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34 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
Cooking with Zooming Grandmas. Comfort and Nostalgia. The Kimchi Crisis. The Plants We Ignore. This week Joshna is joined by Laura Brehaut. Laura is a food reporter for the National Post. She earned a Culinary Arts Certificate and Professional Fromager Certificate from George Brown College. She graduated with a B.A. (Hons) from Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media, and a B.A. in Linguistics and Anthropology from the University of Victoria. She has an interest in the cultural significance of food and foodways, and believes in the importance of building culinary skills and access to healthful food for all. Instagram: @laurabrehaut Twitter: @newedist First is the story of Grandma’s Hands, a program where black grandmothers teach young people how to cook traditional, cultural foods over Zoom calls. It’s a blend of so many things we love. Using technology, with the intention to preserve tradition, it addresses hunger and supports black farmers in a win-win-win-win deal! General Mills has returned to “classic” 80’s cereal recipes. The Barefoot Contessa’s new cookbook is all about comfort foods. It’s clear eating nostalgically is all the rage right now. But do the tastes of our childhoods live up to our memories? Or is comfort food just another name for stress eating? There’s a cabbage shortage in Korea that has rocked kimchi culture! Climate change affecting crops isn’t new, but when a national food holding particular cultural influence is deeply affected, what are the cultural implications?Finally, Laura’s article in the National Post stuns us: Most food comes from only 15 crops. That’s a problem. The good news is: we’re overlooking a huge variety of edible crops.
32 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
Label Wars. Cake for Democracy. The Battle of Borscht. And Dining Domes. This week Joshna is joined by Laura Brehaut. Laura is a food reporter for the National Post. She earned a Culinary Arts Certificate and Professional Fromager Certificate from George Brown College. She graduated with a B.A. (Hons) from Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media, and a B.A. in Linguistics and Anthropology from the University of Victoria. She has an interest in the cultural significance of food and foodways, and believes in the importance of building culinary skills and access to healthful food for all. Instagram: @laurabrehaut Twitter: @newedist The European Parliament has voted against a ban on “meaty” terms like burger, sausage and steak to describe plant-based foods, but is calling for stricter rules on dairy-based language such as cheese, butter, milk and cream. Why are plat-based subjects so polarizing, and what’s at the root of these labelling attacks? An American tradition since 1796 is to bake an Election Cake, a bready bundt cake filled with dried fruit and topped with a whiskey glaze. The idea is that people are given a slice of this cake at the polling stations, after they cast their vote. Sadly, this cake has been replaced by a sticker, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a tradition where bakers across the country collaborate once every four years to prepare cakes regionally for Elections Canada? Would it help voter turnout? A Ukrainian chef is pushing for borscht to be declared “an intangible part of Ukraine’s heritage.” He had heard that borscht was being described as a Russian soup in other parts of the world and wanted to set the record straight. These folks are serious about their soup, and it raises the question of who can claim what. Finally, domes, greenhouses, and fire pits. Can creative solutions to outdoor dining in cold climates help struggling sustain restaurants through the winter?
31 minutes | Nov 3, 2020
These Strange Times
French al fresco Dining. Tech is changing indoor dining. The curfew debate. Why Tequila is the new vodka. This episode Joshna is joined by Elayne Duff. Elayne is an accomplished professional with more than 20 years within the beverage and alcohol industry. Working for the two largest drinks companies in the world AB-InBev and Diageo Wine and Spirits has earned her a solid track record as a mixologist, luxury spirits brand Ambassador, and brand strategist. She is an in-demand speaker at trade shows around the world, Diageo’s go-to person for media, one of the most-requested mixology experts on Spike TV’s hit “Bar Rescue” show, and Andy Cohen’s favorite bartender on-set for “Watch What Happens Live!” In September 2017, Elayne created her own consultancy company, Duff on the Rocks, through which she works with brands to develop on & off-trade strategy, sales, and education solutions. Al Fresco Dining & Drinking: We know Canadians love a patio, and will bundle up to maximize outdoor eating and drinking time, but nearby traffic cones with cars whizzing by just a few feet from your fork isn’t exactly relaxing or joyful. So, we thought we’d share this charming story about French al fresco dining. It suggests the magic of France’s version of this is that it’s leisurely, in a beautiful space, with things to love. How can we do it too? Tech is helping make eating indoors more safe. We particularly like the dumplings served in a room that has been UV swept! Is it fair to put a curfew on bars and restaurants? Let’s talk about how governments are handling the changes caused by Covid-19. Tequila is the new vodka. How did it happen? We found this piece from way back in 2010 and it’s finally happening! Elayne tells us more, and, of course when talking tequila you drink tequila!
33 minutes | Oct 14, 2020
Just Get a Wok
Smuggled culture. Uncle Roger. The globalization of the grocery store. And presumptuous pumpkin spice. This episode Joshna is joined by Elayne Duff. Elayne is an accomplished professional with more than 20 years within the beverage and alcohol industry. Working for the two largest drinks companies in the world AB-InBev and Diageo Wine and Spirits has earned her a solid track record as a mixologist, luxury spirits brand Ambassador, and brand strategist. She is an in-demand speaker at trade shows around the world, Diageo’s go-to person for media, one of the most-requested mixology experts on Spike TV’s hit “Bar Rescue” show, and Andy Cohen’s favorite bartender on-set for “Watch What Happens Live!” In September 2017, Elayne created her own consultancy company, Duff on the Rocks, through which she works with brands to develop on & off-trade strategy, sales, and education solutions. Our first stop is a beautiful piece about a grandmother who smuggled some yogurt culture on a handkerchief, then immigrated to the West from Lebanon. Next, our latest obsession: Uncle Roger! Comedian Nigel Ng has created this alter ego who does his own commentary on videos of chefs making Asian dishes. His loud objections to Jamie Oliver’s fried rice has gone viral. He’s super funny, and we like this approach to a discussion about appropriation. “You hear sizzling, I hear my ancestors crying…” Joshna is irritated by it all at the grocery store, and thought that all the darned canned milk should just go together rather than isolating the coconut milk, for example, in the “international foods” isle…let’s finally talk about this hottest of hot topics! Pumpkin Spice Madness! Every year it seems the obsession with pumpkin spice grows more grotesque. This year brought us pumpkin spice Kraft Dinner, and pumpkin spice bone broth mix! Why are we so obsessed with this flavour?!
34 minutes | Oct 5, 2020
In our 50th episode — The Pandemic vs. Irish Pubs. Can wine be any cleaner? The fermentation inoculation. And magic molluscs. Joshna is once again joined by Susan Boyle, drinks consultant, researcher, writer, storyteller, and performer based in Ireland. She writes about beer, presents drinks features on Irish national television and radio and hosts tasting and masterclasses. Susan is also one half of Two Sisters Brewing, makers of Brigid’s Ale. She is pursuing a PhD at the Technological University of Dublin focusing on the importance of storytelling and place to beverages, and won an outstanding speaker award at the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery for her research. Susan was recently named a Fulbright Creative Ireland Fellow at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. This is a particularly difficult time for bars and restaurants around the world, which typically bring people together in person. We delve into Susan’s perspective on her family business – the Irish pub. These pubs are the center of communities in Ireland, so how are they faring and how is the pandemic affecting the wellbeing of the Irish who are connected to them? People are asking, “How can I drink more wine without any of the consequences of drinking more wine?” While the clean eating movement isn’t all bad, there’s obviously an element of trying to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to alcohol. This makes celebrity calls to literally wash the grapes better all the more absurd… we dig in on where to draw the line. While we don’t advocate any action based on largely unsubstantiated evidence, we like the suggestion coming from certain countries that fermented vegetables might decrease the mortality risks associated with COVID-19. Once again it seems like there’s something going on with fermentation and our gut flora which is beneficial. Do what you will with this information, but there’s no harm eating a few more vegetables (even fermented ones!). Finally, how well do you know your oysters? A team of researchers adopted some pet oysters to find out why they open and close. What they found is lovely!
33 minutes | Sep 18, 2020
Awards on pause. Rethinking Healthy Food. Airplane meals at sea level. And when it snows chocolate. Joining us this week and next is Susan Boyle @miss_susanboyle, alongside Joshna @joshnamaharaj while Mirella @beerology is on leave. Susan is a drinks consultant, researcher, writer, storyteller, and performer based in Ireland. She writes about beer, presents drinks features on Irish national television and radio and hosts tasting and masterclasses. Susan is also one half of Two Sisters Brewing, makers of Brigid’s Ale. She is pursuing a PhD at the Technological University of Dublin focusing on the importance of storytelling and place to beverages, and won an outstanding speaker award at the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery for her research. Susan was recently named a Fulbright Creative Ireland Fellow at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.In this episode we talk about: The James Beard Foundation Awards are on pause. After no Black winners in any of 23 categories and multiple allegations of varying kinds of poor behaviour among nominees, the Foundation decided to hit the pause button until further notice. We dig in on what that might mean for the awards and the industry.Susan and her family had a deeply personal experience of the intersection of healthcare with food when her mother passed away suddenly. Susan’s feeling is we need to rethink what we think is healthy and is healthy food in relation to our physical health.Do you have a soft spot for airplane meals? Airplane food is now available on the ground, thanks to COVID-19. In some strange way we’re interested to try it, not only because we’d love to know what they’re eating in first class… but because it literally tastes different down here.To cap things off, we have a delightful story to report: it recently snowed chocolate in Switzerland!
34 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Bandaid food solutions. Mushroom proteins. Is your meal A+ grade in France? What is perfect rice? An idea which keeps re-emerging is to use corporate food waste to feed the hungry. There are a few reasons it’s not a great idea – not to mention we can all agree hungry people deserve better than waste. Canada just got Mycoprotein this year. It’s a very interesting, possibly appetizing, mushroom-based protein, which is worth giving a shot. France has an interesting approach to developing healthy eating habits. They grade foods based on how healthy they are. Here’s the thing, though: we don’t totally agree on their grades. Finally, to wrap up Season 2 of Hot Plate, we take aim at how to cook the perfect rice. There’s a lot going on with rice!
26 minutes | Aug 25, 2020
The Cheese Addiction
Why is cheese so delicious? What do you really know about fish? Can your cooking get you drunk? And room temperature eating. Why is cheese so delicious? Well, it’s pretty technical – but interesting! We delve into the various complexities of production and many flavour compounds that contribute to the delight of eating cheese. This new study shows the need for labels on Canadian seafood. For example, there’s no real nutritional difference between wild and farmed fish and seafood, and we were surprised to learn there’s no conversation about the way this fish is produced. What matters is not just the impact on our bodies… Did you know that alcohol doesn’t fully evaporate when you cook it? Many of us believe it’s gone in minutes but it turns out it takes over 3hrs to fully cook out! Here’s a piece arguing in favour of room temperature foods. There’s so much to talk about here… you’ll just have to listen if you can make it to the piping hot discussion before it goes cold!
32 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
All Juiced Up
Sugarless juice. How do you zest? Cranberries as a cure. And pickle juice — in beer? There’s a company trying to remove sugar from juice. This got us so riled up we thought we’d better take all the juice topics this week and mix them into one juicy Hot Plate smoothie. It all stems from the outrage we feel about trying to create a sugarless juice which can be endlessly consumed… To lighten our mood from there we talked about how we zest. Moving the grater or the fruit? Fancy equipment or old-school cheese graters? You decide how you like to zest — but we certainly have advice for you. Next we look at how Ocean Spray is seeking permission from the FDA to print on their cranberry juices that they’re a good treatment for urinary tract infections. We’re not convinced… Finally, we are pickled by people putting pickle juice in their beer to make it taste better. If you love it, go for it of course. But if you’re just drinking beer that doesn’t taste good… what are you doing?!
29 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
Moose butchery in high school. Where we draw the line with meats. Reaching isolated seniors with food. And musical ice-cream cones. This makes sense for northern communities where hunting is very common, but even just from a meat eating perspective, having to face the reality of your meat consumption is key, and why not start this in high school? An Alaska high school teacher brought in a moose that he killed and then had his class of students break the beast down. In South Korea there is a lot of heated debate going on around eating dog meat. It’s interesting to see the clash between traditional values and ‘western’ values… and then there’s the added layer of people taking issue with eating animals that are cute/domesticated but not others. Neighbourhood organizations is working to get good food to senior citizens who live alone, and quite isolated, especially during the pandemic. The care and attention that these folks pay to their visits to seniors is pretty beautiful. Finally a company is giving us the ice-cream truck inside the ice-cream cone! They’ve created an ice-cream cone that plays music as you eat ice cream. But wait! There’s more! It’s interactive with other cones!
36 minutes | Aug 4, 2020
Inside Chefs’ Fridges
In this episode we talk with photographer Carrie Solomon (Insta: @carrie_in_paris) and culture writer Adrian Moore (Twitter @majormoore Insta @adrianelvn) about their fascinating book, Chefs’ Fridges. They quite literally travelled the world to have More than 35 World-Renowned Cooks Reveal What They Eat at Home. As we discover in our chat with them, the book … Continue reading "Inside Chefs’ Fridges"
36 minutes | Jul 28, 2020
Cooling Foods with Angela Warburton
Foods to cool you down in the summer heat. Is it okay to be a picky eater? And what you probably didn’t know about Scotland. On this episode we’re grateful to have Angela Warburton, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, share her knowledge of foods to eat which are traditionally understood to have cooling properties. It might just … Continue reading "Cooling Foods with Angela Warburton"
35 minutes | Jul 21, 2020
Prohibition with Christine Sismondo
Prohibition and racism. A greenhouse in the North. And sexy vegetables (yes, seriously sexy vegetables!). In this episode we have the pleasure of speaking with writer and historian Christine Sismondo about her two articles for Macleans about how prohibition impacted race relations in the US and Canada. This is undeniably relevant right now right down … Continue reading "Prohibition with Christine Sismondo"
35 minutes | Jul 14, 2020
The power of bake sales. Can you describe your types of bitter? How to make the perfect cup of coffee. And please don’t drink your hand sanitizer! This episode we delve into the connection between the bake sale and grass roots activism. Then, we’ll disagree with an experiment about bitterness that seemed to misunderstand beer drinkers. We’ll stop … Continue reading "Flour Power"
33 minutes | Jul 7, 2020
The Ladies’ Menu
Do you remember menus without prices for women? How the brewing slow-downs is affecting Marmite production. Do you treat recipes as scripture? And a brand moving on. We re-tell the story of the price-less “ladies menu” in LA which led to a high profile lawsuit after a business-woman was refused a menu showing prices (yes, you read … Continue reading "The Ladies’ Menu"
37 minutes | Jun 30, 2020
Letting an Industry Die
Should we let the restaurant industry die? Diving deep into seafood. Could you survive the hospital quarantine food? And, a sandwich hitting the bliss the point. We kick this one off with a look at Tunde Wey, known well in the restaurant industry known for his performance art and activism. Recently Wey has made the case … Continue reading "Letting an Industry Die"
27 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
From Street-Fruit to Edible Art
The Guerilla Grafters. Community fridges. Alinea’s edible art at home. And are you eating ice cream wrong? You’ve heard of guerilla gardeners but have you heard of guerilla grafters? Folks are grafting fruit trees onto city-maintained decorative trees in order to provide food to the hungry. It’s compelling activism but is it a realistic fix for … Continue reading "From Street-Fruit to Edible Art"
35 minutes | Jun 16, 2020
Hospitality’s Mental Health Epidemic
The mental health crisis in the hospitality industry. A device to make you taste anything. How Norway is helping The Cherokee save their seeds.
34 minutes | Jun 9, 2020
Do you love your Drive-thrus? Who cares about the taste of corn? How to freeze your food with confidence. Anti-hangover plants.
34 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
Coffee with Mylk
Our take on the Premier's cheesecake. The Food Professor weighs in on milk at Starbucks. Indian efficiency in the kitchen explored. And meet your new guilty pleasure: the bath beer!
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