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Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle
40 minutes | 7 hours ago
100th Episode with three, 100-Year-Old Women: An Italian Sunday Supper, Swedish Meatballs & Giambotta
For the 100th episode of Your Last Meal, host Rachel Belle welcomes three, 100-year-old women to the show to share their extraordinary lives, their last meals and the secret to a long, happy life: red wine and “keeping your own teeth.” It is our pleasure to introduce you to Antoinette Underwood, a World War II nurse with a love of dry, Italian wines, Ruth Samuelson, who walked a half marathon at 96, and Eleanor Owen, whose career spans from Broadway actor to co-founder of NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness. IKEA’s US culinary director joins the show to tell us how an umlaut-happy furniture store became synonymous with Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam. And if you're single, living alone and loathe eating solo during the pandemic, Sutanya Dacers, host of the podcast Dinner For One, shares the story of how learning to cook for herself, post-divorce, made her feel whole again. Here are some highlights from the past 99 episodes, in case you missed them: Ice cream icons, Ben & Jerry, reveal the reason their ice creams are so famously packed with sweet blobs, chunks and ribbons: Ben has no sense of smell or taste and insists on loads of texture in every bite. Fashion designer Betsey Johnson had us thinking about the intersection of fashion & food, so we called up Franc Fernandez, designer of Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress, which is very appropriately made from...yes, skirt steak. Filmmaker John Waters wants to know how long it takes for a slice of coconut cream pie to show up as fat on his body. So Rachel interviews a dietician who explains the science of weight gain, busting just about every Internet myth in the process. François Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, loves okra, even its notorious slime. As does Adrian Miller, the Soul Food Scholar, who shares the history of many African American dishes that came over from west Africa during the slave trade. Actor and activist Rose McGowan loves Taco Bell and maintains the exact same order since she was 13, which she can rattle off at record speed. Rachel chats with Taco Bell's unofficial historian about how a white guy started a Mexican fast food empire. Actor Danny Trejo, notorious for his villainous roles, has died on-screen more than any other actor. But in real life, he’s focused on living; he only serves healthy versions of Mexican dishes at Trejo’s Tacos in Los Angeles. Rachel chats with Denise Vallejo, vegan chef/owner of LA's Alchemy Organica, who says the original, pre-colonial Mexican food was practically vegan and completely void of the cheese, tortillas, pork and sugar you see today. Follow Rachel Belle and Your Last Meal on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31 minutes | 21 days ago
Maria Sharapova, Latkes & Sour Cream
Want to be the best tennis player in the world? Start playing when you're four years old! That's what Maria Sharapova did and after five career Grand Slams, an Olympic medal and an impressive 28 years of playing, she retired last year. But Maria is still working -- she's CEO of Sugarpova, her very own candy company, inspired by her love of collecting sweet treats when she traveled the world playing tennis. Maria was born in Russia and her happiest childhood memories are eating pelmeni and honey cake in her grandmother's kitchen. So Bonnie Morales, chef/owner of Kachka in Portland, Oregon, joins the show to talk about why she was inspired to open a modern Russian restaurant. Turns out, Maria, Bonnie and host Rachel Belle share an undying love for one the world's most under appreciated condiments (that's what we call a tease!). And Jewish linguist and professor Sarah Bunin Benor explains why we might pronounce hummus, challah and latke differently depending on who we're talking to. Follow 'Your Last Meal' and host Rachel Belle on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
32 minutes | a month ago
Ben & Jerry, A Dessert Buffet & Perfect Fruit
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are the ice cream equivalent of Cher or Madonna: they need only be introduced by their first names. The boyhood buddies are just as well known for their activism as they are for flavors like Cherry Garcia and Chubby Hubby, unabashedly seeking equality for all on their own time and through Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors. It seems social justice + ice cream go together like hot fudge + whipped cream: host Rachel Belle chats with Madison, Wisconsin's Katrina Ervin, founder of Ice Cream Social, who started selling ice cream for a cause after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor's murders. Ben reveals why Ben & Jerry's ice creams are famously studded with so many delicious chunks & Rachel interviews two doctors who have collectively been studying smell and taste for decades, Dr. Sandeep Robert Datta and Dr. Pamela Dalton. They say suddenly losing these senses to Covid can have serious psychological effects. And, we are all familiar with the fifth taste, umami, but Dr. Datta says there is also a secret sixth taste! Follow Your Last Meal on Instagram! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
36 minutes | 2 months ago
Cameron Esposito, Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich
Comedian Cameron Esposito wants to be clear: she's not from Illinois, she's from Chicago. Specifically, Little Italy, where her Italian American family has lived and ate red sauce and melted mozzarella for generations. Cameron is sentimental about Chicago's famed Italian beef sandwich, a big, sloppy, drippy, delicious mess that she has given up for a vegetarian lifestyle in Los Angeles. Chicago's Al #1 Italian Beef claims to be the inventor of the Italian beef, and host Rachel Belle gets the history from owner Chris Pacelli, who has worked in his family's business in some capacity for more than 60 years. Plus! Cameron and Rachel ponder the age-old question: "Is guacamole a lesbian food?" and Cameron reveals the unorthodox midnight snack she invented while working long, late hours on the road. Follow Your Last Meal on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Prancercise Founder Joanna Rohrback, Eggplant Parmesan
On Christmas Day 2012, a video was uploaded to YouTube featuring a woman in a pink top, costume jewelry and a styled coif prancing through a Florida park. A few months later the video went viral, and everyone from John Mayer to your mom's hairdresser was talking about Prancercise and its creator, Joanna Rohrback. Rohrback defines her Prancercise exercise program as "a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse's gait and ideally induced by elation." Rohrback is a very regimented eater. Once, when traveling abroad, she packed her suitcase full of her favorite, healthy foods to take along on vacation. So host Rachel Belle chats with a TSA spokesperson about the kookiest food people have tried to bring through security. We also talk about Chrissy Teigen's hack for getting gravy through TSA. Plus, food scholar Clifford Wright joins the show to share the history of the iconic Italian dish, eggplant parmesan. Follow Your Last Meal on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
35 minutes | 4 months ago
Carla Hall: Cheeseburger & Lemon Meringue Pie
Chef and TV personality Carla Hall (The Chew, Crazy Delicious) took a long and winding road to the kitchen. She started her career as an accountant, moved on to modeling and eventually charmed Americans with her charisma and from-the-heart cooking (and her catchphrase "Hootie Hoo!") on Bravo's Top Chef. Carla's last meal is pure Americana. In fact, pretty much every modern president, from Clinton to Trump, has been widely documented as a rabid cheeseburger fan. Host Rachel Belle chats with Matthew Wendel, the chef who cooked for President Bush and his family, about the cheeseburger that was famously, and regularly, served to foreign diplomats. Home DNA tests are all the rage, but when Carla Hall got the results of hers, it changed the way she cooked forever. We talk with Sarah Anderson from the Boston nonprofit, Oldways, about the African Heritage Diet and why food pyramids are not one-size-fits-all. Follow your Last Meal and Rachel Belle on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
32 minutes | 4 months ago
Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman, Steak Frites & A Bowl of Peak Season Vegetables
It's the Food + Friendship episode! Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are long-distance best friends who host the popular podcast Call your Girlfriend and co-wrote the new, best selling book Big Friendship. Just like New York City was the fifth character in Sex and the City, snacks might be the third wheel in Ann and Aminatou's friendship. After years of lounging on each other's couches, chatting and watching Gossip Girl in their comfiest clothes, the pair have perfected their snack game. Learn the bizarre, over-the-top history of the cheese ball (Ann's snack specialty) with its political ties to President Thomas Jefferson, and the not-so-wacky history of Texas queso (Aminatou's snack strength) with Lisa Fain, author of the cookbook Queso and The Homesick Texan blog. Is there a food that defines one of your friendships? A meal that has become a friendship tradition? In the 90s, when their friends were cooking sophisticated and foreign dishes, Seattle's Joelle Nole and Michelle Dideon forged a friendship over their secret love of beef stroganoff. But 28 years later they're still arguing over who won the Beef Stroganoff Off. Follow Your Last Meal on Instagram! "What would your last meal be?" On this James Beard Award finalist for best podcast, National Edward R. Murrow award-winning reporter Rachel Belle asks guests like Greta Gerwig, John Waters, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jenny Slate this question; but that’s just the beginning! Each dish’s origins, preparation, and cultural influence are among the many stones upturned as Rachel consults chefs and culinary anthropologists, fishmongers and fry cooks on her quest to explore every facet of Your Last Meal. Original music by Prom Queen.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31 minutes | 5 months ago
John Waters: A Single Leaf of Arugula
Filmmaker (Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, Cry Baby) John Waters built a decades long career creating strange, sometimes grotesque, cult art that, for years, had most of America clutching its collective pearls. But in his day to day life, John craves order and embraces a bit of the mundane: he cooks almost exclusively from the now defunct Cooking Light magazine. John eats healthy on the weekdays and splurges on the weekends and wanted to know how many hours/days/weeks it takes for a couple slices of coconut cream pie to show up as fat on his body. So host Rachel Belle interviews Seattle dietician Mya Kwon about the science of weight gain and how your feelings about food can influence the shape of your body. And learn the long history and art of fake plastic food with Justin Hanus, owner of Fake Food Japan. Justin works with craftspeople in Osaka, Japan who apprentice and train for years to work in factories that painstakingly create extremely detailed, plastic versions of ramen, sushi, spaghetti and ice cream that look identical to the real thing. Follow Your Last Meal on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
39 minutes | 6 months ago
Spilled Milk Podcast: Cacio e Pepe, Okonomiyaki, Chocolate Malt
Listening to Matthew Amster-Burton & Molly Wizenberg host the popular culinary comedy podcast 'Spilled Milk' is like eavesdropping on a giggly slumber party between two curious, well-read best friends who love to eat. Molly's last meal takes us to Oklahoma City, home of one of her favorite childhood treats: the chocolate malt at Braum's Ice Cream & Dairy Store. We'll learn the fascinating history of old timey, 19th century pharmacy soda fountains (which is where the malt was born, aww!) with beverage history buff Darcy O'Neil. And host Rachel Belle tries her very first (and second and THIRD!) malted milkshake. Matthew's last meal takes us to Japan, by way of Oakland, California with the owner's of Umami Mart, who break down okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake best enjoyed late at night with plenty of beer. Last but not least, legendary Italian chef, cooking show host and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich joins the show to share the history of cacio e pepe, one of Rome's most ancient pasta dishes. Follow Your Last Meal on Instagram! 'Your Last Meal' is a James Beard Award finalist for Best Podcast & has been the #1 food podcast on Apple Podcast. Each episode, award winning host Rachel Belle interviews a celebrity (Greta Gerwig, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jenny Slate, Betsey Johnson, etc) about what they would choose to eat for their last meal. Then, she digs into the history/science/culture of that dish with experts from around the globe. Don't let the name fool you, 'Your Last Meal' is not morbid! We use food as a catalyst to learn about people.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
33 minutes | 6 months ago
Best of: Isaac Mizrahi, Homemade Tomato Sauce & Mint Chip Ice Cream
We are hard at work on a brand new episode of 'Your Last Meal,' but until then we are re-releasing an updated version of one of our favorite interviews with Isaac Mizrahi! Acclaimed fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi has it all: humor, heart and hot takes on the culinary world. He knows what he likes (Long Island beefsteak tomatoes) and what he doesn't like (calling lemon juice "acid") and he shares it all with James Beard Award nominated host, Rachel Belle. When Isaac sends Rachel on a mission to uncover a mint chocolate chip ice cream mystery, she summons Ben & Jerry's flavor guru, Eric Fredette, who's responsible for creating flavors like The Tonight Dough and Brownie Batter Core, Heather Hodge, head chef at Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream in Seattle, and Nestle's test kitchen manager, Meredith Tomason. Nestle invented the chocolate chip back in the 1940s and Meredith shares the history of the legendary Toll House chocolate chip cookie. Months after this episode originally aired, Rachel and Isaac met up in Isaac's Manhattan kitchen to cook together. You can watch those videos here!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
32 minutes | 7 months ago
François Clemmons, Soul Food
François Clemmons is best known for playing Officer Clemmons on Mr Roger's Neighborhood from 1968 to 1993 and he shares the story of his life in a new book called Officer Clemmons: A Memoir. François tells James Beard Award finalist Rachel Belle about his special relationship with Fred Rogers, the first man who ever told him, "I love you." A resident of Vermont for decades, François' favorite foods are rooted in his family's southern upbringing. He got his local health food store to order him chitterlings and his favorite part of okra is its notorious slime. Soul Food Scholar Adrian Miller joins the show to share the history of those African American dishes, many of which came over from West Africa during the slave trade.One of the most controversial and divisive southern dishes is cornbread. African Americans tend to put sugar in their cornbread, while white southerners scoff at sweetener, arguing that cornbread shouldn't contain a speck of sugar. North Carolina food writer Kathleen Purvis pops in to share what she learned while writing the article, "Why does sugar in cornbread divide races in the South?" 'Your Last Meal' is a James Beard Award finalist for Best Podcast & has been the #1 food podcast on Apple Podcast several times. Each episode, award winning host Rachel Belle interviews a celebrity (Greta Gerwig, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jenny Slate, Betsey Johnson, etc) about what they would choose to eat for their last meal. Then, she digs into the history/science/culture of that dish with experts from around the globe. Don't let the name fool you, 'Your Last Meal' is not morbid! We use food as a catalyst to learn about people.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
37 minutes | 8 months ago
Danny Trejo, Tacos, Nachos & Coffee
Danny Trejo has happily played the villain, the bad guy & the mean dude in more than 300 films. And now that he's hit his 70s he's added a new career to his incredibly diverse portfolio: restaurant owner! Danny opened Trejo's Tacos and Trejo's Coffee & Donuts in Los Angeles and was adamant about packing the menu with healthy dishes like vegan jackfruit tacos, cauliflower tacos and horchata sweetened with dates instead of sugar.But if you're a taco snob who doesn't think vegan Mexican food is authentic, the history books will tell you otherwise. Denise Vallejo, vegan chef/owner of LA's Alchemy Organica, says Mexico didn't have flour tortillas, cheese, pork or sugar until the Spanish invaded. She connects to her ancestors by cooking with pre-colonial ingredients.And L.A. Taco's editor-in-chief and associate producer of Netflix's Taco Chronicles, Javier Cabral, joins the show to defend $5 fancy tacos. He believes it's merely culinary evolution and a celebration of quality ingredients. Pick up Danny's new cookbook, Trejo's Tacos: Recipes and Stories From L.A.Follow 'Your Last Meal' and host Rachel Belle on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 8 months ago
Rose McGowan, Taco Bell
Actor, activist and musician, Rose McGowan, was born and raised in Italy, in what many would describe as a cult. When she moved to the United States at age 10, she said she cried, knowing her days of eating delicious Italian food were over. Rose offers up two very different versions of her last meal: one that speaks to her Italian palate, and another that's reflective of her teenage life in America.Turns out, Rose and host Rachel Belle had very similar teenage tastes: both got by on a steady diet of Taco Bell. Or, if you're Rachel: Taco Belle. Taco Bell's unofficial historian and PR manager, Matt Prince, joins the show to share the history of the 58 year old fast food giant and he reminds us that a Taco Bell themed wedding can be a reality if you can just get yourself to Las Vegas.Listen to Rose McGowan's new album, Planet 9! Follow 'Your Last Meal' on Instagram! Join Rachel Belle's new 'Talk Less, Read More' BOOK CLUB, to educate yourself about race and the inequality Black people face in America. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 8 months ago
Valerie Bertinelli, Cappelletti in Brodo
Actor and Food Network star Valerie Bertinelli's happiest childhood memories are set in her Aunt Adeline’s basement kitchen, where pots bubbled with marinara for her mom's lasagna and her nonnie stood at the counter expertly rolling out gnocchi. But her favorite meal, her most comforting meal, her last meal is a delicate Italian dish that traces back to medieval times and was commonly served on Christmas. Which dish? You'll have to listen to find out!In honor of Valerie's beloved, late nonnie, host Rachel Belle interviews Vicky Bennison, creator of the "Pasta Grannies" YouTube channel and James Beard Award winning cookbook. Vicky travels around Italy, documenting elderly Italian housewives responsible for keeping the daily pasta making tradition alive. It's the most charming and delicious combination of floral house dresses and luscious looking hyper-regional pastas.Watch the new season of Valerie's Food Network show, Valerie's Home Cooking!Follow Rachel and "Your Last Meal" on Instagram!Check out these food podcasts hosted by black women! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
33 minutes | 9 months ago
Bethany Cosentino, The Cheesecake Factory's Mac & Cheese & Caesar Salad
The affection that Best Coast's singer, songwriter and guitarist, Bethany Cosentino, has for suburban chain restaurants is not ironic. A musician who's (almost) always on the road (thanks, quarantine), she finds it comforting to experience the same decor, menu and flavors no matter what city she's in.Bethany's favorite chain of all is The Cheesecake Factory, so host Rachel Belle chats with chief culinary officer and executive Vice President, Donald Moore, about how the restaurant's menu expanded from a small cafe in 1978 to the mammoth 250 item, 21 page tome we know today. He shares behind-the-scenes R&D secrets, like how simply tweaking the name of a burger can make it a best seller, and reminisces over dishes he loved and painstakingly developed...but nobody ordered.Bethany and Rachel also dive into The Internet's favorite topics: cats and pizza! Treat yourself to Best Coast's wonderful new album, Almost Tomorrow and support artists!Follow along on Instagram where you can join Rachel's Quarantine Cooking Club!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 10 months ago
Laura Prepon, Mussels
Actor Laura Prepon (That 70s Show, Orange is the New Black) is the mother of two tiny children and just released a book called You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood. But in her conversation with host Rachel Belle she opens up about her own mother, who was a serious, eccentric home cook who also taught Laura how to have an eating disorder.Laura's last meal is a dish she grew up eating at her family's east coast vacation home and a meal she hasn't enjoyed in years because she's either been pregnant or breast feeding.In honor of Laura's role as Alex, a federal prison inmate on the TV show Orange is the New Black, we revisit a 2016 interview Rachel did with the late rapper Prodigy, who passed away from complications due to sickle cell anemia in 2017. Prodigy wrote a book called Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook, featuring recipes he cooked while locked up at various New York state jails. He reveals how inmates procured various ingredients and where they whipped up the sodium dense dishes that created a rare and much welcomed comradery among prisoners.Make sure and follow Your Last Meal on Instagram and join Rachel's Quarantine Cooking Club, featured on Seattle's KING 5 Evening!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 10 months ago
Betsey Johnson: Smoked salmon with capers and plenty of lime
Betsey Johnson has been a fashion designer since the 1960s and her clothes are just as colorful and vivacious as the true stories in her new book, Betsey, A Memoir. From her courthouse wedding to the Velvet Underground's John Cale to years of eating nothing but Red Vines and almonds, she is the most free spirited, joyful, foul mouthed punk rock grandma the world did ever see.Betsey is teeming with creativity, but she has no interest in channeling it into cooking. A true creature of habit, she eats the same thing, day in and day out, and prefers to dine at a restaurant each night. She's been in the habit of eating salmon two meals a day, so host Rachel Belle checked in with the world famous Pike Place Fish Market, where they sell schools of salmon and famously throw fish to the delight of a pre-quarantined cheering crowd.Perhaps the most infamous intersection of fashion and food is the raw meat dress Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 MTV VMAs. The dress's creator, creative director Franc Fernandez, joins the show to share what cut of meat makes the best dress and how it was later preserved for eternity.Buy Betsey's memoir! Order sustainable fish with next day delivery from Pike Place Fish Market!Follow 'Your Last Meal' on Instagram and join the Quarantine Cooking Club, now in Week 5, where each weekend we all cook a dish inspired by the last meal of a past guest! Check out Rachel's IG to learn more. Last weekend we cooked Mexican food, the last meal of the podcast's most ridiculous guest, William Shatner.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | a year ago
Judy Gold: Challah, stuffed cabbage, chocolate pudding
Comedian Judy Gold's email signature reads "Sent while thinking about my next meal"...but what about her last meal?! A stand-up comic for nearly 40 years, Judy won two Emmy's for writing and producing The Rosie O'Donnell Show, has countless TV acting credits and, the highest honor of all, a bagel sandwich named after her at New York City's famous, and now defunct, Carnegie Deli.When describing her last meal, Judy speaks passionately, occasionally emitting a guttural moan of pleasure at the mere thought of one of her favorite foods. She craves a procession of comforting and sentimental dishes she grew up eating in her mother's New Jersey kitchen. Judy was raised kosher, but as an adult she's slowly welcomed forbidden foods like shellfish and bacon onto her plate.To properly explain kosher law, host Rachel Belle welcomes Rabbi Menachen Genack to the show. He's the CEO of OU Kosher, the world's oldest and largest kosher certification agency, responsible for giving products like Heinz Ketchup and Coca Cola the official kosher stamp of approval. Listen to Judy Gold's podcast KILL ME NOW -- Rachel Belle is her latest guest!If you're looking for yet another reason to cook during quarantine, join the Your Last Meal Quarantine Cooking Club on Rachel's Instagram page! Each week we all cook a dish inspired by the last meal of a past guest. Week One we made spaghetti and marinara inspired by fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, week two was mac & cheese, the last meal of "Little Women" director Greta Gerwig & celebrity librarian Nancy Pearl. What's cooking this week? Follow along on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
4 minutes | a year ago
The Your Last Meal Quarantine Cooking Club!
Hello, friends! Normally we would be releasing a new episode today. But a certain pandemic, of which we will not name, has complicated things a bit. We are still working on making new episodes, because we believe it's important to take a break from the news and spend 30 minutes talking about Lucky Charms or Banoffee Pie or Chicken Katsu, but it's just coming along a bit more slowly.In the meantime, follow along on Instagram to join in on this weekend's Your Last Meal Quarantine Cooking Club!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
32 minutes | a year ago
Ben Gibbard, Veggie Burrito from Taqueria Cancun
Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie, Postal Service) hates brunch. But heck, so did Anthony Bourdain! Host Rachel Belle explores the history of the mid-morning weekend meal and asks New Yorker writer Sadie Stein what's not to like about bottomless mimosas and Instagrammable #yolkporn. Ben is an ultramarathon runner who runs 100 mile races and, in turn, consumes a whole lot of calories. But what (and how??) does one eat while running for 23 hours straight? Ben shares his pregnancy-level food cravings and the drink that must be present at all races to keep the runny people from rioting. BURRITOS! We also talk about burritos! Ben's last meal takes us to the epicenter of burrito fanaticism: San Francisco's Mission District. Turns out, Ben and Rachel have been equally obsessed with the same burrito at the same taqueria for the past 20 years. And writer Gustavo Arellano, author of the book Taco USA, joins the show to share the history of the burrito. Follow Your Last Meal on Instagram!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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