The Clean Plate Club, Episode #8: Mark Heyman, Ben Leventhal (Hosted By Kitchensurfing)

Conflict! Drama! Confrontation! Yes, they’re all here in today’s episode of The Clean Plate Club. Our guests are two distinguished gentlemen. The first, Mark Heyman, is a good friend and the author of a little movie you may have heard of called Black Swan. How that movie came about and how Mark approached writing it makes up a good part of today’s podcast, so you get to hear the full behind-the-scenes saga. Our other guest, Ben Leventhal, was recently named The Most Important Food Blogger of All Time by First We Feast. Considering the fact that he co-founded, arguably the most important and widely-read restaurant news site in existence, you can see why he deserves it. Ben is also the president of a new company called Kitchensurfing which hosted our dinner on this particular eve. The site pairs up normal people like you and me with chefs who will come over to your house or apartment and make a dinner for you and your friends based on a budget you set. On the night of our podcast, our chef was the highly talented Tahoma Hauptman.

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The Clean Plate Club, Episode #7: Deb Perelman

This week’s Clean Plate Club guest needs no introduction: if you’re reading this and you haven’t visited Smitten Kitchen, you have your food blog priorities out of whack. Deb is the queen of the form, the sun at the center of the food blog universe. Don’t believe me? How many food bloggers can you name with tens of millions of readers a month, profiles in The New York Times, and a best-selling cookbook to boot? Deb is the real deal and I’m so lucky she agreed to talk to me over Skype, though we did get into a huge fight about photography. Let me explain.

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The Clean Plate Club, Episode #6: Jim Cantiello, Kat Odell

Before I tell you all about this week’s Clean Plate Club guests, I need to tell you something important: this week’s episode features a voicemail from Martha Stewart. I repeat: towards the end, you get to hear an actual voicemail from Martha Stewart.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me introduce you to Jim Cantiello and Kat Odell (though I think you may already know them). Jim is the charismatic MTV host–he tells great stories about his time there in the podcast–who is now Co-Executive Producer for The X Factor USA’s website; Kat is the editor of Eater LA and the star of the new Bravo show Eat, Drink, Love. That’s right: I cooked dinner for a Bravolebrity.

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The Clean Plate Club, Episode #5: Noah Galuten, Billy Scafuri

Our two guests at this week’s Clean Plate Club have a lot in common, though–as required by The Clean Plate Club manifesto–one is a food professional, one is not. Our food professional is Noah Galuten, who runs the kitchen at Bludso’s BBQ and hosts a terrific web show on YouTube called “The Food Feeder” (embedded below); he’s also been a food blogger (Man Bites World) and a writer for L.A. Weekly. Our other guest is the hilarious Billy Scafuri who you’ve probably seen in the viral videos he’s made with his comedy troupe The Harvard Sailing Team (I’ll embed “Boys Will Be Girls” below; it’s been viewed over 5 million times!).

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The Clean Plate Club, Episode #4: Ruth Bourdain (Josh Friedland)

We’re shaking things up this week with an exclusive one-on-one interview with the infamous/notorious/outrageous Ruth Bourdain, the brainchild of The Food Section’s Josh Friedland. In this exclusive one hour, in-depth interview, Josh opens up about Ruth Bourdain’s genesis, from avatar to book deal to James Beard Award to the front page of the New York Times. It’s a pretty terrific story and I thank Josh for taking the time to share it with us. If you want to listen in iTunes (like, in your car or at the gym), you can find it here. (While you’re there, take a moment to review the show, wouldya?)

Oh and if you’re curious about the farro salad that I make for Craig at the start…

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The Clean Plate Club, Episode #3: Drew Droege, Ganda Suthivarakom

Baked Ziti was on the menu for Episode #3 of The Clean Plate Club (along with that disastrous/not-so-disastrous chocolate cake) when I made dinner for one of the funniest people I know, Drew Droege, and one of the original founding-father/mother food bloggers, Ganda Suthivarakom of Eat Drink One Woman. If you don’t know Drew by name, you probably know his work; he’s a major player at The Groundlings (back in the day, he did improv with Kristen Wiig; something we talk about in the podcast), appears in various movies and TV Shows and is probably best known for the character he created for YouTube, his riff on Chloe Sevigny–“Chloe”–that’s something of a viral sensation. Here’s a taste of that.

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The Clean Plate Club, Episode #2: Zach Brooks, Luke Matheny

Hey everyone, I’m proud to share with you the second episode of my brand new podcast (it’s still brand new, right?) The Clean Plate Club, the show where I invite one food guest and one non-food guest over for dinner with me and Craig and record the conversation. This week’s guests are pretty impressive people: Zach Brooks, creator of Midtown Lunch and one of the best food podcasts out there, “Food Is The New Rock”; and Luke Matheny who just happens to have won an Oscar for his short film “God Of Love.” You may remember his hilarious speech which I’ll embed below.

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The Clean Plate Club, Episode #1: Besha Rodell & Rachel Shukert

Hey there! So guess what? A few weeks ago I had an idea for a podcast: what if I host a dinner party where I invite one food world guest and one non-food world guest over for dinner with me and Craig and I record the conversation? Wouldn’t that be fun to listen to? Well, after a trip to the Apple Store (where I procured a large, round microphone called a Snowball) I decided to put my plan into action. The result is what you see/hear below: The Clean Plate Club, a brand-spanking-new podcast that may become a regular feature here on the blog.

Our debut episode features two EXTRAORDINARY guests. The first is the celebrated food critic from L.A. Weekly, who stepped into Jonathan Gold’s shoes when he moved to the L.A. Times: Besha Rodell. The other guest is a hilarious author and playwright who took the world by storm with her brilliant Smash-recaps for New York Magazine’s Vulture site: Rachel Shukert. Her Kindle single about that experience is climbing up the Amazon charts.

So sit back, relax, click play and join us as fellow members of The Clean Plate Club. Then let me know what you think in the comments!

P.S. If you want recipes for the meal that I cooked for a famous food critic and a famous Smash critic, here’s my Caesar salad and here’s my chicken with cous cous and salsa verde. The plum cake is coming later this week.