Special Sauce with Ed Levine

Serious Eats


Serious Eats' podcast Special Sauce enables food lovers everywhere to eavesdrop on an intimate conversation about food and life between host and Serious Eats founder Ed Levine and his well-known/famous friends and acquaintances both in and out of the...Show More

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Special Sauce: Allison and Matt Robicelli on Moving to Baltimore [2/2]

36:51 | Apr 11th

When we last left the irreverent Robicellis in the first part of their Special Sauce interview, they had decided to leave Brooklyn, their beloved hometown. I wondered why Allison and Matt decided on on Baltimore. "It feels like the New York I grew up...Show More

Special Sauce: Matt and Allison Robicelli on Cupcakes and the Bonds of Suffering [1/2]

36:30 | Apr 4th

Sometimes our Special Sauce guests are just so idiosyncratic, so entertaining, so thoughtful, and so zany, I find myself alternately laughing and near tears for an hour and a half straight. That's what happened when I had Matt and Allison Robicelli o...Show More

Special Sauce: Tommy Tomlinson on Asking for Help When You Need It [2/2]

45:31 | Mar 28th

In part two of my wonderful conversation with Tommy Tomlinson, author of the impossible-to-put-down book The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America, we talk about how he decided he was going to have to do more ...Show More

Special Sauce: Tommy Tomlinson on Untangling Food, Love, and Loving Food [1/2]

33:42 | Mar 21st

It's pretty rare for a Special Sauce interview to speak so directly to me that it feels like I've been hit in the gut. But that's exactly what happened when I talked with Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Tommy Tomlinson, whose book The Elephant in th...Show More

Special Sauce: Osayi Endolyn on the Legacy of Southern Fried Chicken [2/2]

28:06 | Mar 14th

The superb young food and culture writer Osayi Endolyn is back again for this week's episode of Special Sauce. This time our far-reaching conversation includes a discussion of a brilliant piece on fried chicken Endolyn wrote for You and I Eat the Sa...Show More

Special Sauce: Osayi Endolyn on Nigerian Food, Writing, and Identity [1/2]

32:00 | Mar 7th

On this week's episode of Special Sauce, Ed speaks to Osayi Endolyn, a Florida-based food writer whose work regularly appears in major food publications across the country, and whose column in Gravy, the journal published by the Southern Foodways All...Show More

Special Sauce: “Is Deep Dish Pizza a Casserole?” And Other Pressing Pizza Questions

31:44 | Feb 28th

Welcome back to part 2 of Ed Levine's Special Sauce conversation about pizza in the wake of the revelation by pizza historian Peter Regas about the true origins of New York City pizza. If you recall from last week, Regas has demonstrated that Lombar...Show More

Special Sauce: Uncovering Pizza's US Origins

41:57 | Feb 19th

We rarely deal with breaking news on Special Sauce, but when said news concerns pizza's US origins, exceptions must be made. As soon as I learned that Peter Regas, a Chicago-based statistician by day and pizza obsessive by night, had discovered that ...Show More

Special Sauce: Doug Crowell and Ryan Angulo on the Importance of Kindness (and Salt)

35:59 | Feb 14th

On this week's Special Sauce, Doug Crowell and Ryan Angulo talk a lot about a lot of things, including their cookbook, the aptly titled Kindness and Salt: The Care and Feeding of Your Friends and Neighbors. I asked them to dissect the unusual title,...Show More

Special Sauce: Doug Crowell and Ryan Angulo on the Neighborhood Restaurant

29:42 | Feb 7th

I am constantly on the lookout for good neighborhood restaurants. The kind of restaurants that treat me like a regular even if I'm not; where the host greets me warmly even when it's really crowded; where the food is consistently serious and reasonab...Show More

Special Sauce: Chef Anita Lo on Cooking for Yourself [2/2]

18:46 | Jan 31st

On this week's Special Sauce, Chef Anita Lo talks about her new cookbook, Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One. To Anita, cooking for yourself is a journey of self-discovery. "I think cooking can be self re-affirming," she says. "I mean if food...Show More

Special Sauce: Chef Anita Lo on Cooking for Michelle Obama [1/2]

26:13 | Jan 25th

This week on Special Sauce with the terrific chef and fine writer Anita Lo. Anita had Annisa, a great restaurant in Greenwich Village, for 16 years before closing it in 2017. She was part of the first wave of women chef-restaurateurs in New York. Ani...Show More

Special Sauce: The White Moustache’s Homa Dashtaki on Staying Small and Flourishing [2/2]

29:49 | Jan 18th

On this week’s Special Sauce I continue my delightful conversation with The White Moustache founder Homa Dashtaki. I asked her how she makes her sinfully rich yogurt. Homa said, "There's nothing I'm doing different than the way I would teach you how ...Show More

Special Sauce: The White Moustache’s Homa Dashtaki Makes the Best Yogurt in the US

34:34 | Jan 10th

I have a confession: Until Daniel Gritzer told me about The White Moustache a couple of months ago, I 'd never heard of it, much less its founder, Homa Dashtaki. Now, after interviewing Homa and trying her yogurt, I can tell you that Daniel was right...Show More

Special Sauce: René Redzepi on Apprenticeships, El Bulli, and Being a Better Leader [2/2]

20:42 | Jan 3rd

In this week's Special Sauce interview with René Redzepi, he describes his journey from being a 15-year-old novice cook to culinary visionary, which started when he was an apprentice at Pierre André, a Michelin-starred, classic French restaurant in C...Show More

Ask Special Sauce, Holiday Edition: Stella and Daniel on What They Hate About the Holidays

35:28 | Dec 18th, 2018

Stella Parks and Daniel Gritzer are back for the second part of our Ask Special Sauce holiday edition, and we tackle some of the most pressing issues many of us face when cooking during the holidays. For example, take the sticky subject of royal icin...Show More

Ask Special Sauce, Holiday Edition: Stella and Daniel on Combustible Artichokes and Making a Better Cookie

36:28 | Dec 13th, 2018

I had such a good time answering your Thanksgiving questions with Kenji and Stella on our recent installment of Call Special Sauce, we thought we'd do the same thing in a two-episode series leading up to the end-of-year holidays. This week and next,...Show More

Special Sauce: René Redzepi on Opening Noma at 25 [1/2]

29:28 | Dec 7th, 2018

It was a thrill to sit across the table from René Redzepi to record this episode of Special Sauce. The pioneering chef-restaurateur is the force behind Copenhagen's Noma, which has been declared the best restaurant in the world no fewer than four tim...Show More

Special Sauce: Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook on What Makes Israeli Cuisine Unique [2/2]

33:00 | Nov 29th, 2018

In part two of my enlightening and heartfelt conversation with Chef Michael Solomonov and his partner Steven Cook, authors of Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious we took a deep dive into- what else?- the soul of Israeli food. First of all, I be...Show More

Call Special Sauce, Thanksgiving Edition: Kenji and Stella on Good Gravy and Loving White Meat

1:03:47 | Nov 16th, 2018

For the last couple of Thanksgivings, we've done call-in episodes of Special Sauce with Stella and Kenji to answer the holiday-cooking questions stumping the Serious Eats community. We love producing these episodes, and our audience seems to love lis...Show More

Special Sauce: Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook on True Partnership [1/2]

33:48 | Nov 8th, 2018

When we booked multiple James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner Steven Cook on Special Sauce to talk about their new book">I...Show More

Special Sauce: Sam Sifton on Food in the Internet Age [2/2]

26:52 | Nov 1st, 2018

In part two of my repartee-filled interview with New York Times food editor Sam Sifton, we delved into the intersection of food and technology. When I asked Sam how he thinks the internet has impacted the food media landscape, he said "I think it has...Show More

Special Sauce: Sam Sifton on Food as the Universal Language [1/2]

38:28 | Oct 26th, 2018

Sometimes my Special Sauce conversations function as a reunion, and this week's episode represents one of those times. Almost 20 years ago, my guest, Sam Sifton, was my editor at the New York Times food section, and, as such, the person who encourage...Show More

Special Sauce: Kenji and Daniel Talk About Smashing Stuff

30:32 | Oct 4th, 2018

On this episode of Special Sauce, I asked Daniel Gritzer, our managing culinary director, to come on and talk about the work he's been doing recently, and about where he thinks the site is headed from a culinary point of view (I hope to have Daniel a...Show More

Where’s Kenji?!? (Here. He’s Here.) [1/1]

36:57 | Sep 20th, 2018

I decided to kick off the new season of Special Sauce by checking in with Kenji. It won't surprise the Serious Eats tribe that he's been a little busy lately. You probably know about Wursthall, the restaurant he opened with two other partners in his ...Show More

Special (Pizza) Sauce: Adam Kuban and Scott Wiener Talk Pie, Part 3: Pie Hard With A Vengeance [3/3]

41:01 | Aug 30th, 2018

In part three of my pizza nerd-cast with Adam Kuban and Scott Wiener, we go seriously deep into New York pizza, specifically the state of the NYC slice in 2018. Scott observed that some of the best pizza in town is being made by a new generation of p...Show More

Special (Pizza) Sauce: Adam Kuban and Scott Wiener Talk Pie, Part 2: Pie Harder [2/3]

30:15 | Aug 23rd, 2018

The self-described pizza nerds Adam Kuban and Scott Wiener are back with me on this week's Special Sauce to continue our deep dive into our favorite food. Scott took great umbrage at the widely disseminated origin story of the Margherita pizza, in wh...Show More

Special (Pizza) Sauce: Adam Kuban and Scott Wiener Talk Pie [1/3]

44:28 | Aug 16th, 2018

For the next three weeks on Special Sauce I will be geeking out about pizza with Adam Kuban and Scott Wiener, two of the smartest, most passionate, and most knowledgeable pizza nerds on the planet. Adam Kuban is the founding editor of the seminal foo...Show More

Sam Kass on How What You See Shapes What You Eat [2/2]

21:08 | Aug 9th, 2018

In part two of my interview with former Obama personal chef and Obama White House food activist Sam Kass, I got schooled big-time about the role visuals play in how you eat at home. "The first lesson that I learned, that I think is maybe most helpful...Show More

Sam Kass on Cooking for the Obamas [1/2]

34:28 | Aug 3rd, 2018

All right, I admit it: I've always fantasized about having one of the Obamas as a guest on Special Sauce. And while I haven't given up hope entirely, I realize that Sam Kass, my guest on Special Sauce this week, might be as close as I get to that par...Show More

Rick Bragg on Why Cooks Are the High Priests of Good Living [2/2]

34:34 | Jul 25th, 2018

On this week's episode of Special Sauce, the Pulitzer Prize–winning but ridiculously down-to-earth Rick Bragg digs deep into his mom, the subject of his latest book, The Best Cook in the World. For one thing, Bragg's mother was not in the least in...Show More

Author Rick Bragg on His Mom, the Best Cook in the World [1/2]

27:31 | Jul 17th, 2018

We don't often get a chance to have a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist on Special Sauce–Jonathan Gold was the first–so I jumped at the chance to have Rick Bragg, one of my favorite writers of all time, on the podcast. Of course, Rick isn't known as ...Show More

Rodney Scott on Bourdain and Letting the Barbecue Speak for Itself [2/2]

22:28 | Jul 12th, 2018

In part two of my terrific conversation with James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott, we discuss the fact that barbecue, like jazz, was developed by African-Americans, and yet most well-known pitmasters are white.   "I respect any human bei...Show More

Rodney Scott Was Born and Raised to Be a Pitmaster [1/2]

24:24 | Jul 6th, 2018

Barbecue pitmasters are amongst our nation's greatest storytellers—they learn that all-important skill tending to their 'cue all night. But Rodney Scott, South Carolina pitmaster and James Beard Award winner, might just have the best story of all to ...Show More

David Lebovitz on Blogging, Cookbooks, and Moving to Paris [2/2]

33:07 | Jun 28th, 2018

On this week's Special Sauce, seminal food blogger, pastry chef, and author David Lebovitz and I took a trip back into the past. And we had a blast. David worked in the Chez Panisse kitchen for 13 years before he realized it was time to leave. "I lef...Show More

David Lebovitz on Renovating His Home in Paris [1/2]

35:54 | Jun 21st, 2018

My guest on this week's Special Sauce is the extraordinary blogger, author, and pastry chef David Lebovitz, whose latest book is L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home. David and I started off our conversation with the early day...Show More

Matt Goulding on Why Italian Food Can Evolve [2/2]

32:35 | Jun 14th, 2018

Listening to Roads and Kingdom co-founder Matt Goulding talk about the food culture in Italy on this week's Special Sauce was a real treat for me. Matt spent months eating his way through the country for his extraordinary new book, Pasta, Pane, Vino...Show More

Chef Ed Lee on Cultural Appropriation Versus Collaboration [2/2]

40:32 | Jun 7th, 2018

In part 2 of my conversation with the remarkable chef and writer Edward Lee, we take a deep dive into his terrific new memoir-with-recipes Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine.   Lee writes in the book,...Show More

Edward Lee on Finding Home in a Bowl of Collard Greens [1/2]

34:49 | May 31st, 2018

Having chef and memoirist Edward Lee on Special Sauce was the happiest of accidents. Sitting on top of a pile of books on Special Sauce associate producer Marissa Chen's desk was Lee's evocative and moving memoir, Buttermilk Graffiti. I read a chapt...Show More

Special Sauce: Artist and Author Maira Kalman on Savoring Moments of Cake [2/2]

35:10 | May 25th, 2018

In part 2 of the Special Sauce interview with artist and author Maira Kalman, we were joined by Barbara Scott-Goodman, who co-authored Cake, and, of course, we talked cake. What else would we talk about? The first question I asked was how the book ca...Show More

Writer and Illustrator Maira Kalman on Room Service and Moments of Joy [1/2]

34:04 | May 17th, 2018

I don't know how many serious eaters have heard of the brilliant, food-loving, and thought-provoking artist and writer Maira Kalman, but I've been a huge fan of hers for a long time now. So when I heard that she had recently co-written (with Barbara ...Show More

Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman on the Perils of Publishing [2/2]

36:35 | May 10th, 2018

In part two of my terrific interview with Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perelman, we move from the creation of her blog into book writing (her second book Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites was just published in October 2017), a...Show More

Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman on Not Pretending to Be Perfect [1/2]

35:59 | May 2nd, 2018

A week after sitting down with Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes, I got to reminisce with another seminal food blogger: Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. Deb started Smitten Kitchen in 2006, the same year that Serious Eats launched. Twelve years later, S...Show More

Elise Bauer on Turning a Food Blog Into a Business [2/2]

34:43 | Apr 27th, 2018

At the end of part 1 of my Special Sauce interview with Elise Bauer, she had just described starting Simply Recipes in 2004 after coming home to live with her parents in Sacramento to recover from a serious case of chronic fatigue syndrome, and in th...Show More

Simply Recipes’ Elise Bauer on Alcatraz Swims and Blogging as Medicine [1/2]

28:48 | Apr 19th, 2018

My guest on this week's Special Sauce is Simply Recipes founder Elise Bauer, who was a veteran of Silicon Valley start-ups long before she started her blog. "In the late '90's I worked with a start-up and helped raise $35 million on Wall Street for w...Show More

Sara Moulton on Why Female Chefs Should Head West [2/2]

32:33 | Apr 12th, 2018

In part 2 of my Special Sauce interview with Sara Moulton, she plunges headfirst into the issues women face as chefs. "When I first moved to New York...I couldn't get a job. But not only that, about every five years there'd be an article in the New Y...Show More

Sara Moulton on Leftovers, College Gig, and Not Looking for Attention [1/2]

38:12 | Apr 5th, 2018

This week's guest on Special Sauce is food television personality and pioneering chef Sara Moulton, who is as unpretentious as she is accomplished. And when I say accomplished I mean accomplished. Sara is currently the host of the PBS series Sara's W...Show More

Roads & Kingdoms’ Matt Goulding On Moms, Tweets, and Bourdain [1/2]

46:53 | Mar 29th, 2018

As you can probably tell, I love interviewing people for Special Sauce. That's because we book guests who have compelling food-related stories to share with us. But Roads & Kingdoms co-founder and author Matt Goulding had so many interesting things t...Show More

Andrew Friedman on the Evolution of Chef Culture in America [2/2]

41:17 | Mar 22nd, 2018

In part two of my interview with Andrew Friedman, the author of Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, he and I take a really deep dive into the book. Here's Friedman talking about the origins of the American chef culture: "If you were an American kid [in th...Show More

Author Andrew Friedman on Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll [1/2]

32:47 | Mar 16th, 2018

No writer has spent more time working and hanging out with great chefs than Andrew Friedman. So when I heard that his long-awaited book chronicling chef culture in the US—Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll—had finally been published, how could I not invit...Show More

The Knife Skills Team and Life After the Oscars [2/2]

28:49 | Mar 9th, 2018

It's been several days since the Oscars, and I'll admit it: I was keenly disappointed when Knife Skills didn't win for Best Documentary Short. But now that I've had a few days to reflect on the Oscars as a whole (go, Frances McDormand, go!), and now ...Show More

The Team Behind Knife Skills, the Oscar-Nominated Documentary [1/2]

44:50 | Mar 1st, 2018

We don't usually make a big deal about the Oscars on Special Sauce, but when I saw the brilliant Oscar-nominated documentary short Knife Skills, I knew I wanted to talk about it. The film shows what happens when Cleveland chef/restaurateur Brandon Ch...Show More

Phil Rosenthal on Stepping Out of His Comfort Zone [2/2]

30:01 | Feb 22nd, 2018

Back in the day, we used to say that Serious Eats was a website focused on celebrating and sharing our enthusiasm for food with the online community. In Part 2 of my interview with fellow food enthusiast Phil Rosenthal, he reveals that Somebody Feed ...Show More

Phil Rosenthal Is Anthony Bourdain, Except Afraid of Everything [1/2]

30:26 | Feb 16th, 2018

My friend Phil Rosenthal, the creator and host of the new Netflix show Somebody Feed Phil is as much fun to talk to as he is to eat with. When I asked him how the show ended up on Netflix, he replied, "The way I sold the show...I said, 'I'm exactly l...Show More

JJ Johnson on Hoops With Steph Curry and the Pleasures of Rice [2/2]

24:37 | Feb 8th, 2018

In part 2 of my interview with JJ Johnson, the charismatic chef and co-author of Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day, I had to ask him to explain the book's lengthy subtitle word by word, ...Show More

JJ Johnson on Embracing the Food of the African Diaspora [1/2]

34:42 | Feb 1st, 2018

My guest this week on Special Sauce is chef and cookbook author Joseph "JJ" Johnson. When I say he gravitated to kitchen work at an early age, I mean really early. He started cooking with his grandmother when he was four: "I didn't really watch carto...Show More

Jenny Allen on the Joy of Eating a Turkey Burger All by Yourself [2/2]

35:26 | Jan 25th, 2018

Here's how the delightful and brave Jenny Allen describes the food at her family table in Part 2 of her Special Sauce interview: "Such bad food...and so little of it." As that quote can attest, you can be sure there's no shortage of pithy insights or...Show More

Author and Playwright Jenny Allen on Chocolate Mousse and Writing Funny [1/2]

30:39 | Jan 19th, 2018

Jenny Allen, the humorist and author of the guffaw-inducing new book Would Everybody Please Stop: Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas, derives as much pleasure from eating as anyone I know. Consider this anecdote she shared with me about her food...Show More

Resy's Ben Leventhal on the Growing Pains of Internet Start-Ups [2/2]

33:13 | Jan 11th, 2018

When Resy's Ben Leventhal, who has been involved in at least five food-related start-ups, speaks about entrepreneurship, I am all ears. Here are just a couple of the pearls of wisdom that came out of our in-depth conversation: "What I do try to say t...Show More

Eater Cofounder Ben Leventhal on the Early Days of Web 2.0 [1/2]

32:13 | Jan 4th, 2018

The members list of the non-existent Digital Food Entrepreneur's Club would be quite small, but it would have to include Ben Leventhal, who is both this and next week's guest on Special Sauce. Ben cofounded Eater in 2005 and is now one of the cofound...Show More

[Rerun] Ask Special Sauce, The Holiday Edition: Kenji and Stella on Pie Crusts, Fudge, and Gizzards

34:28 | Dec 29th, 2017

This week we've got a special holiday episode of Ask Special Sauce. With Kenji and Stella serving as my co-pilots from the comforts of their own homes, we endeavored to answer some of the questions Serious Eaters and Special Sauce devotees have about...Show More

Ask Special Sauce, The Holiday Edition: Kenji and Stella on Pie Crusts, Fudge, and Gizzards

34:28 | Dec 21st, 2017

This week we've got a special holiday episode of Ask Special Sauce. With Kenji and Stella serving as my co-pilots from the comforts of their own homes, we endeavored to answer some of the questions Serious Eaters and Special Sauce devotees have about...Show More

Andrew Rea on Life After Going Viral [2/2]

28:52 | Dec 14th, 2017

As we came to the end of the first part of our conversation, Andrew Rea had just started producing and hosting Binging with Babish, which I think is the most exciting, engaging, and just plain fun short-form cooking video series out there. Andrew sti...Show More

Andrew Rea on the Wild Success of Binging With Babish

29:50 | Dec 7th, 2017

I have to say that most YouTube cooking shows leave me cold. There's a little too much shaky cam footage and a few too many unfunny asides, and not enough serious, engaged cooking for my taste. So when Kenji told me about Binging with Babish, I watch...Show More

Bill Yosses on White House Dirt and Fake News

34:38 | Nov 30th, 2017

If you interview someone like Bill Yosses, who was the White House pastry chef for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, you hope and pray that you can shake loose some dirt to titillate your listeners. But when you listen to part 2 of my interview with t...Show More

[Rerun] Ask Special Sauce: Kenji and Stella Troubleshoot Your Thanksgiving

38:57 | Nov 24th, 2017

When I was mulling over what we could do on Special Sauce for Thanksgiving, I immediately thought about stress reduction. Making the big dinner can be stressful for any number of reasons, and while we design all our Thanksgiving offerings with an eye...Show More

Ask Special Sauce: Kenji and Stella Troubleshoot Your Thanksgiving

38:57 | Nov 16th, 2017

When I was mulling over what we could do on Special Sauce for Thanksgiving, I immediately thought about stress reduction. Making the big dinner can be stressful for any number of reasons, and while we design all our Thanksgiving offerings with an eye...Show More

Bill Yosses on President Obama's Love of Pie

31:52 | Nov 10th, 2017

This week's guest on Special Sauce is Bill Yosses, who was the White House pastry chef from 2007 to 2014 and is the author of the just-published The Sweet Spot: Dialing Back Sugar and Amping Up Flavor. Bill isn't your (White House) garden variety pa...Show More

David Tanis on Chez Panisse and the Hideousness of Writing Cookbooks

46:59 | Nov 2nd, 2017

One of the many reasons I love doing Special Sauce is I get to talk to many people I have long admired from afar and never met. This week's guest is one of those people: David Tanis, one of the best and most thoughtful chefs and cookbook writers work...Show More

Jacques Torres Explains the Chocolate Color Wheel

41:56 | Oct 26th, 2017

Serious Eaters who are as curious about all things chocolate as I am are going to love the second part of my Special Sauce interview with Jacques Torres, a.k.a. Mr. Chocolate. Jacques gives a simple, succinct, and comprehensive explanation of the bea...Show More

Jacques Torres on Becoming Mr. Chocolate

33:46 | Oct 20th, 2017

If you love chocolate–and what Serious Eater doesn't–you won't want to wait to savor every morsel of the Special Sauce episodes featuring Mr. Chocolate himself: chocolatier and pastry chef extraordinaire Jacques Torres.    Jacques knows more than a ...Show More

Chris Kimball on the Grateful Dead and Life After America's Test Kitchen

38:38 | Oct 12th, 2017

I'm going to go out on a limb here, or perhaps I should say on a sprig of rosemary: For those who care deeply about the state of home cooking today, the food-journalism landscape, or the Grateful Dead, this week's episode of Special Sauce, part two o...Show More

Chris Kimball on the Joy of Arguments and the Future of Food Media

33:46 | Oct 5th, 2017

If you're interested at all in food media you're going to love my Special Sauce conversation with Milk Street founder and seminal food publishing guru Chris Kimball. Chris is insanely smart, incredibly provocative, and very good company if you like y...Show More

Adam Driver on Choosing Roles and Eating a Chicken a Day

21:31 | Sep 28th, 2017

When–and it should be when, not if–you listen to part two of my Special Sauce interview with Adam Driver, my guess is you'll be as awed as I was by his bandwidth, his intellectual curiosity, and the way he thinks about food and life. You'll learn, fo...Show More

Adam Driver on Marines, MREs, and Postprandial Cereal

25:12 | Sep 22nd, 2017

For the first episode of the new season of Special Sauce I invited on a very special guest: the brilliant, original, and always thoughtful Adam Driver. We talked about his unusual path to an acting career, which took him through the Marines. His time...Show More

Chris Bianco, the Pizzaiolo With a James Beard

27:09 | Aug 31st, 2017

In part two of my far-ranging conversation with chef, pizzaiolo, and pizza poet laureate Chris Bianco, we talk about so many things, including his reaction to winning the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2003. He was the first and only pi...Show More

Chris Bianco, the Poet Laureate of Pizza

34:03 | Aug 25th, 2017

My guest on this week's Special Sauce is Chris Bianco, the man who makes my favorite pizza in the world. The pies he puts out at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, AZ, would definitely be on the table at my last supper. And while Chris is also the author of...Show More

Daniel Boulud on Making Airplane Food Taste (Pretty) Good

25:16 | Aug 18th, 2017

In part two of my illuminating interview with French-American super chef Daniel Boulud, he and I talk about—believe it or not—airline food. Daniel has designed some business class meals for Air France, and the airline flew me over to Paris to experie...Show More

The Culinary Education of Daniel Boulud

39:29 | Aug 11th, 2017

My guest on this week's Special Sauce is Daniel Boulud, whom I have known for more than 25 years. We first met when Alex Lee, his longtime chef de cuisine and my regular squash partner, asked me to take Daniel on a New York Eats food adventure (Alex ...Show More

Nobu Designer David Rockwell on the Perils of Pursuing Timeless Design

32:24 | Aug 4th, 2017

Welcome back for part two of my Special Sauce interview with designer and architect David Rockwell. In this week's episode, David talks about what the initial design process for projects is like, and about some of the challenges he faces when talking...Show More

Nobu Designer David Rockwell on His Tricks of the Trade

33:34 | Jul 28th, 2017

On this week's episode of the Special Sauce podcast, host Ed Levine talks to David Rockwell, the architect and designer behind every Nobu around the globe, as well as multiple airline terminals and the theater in which the Academy Awards are held.

Fuchsia Dunlop on "Magic Ingredients" and Stocking the Chinese Pantry

39:52 | Jul 21st, 2017

In part two of my Special Sauce interview with Chinese-food and -culture writer Fuchsia Dunlop, we tackle common misconceptions about cooking Chinese food at home. Fuchsia addresses those intimidated about diving in, explaining that "people often thi...Show More

Fuchsia Dunlop on Her Enduring Love Affair With Chinese Cooking

42:57 | Jul 14th, 2017

What a story: A young, food-obsessed British student at Cambridge University named Fuchsia (God, I love that name) heads to China in the '90s to study, and manages to become the first Westerner to attend the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. After...Show More

'Queen of the Loser Class' Barbara Lynch on Helping Young Cooks Thrive

24:51 | Jul 7th, 2017

Welcome back for part two of my Special Sauce interview with Southie street urchin-turned-chef-restaurateur Barbara Lynch. This week we talk a little bit more about her memoir, Out of Line: A Life of Playing With Fire, but Barbara also manages to su...Show More

Barbara Lynch on Her Journey From the Police Blotter to the Time 100

30:22 | Jun 30th, 2017

Boston-based chef-restaurateur Barbara Lynch has had an eventful year. First, her memoir, Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire, was published; it's a moving, brutally honest, no-holds-barred account of her hardscrabble upbringing in a South Bost...Show More

John T. Edge on His Love-Hate Relationship With the South

34:25 | Jun 23rd, 2017

Part two of my interview with my old runnin' partner, John T. Edge, delves into the genesis and development of his new book,  The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of The Modern South. I thought I'd just give you a taste of what John T. has to say reg...Show More

John T. Edge on What Southern Food Stories Reveal

23:29 | Jun 16th, 2017

This week on Special Sauce my guest is the great Southern food chronicler John T. Edge. I've been discussing food as seen through the lenses of race, class, and ethnicity with John T. for almost 20 years now (no one, not even his wife, calls him just...Show More

Michel Nischan on Butch Cassidy and the Fight for Good Food

33:21 | Jun 9th, 2017

Last week's episode of Special Sauce ended with Michel Nischan and I discussing his groundbreaking restaurant, Heartbeat, and his efforts to serve food that was healthy and actually delicious. This week we pick up where we left off and talk about how...Show More

Michel Nischan on Truck Stop Diners, Edgar Winter, and Juicing

35:29 | Jun 2nd, 2017

This week on Special Sauce, I have as my guest my old friend, Michel Nischan, the three-time James Beard award-winning chef, author, and food equity advocate. Michel's a busy guy. Between his work as the founder and CEO of Wholesome Wave, which aims ...Show More

Entrepreneur Seth Godin on How to Launch Your Own Food Enterprise

1:05:14 | May 26th, 2017

Today, my guest is Seth Godin, the insanely popular business blogger and best-selling author (his book, Tribes, is the most inspiring on leadership I've ever read). Seth has been encouraging and inspiring future leaders of every stripe imaginable fo...Show More

Andy Ricker on Why He Doesn't Call Himself a Chef

37:45 | May 19th, 2017

On this week's Special Sauce, Andy Ricker explains his idiosyncratic take on what he does for a living, which he articulated in his book, Pok Pok: "I'm not a chef. I didn't invent this stuff. The food at my restaurants is not my take on Thai food." ...Show More

Andy Ricker on the Birth of Pok Pok

34:28 | May 12th, 2017

My guest on Special Sauce both this week and next is chef-restaurateur Andy Ricker, whose Pok Pok restaurants in Portland, Oregon, and in Brooklyn introduced me to the joys of Northern Thai food.   We delve into his hippie roots growing up in rural V...Show More

Dan Barber on the Future of Food

38:12 | May 5th, 2017

This week on Special Sauce features the second part of my far-reaching conversation with Dan Barber, and he and I cover a lot of ground. He defines each of the three plates that are the subject of his groundbreaking book, The Third Plate. I'll let y...Show More

Dan Barber on Mentors, Tough Love, and Anger Management

28:35 | Apr 28th, 2017

I think it's safe to say that Dan Barber, the visionary chef of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, has led an interesting life. I'm sure you'll agree after listening to this week's episode of Special Sauce. Barber's dad loved good restaurants, s...Show More

Mark Ladner on Cooking Pasta in 10 Seconds Flat

29:05 | Apr 20th, 2017

Last week, I promised that you'd get to hear why Mark Ladner decided to walk away from Del Posto, which was awarded four stars by the New York Times, to open a fast-casual pasta joint, and this week I make good on that promise.  In this week's episod...Show More

Mark Ladner on What it Takes to Make 4-Star Italian Food

33:41 | Apr 14th, 2017

In the first of my two-part interview with chef Mark Ladner, we focus on his indirect yet hard-earned path to helming Del Posto, the New York Times four-starred restaurant he ran for twelve years. And why did the only chef to earn those four stars by...Show More

Dumpling Master Helen You's Inspiring Story

30:53 | Apr 7th, 2017

You probably won't be able to hear it, but I was moved to tears by my interview with dumpling queen Helen You on this week's Special Sauce. Helen is the owner of Dumpling Galaxy, the finest dumpling shop in NYC, and the coauthor of The Dumpling Galax...Show More

Mario Batali on the Joys of Pig Jell-O

35:12 | Mar 31st, 2017

"Hot pig Jell-O" may not sound like a draw to most people, but that's exactly how Mario Batali describes the headcheese that he got me to try—and even like!—more than 20 years ago. How he managed that feat, his nose-to-tail approach to cooking (thoug...Show More

Mario Batali's Advice to Young Chefs: Study Liberal Arts First

28:53 | Mar 24th, 2017

I have been dying to get Mario Batali, whom I have known for more than a quarter century, on Special Sauce since I first dreamed up the idea for our podcast, more than a year ago. And, when all you serious eaters listen to Mario on this week's episod...Show More

Craig Kanarick on Life After the Tech Bubble

57:21 | Mar 17th, 2017

Many serious eaters know the pleasures associated with ordering something delicious from the online food retailer  But not many people know the fascinating backstory of Mouth's cofounder Craig Kanarick. That's where this week's episode of ...Show More

Missy Robbins on Not Worrying About Stars

30:01 | Mar 10th, 2017

I call part two of my interview with Missy Robbins "The Comeback Episode," because we learn what happened when Missy returned from her self-imposed hiatus from her career as a chef. Missy delves into how the time away helped shape her personal philos...Show More

Missy Robbins on the 20-Year Journey to Opening a Place of Her Own

37:14 | Mar 3rd, 2017

On this week's Special Sauce I chat with Missy Robbins, the chef and owner of Lilia in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Missy describes her 20-year journey to opening her own place with such sharp clarity that after we finished recording, I was unable to thin...Show More

Frank Bruni on What Makes a Good Restaurant Critic

25:40 | Feb 17th, 2017

In this first of a two-part interview with The New York Times Op-Ed Columnist and former restaurant critic, Frank Bruni, we delve into everything from his earlier days as Rome bureau chief for that same paper, why it feels as if readers of his memoir...Show More

Ivan Orkin on Slurping, the State of Ramen in the U.S., and More

26:16 | Feb 10th, 2017

On this week's Special Sauce, I continue my far-reaching conversation with great cook and ramen master, Ivan Orkin, aka Ivan Ramen.  What is his recommendation on the best way to eat ramen, how did he make it as an American ramen chef in Tokyo, why d...Show More

Ivan Orkin on Love, Loss, and the Tastiest Chicken Bits

34:40 | Feb 3rd, 2017

In this first part of a Special Sauce double-header, Ivan Orkin, of Ivan Ramen and Slurp Shop in NYC, talks about life before he became a celebrity in Japan as a gaijin (foreigner) ramen chef: the Orkin family table growing up on Long Island, NY, how...Show More

Chef Bill Telepan on Neighborhood Restaurants and School Food

53:13 | Jan 27th, 2017

This week's guest on Special Sauce is chef and school food activist Bill Telepan, who is now at the helm of New York's Oceana Restaurant.  Bill shares some particularly insightful observations about why chef-driven neighborhood restaurants across the...Show More

Marcus Samuelsson on Fried Chicken, Russian Invasions, and Jazz

20:00 | Jan 20th, 2017

In part two of my conversation with Marcus Samuelsson, we chat a little about the profound Russian influence on everyday Swedish cuisine, the driving inspiration and ethos behind opening his Harlem restaurant, The Red Rooster, and how he was able to ...Show More

Marcus Samuelsson's Story Will Move You To Tears

24:36 | Jan 13th, 2017

This week's Special Sauce features Chef Marcus Samuelsson, whose restaurant, The Red Rooster, is arguably ground zero of the Harlem food and drink renaissance.  I found Marcus's story so inspiring and moving that I decided it merited two episodes. In...Show More

Daniel Rose on Finding Joy at the Table

58:53 | Jan 6th, 2017

Chef Daniel Rose of Le Coucou, the best new restaurant in New York City, reflects on his career and kitchen philosophy.

Call Special Sauce: BraveTart on Bake Sale, Pie Anxiety, and Danger Brownies

32:30 | Dec 23rd, 2016

Our first Call Special Sauce with Stella Parks was so nice, we decided to do it twice. Leah from DC wanted to come up with ideas for baked goods that "would just really light people on fire" at her daughter's school's bake sale table—in a metaphoric...Show More

Call Special Sauce: BraveTart, Trashy Snacks, and Holiday Baking

45:59 | Dec 16th, 2016

Let's face it: One of the main reasons we look forward to the holiday season is the copious amount of baked goods we get to make and eat. So, with that in mind, I invited our pastry wizard, Stella Parks (aka BraveTart), to take calls on a special hol...Show More

Call Special Sauce: Ed and Kenji on Boats, Galleys, and Unintentionally Aged Foods

50:35 | Dec 9th, 2016

On today's episode of Special Sauce, Kenji and I fielded a wide variety of potentially vexing questions about cooking on a boat (Mike in Cyprus), preparing acidic foods in cast iron cookware (Julia in New York), making the most of small kitchens (And...Show More

Ruth Reichl on Gourmet's Demise and the Future of Food Journalism

31:50 | Dec 2nd, 2016

In a million years, I would never have guessed Ruth Reichl's guilty pleasure: "Onion rings," she told me during part two of our conversation on Special Sauce. "I can't resist a good onion ring." That's not the only surprising answer you'll hear on th...Show More

Call Special Sauce: Ed and Kenji Take Your Thanksgiving Questions

43:08 | Nov 18th, 2016

In this week's episode of Special Sauce, Kenji and I field our listeners' call-in questions, and tackle the pressing concerns that plague Thanksgiving cooks (and their guests) around the country. We trust that our listeners and questioners will be th...Show More

Ruth Reichl on the Birth of a Food Revolution

32:56 | Nov 11th, 2016

If you've ever read one of Ruth Reichl's restaurant reviews, let alone one of her books, then you know what a wonderful, natural storyteller she is.  Great storytellers and great stories are the heart and soul of Special Sauce, so when Ruth emailed m...Show More

How Rob Kaufelt Built Murray's Cheese From the Rind Up

57:33 | Nov 4th, 2016

I like to call this week's Special Sauce guest, Rob Kaufelt, the cheese whisperer. Finding and selling great cheese seems to be what Rob was put on this earth to do. Over the years, the Murray's Cheese Shop owner has brought serious cheese to million...Show More

Einat Admony: From RV Park Chef to Budding Falafel Magnate

43:21 | Oct 28th, 2016

The background of this week's guest on Special Sauce—chef, restaurateur, and aspiring falafel magnate Einat Admony—isn't that of your typical chef. She grew up in Israel, learning how to make couscous from her Moroccan neighbor, and, while in the arm...Show More

Lidia Bastianich: From Refugee to Culinary Star

40:28 | Oct 21st, 2016

Considering her many restaurants, books, and television shows, plus her involvement in the gourmet Italian marketplace Eataly, Lidia Bastianich might seem like a known quantity to serious eaters all over America. But take a listen to this week's Spec...Show More

Serious Eats Culinary Director Daniel Gritzer Sings for His Supper

50:36 | Oct 14th, 2016

Daniel Gritzer, Serious Eats' culinary director, is in many ways our not-so-secret weapon. To learn more about the surprisingly nonlinear career path that landed him at Serious Eats (which involved two stints herding sheep in Europe), and about the m...Show More

Alex Guarnaschelli on Cooking for Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Prince

37:04 | Oct 7th, 2016

This week's guest on Special Sauce, Alex Guarnaschelli, is constantly juggling the roles of TV chef (she's a regular judge on Chopped), working chef (at the two Butter locations in Manhattan), and mom (to one beautiful daughter). When you're faced wi...Show More

Jane and Michael Stern on the Origins of Roadfood

44:44 | Sep 30th, 2016

Serious eaters who have been around awhile, like me, know that the idea of driving across America in search of the best regional food originated with Roadfood authors Jane and Michael Stern, not Guy Fieri: They published their first edition of the gu...Show More

Paulie Gee on the Fear and Joy of Quitting Your Day Job

52:20 | Sep 23rd, 2016

Pizza lovers know Paulie Gee, a.k.a. Paul Giannone, this week's Special Sauce guest, as the owner of the eponymous pizzeria founded in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. But as good as his pies are, and they're damn good, his unlikely path to pizza entrepreneur–t...Show More

Call Special Sauce: "Taste Is Fabricated In Our Brain"

34:00 | Sep 16th, 2016

In our latest call-in episode of Special Sauce, Kenji and Ed address listener concerns over how to rebuild a pantry and how a food’s appearance affects taste. And, of course, we make some time for good-natured ribbing, too.

Kenji and Ed Tackle Listener Questions of Authenticity and More

46:45 | Sep 9th, 2016

In this third episode of Call Special Sauce, Kenji and Ed wrestle with tricky questions from Serious Eaters on food allergies, electric stovetops, and authenticity.

Brian Polcyn and Michael Ruhlman on Why Failure Is the Key to Success

54:31 | Sep 1st, 2016

The arts of making French charcuterie and its Italian cousin, salumi, are two of the highest forms of the craft of cooking. So when I heard that chef and cooking teacher Brian Polcyn and journalist Michael Ruhlman, the authors of the two definitive b...Show More

Dinosaur BBQ's John Stage on His Unlikely Path to Pitmaster

43:15 | Aug 25th, 2016

On this week's Special Sauce, John Stage, founder of the insanely popular barbecue mini-chain Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, reveals the unusual way he discovered his calling. Growing up, Stage had a soft spot for his mother's Italian-American cooking, especial...Show More

Pastry Wizard Stella Parks (BraveTart) on Iconic American Desserts

43:52 | Aug 19th, 2016

Serious Eats' pastry expert, Stella Parks, a.k.a. BraveTart, is so disarmingly charming as our guest on Special Sauce, you'll undoubtedly fall in love with her the way all of us have. After attending the Culinary Institute of America, working in rest...Show More

Danny Meyer Tells the Shake Shack Origin Story

36:37 | Aug 11th, 2016

In the middle of part 2 of Danny Meyer's interview on Special Sauce comes a shocking admission. In 2001 the first incarnation of the enterprise that became the global phenomenon Shake Shack was a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park that was part of a...Show More

Danny Meyer Talks Hospitality and Comfort Food

38:59 | Aug 4th, 2016

In this week's episode of Special Sauce-the first of two parts-we talk about how Meyer came to see the pursuit of restaurant-experience perfection as anathema to his own business, and take a look at his five founding principles of hospitality. I coul...Show More

How Roy Choi Plans to Change the World

33:33 | Jul 28th, 2016

On this week's Special Sauce, Roy Choi told me that his new California-based fast food concept, LocoL, is merely trying to change the world, one mostly-meat burger at a time.

Ed and Kenji Take Your Calls (Part 2)

55:42 | Jul 21st, 2016

This week's especial Special Sauce episode (I know that's redundant, but it rolls off the tongue) again features my runnin' and eatin' partner, Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats' managing culinary director and the author of the New York Times best seller...Show More

Extra-Special Sauce: Ed and Kenji Take Your Calls.

45:37 | Jul 14th, 2016

This week's episode of Special Sauce is, well, special. Inspired by Car Talk, one of our all-time favorite radio shows, we did a call-in session featuring Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats' managing culinary director and the best-selling author of The Fo...Show More

Eric Ripert on the Making of His Memoir and What Inspires Him

52:24 | Jul 7th, 2016

I used to think of Le Bernardin chef-restaurateur Eric Ripert as a smart, impossibly charming and handsome chef's chef. But between interviewing him for Special Sauce and reading his moving and evocative memoir 32 Yolks, I've since realized that ther...Show More

Tom Douglas on the Moral Imperative of Livable Restaurant Wages.

51:21 | Jul 2nd, 2016

The multiple-Beard-Award-winner and proprietor of 19 Seattle restaurants is whip-smart, even though his mother has never forgiven him for being the only one of her eight children not to go to college. Tom's also funny, opinionated, and generously spi...Show More

Russ & Daughters on How to Keep a 100-Year-Old Family Food Business Fresh

1:00:17 | Jun 24th, 2016

Family businesses are hard. Family food businesses that have lasted four generations, like the New York appetizing emporium Russ & Daughters, are practically unicorns. So, when I had a chance to have Niki Russ Federman and Joshua Russ Tupper on Speci...Show More

Jessamyn Rodriguez on Hot Bread Kitchen, NY's Bakery Incubator

48:28 | Jun 17th, 2016

Ed Levine first met Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez eight years ago, when he happened upon her and her mother selling handmade tortillas at a tiny farmers market in West Harlem. Even back then, he could tell that Jessamyn was a force to be reckoned with. ...Show More

Jim Lahey on the Accident of No-Knead Bread

55:52 | Jun 10th, 2016

This week's Special Sauce guest, bread baker extraordinaire Jim Lahey, is a man of strong opinions, provocative ideas, and many talents. He's not on the fence about anything. So I figured that if we just gave Jim a mike and let him rip, serious eater...Show More

Roy Blount Jr. on Saving Room for Pie

38:31 | May 26th, 2016

Roy Blount Jr. is one of the funniest writers on the planet. And he loves to eat, and talk about what he's eaten, so he's a made-to-order guest on Special Sauce. On this week's episode, you'll hear Roy wax poetic about the dangers of eating foam (he'...Show More

Special Sauce: Chris Ying on the Best and Wurst of Lucky Peach Life

48:29 | May 19th, 2016

Who knew, in an age of huge magazine companies being sold off like rusty used cars, that you could create a quarterly, delightfully idiosyncratic food magazine and get more than a hundred thousand people to pony up $28 a year to subscribe? On this we...Show More

Special Sauce: Dominique Ansel on Why He Doesn't Take Advice From Anyone

52:16 | May 13th, 2016

In this episode, we discuss how Dominique Ansel went from army KP duty to the kitchens of Fauchon in Paris (where he arrived in a clunker he bought for $400), to being the pastry chef at New York gastronomic palace Daniel. We also talk about what ins...Show More

Special Sauce: Sweetgreen’s Nicolas Jammet on His Secrets to Success

46:29 | May 5th, 2016

The Sweetgreen team has watched their business grow over the past nine years from a single 500-square-foot storefront location in DC's Georgetown, which they opened when they were still college students, to what will be 60 restaurants nationwide by t...Show More

Special Sauce: Dan Pashman on Arguing for Fun and His Mother's Fajita Obsession

36:23 | Apr 28th, 2016

In this episode, we get into some Sporkful-inspired debates about the purpose of hot dog buns and the ideal shape of pie. We discuss the divide in the podcasting world, as well as what makes his often contrarian—and always funny—show great.

Special Sauce: Francis Lam on American Identity and Chrissy Teigen's Mac and Cheese

57:25 | Apr 21st, 2016

In this episode of Special Sauce, Lam and I discuss how he tends to "go for the cheeks" and why his parents are proud of him for doing so. He also talks about how normal it is for writers to hate writing—but why he still encourages aspiring authors t...Show More

Special Sauce: Brooks Headley Wants You to Call Your Mom. Really. Right Now.

50:56 | Apr 14th, 2016

Brooks Headley, the punk-rocking, vegetable-whispering owner of Superiority Burger in NYC, says he's "almost insistent upon only being in bands with extremely volatile characters, myself included." In this week's episode of Special Sauce, I talk with...Show More

Special Sauce: Dorie Greenspan Says, "Don't Start Baking With Your Sister's Wedding Cake"

46:50 | Apr 7th, 2016

"Don't start with your sister's wedding cake," suggests baker and author Dorie Greenspan on this week's episode of Special Sauce. Greenspan has come far from the self-described "sweet little home baker" that she once was, and has a lot of advice for ...Show More

Special Sauce: Tom Colicchio Part 2 on Hunger, Guitar, and His Favorite Food Lab Recipe

31:34 | Mar 30th, 2016

Colicchio is a passionate guitar player and music aficionado, as you'll hear when he sings one of the riffs in the Stevie Ray Vaughan song that we want to use as the Special Sauce theme song in the near future. We also chatted about his seminal book,...Show More

Special Sauce: Tom Colicchio on the 3 Things Every Chef Should Know

44:29 | Mar 24th, 2016

This week, Colicchio discusses three key things he's learned over the course of his career — the things he thinks every aspiring chef should keep in mind. You'll learn about how a prison library book pushed Colicchio into the kitchen, and how the jud...Show More

Special Sauce: Marco Canora on Keeping Calm Under Fire

55:05 | Mar 18th, 2016

This week, Canora discusses what he thinks restaurateurs and diners misunderstand about the service industry. You'll learn about how he deals with those issues, his guilty pleasures, and why sometimes it's good to have someone remind you to just calm...Show More

Special Sauce: Jonathan Gold on How to Jonathan Gold Someone

47:55 | Mar 10th, 2016

In this episode of Special Sauce - which, I must warn you, is a bit NSFW, unless you're surrounded by some really adventurous eaters with good senses of humor - Gold, Gabbert, and I discuss our shared passion for music and why there might be a connec...Show More

Special Sauce: Michael Pollan on Cracker Jack and Childhood Gardens

49:25 | Mar 3rd, 2016

On this week's Special Sauce, journalist, author, professor, and activist Michael Pollan - author of In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire - discusses what's kept him in the garden, in the kitchen, and writing over the ...Show More

Calvin Trillin Part 2 on Gumbo, Writing, and Cole Porter

28:35 | Feb 25th, 2016

In this second half of my interview with The New Yorker staff writer, Calvin Trillin, you'll learn what major roux-related mistake would keep him from revisiting a restaurant, some of his secrets for speechwriting (or not writing, rather), and why he...Show More

How Sliced Bread Got Calvin Trillin Into College

25:52 | Feb 18th, 2016

In this episode of our podcast, you'll find out how Calvin Trillin came to be a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of 30 books, including American Fried; Alice, Let's Eat; and Third Helpings, which are now collectively known as The Tummy Trilo...Show More

Pete Wells on Writing, Ketchup, and 2-Star Restaurants

58:54 | Feb 4th, 2016

Pete Wells of the New York Times is perhaps the nation's most influential and powerful restaurant critic, but, as you'll hear on this week's Special Sauce podcast, he's soft-spoken, funny, and thoughtful-and eminently fair-minded.

Carla Hall on Crank Calls, Hot Chicken, and Unlocking Your Creativity

39:43 | Jan 28th, 2016

"Cooking is the way I can give a piece of my heart to someone," says The Chew's Carla Hall. On this week's Special Sauce, I chat with Hall about how she hopped around on her career journey, going from being an accountant at Price Waterhouse ("Account...Show More

Dale Talde on Fried Chicken, Ranch Dressing, and Growing Up Filipino

53:07 | Jan 21st, 2016

"In America, you don't get what you don't ask for," says chef-restaurateur, Top Chef contestant, and cookbook author Dale Talde. "You have to punch and kick and scream to get what you want." On this week's episode of Special Sauce, I talk to Talde-on...Show More

Brian Koppelman on Pizza, Sushi, and What It Takes to Be a Screenwriter

44:49 | Jan 15th, 2016

On this week's episode of Special Sauce, Ed talks to Brian about his undying-and sometimes heretical-love for pizza, how gluttony ties into his upcoming Showtime series, Billions, and the moment when Wonderama broadened his culinary horizons. You'll ...Show More

David Simon on The Wire, Raw Oysters, and Richard Pryor

40:04 | Jan 7th, 2016

On this week's Special Sauce, I talk to David Simon—one of the smartest, funniest, and most thoughtful serious eaters I have ever broken bread with—about how his years as a beat reporter made their way into his television work. He shares how homicide...Show More

Laura Lippman on the Baltimore Food Scene, Crime Writing, and Journalism

49:41 | Dec 17th, 2015

"I'm a very average cook, but I'm a very happy cook," crime novelist Laura Lippman explained to me on this week's podcast. Lippman is far from your average writer, though. The Washington Post has called her "one of the best novelists around, period."...Show More

Susie Essman Talks Bacon, Profanity, and Vegetarianism

34:54 | Dec 3rd, 2015

I've known the great comedian and actress Susie Essman for nearly 20 years, and I've always been disappointed that she'd never cursed me out the way she did her TV husband, Jeff Garlin, on Curb Your Enthusiasm. So I asked her to let me have it right ...Show More

Rich Torrisi Talks Curiosity, Craftsmanship, and Carl Sagan

46:10 | Nov 19th, 2015

Rich Torrisi's name hits headlines all the time, but the renowned chef—and managing partner of one of New York City's hottest restaurant groups—admits that he doesn't much care for all the media attention. "I don't have a taste for it, I don't really...Show More

Gail Simmons Shares Her Journey From Personal Assistant to Top Chef Judge

44:38 | Nov 12th, 2015

When I first met her more than a decade ago, Gail Simmons was no television personality. She was the not-at-all-lowly assistant to Jeffrey Steingarten, the feared and revered Vogue food critic. (And she had to survive a ridiculously arduous interview...Show More

J. Kenji López-Alt on The Food Lab, Baths, Karaoke, and Becoming a Cook

49:38 | Nov 5th, 2015

Even if you've read every one of his columns on Serious Eats and every page of his weighty tome "The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science", you'll still find out some surprising—and funny—stuff about Kenji López-Alt when you listen to Episod...Show More

A Conversation with Phil Rosenthal

25:34 | Oct 29th, 2015

The first episode features my good friend Phil Rosenthal, who's a successful restaurant investor and the creator of Emmy Award-winning TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. PBS is now airing his latest creative endeavor, I'll Have What Phil's Having, a fu...Show More