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The TASTE Podcast
32 minutes | 2 years ago
70: Anna Hezel & Matt Rodbard
It’s the TASTE Podcast series finale! For the past year and a half, we’ve brought some of our friends and heroes into the studio, and we wanted to relive some of our favorite conversations, including candid and sometimes hilarious talks with Ruth Reichl, Pete Wells, Helen Rosner, Dorie Greenspan, Julia Moskin, and Francis Lam.We also talk about all the exciting things in the works for TASTE, including our upcoming cookbook, Lasagna, and a bunch of other projects. This is not goodbye. This is see you on the Internet, or in person, very soon. You can follow us on Twitter at: @HezelAnna and @MattRodbard. And of course, visit TASTE online: tastecooking.com.
79 minutes | 2 years ago
69: Daniel Holzman
Friend of TASTE Daniel Holzman joins for a hilarious and truly meaningful conversation about the life of a traveling chef. Holzman, cofounder of the Meatball Shop and veteran of high-end kitchens in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City, is also a TASTE columnist and a gifted photographer. We talk about his journey from working at Le Bernardin in high school, to his time as a young cook with Jean-Louis Palladin, to opening a restaurant with his best friend.Also on the show, journalists Matt and Ted Lee join to talk about their latest book, Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World's Riskiest Business. It’s a deep and meaningful look at the world of corporate catering. They talk about what it was like to go undercover.
97 minutes | 2 years ago
68: Chad Robertson
What a lineup on today’s episode! First up, Tartine’s Chad Robertson sits down for an interview at his brand-new Manufactory in downtown Los Angeles. We talk a bit about the grand expansion of Tartine but also go back to his early days of baking in his backyard in Northern California—and how he might just crave that simpler time. We also talk about his company’s move to Korea, and what it’s like to operate there. What a cool interview.Next up, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Serious Eats founder Ed Levine. We talk about his early days in food journalism and the ups and downs of running a media start-up in a wildly competitive, and changing, landscape. We also dive into his great new memoir, Serious Eater.Lastly we speak with Donna Leonard, the owner of legendary New York City restaurants Il Buco and Il Buco Alimentari. We talk about some of the amazing chefs who have cooked at the restaurants, and she closes with a ghost story.
45 minutes | 2 years ago
67: David Kinch
David Kinch is the chef-owner of acclaimed Northern California restaurant Manresa and a legend in American fine-dining circles. On this episode, we head back to New York City in the 1980s and talk about his time working at the influential restaurant Quilted Giraffe—and how his post-shift meals at Midtown izakayas back then reflected the city’s changing culinary landscape. We also discuss his upcoming opening, Menton, and how he’s been traveling around America researching pasta.Also on the episode is Isaac Toups, the James Beard Award–nominated chef-owner of Toups’ Meatery in New Orleans and the author of Chasing the Gator. We discuss the definition of Cajun cuisine and how it occupies such a unique place in American culinary history. Plus, we talk about a trip he took to Lyon, France and the surprising connections he made.Lastly, Max Falkowitz answers a burning reader question about the price of vanilla.
44 minutes | 2 years ago
66: Odette Williams
Odette Williams is the author of Simple Cake and delivers on the book’s lofty promise: that baking cake can be simple! The book is organized into 10 base cakes and 15 toppings, and readers are encouraged to mix and match at their baking leisure. In this episode, we dive into what inspired the Australian bakeware designer to make the leap to publishing—and what is so rad about baking cakes for everyday snacking. Indeed, she’s a very big proponent of the snacking cake. What an idea.Also on this episode, photographer and author Austin Bush joins to talk about his incredible book, The Food of Northern Thailand. He shares stories of adventure and pork rinds, and what goes into the writing and reporting of a guidebooks. He’s currently working on editions for Laos and Vietnam. He also shares details about an upcoming book project.
32 minutes | 2 years ago
65: Alex Stupak
Big ideas, strong opinions, and a deadpan Instagram. These are a few of my favorite things. Former pastry chef and current Empellon boss man Alex Stupak is a complicated—and incredibly sincere—dude, and in this episode we have a really spirited conversation about chicken sandwiches, aquafaba, his time at WD-50, Maggi seasoning, his cookbook, Tacos, and making Mexican food at home. Phew! It’s a really cool talk.Also on the show, we ask Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman a reader question. Hint: There are donuts involved.
28 minutes | 2 years ago
64: Ben Leventhal
As the cofounder of online restaurant watchdog/chronicler Eater, and reservations booker Resy, Ben Leventhal has been at the center of all things dining out for over a decade. On this episode, we go back to the early days of Eater and talk about the rapid shift toward food as pop culture—which is not to be confused with pop culture’s crossover with food. That is, society’s deep interest in New York City’s Taiwanese restaurant boom, and not what that Foodgod guy is guiding this week. We clarify the difference.Ben also tackles the state of the restaurant reservation, and how restaurant owners are making it work in a very competitive climate. Note: This interview was conducted before Resy was acquired by American Express on May 15.Also on today’s show, Max Falkowitz answers a burning reader question about figs and veganism.
55 minutes | 2 years ago
63: Abra Berens
Hello summer, and hello vegetables! Michigan chef and cookbook author Abra Berens loves vegetables and has an inspiring new cookbook that presents them in the coolest way: braised, blistered, roasted, and raw. On this episode we talk about Ruffage, and Berens's journey from working the counter at Zingerman’s Deli to culinary school in Ireland to her current post cooking and farming in an exceptional way that recalls Dan Barber’s Blue Hill.Also on the show, TASTE’s Tatiana Bautista has a great conversation with Auria Abraham, the supercool founder behind Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen. They talk cooking with sambal and kaya, two amazingly diverse ingredients. And Auria makes the best around.
46 minutes | 2 years ago
62: JJ Johnson
“Rice is culture”—the spiritual spine of a new restaurant in Harlem—is one of the many big ideas chef and award-winning cookbook author JJ Johnson tackles in this spirited episode. We also go over how the media covers African-American food and the economics of running restaurants in New York City, and he relives a recent trip he took to Puerto Rico.Also on the show, writer Maggie Hoffman talks about her new book, Batch Cocktails. Just in time for all of those backyard parties.
29 minutes | 2 years ago
61: Priya Krishna
Holy smokes, Priya Krishna and her new book, Indian-ish, have had quite a spring. She appeared on Today, toured America, sold a few copies along the way, and maybe pissed off a few people along the way, too (never a bad thing). I catch up with Krishna, a journalist and frequent TASTE contributor, about a month after the book’s release, and we went over it all. We talk about her great saag feta recipe and why the technique known as chhonk (tempering) is key in Indian home cooking. Also, why you should buy some asafoetida today.In addition we talk about her recent TASTE stories diving into yogurt culture (ha!), budino, and sun-dried tomatoes. What a cool conversation we had. Also on the show, Max Falkowitz answers a reader question: What is the difference between ice cream and gelato?
67 minutes | 2 years ago
60: Aaron Franklin
So that thing about needing to rest your cooked petite filet for 20 minutes before slicing? The quest for cartoonish grill marks on your rib eye? Sous vide as the means to tenderloin glory? It’s all sorta false. Aaron Franklin has some strong opinions about all things steak (which he writes about in his new book, Franklin Steak), and we unpack many in this entertaining episode. Franklin, of waiting in a long line for barbecue in Austin, Texas, fame, also talks about the status of cutting that line and shares some thoughts on why a trip to Japan might just ruin him forever.Also on this episode, we had a great time speaking with some of the top minds in specialty coffee (jump to 21:34), including Christopher “Nicely” Abel Alameda (Menotti’s Coffee Stop), Kyle Glanville (Go Get Em Tiger), Bronwen Serna (Counter Culture Coffee), and Geoff Watts (Intelligentsia Coffee). Topics covered include farmer compensation, the pros and cons of espresso, the cost of a cup of coffee, and the rise of good coffee in Los Angeles, where this conversation was recorded at NeueHouse Hollywood.
41 minutes | 2 years ago
59: Anna Jones
What exactly does it mean for food to be “modern”? Who better to ask than Anna Jones, the author of A Modern Way to Eat, A Modern Way to Cook, and most recently, The Modern Cook’s Year. In this conversation, we talk about what the word means to her, and she explains why she decided not to label any of her three books “vegetarian” even though none of them contain any meat.We also talked about why lettuces and salad greens are better when they’re charred, wilted, and a little bit warm.Also on this episode, Matt talks the stock market and the booming dumplings game with Hannah Cheng of New York’s Mimi Cheng’s.
29 minutes | 2 years ago
58: Soleil Ho
Soleil Ho isn’t like other restaurant critics. She doesn’t use a star system to rate restaurants. She doesn’t use terms like “up-and-coming” or “ethnic” or “addictive,” and there’s a reason for that. Since she became the restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle a few months ago, she’s been shaking things up, rethinking the system, and…yeah, pissing some people off.We talked about this approach and what a restaurant critic’s responsibility is to their city. We also got to catch up about some of Soleil’s writing for TASTE, about eating dogs, and about the difference between “fusion” and the food that results from assimilation.Later on the show, Matt asks Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman a question from a listener.\
53 minutes | 2 years ago
57: Hannah Goldfield
After working as a fact checker for years at The New Yorker and contributing to the magazine’s Tables for Two column, Hannah Goldfield was named the magazine’s first full-time restaurant critic in 2018. What a gig! It was great fun having her on, and we talked about how the column has evolved—it has gotten longer and tackles big ideas happening in food today through the lens of New York City restaurants. She reveals some of her favorite, and not favorite, meals from the past year and how she keeps her eating schedule in check. “Every day is a different calculation,” she reveals. We talk deadlines, linguistics, rent hikes, saving NYC, and why it was so very terrible to fish for your dinner (inside a fancy NYC restaurant, that is).Also on the show, Anna talks to cookbook author Danielle Walkerabout her new book, Eat What You Love, and the secret to her grain-free pizza dough.
20 minutes | 2 years ago
56: Chetna Makan
You might remember her cardamom-pistachio Swiss rolls from the Great British Baking Show, or the orange savarin that blew Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood away. But in her new book, Chetna Makan is moving from all the butter and sugar onto another topic: Healthy Indian. We talked about daily baking habits, canned chickpeas, and why her black lentil recipe is better than her mom’s. She also told the story of a recent Great British Baking Showreunion at a wedding that involved not one, but 10 cakes.Later on the show, we grill TASTE contributor Max Falkowitz with a hard-hitting question about hot dogs.
48 minutes | 2 years ago
55: Meherwan Irani
Chef and restaurateur Meherwan Irani is on a mission to change the perception of Indian food in America. Born in London, raised in India, and living in America for many decades, Irani’s experience with his native food is textured. At his outstanding and innovative Asheville and Atlanta restaurants, Chai Pani, he articulates a clear vision in the form of street food, which on this lively episode of the show we discuss in detail.From his Internet famous kale pakora, to the idea of jugaad—which basically means the ingenious ethic of hacking things to make them work—to his clear argument that there really isn’t something called Indian food. I love this guy.Also on the show, Anna has a fun and revealing interview with Donald Moore, the Chief Culinary Officer at The Cheesecake Factory. And, yes! They discuss the origins of the cheeseburger springroll.
62 minutes | 2 years ago
54: Mike Fadem & Marie Tribouilloy
Mike Fadem and Marie Tribouilloy love bitter amaros, buttery mortadella, and what some people might call “salad” but Marie calls “room temperature vegetables.” Their unpretentious Bushwick pizza restaurant, Ops, was just named as a James Beard Award semifinalist for its unique wine program. Most of the selections are natural wines picked by Mike (who also makes the pizzas), and when part of a bottle is leftover at the end of a night, Marie turns them into homemade vinegars. We talked about their Brooklyn neighborhood (Bushwick), charcuterie, and why cheap beer and amaro are a great combination.Later in this episode, Matt talks to Sumi Ali and Tony (Tonx) Konecny from Yes Plz Coffee, a weekly coffee subscription service that comes with some mighty fine reading material—newsprint zine. We love these guys.
38 minutes | 2 years ago
53: Carla Lalli Music
The sudden and rather intense rise of Carla Lalli Music and her test kitchen crew at Bon Appétit to legit food-world celebs has been simply amazing to watch from the sidelines. Lalli Music is the longtime food director at the publication and stars in many of the YouTube videos BA puts out each month. On this highly entertaining episode of the podcast, Lalli Music talks about what’s in the special sauce for viral-video glory. And, oh yeah, she has written one of the year’s best cookbooks: Where Cooking Begins. It’s an argument for better and happier shopping, which ultimately leads to better cooking. This may seem a little abstract, but it all makes too much sense.Also on the episode, contributor Max Falkowitz answers a reader’s burning food question: Do spices actually expire?
54 minutes | 2 years ago
52: Bill Addison
For near five years, journalist and former chef Bill Addison traveled America as Eater’s first, and only, roving restaurant critic. It was an epic and sometimes grueling run, one that I am sure will end up on the shelf of Kitchen Arts and Letters in memoir form in due time. Bill has since landed a new job in a city many consider to be the beating heart of American food culture today: Los Angeles!In this candid interview, Addison talks about his new gig as co-restaurant critic at the Los Angeles Times, where he and Patricia Escárcega have been tasked with replacing the legendary Jonathan Gold while also having a fresh take on the beat. We talk about Addison’s marching orders—the territory he will be covering and what defines L.A. proper—and some of the cuisines he will be targeting in a city of hundreds. Hint: Syrian home cooking has been getting a closer look as of late. I also ask him about the best restaurant he has visited in his short time as critic and the one pastry he cannot wait to bake in his new home kitchen.Also on the show I speak with Kim and Tyler Malek, the founders of beloved ice cream company Salt and Straw. We talk about their cool new cookbook and how they invent their hundreds of new flavors each year.
42 minutes | 2 years ago
51: Robert Sietsema
Longtime New York City restaurant critic and neighborhood wanderer Robert Sietsema used to fear for his job. “I feared for decades that I would get off the train and spot a dozen other food writers combing the neighborhood and beating the bush for restaurants, and I would have to engage them in fisticuffs to decide who got to go into this new restaurant from Indonesia in Elmhurst.” LOL. The fact of the matter is, as the extraordinarily articulate Sietsema explains in this sprawling and highly enjoyable conversation about his 25 years covering the city, that there is nobody who covers the outer boroughs like Robert.We talk about his later-in-life journey to food writing—including his influential food fanzine from the late 1980s, Down the Hatch—and his time working at the Village Voice and Eater, as well as his current quest to spot the city’s best sandwiches.Also on the show is Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman. She answers a reader’s burning question: What’s the most delicious thing you’ve eaten in New York City for under $3?
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