Photo courtesy of Ed Anderson
FROM THIS EPISODE
In the radio biz, there’s a standard question we ask of all our guests when we do our microphone soundchecks: “What did you have for breakfast?” We kick off The Breakfast Show with a montage of some of our favorite responses. Thanks to our guests for being such great sports: Louis Tikaram, Pawan Mahendro, Arjun Mahendro, Nakul Mahendro, Niki Nakayama, David Karp, Aubry Walch, Kale Walch, Lolis Eric Elie, Isa Fabro, Matt Biancaniello, TiGeorges LaGuerre, Anya Fernald, Christine Moore, Francis Derby, Jessica Koslow, Curtis Stone, David Jackson, Jonathan Gold and our very own host, Evan Kleiman.
We can’t talk breakfast without talking biscuits. Though they’re also eaten for lunch and supper, too, biscuits are predominantly a breakfast food, says April McGreger, a baker who owns Farmer’s Daughter Pickles and Preserves in North Carolina. McGreger has done tremendous research into the evolution of biscuits over the last century. The Biscuit Disciple gives us the 411 and shares a killer recipe for sweet potato biscuits. It comes from her book that is simply titled “Sweet Potatoes.” Make mine a cathead biscuit, if you please!
Most of the breakfast foods we eat in the US are sweet and hearty, from donuts and pancakes with maple syrup to frosted flakes and biscuits and gravy. At Orsa & Winston in Downtown LA, Chef Josef Centeno is going the savory route. Find out how a trip to Japan inspired his take on the traditional Japanese breakfast. Try your hand at his Breakfast in a Shell, and let us know how it works out for you.
In John Currence’s world, cornmeal looms large. He’s the man behind the Big Bad Breakfast restaurants in Mississippi and Alabama and author of the cookbook, “Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day.” Listen up to hear how cornmeal figures into his oyster hangtown fry, the Mississippi Delta tamale and his homemade frosted cornflakes.
Next our breakfast crawl takes us in search of tasty Cantonese dim sum, where an endless parade of small plates and baskets filled with steamed dumplings, buns, balls and cakes wheeling by on carts can make even the savviest eaters dizzy. We tapped food writer and illustrator Carolyn Phillips for ordering tips from her book, "The Dim Sum Field Guide".
We could go on about breakfast forever. But since all good things must come to an end, we close out the show at the Santa Monica Farmers Market with an ingredient arguably more essential to breakfast than any other: eggs. Peter Schaner talks about raising, feeding and caring for 500 egg-laying hens at his Southern California farm. Miles Thompson, the executive chef at Michael’s in Santa Monica, explains the difference between cooking with farm-fresh eggs versus most of the eggs you find in large supermarket chains: "Food in general would not be the same without eggs. It’s the glue that holds together all the crazy ideas inside cooks' and chefs' heads.”
More From Good Food
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.
BONUS: Classic Jonathan Gold on KCRW In this bonus episode, we're resharing some of the late Jonathan Gold's classic segments on KCRW from over the past 20 years. These conversations had a tremendous impact on LA’s dining scene, helping Angelenos to get out of their silos to explore new neighborhoods and cuisines.
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