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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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Feature Archive 'Podcasts'

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Newer Entries »
04.27.06

Surgeon of Saltaus

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Nader Salti

Sometimes it’s easier to save a life than serve a diner.

This is some of the wisdom I recieved from Nader Salti, a Jerusalem born practicing surgeon, who owns and operates Saltaus restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood in his free time.

In this week’s podcast we talk about street food in Jerusalem, the challenges of restaurant entrepreneurship, and Saltaus chef Brad Phillips, previously of Nomi and Blackbird restaurants.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Nader Salti Interview

Check out our photo slideshow of Saltaus by photographer Tuan Bui.

04.21.06

Blackbird Cooking in the Dead of Night

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Paul Kahan

If Paul Kahan was a musician, he’d be a critic’s indie darling. Kahan makes a career of flying below the radar, all the while turning out sublime cuisine. Even though he won the James Beard award for Best Chef Midwest and was named Food and Wine Best New Chef in 1999, he skipped the limelight, avoided writing ego driven cookbooks, and focused on his craft. In contrast to his fellow Food and Wine Best New Chef classmate, Rocco Dispirito, there was no reality show restaurant meltdown for Kahan.

Like an indie band, Kahan makes sure he’s saying something with his art. He pays attention to the politics of the plate, using organic products, developing relationships with independent purveyors, and always respecting seasonality. This is no mere lip service. Kahan was instrumental in building up Chicago’s Green City Market which supports small family farms.

Along with Charlie Trotter and Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan and Blackbird paved the way for independent restauranteurs and played a role in defining Chicago’s current fine dining scene.

Fans of Kahan will be exicited to hear he may be opening a gastropub in Chicago later this year. In our podcast we talk about the vision for this new concept, sustainable agriculture, meat cures, the power of chefs, the influence of architecture on food, and whether chefs take themselves too seriously.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Paul Kahan Interview

Check out our photo slideshow of Blackbird restaurant and Paul Kahan by photographer Tuan Bui.

04.14.06

Soul of a Food Writer

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Michael Ruhlman

Writer Michael Ruhlman - Photo by: D.T. Ruhlman

If the writer thing didn’t work out, Michael Ruhlman could have always opened a restaurant. On the afternoon I interviewed the writer and James Beard Award winner, he cooked a lunch of sweet cured confit pork belly which we ate on crusty French bread with Dijon mustard and a few glasses of Pinot Noir. It was exceptional. Thankfully, his food writing is even better.

Ruhlman penned The Making of a Chef, a behind the scenes look at what it takes to make it at the Culinary Institute of Arts, and The Soul of a Chef, a profile of top chefs including Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in Napa Valley.

His new book, coming out in May, The Reach of a Chef , examines Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago, Masa Takayama of Masa in New York City, and topics like Food Network’s impact on the culinary world.

Ruhlman also coauthored the French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, and Charcuterie:The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.

In this podcast we talk about, the impact of chef driven cuisine, whether chefs are artists, food personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Chef Thomas Keller, and charcuterie.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Michael Ruhlman Interview

04.07.06

Symon Says

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Mike SymonBesides my Polish grandmother, no one, except Chef Michael Symon, has done more for the humble pierogie. Using his father’s recipe, Chef Symon incorporated the lowly dumpling into gourmet cuisine by stuffing it with lobster and crab. Chef Symon calls upon his heritage, whether it’s his mother’s Greek and Sicilian ancestors, or his father’s Eastern European roots , and refines the best examples of those cuisines. He also likes to throw in a dash of Cleveland, avoiding pretension and striving for accessibility in his food.

At Lolita and the soon to reopen Lola in Cleveland, along with his New York City venture Parea, Chef Symon is practicing what might be classified as New Midwestern Cooking, a unique style that has earned him honors such as Food and Wine Best New Chef, a James Beard nomination, multiple appearances on the Food Network including an Asparagus battle with Iron Chef Morimoto, and even his own chapters in the book, Soul of a Chef.

In this week’s podcast, I spoke with Mike Symon about curing his own meats, James Beard, his Iron Chef dream ingredient, and what’s going on in his new restaurants.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Michael Symon Interview

03.27.06

It Takes Matzo Balls

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Brad Rubin

No gutbombs or paperweights allowed. You need fluffy matzo balls, the kind that suck up rich chicken broth. You also need freshly steamed moist corn beef, peppery handcut pastrami. Throw in a syrupy frothy egg cream, a couple of crusty charming countermen, deep vinyl booths, and a healthy dose of chrome, and you got yourself a old style delicatessen and late night diner.

A student of the legends like Katz’s, Langers, and the Rascal House, Bradley Rubin, the owner and visionary behind Chicago’s soon to open Eleven City Diner (March 30, 2005, 1112 S. Wabash ) knows this. It’s why the only sleep he gets nowadays is a few winks curled up on the diner’s leather banquettes shrouded by a thin blanket and guarded by carved art deco wood patterns.

Rubin’s devoted his days (and his nights) to the details, whether it’s installing an old Bastian Blessing soda fountain or pinching the kreplach right. Rubin is a firebrand, slinging stories like a good counterman slings corn beef, and he’s devoted to keeping alive the community and spirit of the old coffee shops, late night diners, and jewish delicatessans with Eleven City Diner.

In this week’s podcast, we talk to Rubin about the old deli legends, whether you need Brooklyn water to make a good bagel, the elements of a great deli/diner, and the perils of entrepreneurship.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Bradley Rubin Interview

Go inside Eleven City Diner with a photo slideshow from Hungry photographer Tuan Bui.

03.20.06

Good Eats

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Alton Brown and a Dinosaur

Alton Brown attacks - Photo by Tuan Bui

We don’t swoon at the feet of food celebrities. In fact, everytime Giada De Laurentiis pops up on our tv screens with her carefully orchestrated cleavage and soft focus kitchen, we feel a little ill. It’s not that we don’t think she can cook, because we know she can. It’s just that it is such an overt attempt at capturing the 18-43 year old hormonally challenged male demographic. It’s food porn where the food isn’t even in the money shot. Besides, everyone knows that young males are watching Stone Cold Steve Austin throwing down on WWE Raw with bikini clad ladies dancing in the backround.

That being said, we were at the Home and Housewares show at Chicago’s McCormick Center last week when we ran into Alton Brown of Good Eats. He is clearly a food celebrity, but a celebrity who is teaching America about the science behind our favorite foods. He tackles the food we cook everyday and demonstrates the best techniques for success. It’s an idea we love.

In this week’s podcast, we talked about how Americans don’t break down their own poultry anymore, why Alton thinks Shun knives are the best bang for the buck, and in light of his own personal health scare, what he’s doing to promote healthy eating. We also caught some of Alton’s cooking demonstration at the show, and feature the question and answer session that followed. Find out what new shows the Good Eats staff has planned.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Alton Brown Interview

You can also view a slideshow of the Home and Housewares show, including pics of Mario Batali, from Hungry magazine photographer Tuan Bui.

Alton has also put out a couple of great cookbooks. You can order them here.

03.15.06

Zen Master

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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chef noah bekofsky

Chef Noah Bekofsky - Photo by Tuan Bui

Chef Noah Bekofsky’s first food memories were a macrobiotic diet of brown rice and miso soup, and he didn’t start eating meat until he was 14. Chef Bekofsky of Aria restaurant in Chicago’s Fairmont hotel grew up in the hippie confines of Eugene, Oregon, where it was all about fresh and organic. Rest assured, the man who was weaned on greens can cook a mean lamb chop. He’s also a well centered philosopher of life and food.

In this week’s podcast conversation, we explore the politics of the plate, talk about big and painful tattoos, about how to raise children with a healthy food consciousness, and for good measure, a bit about Tiger Woods and the Chicago Cubs.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Noah Bekofsky Interview

You can also view a slideshow of the Aria kitchen from Hungry magazine photographer Tuan Bui.

03.03.06

Old School

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Paul Virant Makes Sausage
Chef Virant Works his Grandfather’s Sausage Stuffer

Paul Virant, of Vie restaurant in Western Springs, is a new school chef focusing on old school ways. Lots of chefs talk about cooking in season, using local products, and cooking from the heart. Many of those chefs are just throwing out buzzwords. Chef Virant, on the other hand, is working hard to source midwestern ingredients, preserving and canning fruits and vegetables, curing meats, foraging for mushrooms, and digging fresh ramps. He believes in the purity of food, and celebrating the simple bounty of the earth. When we spoke during this interview, I asked him who he’d invite to a dinner party he was throwing. His response, Jimi Hendrix, legendary French Chef Fernand Point, and famed ecologist Rachel Carson. Yep, an ecologist. Paul Virant is the real deal.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Paul Virant Interview

You can also view a slideshow of Vie from Hungry magazine photographer Tuan Bui.

02.24.06

Big Red

Podcasts, Serve: All Things Sustainable or Charitable


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Chef Noah serves lambchops
Chef Noah Bekofsky serves lamb chops at Big Red

It was a low carb dieter’s dream.

Wednesday night, some of Chicago’s finest chefs joined St. Francis winery to offer up a feast of red meat and wine. The Big Red event, a fundraiser to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, was held at the University Club downtown. Offerings included roast beef tenderloin and gorgonzola risotto, oxtail ravioli dumplings, braised short ribs, and roast lamb loin chops.

In our podcast review of the event (What is a Podcast?) we caught up with Jesse Fultineer of N9NE steakhouse, David Burke of the forthcoming Primehouse David Burke and current NYC fave David Burke and Donatella, Noah Bekofsky of Aria, and Gil Langlois of SushiSamba.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Big Red Interviews

If you missed the event, you can still help the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago by volunteering or donating your time. For more information, check out: Boys and Girls Clubs

You can also view a slideshow of Big Red from Hungry magazine photographer Tuan Bui.

02.20.06

Sweet Science

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Ben Roche works the laser Chef Roche Works the Moto Laser - Photo: Tuan Bui

If the whole physics thing didn’t pan out, and Albert Einstein pursued a career as a pastry chef, he’d probably would have been a lot like Chef Ben Roche. Chef Roche, pastry chef at Moto restaurant in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood, employs an arsenal of lasers, liquid nitrogen, and alginate powders to construct a new dessert movement in American cuisine. Chef Roche, along with his partner at Moto, Chef Homaro Cantu, are not breaking conventions. They are ignoring them altogether. Chef Roche eschews cookbooks for inspiration, and instead finds inspiration in Surrealism and the experimentation of Salvador Dali.

In our podcast (What is a Podcast?) Roche talks about Dali’s influence, collecting smokey vanilla essence with a class 4 laser, and inventing hot ice cream for Albert Adria of El Bulli.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Ben Roche Interview

You can also view a slideshow of Chef Roche working in the Moto kitchen from Hungry magazine photographer Tuan Bui.

02.13.06

Zebra of a Different Stripe

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Shawn McClain Plates Chef McClain Plates - Photo by: Tuan Bui

Shawn McClain is one part Steve Jobs, one part Charles Barkley, and just a dash of Jeff Spicoli. Chef McClain, like Jobs, is restless with ideas and vision. McClain focuses on the essence of an ingredient. Whether it’s Asian-inspired seafood at Spring, seasonal and veggie driven cuisine at Green Zebra, or a juicy bone-in-ribeye at his newest venture, Custom House, ingredients shine on the plate. McClain, like Barkley, also isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He is not a fan of snarky food criticism and refuses to be defined by it. Like Sean Penn’s character Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, McClain mixes in a bit of a west coast attitude and serendipity, attending culinary school, even when he wasn’t sure what it would amount to.

It has added up to a small empire that includes three of the finest restaurants in Chicago, all of which have received critical and national acclaim. Chef McClain has received best new restaurant honors from Bon Appetit, was named “Chef of the Year” by Esquire magazine and one of “40 under 40” to watch by Crain’s Chicago Business, and has been nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef Midwest.

In our podcast (What is a Podcast?) McClain talks about developing his simple culinary approach, what it takes to succeed in fine dining, what it takes to sustain the success, and why GQ magazine food writer Alan Richman should be “put to pasture.”

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Shawn McClain Interview

You can also view a slideshow of Chef McClain working in the Custom House kitchen from Hungry magazine photographer Tuan Bui.

01.30.06

The Sausage King

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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The many faces of Doug Sohn
Doug Sohn Photo

If Dorothy Parker, the irreverent wit of the Algonquin round table, and Elvis Costello, the British rocker, conceived a love child, Doug Sohn would be their offspring. Sohn, the owner of Hot Doug’s restaurant in Chicago, wears thick black square frame glasses and peppers everything he does with a tiny bit of his Ginzu sharp wit. When I asked him to reveal something intimate, he said, “I don’t like to wear pants, I mean if it weren’t mandated….I just don’t care for them.” Convention is not Sohn’s game. For this week’s podcast, we sat down with Doug Sohn at Underbar in Roscoe Village.

In our podcast (What is a Podcast?) Sohn discusses Chicago’s Foie Gras ban, his love of the Chicago Cubs, the genius of the three minute pop song, and how he brought duck fat fries to America.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Hot Doug Interview

Read the companion article we wrote below.

01.22.06

A Podcast Postcard (of a chef)

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Graham Elliot Bowles Photo This week we sat down with Graham Elliot Bowles of Avenues restaurant in Chicago’s Peninsula hotel. Chef Bowles has worked at some of the finest restaurants in the country including the Mansion on Turtle Creek, Charlie Trotters, Tru, and the Jackson House Inn. Chef Bowles earned a nod as one of Food and Wine’s best new chefs of 2004, and since coming aboard at Avenues restaurant, he has earned 4 stars from an assortment of food publications.

Our podcast (What is a Podcast?), turned into a jam session, with Chef Bowles riffing on music, food, art, and politics. We discussed why a chef has to leave his greatest hits behind, the wider accessibility of fine dining, how constraints actually breed creativity in cooking, and the chef’s tattoo collection.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Graham Elliot Bowles Interview

01.11.06

Smooth Like Butter

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Chef Ryan Poli Butter in the West Loop was recently named one of the best new restaurants in America by Esquire magazine. Ryan Poli, the 28 year old head chef, has apprenticed in some of the finest restaurants in the world including Le Francais, The French Laundry, and La Broche in Madrid, Spain.

In our culinary podcast (What is a Podcast?), Ryan and I talk about what his last meal would be if he were on death row, what he learned from Thomas Keller at the French Laundry, what it’s like to face the prospect of cooking dinner for Wolfgang Puck, Jean Banchet, Eric Ripert, Christian Delouvrier, Dominique Tougne, and Sebastien Canonne, all on the same night, and more.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file here and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player: Ryan Poli Interview

View the companion article we wrote, recently published in the Chicago Journal: Blue-Collar Butter


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