KCRW's Good Food Good Food explores current events, social phenomena, history and culture through the lens of food. From food politics to the science behind cooking, host Evan Kleiman highlights the diverse community of cooks, farmers, entrepreneurs, historians and journalists who have devoted their lives to food.
KCRW's Good Food

KCRW's Good Food

From KCRW

Good Food explores current events, social phenomena, history and culture through the lens of food. From food politics to the science behind cooking, host Evan Kleiman highlights the diverse community of cooks, farmers, entrepreneurs, historians and journalists who have devoted their lives to food.

Most Recent Episodes

Mexican vegetarian, corn smut, tortillas, veggie sandos

Mexican chef Margarita Carrillo Arronte says Americans have the wrong impression of food which isn't all about comfort — fat and fried. When a chef told Carolina Aboumrad and Ricardo Olvera that his dream product was huitlacoche, they decided to import it to the U.S. Ricardo Ortega aims to make tortillas using honest ingredients at his tortilleria, Kernel of Truth Organics. Lexis-Olivier Ray of L.A. Taco rounds up the city's best meat markets and carnicerías. New York Times critic Tejal Rao runs down her favorite veggie sandwiches across Los Angeles. Finally, the Crenshaw Farmers' Market has relocated again, with better visibility and a match program for CalFresh benefits.

Fungi, fermentation, vinegars, ground meat

Simran Sethi explores how to reconnect with the earth through mushrooms in her series "Fruiting Bodies" for the Museum of Food and Drink. Andrea Gentl shares how her experiences photographing mushroom hunters inspired her to reconnect with her upbringing and bring mushrooms into her home kitchen. Rain means mushrooms for Tutti Frutti. Barbara Whyman tells us about foraging them and Travis Hayden has ideas for how to cook with them. Food historian Julia Skinner explores the roots of fermented foods, from bread and kimchi, to coffee and cheese. Forager Pascal Baudar uncovers place-based vinegars across various landscapes. Finally, Lisa Gill of Consumer Reports outlines dangerous bacterias found in ground beef.

Noma, 'The Woks of Life,' remembering Sylvia Wu, carrots

Amid news that he is again shifting concepts at Noma, René Redzepi discusses the restaurant's reinvention. "The Woks of Life" documents the Leung family's history through food. Sylvia Wu brought an Angeleno sensibility to Chinese food, expanding the cuisine and its fans. Tejal Rao explains her impact and legacy. Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad embrace make-ahead condiments, dressing, and sauces in their latest test kitchen cookbook. Chef Zarah Khan culls carrots at the farmer's market for a new dish at Rustic Canyon. Finally, from a garage pop-up to a brick and mortar in Melrose Hill, Bill Addison reviews Filipino favorite, Kuya Lord.

Emotional eating, recipes for future catastrophes, Haitian soup

Mary Beth Albright discusses the new field of psychology that examines how food and eating are linked to mood. After sitting on a panel with five billionaires, Douglas Rushkoff began exploring how the megarich are preparing for the end of the world. Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft returns with an update on cultured meat. Curators Zane Cerpina and Stahl Stenslie rethink eating habits, challenge food taboos, and explore new recipes for humanity's survival in a new cookbook. Chef and children's book author Cybille St. Aude-Tate explains the origins of Haiti's independence day dish, soup joumou.

'Maíz is life' — the history, science, and politics of masa

*This episode originally aired on October 15th, 2022* Some people measure the passing of time by the weather. Some people measure it by holidays. Good Food measures it in tortillas. Every year, for the last five years, host Evan Kleiman helps Gustavo Arellano judge KCRW's Tortilla Tournament. Every year, it has gotten bigger and more competitive. Every year, listeners learn a little more about the subtleties of texture, flavor, density, and consistency. But in half a decade, one thing has remained the same — at the heart of any truly great tortilla or pupusa or tamal, you'll find one ingredient — masa.

Best of 2022: Black Food Fridays, bananas, rye, Scottish bakes

This week, the Good Food team revisits their favorite segments of the year. KJ Kearney, founder of Black Food Fridays, works to recognize the contributions of his ancestors every week. Anthropologist Deepa Reddy explains banana diversity in India which makes the fruit ubiquitous and vital to the country's culture. Food scholar Darra Goldstein describes the evolution of Russian cuisine despite scarcity and isolation. To understand his cultural history and deepen his culinary passion, Austin-born Rick Martinez moved to Mexico and visited 32 states. Coinneach MacLeod spent much of his time during the pandemic baking. Soon, he became a TikTok star. At Bé Ù, Uyên Lê serves Vietnamese comfort and street food while promoting equity and sustainability.

The Menu, Hanukkah, tamales, French cakes

Screenwriters Seth Reiss and Will Tracy tackle issues of class, consumerism, art, and privilege in "The Menu." Katianna and John Hong, the husband-and-wife duo behind Korean American restaurant and deli Yangban Society, discuss their blended Hanukkah and Christmas traditions. Michael W. Twitty, an African American Jewish writer and culinary historian, considers the "braid of influences" that have shaped his Hanukkah traditions. Want a new twist on the latke? Chef Chris Scott's herbed potato and onion waffle is the perfect Hanukkah treat. From the ancient history of the tamal (which existed before the tortilla), to the variety of fillings, to regional twists, to different methods of preparation, Indigenous culinary anthropologist Claudia Serrato talks about tamales, top to bottom. Food writer Aleksandra Crapanzano shares the French approach to making dessert at home. Finally, chef Scott Zwiezen reopens Elf Cafe in Echo Park with a new look and some new additions to the menu.

Comfort food — soup, pierogies, Italian cuisine

Soup is delicious, easy to make, versatile, and a great way to use leftovers. But despite its many virtues, it's not terribly chic or exciting. Journalist and cultural commentator Anne Helen Petersen aims to change that. Born of peasant food to become a national dish, food writer and cook Zuza Zak dedicates a new cookbook to the Polish pierogi. Chris Scott, a chef known for his Brooklyn soul food restaurant Butterfunk, draws out the Dutch and German influences in soul food. Italian grandmothers are still waking early to make pasta by hand and author Vicky Bennison is here for it. With a $350 tasting menu and a mere 35 guests a week, Bill Addison crowns Hayato with the top spot on the LA Times 101 Best Restaurants list.

Best cookbooks of 2022, Ukrainian food, salt, curry

Bookstore owner Celia Sack shares her annual picks for best cookbooks with a surprising trend from first generation authors. Anna Voloshyna, a Ukrainian-born food writer and cooking instructor living in the Bay Area, she gets closer to home by sharing family favorites and modern reimaginings of traditional recipes. Ghetto Gastro's cookbook "Black Power Kitchen'' aims to change the narrative of Black food through history, art, culture, and recipes. Naomi Duguid traveled the world to research how the essential ingredient of salt is collected and used. Raghanvan Iyer's upcoming book is a love letter to a spice blend that is celebrated among cultures around the world.

Rediscovering nature — fishing, mushrooms, hospitality

Author and essayist Priya Basi, the co-founder of Authors for Peace, reflects on hospitality and the roles of host and guest beyond the act of feeding someone. Environmentalist Paul Greenberg examines his relationship with his father and fishing. Environment lawyer Thomas Linzey looks at the rights of water from the point of view of water itself. Journalist Lucy Jones reflects on how the return to nature aids both the body and mind. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg sets the stage for a story of rebirth, rejuvenation, and regeneration in his documentary "Fantastic Fungi."