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Photo: Ariana Lindquist

Risotto, cannelloni and carbonara-gate 7 MIN, 33 SEC

We devote the first part of the show to Italian food, starting at Officine Brera in LA's Arts District. The restaurant is the brainchild of chef Angelo Auriana and restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi and the menu is focused on the Northern Italian cuisine eaten in Brera, a district in Milan. Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Times, recommends the frisceu, the lardo al pepe, the pisarei e fasö, the bassa padana risotto, the cannelloni with braised beef shank and bechamel, and the semifreddo with honey and amarena cherries. For Evan, the risotto alla Milanese with bone marrow is "perfection," and that's not a word she uses lightly when it comes to Italian food.

Read the review that Jonathan wrote of Officine Brera for the LA Times and get more of his weekly restaurant recommendations on the Good Food blog.

Officine Brera
1331 East 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021

While you're on our blog, check out Evan's post on the Carbonara-gate scandal that broke out this week. You'll find instructions there for her version of how to make the Roman classic.

Music: "Ah! Melody" by Serge Gainsbourg and "Soul Dressing" by Booker T. & the MGs

The Ethnic Restaurateur 13 MIN, 4 SEC

Carbonara, cannelloni and risotto are just a few examples of dishes brought to the US by Italian immigrants. In his new book The Ethnic Restaurateur," Krishnendu Ray explores how immigrants have created and changed the American palate. He is chair of NYU's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health. Be sure to tune in all the way to the end of the interview to hear Krishnendu's reference to Hegel: "The owl of Minerva takes flight at dusk."

Music: "Boléro" by Pink Martini

The Ethnic Restaurateur

Krishnendu Ray

The Food of Oman 14 MIN, 22 SEC

Next, we travel to the oldest state in the Arab world. Oman is part of the Gulf oil economy, yet it was the food of the sultanate that seduced Felicia Campbell. Her new cookbook, The Food of Oman, is an unexpected look at a cuisine with many flavors and ancient roots.

Campbell is executive features editor for the Times of Oman. Head to the Good Food blog to find her recipe for Omani lentil soup.

Music: "The Stoop" (Instrumental) by Little Jackie

The Food of Oman

Felicia Campbell

The thicker the artichoke stem, the bigger the heart 6 MIN, 59 SEC

Artichokes are in season now in Southern California. Spanish settlers introduced these spiny plants to California in the early 1900's. They took to the damp cool coastal parts of the state so remarkably that today 99% of artichokes sold in the US are grown here.

It takes one year for an artichoke to grow. At Smith Farms, the harvest starts in late February. Leave them in the fields too long under the hot California sun and the artichokes turn into inedible flowers. This intel comes from McKay Smith, who sells artichokes at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market from March until May.

Laura Avery also talks with Tony Esnault this week at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. He's the chef and owner at Church & State in LA's Arts District and at the newly opened Spring restaurant Downtown. Esnault says the Smith Farms purple thornless artichokes are one of the best deals at the market now. While many fans of artichokes boil or steam them, in France's Loire Valley where Esnault grew up, artichokes are eaten raw with mustard vinaigrette. Find his recipe for Artichoke Barigoule on the Good Food blog.

Music: "Hearts Are Like Flowers" by Jacobites

Vegan, Vegetarian, Omnivore 7 MIN, 48 SEC

These days it's rare to be at a dinner party where everyone eats everything, since food allergies and different dietary preferences abound. To take the stress out of cooking for a crowd, Anna Thomas has written the new cookbook Vegan, Vegetarian, Omnivore: Dinner for Everyone at the Table. She shares her recipe for poblano chiles that can be made veggie, vegan or with meat on the Good Food blog.

Music: "ABC's" (album Instrumental)

Gustavo Arellano dines at Cho Tam Bien 5 MIN, 20 SEC

We end our show at an Orange County deli called Cho Tam Bien in Little Saigon. Gustavo Arellano, editor of the OC Weekly and host of KCRW's Orange County Line, recommends the duck porridge, goat curry and lemongrass pork sausage. Wow. We'll make sure to come hungry.

Cho Tam Bien
9906 Westminster Avenue, Suite B
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Music: "Porcelain" by Moby

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