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13 minutes | Apr 29, 2020
BONUS: That's a Wrap!
When we relaunched in October 2019, we had no idea what kind of a season it would be. Looking back at our episodes, we’re proud of the work we’ve done – just the two of us (and Jess!). And we’re so bummed that we’re leaving you right now, when all this *gestures wildly* is still unfolding, and while many of you may be hurting and needing respite in podcasts the most. We’ll be back in no time, promise. With more conversations, stories and collaborations. In the meantime…you can always catch us on Twitter and Instagram (@raceandfood), where we’ll continue to amplify critical discussions happening online and dole out a few of our signature side-eyes. We’ll also be releasing some bonus episodes this summer – from when we were in Bermuda, meeting the locals who are reclaiming the island from the picture-perfect tourist pamphlets much of the (rich, white) world exclusively wanted to see. You can also hang out with us (over Zoom) at the PRX Podcast Garage’s Virtual Wine Down on Thursday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. ET, where we’ll listen to our favorite episodes, talk food justice, answer your questions, and make several toasts to the people who sustain us (psst, that’s you!). Don’t be a stranger! We can’t wait to run into you on the Internet – and one day – out in the world. Be well, friends. See you Fall 2020.
45 minutes | Apr 15, 2020
E79: We Will Rise (w/ Zahir Janmohamed, Serena Maria Daniels, Martina Guzmán & Devita Davison)
It's often said that the Coronavirus does not discriminate. This is true, but how the virus affects communities varies depending on the resources a community has access to and what that community has historically faced. This is especially true in Detroit, where, according to CNBC, "African Americans make up about 14 percent of Michigan’s population, but 33 percent of its coronavirus cases and 40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths." In this special episode, we welcome back co-founder and former co-host Zahir Janmohamed. He interviewed three fellow Michigan residents: Serena Maria Daniels, of Tostada Magazine, about food shortages created by COVID-19; Martina Guzmán, of Wayne State University, about how thousands of Detroit residents still don’t have access to running water; and finally, Devita Davison, about how this pandemic is disproportionately affecting black-owned businesses and how Detroit, as it always does, will fight back. Produced by Zahir Janmohamed, Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions.
34 minutes | Mar 25, 2020
E78: People Need Community (w/ Candice Fortman)
This week has been rough y'all. But we're finding small comfort in this conversation with Candice Fortman, a Detroit-based journalist (Outlier Media, MuckRock) and founder of Ladies Who Pizza – a social group for women to have fun, be vulnerable, be free and, as the name suggests, eat pizza. The concept sounds simple, but Candice says the stories and experiences that have come out of it have made an indelible mark on their lives, especially in a world where women are often made to bear the brunt of the burden at home, at work, etc. This is a safe space, free from the "male gaze," for women – most of whom are strangers – to find community. Stephanie and Candice talked about a lot – from Detroit's resilience in the face of crisis to increasing media transparency for people who lack access – and it all came back to the importance of community. Produced by Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions.
32 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
E77: What Do You Write? (w/ Javier Cabral)
This week, we sat down with The Glutster a.k.a. Javier Cabral — Editor-in-Chief of the LA Taco, co-author of Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico, and associate producer of Netflix's Taco Chronicles — to talk about code-switching, food writing, and the diversity of Mexican food in Los Angeles. Javier tells us how his rebellious teenage years and eating disorder lead him to write about food and why he decided to focus on Oaxacan food, in particular. He also gives us a brief Mexican migration history into Los Angeles and how that helped shaped Cal Mex food in the area. But first, Stephanie and Juan discuss COVID-19 and its ramifications on Asian communities across the U.S. and the West: how xenophobia surrounding the virus has affected small Asian-American businesses and how we respond to the virus says a lot about divisions in social class and privilege. Produced by Juan Ramirez and Stephanie Kuo. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions.
32 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
RERUN: Erasing Black Barbecue (w/ Johnny Walker, Adrian Miller, Daniel Vaughn and Brent & Juan Reaves)
Whoa, it's been a full year since Racist Sandwich switched off the lights and took what was, then, an indefinite hiatus. We're so glad we made the decision to come back. We may be down two essential members, but we're stronger and hungrier than ever! To celebrate how far we've come, we wanted to highlight one of our proudest moments of the past year: getting nominated for a James Beard Award for our episode on the erasure of barbecue's Black roots in America. -- We're talking barbecue. It's delicious, it's trendy, it's decidedly American. But barbecue's story today has pretty huge holes. Over the past several years, joints like Franklin Barbecue in Austin have commandeered the barbecue narrative, and mainstream food media have fallen over themselves to give Aaron Franklin and Central Texas pit masters like him their spotlight – largely ignoring the regional diversity of barbecue in Texas (and across the South) and ultimately erasing the Black and Brown folks who created it and built its legacy. For this reported episode, Stephanie talks to Soul Food Scholar Adrian Miller, Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn; Brent and Juan Reaves, co-owners of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que in Dallas; and Johnny Walker, owner and pitmaster at Momma Jean’s BBQ in Lampasas, Texas. Produced by Stephanie Kuo. Music by Robert Earl Keen, Pierce Murphy, AF the Naysayer, Blue Dot Sessions and Brad Turner.
33 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
E76: Black Vinegar is Art (w/ Stephanie H. Shih)
This week, it's the Stephanie show! Stephanie Kuo talks to artist Stephanie H. Shih about her collection of Asian pantry items. She hand-makes everything from ceramic Chinkiang black vinegar bottles and Yakult containers to Morinaga caramel boxes and packets of instant Indomie. Through her work, Stephanie hopes to free Asian imagery from the Western gaze, which rests on clichés (ahem, the Chinese takeout box). Stephanie and Stephanie talk about childhood memories, making art that's "for us by us," and connecting to the Asian diaspora through the mundane and private items in their pantries. Produced by Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions.
39 minutes | Jan 30, 2020
E75: I Know a Bodega When I See One (w/ Quizayra Gonzalez)
This week, we're talking bodegas. What's a bodega? Well, for a lot of us (New Yorkers, especially), it's a corner store that sells food and other household goods. But for our guest, Quizayra Gonzalez, who grew up in a bodega, they're a lot more than that. She and Stephanie talk about how bodegas are such a thriving nexus of cultural and economic activity, how they anchored immigrant communities in the U.S., and how they're being gentrified out of their neighborhoods today. But first, Stephanie and Juan recap his epic trip to Mexico, which sparked the inevitable conversation about one of the worst books ever written. Produced by Juan Ramirez and Stephanie Kuo. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions. Photo by Stephanie Nortiz.
34 minutes | Jan 15, 2020
E74: Bad Kimchi (w/ Noah Cho)
This week, we're talking about Korean food with Noah Cho, who writes "Bad Kimchi," a column on the online magazine Catapult. The name of the column says a lot: the most egregious crime against Korean food, he believes, is getting kimchi wrong. But the title also signals some of Noah's struggles with his identity as a biracial person, who didn't feel Korean enough to cook or write about Korean food "authentically." He and Stephanie talk about what it means to let go of those expectations and to make your culture and its food your own – like putting American cheese on Shin Ramyun :) But first, Stephanie and Juan talk about a party they threw together. Produced by Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions. Photo by Andria Lo.
39 minutes | Jan 1, 2020
E73: There's Never Been Anyone Else Like Me (w/ Soleil Ho)
Happy New Year! We kick off 2020 with someone you may already know: our fearless founder and friend, Soleil Ho. She's about to celebrate her first anniversary at the San Francisco Chronicle, and she sits down with Stephanie and Juan to reflect on the year as the paper's new and revolutionary food critic. They talk about her favorite (and most ruffling) pieces, what it's like to eat out 350 times in a year, and how she's coped with people who aren't *ready* for her hot takes. But before all that, Stephanie and Juan have some exciting news about their travel plans this spring. Produced by Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions. Art by Wendy Xu.
39 minutes | Dec 11, 2019
E72: A Tortilla is Not a Blank Slate (w/ José Ralat)
This week, we're talking to José Ralat, the taco editor at Texas Monthly and author of the forthcoming book, American Tacos: A History and Guide. It sounds like arguably the best job in the country (and yes, it is), but it's not just about eating great tacos. José has committed the position to being as much about the history, the culture, and real voices as it is about the food itself. Juan and José chat (for a long time) about what makes for the perfect taco, the gentrification of tacos in the U.S. as well as the cost and labor behind them – which is why they deserve all the respect. And if you contribute to our Patreon at the $15/month level or higher, you can listen to a bonus minisode (we told you they talked for a long time) on the great "Burrito vs. Taco" debate. Produced by Juan Ramirez and Stephanie Kuo. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions.
34 minutes | Nov 27, 2019
E71: Nourishing the Soul (w/ Karla T. Vasquez)
Juan catches up with Karla T. Vasquez, a food justice advocate by day and a food historian by night, on a journey to preserve Salvadoran culture one recipe at a time with SalviSoul. When a Google search turns up just two existing cookbooks and just as few narratives, Vasquez says "documentation is power." Vasquez is currently researching and writing a Salvadoran cookbook, highlighting the stories of Salvadoran women. She and Juan talk about learning from her mother, the power of cookbooks to pass on stories and the obstacles she’s faced trying to get her book published. But first, Stephanie and Juan discuss the state of subway policing and what that means for food vendors. Produced by Juan Ramirez and Stephanie Kuo. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions. Photo by Marisa Sarto Photography.
33 minutes | Nov 13, 2019
E70: Avec Rien, On Peut Faire Quelque Chose (w/ Dany Hellz Kitchen)
This week, Racist Sandwich is going international. Juan interviews Dany, who’s cooking up spectacular meals from inside his prison cell in France. He makes everything from Moroccan tagine to tiramisu with nothing more than a small induction burner and a few items from the prison commissary (and sometimes a little something extra smuggled in from the outside). They talk about Dany’s passion for cooking, how his Instagram page went viral, the politics of prison life and his plans to start a career in food when he gets out. But first, Juan and Stephanie discuss the state of podcasting and check some jerks on the Internet. Produced by Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez. Music by Brad Turner and Blue Dot Sessions.
24 minutes | Oct 30, 2019
E69: We're Back!!! Bringing Kale and Quinoa to Portland's Strip Clubs (w/ Nikeisah Newton)
Hello listeners! We’re back after a long break, with more conversations about the intersection of food, race, gender and class,. in the first part of the episode, Stephanie and Juan (your new co-hosts) catch up, reflect on the podcast’s successful past and discuss how they plan to move the project forward into a successful future. In the second part of the episode, Juan speaks with Nikeisah Newton, a Portland, Oregon-based chef and owner of Meals 4 Heels — a food delivery company that caters specifically to sex workers. Portland, the strip club capital of America, lacks healthy late-night foods – so Newton created Meals 4 Heals to fill this void, and personally delivers healthy food options to sex workers working late nights. Listen to extra audio from this interview by becoming a Patron of the podcast today!
34 minutes | Feb 20, 2019
EP68: This Is Not A Goodbye (w/ Soleil Ho & Zahir Janmohamed)
We have big news. Our beloved hosts are starting amazing new chapters in their lives: Soleil is settling in as food critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, and Zahir is now in his first year of fiction writing at the University of Michigan. What does that mean for Racist Sandwich? For now, we'll be taking some time off to reflect and to plan for the future of the podcast. We (co-producers Stephanie and Juan) are working hard to figure out how we can continue to bring you all more conversations about food, race, class and gender. Thank you for being a listener, a supporter and a friend. Stay tuned! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram and like our Facebook page.
42 minutes | Feb 6, 2019
E67: Talking Toronto Food Justice (w/ Vanessa Ling Yu, Paul Taylor & Hywel Tuscano)
In the final installment of our Toronto series, producer TK Matunda sits down with three community organizers to unpack Toronto's food justice scene. This episode, we hear from Vanessa Ling Yu, Director of caterToronto; Paul Taylor, Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto; and Hywel Tuscano, Co-Operator of Nish Dish. Produced by TK Matunda. Music by AF the Naysayer and Blue Dot Sessions. Photo by Vanessa Ling Yu.
27 minutes | Jan 23, 2019
E66: I'm Not Leaving (W/ Ruben Ramos, Karla Quiñones, Abner Roldán, and Tony Ayala)
In this episode, Juan travels to Puerto Rico and interviews people affected by Hurricane Maria. He reminisces on his own encounters with hurricanes and how Hurricane Maria’s destruction reminds him of these experiences. First, Juan visits the town of Utuado to meet with Ruben Ramos, owner of a coffee plantation. The Puerto Rican coffee industry suffered a devastation from the hurricane. Mr. Ramos was among the hardest hit. Then, in San Juan, in the Santurce District, Karla Quiñones and Abner Roldán—owners of Cafe Comunión—tell us how the shortage of Puerto Rican coffee due to Hurricane Maria is affecting its quality. Finally, Juan sits with Tony Ayala—co-owner of Aqui Se Puede bar— in Old San Juan. He recalls how his community came together during the days following the hurricane. This episode is produced by Juan Ramirez. Music is by Blue Dot Sessions, AF the Naysayer, Bandurriator, and Ray Baretto. LINKS DU JOUR Support Local Puerto Rican Economy by Buying from Here. 'This Was A Beautiful Place': Puerto Rico's Coffee Farms Devastated By Maria Via Merrit Kennedy. The Status Sham of Puerto Rico by Julio Ricardo Varela. This Trans Chef Is Putting Rock 'n' Roll into Puerto Rican Cuisine by Alicia Kennedy.
30 minutes | Jan 9, 2019
E65: Los Angeles is Brown (w/ Daniel Hernandez)
Happy new year, everybody! You know what they say…new year, new episode. New hosts? Producers Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez take over the mic this week to bring you this episode on the diversity of food media in Los Angeles. But first, in part one, Juan and Stephanie talk about big life changes in 2019. Then in part two, Juan sits down with Daniel Hernandez, editor of LA Taco, to talk about everything from the decimation of true local LA media, Latinx identity, immigration and how going to Mexico helped him realize what food means to him. Produced by Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez. Music by Blue Dot Sessions and AF the Naysayer.
48 minutes | Dec 26, 2018
E64: Toronto Truths (w/ Foodies of Colour)
Producer TK Matunda sits down with four Foodies of Colour to unpack what's going on in Toronto's food scene. The Panel: Eden Hagos – Founder of Black Foodie Ryan Hinkson – Curator behind Eat Famous Andrew Do – Curator behind 6ixspots Aisha Silim – Curator behind Salt & Saffron Foodies of Colour is a Toronto-based network that brings together people of colour who are passionate about food. They are a community of bloggers, writers, photographers, and food enthusiasts — and every once in a while, they get together to roam the city on fantastic food tours, organize dinners at restaurants, and host guest speakers and chefs who have great stories to tell. Visit www.foodiesofcolour.com for more information on our 2019 event series. Produced by TK Matunda. Music by AF the Naysayer and Blue Dot Sessions.
32 minutes | Dec 12, 2018
E63: Eating our way through Toronto (w/ Suresh Doss)
Producer TK Matunda tours the Toronto suburb of Scarborough with food and drink writer Suresh Doss. They talk about Toronto's food scene, being seen by food media and the difference between the downtown core and the suburbs. And this is all while eating delicious food. Produced by TK Matunda. Music by AF the Naysayer and Blue Dot Sessions.
30 minutes | Nov 29, 2018
E62: Sugar, Spice and Bananas with Rice (w/ Hamdi Ahmed)
This episode is all about Somali food: sambusas, bananas with rice and...pineapple upside-down cake? In part one, Soleil sits down with Hamdi Ahmed to talk about a cookbook she co-wrote in high school. Soo Fariista (Come Sit Down) is a collection of family recipes and a portal to her childhood food memories. They discuss her favorite dishes, fusing Somali and American cuisine and how her cookbook is just one way Somalis are becoming more visible in Minnesota. In part two, we do something a little different. Racist Sandwich isn’t a cooking show, but for one day, and one day only, Soleil cooks sambusas for us! It definitely *sounds* delicious. Produced by Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez. Music by AF the Naysayer, Lee Rosevere and Blue Dot Sessions.
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