Gays Who Love Food with Grossy Pelosi
What's it like to be gay and to love food? Today's guest Dan Pelosi (aka: Grossy Pelosi) knows a little something about it. Having grown up 3/4ths Italian (the other 1/4 is Portuguese), Dan had food foisted on him at a young age. But how did he reconcile that with the body-obsessed gay-culture that he became a part of once he got older? It's a similar issue for me having grown up in a Jewish family where skipping a meal was more alarming than getting a fake ID (my mom actually made me get a fake ID, but that's a story for another time). So today's discussion is very candid, emotional, and honest -- tackling a taboo subject that very few of us talk about in the food world: body image vs. being able to enjoy food without feeling shame. Plus: learn about Dan's internet stardom, which Portuguese dishes he loves the most, and how he runs his growing empire.
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Jeff Gordinier's Asparagus and Mushroom Sandwich01:01:28Jeff Gordinier is one of the most prolific, influential food writers in the biz: not only does he work on Esquire's Best Restaurants list every year, he contributes regularly to The New York Times as both a food writer and a poetry critic (!) AND he's the author of the book Hungry, for which he traveled around the world with René Redzepi, frequently hailed as the world's best chef. In today's session, we learn all about Gordinier's new interest in eating healthy (and the toll the Best Restaurants list took on his body), why the pandemic essentially ended fine dining as we knew it, and how a man who doesn't drink can choose the best bars in the US. We also cover growing up in Southern California, the impact (or lack of impact) René Redzepi had on his cooking, and his love for making tea.
Lee Sung Jin's Classic Shakshuka01:01:30Welcome back to Lunch Therapy! We start this brand new season with Lee Sung Jin, the creator of Netflix's hit show BEEF. I worked with Lee several years ago on the ABC sitcom The Real O'Neals and since then he's gone on to write for Dave, Tuca and Bertie, and now his breakout, runaway hit starring Steve Yeun and Ali Wong. In today's session, we talk all about Lee's name change (when I knew him, he was Sonny Lee), the road rage incident (and bathroom incident) that inspired the show, and the terrible eating habits that he has when he's on set. We also cover his favorite Korean dishes, why Ali Wong's picture isn't on the wall at Park's BBQ, the best Japanese restaurant in L.A., how you know when to stop rewriting, and the time that he ate a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts in the writer's room and raced to a Best Buy to use the bathroom.
9. The California Veggie Sandwich with Starlee Kine59:47My guest today is the creator of one of my favorite podcasts of all time, The Mystery Show with Starlee Kine. If you haven't listened to that, turn this off and go do that first. It's amazing. I asked Starlee if she had a favorite recipe and she didn't. I asked her if she had a favorite thing to eat in L.A. and she sent me to Griffith Park to eat the California Veggie Sandwich at The Trails in Griffith Park. Unfortunately, it was pouring down rain and I had a cold, so I couldn't actually make it there -- instead I recreated the sandwich at home. Find out how it went, why Starlee chose it, all about her childhood in California, how she forgets to eat, and the foods that she finds gross. We also cover her career, how she got started at This American Life, whether or not she wants to continue podcasting, and why, when I move to New York, I should live in Williamsburg.
8. Ramen Noodles with Mushrooms, Chiles, and Lime with Chris Tucker56:04Vegan chef Chris Tucker (@veganchefchristucker) is a private vegan chef -- he's making vegan desserts for Elton John's Oscar party in two weeks! -- who appeared on Season Four of The Great American Baking Show. In today's episode, Chris sends me Heidi Swanson's recipe for caramelized mushrooms with chilies and peanuts and lime and cilantro which I served up with ramen noodles. We talk all about how Chris got into veganism, his former career as a hair stylist, how he deals with difficult clients, and what he likes to serve at parties. We also cover the myths surrounding veganism (like the idea that it's automatically healthy), how he gets enough protein into his diet, and how some foods like noodles and kale actually have protein in them too.
7. Whey Pancakes with Homa Dashtaki50:09Today's guest, Homa Dashtaki, is the co-founder (along with her father) of The White Mustache yogurt, some of the most celebrated yogurt in the country. She's also the author of a brand new cookbook called Yogurt & Whey (coming out March 5th) that gives away her signature yogurt recipe as well as all of the things you can make with the yogurt itself and the whey, including these out-of-this-world whey pancakes which are seriously the best pancakes I've ever eaten (go to amateurgourmet.com for the recipe!). In today's talk, we cover the genesis of Homa's business, what it's like working with her father, how she went from selling yogurt at farmer's markets to having it in stores, and what the process actually is for making yogurt. We also learn about the legal battles she fought in order to make yogurt with her hands as opposed to machines, the food that she loves the most when she visits Iran, and her favorite thing to do with labneh.
6. Baked Chicken Thighs with Butter and Onions with Aaron Hutcherson01:00:20Our guest this week, Aaron Hutcherson, is a writer and recipe developer for The Washington Post's Voraciously and recently moved to Washington, D.C. for the gig. In today's episode, we learn all about Aaron's previous career as a wealth manager on Wall Street, how he grew up loving being in the kitchen with his mother, and how her unpretentious approach to food inspires the recipes he writes to this day -- including today's "you've got to taste this" dish of chicken thighs roasted with butter and onions. We also cover his time at culinary school, how race enters into his work, the things he misses the most about living in New York, and what his parents think of his career. You can get the recipe for this week's dish -- and every episode's dish -- on amateurgourmet.com.
5. Keema Pau with Karan Soni01:00:20This week Karan Soni, who you may recognize from Deadpool or Miracle Workers, shares a recipe from the Dishoom cookbook for Keema Pao: a punchy combination of yogurt, ground lamb, and an herb paste made with mint and cilantro. Learn all about Karan's childhood in India, how his parents sent him to a boarding school to lose weight, how he learned to cook for himself when he arrived in America to go to USC, the difference between Northern Indian and Southern Indian cooking, and why his mom is the world's best cook. If you'd like the recipe, and all recipes from previous episodes, visit amateurgourmet.com.
4. Sheng Jian Bao with Jenn Harris54:14This week we're shaking things up, shifting from a "you've got to taste this" recipe to a "you've got to taste this" field trip! LA Times food writer and host of The Bucket List Jenn Harris knows more about L.A. food than most people twice her age; that's because she grew up here with a Jewish grandmother and Chinese grandmother who love to eat. Today she sends me to the San Gabriel Valley, specifically to the Kang Kang Food Court, for sheng jian bao: the dreamiest hybrid of a soup dumpling and a crispy bao you can imagine. We talk all about Jenn's discovery of this hole-in-the-wall (hint: her grandmother knows things) and then cover her career in food journalism, her friendship with Jonathan Gold, and whether or not we could pull off a matzo ball soup dumpling.
3. Silesian Heaven Crispy Pierogis with Nicole Rucker59:56One of my favorite bakers (and favorite people) is Nicole Rucker, owner of Fat & Flour in the Grand Central Market here in L.A., and the very first guest on my very first podcast, Lunch Therapy. In today's episode of "You've Got to Taste This," Nicole sends me a recipe for Silesian Heaven crispy pierogis from "Pierogi" by Zuza Zak. These pierogis are stuffed with dried fruit and well-seasoned pork, boiled, and then fried in butter with sesame seeds. Spoiler alert: they were out of this world! They were also a huge hit at Nicole's Cookbook Club, which is why she was inspired to send the recipe my way. In today's chat we talk all about her cookbook club and also cover the food she cooks at home, healing from a burn, why she's done putting miso into sweet desserts, and her hacks for banana bread. Get the recipe for these pierogis on amateurgourmet.com.