Producer, Good Food
FROM Joseph Stone
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.
Jell-O and feminism, ‘Losing Earth,’ vertical farming A new book examines the intersection of American feminism and Jell-O. This Labor Day, throw some desserts on the grill. Nathaniel Rich dives into the consequences of ignoring climate change warnings. Does vertical farming yield the same nutrient content as open air agriculture? Also: Tien Nguyen remembers Jonathan Gold’s impassioned defense of San Gabriel noodle shops, including Nha Trang.
Thai food, from Bangkok to SoCal Thai food is having a renaissance. We revisit conversations with James Syhabout of Hawker Fare and Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker, who are showing U.S. diners the wider canon of Thai food. We also hear about Bangkok’s unique food culture. How does the history of Thai food in LA tell the story of Thai assimilation? Plus: hear Jonathan Gold’s original review of Jitlada, the beloved Thai restaurant in Hollywood.
The Great Tortilla Tournament, nixtamalization, and Guerrilla Tacos Let’s talk tortillas! Gustavo Arellano announces KCRW’s first-ever Great Tortilla Tournament, to choose the best tortilla in LA out of a bracket of 64. Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the L.A. 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.
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.
'Pasta, Pane, Vino,' Jordan Kahn, and grilled cheese Tradition exists to be honored and improved upon. Venerable classics like grilled cheese sandwiches can only get better, according to chef Eric Greenspan. The food traditions of Italy are well documented, but for Roads & Kingdom’s Matt Goulding and writer Elizabeth Minchilli, there’s always more to learn. A year after opening Vespertine, chef Jordan Kahn wants to keep his diners guessing.
Eddie Huang, Pixar's 'Bao,' and eating like Walt Disney Food personality Eddie Huang announces a new show at the intersection of immigration and food culture. Likewise, Pixar’s latest short depicts the power of food in an immigrant home. A new book details how to eat like Walt Disney. Instead of produce, we’re talking heritage pork at the farmers market. Plus: rethinking tapas, and DineLA hits ten years.
LA's burger scene, the Berkeley Bowl, and 'New Rules' of wine What elevates a dish or market to cult status? Eggslut’s Alvin Cailan is eating through LA’s burger scene to figure out the city’s obsession with the sandwich (and who makes the essential LA burger). In Oakland, loyal customers have sworn by the fresh produce at Berkeley Bowl since 1977. Alon Shaya’s new book breaks down Israeli flavors that influenced him as a chef. And Jon Bonne wants to uncomplicate drinking wine.
'Repertoire,' Nancy Singleton Hachisu, and shishito peppers Cooking at home doesn’t mean you need a million cookbooks, according to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jessica Battilana. Nancy Singleton Hachisu is an authority on making Japanese food at home and her new book is her most ambitious yet. Jonathan Gold heads to the westside for Travis Lett’s take on Japanese cuisine. Martha Mendoza investigates fraudulent seafood labels. Plus: shishito peppers at the market.
Remembering Anthony Bourdain The death of Anthony Bourdain is a loss felt around the world. His nomadic spirit redefined how many of us ate and traveled. We dug through the Good Food archives for Evan’s past interviews with Bourdain about everything from “Kitchen Confidential” to No Reservations. Plus, a visit to a remarkable memorial in New York. Also, we learn more about Tony’s love of punk rock from his 2010 appearance on KCRW’s Guest DJ Project.
The Water Show Water may be the essence of life but it’s subject to near-constant misuse. Journalist Mark Arax profiles a couple running a water monopoly in the Central Valley. A once abundant Cambodian lake is in decline, leaving fisherman and half the population scrambling for fish. We’ve heard of using less water but what about eating less water? And Mark Gold (Jonathan’s brother) shares tips on water conservation in LA.
Mark Bittman on grilling, the business of beef, and historic Filipinotown It’s summer cookout season, and Mark Bittman has some essential grilling tips. Third-generation butcher Katie Flannery talks life in the beef business. English chef James Whetlor wants us to consider eating more goat. As Filipinotown gentrifies, the owners of a new bar are trying to reach out to their neighbors. Jonathan Gold talks food-centric cinema. And a peculiar vegetable is popping up at the farmers market.
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
Trump says goodbye Paris Accord: What does it mean for U.S. and the planet? President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Trump was to renegotiate a new deal, but will that happen?