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Diana Nyad talks about what to eat while swimming, while food scientist Michele Perchonok explains the challenges of preparing space food. Mustache Commander trips on the miracle fruit, Gustavo Arellano samples tasty paletas in Orange County and grilling guru Steven Raichlen shares unusual barbecue ideas. Plus, George Laguerre cooks up delicious Haitian cuisine, Michael Flancman turns elephant dung into paper gift items. Plus, Laura Avery finds what’s in season in the Market Report.

Banner image: Diana Nyad

Guest Interview The Market Report 7 MIN, 1 SEC

Laura Avery chats with DJ Olsen, the chef at Lou Wine Bar, who makes a fabulous dessert using Genoa figs, a yellow or white fig that he gets from Garcia Farms.  Using a scissors, Olsen cuts a cross-hatch in the top of the fig and stuffs it with smoked blue cheese, topped with Bill's Bees caramelized honey, some roasted Tomchord grapes from Nicholas Farms, toasted almonds and drizzles that with Vin Cotto.


To roast grapes, remove them from their stem and place them in a single layer on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, and salt. Roast in the oven at 500° for 10 minutes until the skin blisters.


Both Chassellas Dore and Muscat D'Ombour are table grapes from France brought in by Jeff Rieger and Laurence from Penryn Orchards. These are the table grapes of France with high flavor. They both have small seeds that you eat.  Laurence also leads food tours in Santa Barbara taking people to the docks for fish, the farmers market for produce and then home to cook and eat.

Music break: Parisian Glam Slam by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra

Guest Interview Swimming and Food 8 MIN, 41 SEC


World-class athlete Diana Nyad recounts her record-breaking swim and talks about what to eat while swimming. In addition to running Brava Body, an exercise company aimed towards women over 50, Nyad is also a regular commentator on KCRW's The Score, heard each Thursday at 4:44pm.

Music break: Patricia by Bert Kaempfert

Guest Interview Eating in Space 6 MIN, 52 SEC


Food scientist Michele Perchonok describes the challenges of and innovations in developing space food for astronauts. She is the Advanced Food System Lead at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Music break: Peanut Vendor by the Jeff Rowena Group

Guest Interview Miracle Fruit 7 MIN, 57 SEC


San Francisco-based party organizer Mustache Commander hopes to rewire people's palate through the miracle fruit, a small red berry native to West Africa, that fools the tongue into perceiving sour flavors as sweet. He and his New York counterpart, Supreme Commander, throw miracle fruit parties through their Flavor Tripping blog. Recent articles about the miracle fruit appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Music break: Petticoats of Portugal by Bert Kaempfert

Guest Interview La Flor de Mexico 7 MIN, 35 SEC


OC Weekly writer Gustavo Arellano samples Mexican nieves (ice cream), paletas (frozen fruit bars) and cocteles de fruta (fruit salad) at La Flor de Mexico in Stanton, California. He is the author of ¡Ask a Mexican!

La Flor de Mexico
7151 Katella Ave
Stanton, CA 90680

Music break: Pig Bone by Abootays

Ask a Mexican

Gustavo Arellano

Guest Interview Unexpected Barbeque 8 MIN, 11 SEC


Grilling guru Steven Raichlen cooks up some unexpected barbecue dishes, including grilled eggs, nori (seaweed,) Caesar salad, grilled ice cream and cooking in the embers. Raichlen is the best-selling author of The Barbecue! Bible 10th Anniversary Edition and How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques, as well BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All Across America. He also offers classes through his Barbecue University grilling school.

Grilled Caesar Salad
Method: direct grilling
Serves: 6

  • 3 medium heads romaine lettuce
  • 12 thin slices French bread, cut sharply on the diagonal
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • About 3/4 cup Creamy Caesar Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 12 anchovy fillets, drained and blotted dry (optional)
  • 1 chunk (8 ozs) Parmesan cheese for shaving over the salad
  • Freshly ground or cracked black peppercorns 

You'll also need:
2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably oak), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained

1. Strip any blemished or wilted leaves off the heads of lettuce. Cut each head in half lengthwise, leaving the stem end attached. Place the cut side under cold running water and rinse it thoroughly, gently separating the leaves with your fingers but leaving them attached to the stem. Rinse all of the lettuce until clean, a process that may take 5 to 10 minutes. Gently shake off the water, and put the lettuce halves in a salad spinner and spin dry.

2. Lightly brush the bread slices with the olive oil. The recipe can be prepared to this stage a couple of hours ahead. Keep the lettuce refrigerated.

3. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to high, then toss all the wood chips or chunks directly on the coals. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke.

4. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the lettuce halves, cut side up, and bread slices on the hot grate, and grill until the lettuce leaves are slightly wilted and singed (the inside should remain crisp) and the bread is a deep golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes per side.

5. Transfer the grilled lettuce halves to a platter or plates, cut side up. Cut off and discard the stem ends. Spoon the dressing over the lettuce. Place a slice of grilled bread on either side of each lettuce half and arrange 2 anchovy fillets, if using, in an X on top of each. Using a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler, shave large thin slices of the cheese over the salad. Sprinkle it with pepper and serve at once.

Creamy Caesar Dressing
Yield: 1-1/2 cups

  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste 

1. Place the garlic, anchovies, if using, cheese, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and egg in a blender or food processor and purée to a smooth paste. With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar.

2. Add the salt and pepper and process until a smooth, creamy dressing forms. Taste for seasoning. The dressing can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.

Music break: Pinkerland Becaina by The Pinker Tones

The Barbecue Bible

Steve Raichlen

Guest Interview Haitian Cuisine 6 MIN, 28 SEC


Owner George Laguerre serves up Haitian cuisine at TiGeorges' Chicken in Los Angeles. Typical Haitian dishes are lambi (conch), cabrit (goat), acra (taro), squash soup and pikliz (slaw).

TiGeorges' Chicken
309 N Glendale Blvd (map)
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Music break: Punjabi Lullaby by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra

Guest Interview Poo Poo Paper 4 MIN, 47 SEC

Entrepreneur Michael Flancman turns elephant and panda droppings into stationary gift items. He is the owner of The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company.



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