FROM THIS EPISODE
In 1996, Chef Ludo Lefebvre moved from France to LA to work at the legendary L'Orangerie. He trained at Bastide next before launching his wildly successful pop-up dinner series, LudoBites. Ludo then opened his own brick-and-mortar restaurants: Trois Mec, Petit Trois and Trois Familia with business partners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Ludo recalls the warm asparagus salad with foie gras ice cream that helped him find his way and discusses the expansion of his empire into Sherman Oaks. He also takes us behind the scenes of the new season of The Mind of a Chef, in which he appears with Jonathan Gold.
Music: "Ah Melody" by Serge Gainsbourg and ABCs" (instrumental) by K'Naan
On a pretty stretch of Magazine Street in New Orleans, Chef Alon Shaya is going back to his roots. Born in Tel Aviv and raised in Philadelphia, he opened Shaya in 2014. There he serves his take on modern Israeli food, from duck matzo ball soup to Jerusalem mixed grill. Last year, Shaya took home a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.
Music: "Panama" by Kermit Ruffins
This week at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, Laura Avery speaks to farmer Larry Kandarian about the 40 different grains and legumes he grows organically at Kandarian Farms in Los Osos, California. Some of the ancient varieties he plants, like the Ethiopian blue tinge farro and the Tibetan black barley, were first cultivated 8,000 years ago. Then Robin Koda tells the story of how her family has held onto its Central Valley rice farm, Koda Farms, for more than a century.
Music: "The Fall" (instrumental) by Rhye
When San Francisco's tiki paradise Smuggler's Cove opened in 2009, its website didn't offer an address. Instead, a series of puzzles and games led to the proverbial "X" marking the spot, and a gauntlet was thrown down for patrons thirsty for all things tiki. We called the founder and owner of the bar, Martin Cate, to find out where our fascination with tiki culture began. He wrote Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki. Find a recipe from the book for his Three Dots and a Dash — the cocktail's name means “victory” in Morse code — on the Good Food blog.
Music: "Jamaica Song" by The Shady Ukulele Band and "Jump In Line" by Harry Belafonte
The cops busted another Italian crime ring this week for exporting cheap olive pomace oil to the US and reselling it as extra-virgin olive oil. Journalist Larry Olmsted says you might not notice the difference unless you've tasted the real thing. “And then you have it, your eyes light up. It's like an epiphany and you're never fooled again.” In his new book, Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating & What You Can Do about It, Olmsted breaks it all down.
Music: "4 Better or 4 Worse (DJ Nu-Mark Rmx)" (instrumental) by The Pharcyde
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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.
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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