FROM THIS EPISODE
Almost one-third of the people who plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve and sell the foods we consume are struggling to feed their own families. That’s according to the Food Chain Workers Alliance, an organization headquartered in Los Angeles that was founded a decade ago to represent these workers. Directors Joann Lo and Jose Oliva discuss the group’s ongoing campaigns to improve policies throughout the food system.
Slow Food Nations, a festival “to taste and explore the world of good, clean and fair food for all” took place in Denver, Colorado, last weekend. Our contributor Simran Sethi presented at this year’s inaugural event alongside Alice Waters, Slow Food movement founder Carlo Petrini, urban gardener Ron Finley and chef Alon Shaya. Read her dispatch from Denver on the Good Food blog.
On his last visit to the KCRW studios, Nguyen Tran made a plea that we save his balls. The balls in question were the crispy, green vegan tofu balls he served out of his illegal restaurant, Starry Kitchen. Now he’s making them at Button Mash in Echo Park. Tran also has a new cookbook, “Adventures In Starry Kitchen.”
Jonathan Gold enjoys a taste of California cuisine this week on one of this city’s loveliest restaurant patios at Michael’s in Santa Monica. It’s an establishment that’s been around for a whopping 39 years, so you know they’re doing something right. Learn which seasonal ingredients chef Miles Thompson is working onto the summer menu in Jonathan’s LA times review.
Charred octopus with lime curd, Thai chiles and dried shrimp vinaigrette.
(Photo courtesy of StarChefs and Briana Balducci)
Michael’s: 1147 Third Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403 | (310) 451-0843
The last time we spoke with Matt Goulding, co-founder of Roads & Kingdoms, it was to hear about his book, “Rice, Noodle, Fish,” and a revelatory trip to Japan. Goulding’s most recent effort, “Grape, Olive, Pig,” focuses on Spanish cuisine. “Spain’s greatest virtue lies in that time-tested Mediterranean formula,” Goulding writes, “[of] beautiful local ingredients, impeccable technique and a ravenous appetite for all manners of flora and fauna.”
It’s summertime, and that means there’s no shortage of fresh seasonal produce at our local farmers markets. This week, Laura Avery shops for summer squash with Daniel Mattern, chef and owner of the new Thai Town spot, Friends and Family. Then Mark Carpenter talks about the varieties he grows at Coastal Farms in Santa Paula.
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Staying afloat in L.A.'s restaurant biz Opening and running a restaurant is a never-ending hustle and an unpredictable enterprise. A decade ago, Ohio State University researchers found that 6 out of 10 restaurants fail in their first year. More recent findings reveal the median lifespan of a restaurant in the western part of the US to be just 4½ years. We asked five restaurateurs to share their stories of life in the business.
The Thanksgiving show: Family and food This Thanksgiving we are talking about family. Chef Jacques Pepin learns something new when he cooks with his granddaughter. Miry’s List helps newly immigrated families feel safe in America. During a trip to Ireland, Evan spoke with Breda Burns about her mother’s beef stew. Finally, a Nashville writer who learned how to cook Sichuanese dishes to make her adopted daughter feel at home.