Photo: Digital Designs
FROM THIS EPISODE
Small-batch bourbon. House-made mayonnaise. Handcrafted cheese. Artisanal foods are more popular than ever. But where did the D.I.Y. movement in food begin? The food critic for LA Magazine, Patric Kuh, fills us in. Pick up a copy of his new book, Finding the Flavors We Lost: From Bread to Bourbon, How Artisans Reclaimed American Food, at The Last Bookstore. Catch Kuh in conversation with Chef Josef Centeno (Bar Amá, Bäco Mercat) on Monday at the store; you can RSVP here.
Conjure up an image of a burglar. The last thing you'd probably imagine is a man in a white beekeeper suit and netted headgear, tiptoeing across a field in the dead of night. But beehives are a hot commodity these days and hive theft has become a serious issue for California almond farmers. More than 80 percent of the planet's almonds come from California groves and the bees are a necessary tool used to pollinate 800,000 acres of trees. Jodi Helmer is a North Carolina beekeeper and is covering the hive heist for NPR's The Salt blog.
Music: "Bus Stop Boxers" by The Eels
Nothing disappoints more than cracking open a carefully selected watermelon only to find mealy, bland flesh inside. So how do you know which gloriously green striated melons will bear dead-ripe red fruit? Victor Gomez of Munak Ranch schools us on how to pick the perfect watermelon, and 1212 chef Walter Greenwood shares a watermelon gazpacho recipe to beat the summer heat. You can find it on the Good Food blog.
Music: "3 AM Blues" by Dick Hyman
Bread — whether tall, flat, enriched with egg or unsalted — has historically brought together communities. So have mills. Food and ag writer Amy Halloran explores the revival of regional grain production in the US, starting in her home state of New York, in The New Bread Basket. See where Halloran got started on her quest in this video on how to make the perfect pancake.
Music: "Concerto of the Desperado" (Instrumental) by The Roots
The industrialized production of wheat has stripped so many breads, pastries, cookies and cakes of taste and nutritional value. Enter baker Nan Kohler. In Pasadena, California, she is trying to give wheat back its good name at her flour mill Grist & Toll. Find a recipe for her whole grain berry shortcake on the Good Food blog.
Music: "They Say" (Instrumental) by Common
Ask Koreans and Korean-Americans where to find the best bulgogi in town and they'll probably tell you, “My mom's version is the best.” At Gwang Yang, the recipe for preparing the marinade and the meat has been carefully guarded for three generations. Learn what makes the restaurant's bulgogi, especially the Gangnam-style, so special on the Good Food blog. Find Jonathan Gold's LA Times review of the restaurant here.
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Music: "Animal" (Instrumental) (top) by Mike Snow and "Gagnam Style" by Psy & "Watch Dem (Murderer)" (Instrumental) by Barrington Levy featuring Snoop Dogg and Mims
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The Great Tortilla Tournament, nixtamalization, and Guerrilla Tacos Let’s talk tortillas! Gustavo Arellano announces KCRW’s first-ever Great Tortilla Tournament, to choose the best tortilla in LA out of a bracket of 64. Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the L.A. 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.
Joël Robuchon, restaurant lines, and Jonathan Gold on N.W.A. This week the world lost its most highly decorated chef, Joël Robuchon. Chef Ludo Lefebvre recalls lessons he learned at the hands of this master. We also revisit Evan Kleiman and Jonathan Gold’s 2014 visit to Robuchon’s Vegas restaurant. Jean Trinh investigates how some diners in LA can stand waiting two or more hours in line. Finally, we recall Jonathan Gold’s coverage of the influential rap group N.W.A.
Omega-3s, 'Downtime' with the Redzepis, and zucchini ice cream Paul Greenberg discusses what the Omega-3 boom means for our planet and lives. Nadine Redzepi talks about cooking for culinary giants like her husband Rene Redzepi in ‘Downtime.’ Crafting a menu takes more than exceptional produce, says writer Diana Henry. Also, a tour and history of LA’s pan dulce scene. Plus: ‘City of Gold’ director remembers Jonathan Gold’s 1992 piece on the LA riots.
Remembering Jonathan Gold (1960-2018) There’s a Jonathan Gold-sized hole in the heart of Los Angeles. The Pulitzer-winning LA Times food critic died on July 21, prompting an outpouring of grief and love from around the world. For this special tribute, we gathered the voices of colleagues, friends, chefs, and listeners to celebrate the man who taught us how to eat and live in LA. We dedicate this show to our former colleague of 20 years.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Why Gustavo is doing a Great Tortilla Tournament for KCRW It’s the perennial question: Corn or flour? We’re putting 64 Southern California tortillas head-to-head in our #MasaMadness bracket to see who will win the Golden Tortilla trophy. Gustavo Arellano fills us in on all the details. Read More
Joël Robuchon: My introduction to the refined world of luxury fine dining In 2014, Evan Kleiman took a road trip to Las Vegas with Jonathan Gold. The highlight of the trip by far was an opulent dinner at Joël Robuchon in the MGM Grand: the most luxurious meal she had ever experienced up until that point. In honor of the legendary French chef Joël Robuchon who passed away this week, we’re resharing Evan’s 2014 reflection on that unforgettable meal. Read More