been listening to the show this month, you’ve heard KCRW’s deep dive into wage theft, injuries and retaliation at restaurants throughout LA. Cases of sexual assault and harassment in kitchens are often underreported, according to investigative reporter Karen Foshay, because victims tend to be immigrant women who are afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs. It’s also incredibly difficult to uncover instances of labor trafficking in restaurants. Listen to the final installment of Foshay’s remarkable series, Burned: Abuse in LA’s Restaurant Industry. A quick warning here: this segment contains some graphic language.
Music: "Chocolate Lovely" by Amon Tobin
More From Good Food
NAFTA and Mexico, coastal California, and a Queens food tour Trump has called NAFTA the “worst” trade deal in history, but professor Alyshia Galvez says it’s Mexico’s food system that bears the brunt of it. Santa Barbara is home to some of California’s greatest seafood and produce, as Jason Paluska and Pascale Beale know all too well. Plus: a culinary tour of the New York’s most diverse borough, and novelist Jervey Tervalon dedicates a poem to his late friend Jonathan Gold.
The 'Fuerte Four,’ nixtamalization, and eggplants Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament is this Sunday and our judges are faced with the ultimate decision: corn or flour? Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the LA area. And did you know that inside your tortilla is an ancient process, perfected over centuries? Also, L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls a Guadalajara taco crawl with Jonathan Gold. Plus: some tips on cooking eggplant, now in season.
Plastic straws, Persian cuisine, and Meathead Goldwyn What does the history of plastic straws tell us about U.S. capitalism? Growing up in Tehran, Naz Deravian watched her parents entertain with classic Persian dishes; now she’s carrying on the tradition in LA. Stressed about cooking brisket this Rosh Hashanah? Help is here. Plus, Zach Brooks stops by to discuss Jonathan Gold’s review of Vespertine.
Jell-O and feminism, ‘Losing Earth,’ vertical farming A new book examines the intersection of American feminism and Jell-O. This Labor Day, throw some desserts on the grill. Nathaniel Rich dives into the consequences of ignoring climate change warnings. Does vertical farming yield the same nutrient content as open air agriculture? Also: Tien Nguyen remembers Jonathan Gold’s impassioned defense of San Gabriel noodle shops, including Nha Trang.
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Taste California’s coast with Santa Barbara veggies Santa Barbara’s microclimates make it home to some of California’s best seafood and produce. Jason Paluska, executive chef at The Lark, showcases the region’s eclectic culinary style in his cookbook “Around the Table: Recipes and Stories from the Lark in Santa Barbara.” Read More
Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament, Grand Finale: And SoCal’s Best Tortilla Is… Wow, what a great time yesterday at KCRW’s Inaugural Great Tortilla Tournament! Throngs of people lined up to taste samples from our Fuerte Four Finalists: Kernel of Truth and Taco… Read More
Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament, week 4 recap: Behold SoCal’s four best tortillas! The bracket has been narrowed, the comal is heating up, and the tortillas are being filled for this Sunday at LA River and Gardens Center in Cypress Park! Find out who the final four are and don’t forget to RSVP for a day of micheladas, tortilla art, and live music. Read More