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Chewing The Fat

Chicago Public Media

From WBEZ Chicago, Chewing the Fat is a weekly podcast with food journalists Louisa Chu and Monica Eng. Together they tackle cooking, dining, culture food policy, culinary characters and more.

From WBEZ Chicago, Chewing the Fat is a weekly podcast with food journalists Louisa Chu and Monica Eng. Together they tackle cooking, dining, culture food policy, culinary characters and more.
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Chicago, IL


From WBEZ Chicago, Chewing the Fat is a weekly podcast with food journalists Louisa Chu and Monica Eng. Together they tackle cooking, dining, culture food policy, culinary characters and more.






848 East Grand Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611 (312) 948-4600


CTF Ep 54 Last Meal

Louisa Chu and Monica Eng dedicate this series finale of Chewing the Fat, Louisa's late dog & companion Kiba Chu, Monica talks pig roasts w/ Jack Hitt and Louisa turns carrots into roast pork-ishness. What? This may be their last CTF meal but find their new "Chewing" podcast at, Thank you!

Duration: 00:50:01

CTF Ep 53 Do or Diet: David Ludwig and Dawn Lerman talk about losing that gut

Do or Diet: The Chewing the Fat ladies are back hearing from Dr. David Ludwig about his bestseller “Always Hungry” on the best way to finally lose that gut forever. Author Dawn Lerman talks about growing up the daughter of a 450 pound Don Draper who was always trying the food he advertised. And Louisa dares Monica to eat a shaggy piece of old chicken…but will she? Moving forward, you can find us in our new home,

Duration: 00:51:45

The Art of Lebanese cooking with Maureen Abood

Is one simple mistake ruining your hummus? Just how much bulgur belongs tabouleh? Why is demand for Middle Eastern food sweeping unlikely parts of the U.S.? And why does Lebanese food rule the region? Learn the answers to this and more in our interview with award-winning food blogger, and author of “Rose Water and Orange Blossoms,” Maureen Abood.

Duration: 00:16:18

BONUS White Heat 25, Legendary Chef Marco Pierre White (NEW interview)

A Chewing the Fat BONUS! In an all-new interview, hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to legendary chef Marco Pierre White on the release of "White Heat 25," the 25th anniversary edition of the book that inspired Anthony Bourdain and generations of cooks. Chef White tells all about Gordon Ramsay, Hot Doug’s, and much more. (photo: Marco Pierre White by Bob Carlos Clarke for the book cover of "White Heat 25")

Duration: 00:25:29

CTF Ep 52 Pleasure: Marco Pierre White, ortolan and eating with your hands

At what price pleasure? On the latest Chewing the Fat, it is the Pleasure episode. Hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to the original so-called bad boy chef Marco Pierre White, about the pain that made him give up his three Michelin stars. And Paris-based correspondent for The New York Times Liz Alderman talks about her story on the attempt to revive the tradition of the ortolan, the tiny songbird eaten with a napkin over the diner’s head, to hide one’s face from God. Plus Maria Rodale...

Duration: 00:41:25

CTF Ep 51 Food and Antibiotics: The butcher, the animal caretaker and the documentary filmmaker

Hard pill to swallow? Chewing the Fat examines our pairing of food & antibiotics. Hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to "Resistance" filmmaker Michael Graziano about the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, National Pork Producers Council Chief Veterinarian Dr. Liz Wagstrom about antibiotics and livestock, and Eataly butcher Daniel Roderfeld on their meat standards. Then Monica brings Louisa a Never Ever wild boar sausage, but what is it, and Will She Eat It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat...

Duration: 00:44:10

CTF Ep 48 Carnivore: Author Ted Genoways, blogger Hank Shaw, and deer hunting

Chewing the Fat gets to the matter of meat in this Carnivore episode. Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to Ted Genoways about his new book The Chain: Farm Factory and the Fate of our Food. And award-winning Hunter Angler Gardener and Cook blogger Hank Shaw about the ethics of harvesting your own meat. And Monica goes into the wild to hunt deer. Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Venison ribs in buffalo chili at the 2013 Harvard Sportsman's Club Wild Game...

Duration: 00:45:55

CTF Ep 46: Drinks, the artistry of cocktails with barman-author Greg Seider, & some rare teas

Happy New Year from Chewing the Fat! Hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk health conscious cocktails with Manhattan Cricket Club owner Greg Seider, author of the new book "Alchemy in a Glass." And Louisa invites Rare Tea Cellar owner Rodrick Markus to mix his take on a classic 50 / 50 Martini for cocktail hater Monica... but Will She Drink It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu | 50/50 Martini cocktails by Rare Tea Cellar owner Rodrick Markus)

Duration: 00:39:20

CTF Ep 41: Thanksgiving with Mario Batali, Marcus Samuelsson, Dorie Greensp

Happy Thanksgiving from the Chewing the Fat family, and we’re bringing our Season Four premiere episode! Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng serve main dish conversations with chef Marcus Samuelsson, The Sporkful’s Dan Pashman, plus FOCTF Brian Babylon makes us his new crockpot creation but... Will She Eat It?! Plus a celebrity chef Friendsgiving with Mario Batali, Dorie Greenspan, Prune chef / owner Gabrielle Hamilton, and best-selling Vegetarian Flavor Bible author Karen Page! Twitter:...

Duration: 01:05:46

CTF Ep 40: Chef Battle; & Top Chefs and a top brewmaster re-invent themselv

What happens when two Top Chefs and an American cider pioneer re-invent themselves? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng get a taste on this week’s "re-invention" episode and Season Three finale! They talk to Virtue Cider founder Greg Hall. And Parachute restaurant chef and owner Beverly Kim. Plus Maddy’s Dumpling House chef and owner Chrissy Camba. All live at the 7th annual WBEZ Chicago Chef Battle. Kendall College! Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa...

Duration: 00:30:32

CTF Ep 39: Mythbusting the Fat

Can fat make you sick? One listener listener letter inspires this week’s Chewing the Fat episode of MYTHBUSTING THE FAT. Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to Nina Teicholz, author of the New York Times best-seller The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. And for a dissenting opinion, Tufts University Professor of Medicine Alice Lichtenstein advises Monica to let go of her lard. Plus Louisa and Monica invite tech entrepreneur and chef Kimbal Musk to...

Duration: 00:50:21

CTF Ep 37: Community, Gardens, and Farms (Pets or plates? And who's winning

Pets or plates? And who's winning in urban farming? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng dig in on this week’s Community, Gardens, and Farms episode. Monica visits rural farmer Kim Snyder at Faith’s Farm and her free-range rabbits, some destined for plates, and others as surprise pets. Louisa crashes an urban end of summer picnic at the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm in the diverse neighborhood of Albany Park in Chicago. Show Notes: Twitter:...

Duration: 00:34:57

CTF RAW: Jeff Leach on food and our microbiome

Jeff Leach is trying to catch the healthiest gut in the world. The founder of the Human Food Project will embark on a series of different diets to see how they effect his gut microbiota. Here he talks to Monica Eng of WBEZ's Chewing the Fat about what we know and don't know about the human gut.

Duration: 00:13:13

CTF Ep 36 - Fermento: Why we love to eat bacteria

Fermentation is the new pickling! So say food fetishists. Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng explore the ancient and bubbling world in this week’s Fermento episode. They talk to FermUp podcaster Branden Byers, author of The Everyday Fermentation Handbook: A Real-Life Guide to Fermenting Food without Losing Your Mind or Your Microbes. And Louisa and Monica invite their WBEZ colleague and reporter Lauren Chooljian to taste fermented veggie kefirs and homemade kraut chi, but...

Duration: 00:54:17

CTF Ep 35: Raw Dairy

Got milk? Raw mare’s milk? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng got it, for this week’s Raw Dairy episode. But Will They Drink It? And they get an insider update from Greg O’Neill, American Cheese Society Chair and owner of Pastoral Artisan Cheese in Chicago. Then Andy Hatch explains why he won’t be making his award-winning Vacherin Mont d’Or inspired Rush Creek Reserve cheese this year. Plus Louisa gets into a heated but unpasteurized discussion on Monica’s raw milk story....

Duration: 00:46:11

CTF Ep 34: Super Markets

Yes, there’s destination dining, but destination markets? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng shop the aisles in this week’s Super Markets episode. Monica goes behind the scenes at ALDI US HQ. And they visit Louisa’s own local small but super market, The Dill Pickle, surprisingly Chicago’s only food co-op to date. Plus they talk favorite markets worldwide with expert Robyn Eckhardt, the blogger behind Eating Asia, on location in Turkey researching her upcoming book. Plus the...

Duration: 00:42:23

CTF Ep 33: Music

Chefs are the new rock stars, and rock stars want to be chefs? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng ask the experts in this week’s Music episode. Including Sound Opinions co-hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, backstage at their End of Summer BBQ on the WBEZ terrace. And from epic burger banger Kuma’s Corner, chef David Bacso on what’s metal and not. Plus Will She Eat It? guests Robin Linn and Jason Saldanha, producers of Sound Ops, discuss how to pair food and music, but will...

Duration: 00:51:02

CTF Ep 31: Icy

Why should you spend double digits on a pint of ice cream? Jeni of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream tells us why--in loving detail. We also take a tour of Chicago’s coolest delicacies, including Mario’s Italian Ice. Finally, we bite into the cold, spicy, mangoey treats served at Mexican neverias. These places inspire Louisa make a honey bun brulee sundae for Monica. But will she eat it? Find out on the Icy episode of Chewing the Fat.

Duration: 00:46:20

CTF Ep 30: Seafood

So long, and thanks for all the fish? Hold the boat! This week Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng try to stem the tide in the Seafood episode. They ask New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg what are our best sustainable choices. And Jon Rowley, whom Julia Child called “The Fish Missionary”, about how to pick them. Plus a visit to Calumet Fisheries, the James Beard award-winning smoked seafood shack, to eat Gulf shrimp and hear fish stories from manager Carlos...

Duration: 00:47:07