What does a cookbook collaborator do? Meet J.J. Goode. He’s become the go-to guy for chefs who want to write cookbooks with panache. He’s collaborated with April Bloomfield on “A Girl and Her Pig,” Morimoto on the Morimoto Cookbook, and–most recently–Andy Ricker on the Pok Pok Cookbook, which is already having quite a debut. A curious fact is that J.J. does all of this with radial aplasia which, for all intents and purposes, means he tests all of these recipes with one arm. How does he do it? And how does one get a career like J.J.’s? Listen in and find out.
So as many of you know, I spent a year hosting a web show for the Food Network that brought me face-to-face with some of its biggest stars: Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Alton Brown. I haven’t really talked about what I saw behind the scenes but in this week’s podcast, I open up with journalist Allen Salkin who just released a fascinating book called From Scratch: Inside The Food Network. Listen in and learn what Food Network culture’s really like, why their ratings are going down, how they handled the Paula Deen crisis and what they could do to save themselves. You can also listen in iTunes by clicking here.
You have to be pretty charming to convince David Sedaris to let you turn one of his stories into a movie. But that’s precisely the quality that allowed filmmaker Kyle Patrick Alvarez to adapt the short story C.O.G. into a terrific film starring Jonathan Groff. Kyle’s our guest this week along with L.A. Weekly food writer Tien Nguyen, who not only helps compose the annual Best of L.A. issue but also just co-authored a cookbook with celebrated chef Roy Choi. Here’s a picture of everyone at the table with their artichokes.
Almost a decade ago, when I started my scrappy little food blog, an e-mail arrived all the way from Paris, France from a young woman named Clotilde Dusoulier who had her own food blog called Chocolate & Zucchini. She told me that she liked what I was doing; I checked out her site and I liked what she was doing. We became fast friends–digital pen pals, you might say. We had a dinner at Babbo in New York (documented here with pictures erased, sadly), a dinner in Paris at Ze Kitchen Galerie (those pictures work!). She went on to write several books, including Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen, Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris, and–most recently–a book so gorgeous I have to show you a picture of it.
I was positively giddy about this week’s Clean Plate Club guests: Barrett Foa, who first entered my consciousness as the star of Avenue Q on Broadway and who’s now a regular on one of the most popular shows in the country (NCIS: Los Angeles) and Top Chef Master and culinary legend Suzanne Tracht, chef/owner of Jar. With these guests, we got to talk about two of my favorite subjects: cooking and musical theater! Oh and deforestation. Just kidding, we didn’t talk about deforestation. But here’s some other stuff that’s covered…
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 Eater.com, 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.
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!).