As a guy so closely associated with Mexican food, people may not realize Rick, at one point, was in the pastry department, and mixed with his Southern upbringing, pies are a big deal. Both sweet and savory pies seem to come to the forefront as summer moves into fall, but there are debates about which type of fat to use. Butter? Lard? Shortening? On this episode, Rick and Steve break it all down, then visit a legendary Middle Eastern bakery where they’ve been making savory pies for decades.
Like the salmon that swim upstream to spawn each year, we find ourselves, once again, navigating our way through the thicket of hungry and thirsty festival-goers at Chicago Gourmet in Millennium Park. On this episode, a quick check-in on the beginning of the second decade of this citywide culinary event, with the added bonus of a chorizo challenge, featuring the Chef Diana Davila, the Chef and owner of Mi Tocaya Antojeria, in the Logan Square neighborhood. She and Rick attempt to come up with an easy weeknight meal in 15 minutes or less, using just some chorizo, plus five extra ingredients you can find pretty much anywhere. Plus, a very special guest stops by to help me out in the kitchen.
We’ve been doing Ingredient Challenges for about three years now, and can’t believe we haven’t done this one yet. On this episode, a bacon challenge with Andrew Zimmerman, chef of two successful restaurants, Sepia has earned a Michelin star for each of the last seven years and just last year, he and his business partner, Emmanuel Nony opened Proxi. He and Rick attempt to come up with an easy weeknight meal in 15 minutes or less, using just some bacon, plus five extra ingredients you can find pretty much anywhere.
Fall is in the air. The apple trees are flush with fruit and while the kids love hot apple cider, those of us old enough to partake 21, have fermented cider to look forward to. But this isn’t really a seasonal drink anymore. Coming up on this episode, a cider revolution. We’re not talking about the sweet stuff, but rather, drier, leaner fermented cider that’s made by top-notch brewmasters. Rick and Steve are joined by Hayley Shine, the “Lady of Liquids” at Eris Brewery and Cider House in Chicago, then Kim Vavrick, Communications Director for Virtue Cider, joins us to talk about their style of cider.
It always been America’s favorite comfort food. Pizza is so much more to your favorite pie than just cheese, sauce and dough. There’s tavern-style in your local bar, popular chains, mom-and-pop storefronts, chef-driven pies, Neapolitan classics and so many more styles, all calling for cheese – mostly mozzarella – and sauce – mostly from tomatoes. On this week’s show, we’ll talk to the king of New York City pizza tours. Scott Weiner is the founder of Scott’s Pizza Tours, which leads about a dozen tours per week, but he also writes about pizza for Pizza Magazine, and happens to hold the world record for the number of pizza boxes. Then, we widen the lens a bit, looking at both the city of Buffalo, but also the entire East Coast with Arthur Bovino a pizza writer who says there’s a “Pizza Belt”. And finally, we talk with Tony Gemignani about the west coast flavors. Tony is the first American (and non-Neapolitan) to become World Champion Pizza Maker at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy, 11 years ago.
A trip to LA’s massive Korea Town, in search of a trio of dishes that speak to the Korean experience: kalbi, dokbokki and soontofu. Steve heads to the left coast to talk with the owners of three well-regarded restaurants there about the stories behind the dishes that have made them famous.
There are several Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago, but only one brewpub has a coveted star. Ian Davis is the Executive Chef at Band of Bohemia joins Rick Bayless as they attempt to come up with easy weeknight meals in 15 minutes or less, using just some mangoes, plus five extra ingredients you can find pretty much anywhere.
Coming up on the show, a trip to Kansas City yields a lot of slow-smoking, including some cuts with which you’re probably not as familiar. Steve talks with a few experts, including a food writer who spent nearly 30 years at the Kansas City Star, as well as a few Hall of Fame barbecue judges, who give me the lowdown on all things KC. A trip into the heartland for barbecue at all times of the day.
How tough is it finding a dishwasher, let alone a good server these days? The restaurant industry has all sort of challenges – a rising minimum wage, the high cost of food and rent… but nothing has captured the industry’s attention like a labor shortage. Staffing new projects has become a tricky enterprise. We’ll speak with a trio of industry experts this week, all focused on the daily challenges of hiring, training and retaining.
A lot of shakeups in my industry as of late. In just the past year, Food & Wine moved editorial from New York to Birmingham, Alabama, canning its Editor, Saveur cut production from 6 issues a year to four, and canned their Editor and publications like Chicagoist disappeared, while other online-only operations such as Tasting Table and GrubStreet pulled the plug on their Chicago bureaus as well. It’s not all bad news, but it does signal a shift in where consumers will be getting their food information in the future. On this episode, the new school of food journalism. Where do you go for recipes, food news, restaurants, chefs and reviews? We’ll talk to three people working on that very issue as we speak. Chris Ying writes restaurant columns for the San Francisco Chronicle, and is now working with David Chang on Majordomo Media, a new endeavor, where they are in the process of launching a new website. Kevin Pang knows a little bit about daily life at a major newspaper. The USC grad worked in L.A. before coming to work for the Chicago Tribune, where he wrote reviews and food stories for the Trib for more than a decade. He left to start up The Takeout, a project that the A.V. Club started, and that of course is part of The Onion. And in our final segment, we head to Toronto, the birthplace of TheTaster.ca – brainchild of Chris Nuttall-Smith who was the Restaurant Critic at The Globe and Mail, then left and did a stint at a judge on Top Chef Canada, and most recently, has launched The Taster.