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2018’s best cookbooks and restaurant openings

Holiday gift buying is in full swing, and so we’re looking back on a year of stellar cookbooks with Celia Sack of Omnivore Books. We’re also highlighting two great indie food zines you should know about. Plus: chef Anita Lo goes “Solo” and Zach Brooks and Evan Kleiman dissect their favorite restaurants of the year.


Nik Sharma’s journey, ‘Now & Again,’ and doomsday prepping

Nik Sharma represents a new vanguard of personal stories being told in food media. Julia Turshen shares some tips about spending time with loved ones during the holidays. We also delve into the lesser-known traditions of Hanukkah and learn how to prep for the apocalypse with the chefs of Joe Beef.


Yotam Ottolenghi finds joy in simplicity

Israeli-British chef Yotam Ottolenghi is back with a collection of simple recipes, and home cooks have never been happier. Meanwhile, two professors trace the history of halal food. Anissa Helou paints a colorful portrait of the flavors of North Africa and the Middle East in “Feast.” Dining options in South LA are diversifying with a new all-day cafe. Plus: guavas and cocktails are a match at the market.


‘The Final Table’, NYC food delivery, and a waffle quest

Still recovering from Thanksgiving? Relax with some bingeable television. Andrew Knowlton of Netflix’s “The Final Table” reflects on filming the star-studded cooking competition show. We also explore the often unseen world of food delivery men in New York, and we discover if LA’s waffle scene stacks up to one legendary “hippie waffle.”


Good Food’s Thanksgiving tips

Evan Kleiman and Dorie Greenspan answer your questions about making a memorable Thanksgiving meal. Culinary technologist Dave Arnold is bringing his Thanksgiving hacks to the potluck, too. There’s a new film in theaters about a chef prodigy named Flynn McGarry. Plus: Los Angeles pie queen Nicole Rucker dishes on her holiday treats.


Soul food, from Tennessee to Israel

Carla Hall wants readers to celebrate the difference between southern food and soul food with her new cookbook. Home cook Timothy Pakron is southern and vegan? James Beard Award-winner Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook have brought back soulful recipes and stories from their trips to Israel. Plus: the L.A. Kitchen and the Santa Monica Farmers Market announce some bittersweet endings.


Fermentation, both ancient and new

Noma chefs Rene Redzepi and David Zilber are sharing their fermentation lab secrets with the world in a new book. Speaking of fermented, we’re going across the pond to the birthplace of cheddar cheese, while foraging expert Pascal Baudar is creating funky brews using local, natural ingredients. Also: Tokyo turnips are popping up at the market, and two friends of Good Food recently received a special honor.


Samin Nosrat: making food TV like never before

Samin Nosrat’s “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” was one of 2017’s most beloved cookbooks. Now Samin is boldly reshaping what food TV can look like with a four-part Netflix series by the same name. Plus: a look at autumnal fruit, including persimmons and the ever-multiplying varieties of apples. Finally, the humble bowl of porridge is fast becoming an artform.


Anthony Bourdain’s enduring legacy

Now that Anthony Bourdain’s final season of Parts Unknown is airing on television, we revisit some of Bourdain's classic interviews with Good Food over the course of the chef’s landmark career. Plus, a visit to a remarkable memorial in New York. Also, we learn more about Tony’s love of punk rock from his 2010 appearance on KCRW’s Guest DJ Project.


Raising the bar: a world of drinks in LA

“You know, Sinatra drank here.” This week you’ll hear about the past, present, and future of Los Angeles’ bar scene: from history buffs to the mavericks shaking up the bar industry by making it a more equitable and just place for all. Plus: a Koreatown cocktail bar with a tasting menu, and a visit from a vermouth maker.


Solving a milk mystery, Daniel Patterson, and Slow Food

A doctor sets out to solve the mystery of why her newborn daughter won’t breastfeed. A fresh take on soul food is coming to LA’s West Adams neighborhood, thanks to chefs Daniel Patterson and Keith Corbin. World leaders and citizens convened at last month’s Global Climate Action Summit. Plus: contributor Simran Sethi reports on this year’s Slow Food gathering in Turin, Italy.


Sweets: baking, and canning, and enjoying. Oh my!

We all deserve a little sweetness. So this week, we’re all about baking, preserving, and appreciating desserts. Rose Levy Beranbaum shares her “Baking Basics.” We’ll hear about an unusual homage to cake. Joyce Goldstein is a master of preservation.. And Food52’s Kristen Miglore collects essential sweet treat recipes in “Genius Desserts.” Also: sunchokes at the market and LA’s love for pan dulce.


NAFTA and Mexico, coastal California, and a Queens food tour

Trump has called NAFTA the “worst” trade deal in history, but professor Alyshia Galvez says it’s Mexico’s food system that bears the brunt of it. Santa Barbara is home to some of California’s greatest seafood and produce, as Jason Paluska and Pascale Beale know all too well. Plus: a culinary tour of the New York’s most diverse borough, and novelist Jervey Tervalon dedicates a poem to his late friend Jonathan Gold.


The 'Fuerte Four,’ nixtamalization, and eggplants

Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament is this Sunday and our judges are faced with the ultimate decision: corn or flour? Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the LA area. And did you know that inside your tortilla is an ancient process, perfected over centuries? Also, L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls a Guadalajara taco crawl with Jonathan Gold. Plus: some tips on cooking eggplant, now in season.


Plastic straws, Persian cuisine, and Meathead Goldwyn

What does the history of plastic straws tell us about U.S. capitalism? Growing up in Tehran, Naz Deravian watched her parents entertain with classic Persian dishes; now she’s carrying on the tradition in LA. Stressed about cooking brisket this Rosh Hashanah? Help is here. Plus, Zach Brooks stops by to discuss Jonathan Gold’s review of Vespertine.


Jell-O and feminism, ‘Losing Earth,’ vertical farming

A new book examines the intersection of American feminism and Jell-O. This Labor Day, throw some desserts on the grill. Nathaniel Rich dives into the consequences of ignoring climate change warnings. Does vertical farming yield the same nutrient content as open air agriculture? Also: Tien Nguyen remembers Jonathan Gold’s impassioned defense of San Gabriel noodle shops, including Nha Trang.


Thai food, from Bangkok to SoCal

Thai food is having a renaissance. We revisit conversations with James Syhabout of Hawker Fare and Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker, who are showing U.S. diners the wider canon of Thai food. We also hear about Bangkok’s unique food culture. How does the history of Thai food in LA tell the story of Thai assimilation? Plus: hear Jonathan Gold’s original review of Jitlada, the beloved Thai restaurant in Hollywood.


The Great Tortilla Tournament, nixtamalization, and Guerrilla Tacos

Let’s talk tortillas! Gustavo Arellano announces KCRW’s first-ever Great Tortilla Tournament, to choose the best tortilla in LA out of a bracket of 64. Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the L.A. area. And did you know that inside your tortilla is an ancient process, perfected over centuries? Also, L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls a Guadalajara taco crawl with Jonathan Gold.


Joël Robuchon, restaurant lines, and Jonathan Gold on N.W.A.

This week the world lost its most highly decorated chef, Joël Robuchon. Chef Ludo Lefebvre recalls lessons he learned at the hands of this master. We also revisit Evan Kleiman and Jonathan Gold’s 2014 visit to Robuchon’s Vegas restaurant. Jean Trinh investigates how some diners in LA can stand waiting two or more hours in line. Finally, we recall Jonathan Gold’s coverage of the influential rap group N.W.A.


Omega-3s, 'Downtime' with the Redzepis, and zucchini ice cream

Paul Greenberg discusses what the Omega-3 boom means for our planet and lives. Nadine Redzepi talks about cooking for culinary giants like her husband Rene Redzepi in ‘Downtime.’ Crafting a menu takes more than exceptional produce, says writer Diana Henry. Also, a tour and history of LA’s pan dulce scene. Plus: ‘City of Gold’ director remembers Jonathan Gold’s 1992 piece on the LA riots.