Podcast of the Week: GOOD FOOD
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a voracious and unapologetic fan of the BON APPÉTIT FOODCAST. Food is one of the most beautiful, sensuous avenues of expression, and both watching indiscriminate cooking videos and hearing Adam Rapoport and company deep-dive into dishes of untold wonders, all a challenging-but-not-impossible reach away, is one of the few things that brings peace to my harried mind. But I get it: the grind is tough and you might not think you have the time to hear 25 minutes of two chefs talking about how to cook beans. Well for you, dear hypothetical reader, I have a most delectable solution: KCRW’s GOOD FOOD!
Right off the bat, for those who might be intimidated by the laser-focus of other culinary podcasts, considering its more loyal talk radio roots, GOOD FOOD is structured as a variety show with different segments, all exploring different buzz-worthy developments in the world of food. The variety, depth, breadth, and scope of each episode is admirable, with everything from recipes to spotlights on the hot restaurants in town to intelligent sociopolitical discussions on current food culture. The most recent string of episodes are all excellent water-marks: March 3rd’s has a mouth-watering tour through the unique cooking methods of Chicago barbeque, followed by an equally lustful look through Koreatown’s most notable eateries, wrapped up with a light and casual conversation about food as portrayed in 2017’s Oscar-nominated films. Want a little more meat on your bones? Not a worry, as the preceding episode tackles athletes and eating disorders, a chef’s tireless humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico, and why the restaurant industry is dragging its feet in terms of facing sexual harassment head-on. Host Evan Kleiman is able to use the wide umbrella of “food” to leap to ever-more impressive heights, painting an exhaustive and endlessly engaging portrait of a field of sustenance, entertainment, and artistry we could all stand to pay more attention to.
And that’s not to mention Jonathan Gold! Honestly, if none of the above has won you over, Gold’s regular appearances on the show must do the trick. Food journalism’s only household name, his reputation precedes himself, but considering the fact that a large portion of his work is behind a paywall, hearing him letting you know the local must-eats is as charming and valuable as the rest of his career would suggest. That brings us to a slight hiccup: the show is rather heavily LA-oriented, which is great for those who carry the torch for LA’s deserved foodie crown, but could turn away those from the opposite coast. Well, deal with it, as I’m tired of hearing about essential New York delis I’m never going to realistically visit. But no matter where you’re from, no matter your eating habits, no matter your dietary restrictions, food has never sounded so holistically welcoming and appetizing as it has on GOOD FOOD.