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Special Sauce with Ed Levine

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 food culture.
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Now displaying: December, 2017
Dec 29, 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 holiday cooking and baking. Though we were thousands of miles apart, the exchanges crackled with energy <em>and</em> holiday cheer, with more than a heaping helping of incredibly helpful intel on the side.
 
Kenji and Stella cheerfully sparred on their respective pie crust theories. (My role as the Serious Eats overlord requires that I remain resolutely neutral on this freighted topic, at least publicly.) They also weighed in on tempering chocolate when making peppermint bark, the best way to make fudge, and whether it's possible to make caramel and toffee when it's raining (Spoiler alert: it is, and using the right kind of kosher salt is key). And if you've ever wanted to know what a gizzard is, what its function is in a turkey, and what holiday cooks can use them for, this is the episode of Special Sauce for you. So listen up! I am confident it will make your holidays a little bit merrier and a lot more delicious.
 
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, Serious Eaters and Special Sauce-ers! See you in 2018. 
Dec 21, 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 holiday cooking and baking. Though we were thousands of miles apart, the exchanges crackled with energy <em>and</em> holiday cheer, with more than a heaping helping of incredibly helpful intel on the side.
 
Kenji and Stella cheerfully sparred on their respective pie crust theories. (My role as the Serious Eats overlord requires that I remain resolutely neutral on this freighted topic, at least publicly.) They also weighed in on tempering chocolate when making peppermint bark, the best way to make fudge, and whether it's possible to make caramel and toffee when it's raining (Spoiler alert: it is, and using the right kind of kosher salt is key). And if you've ever wanted to know what a gizzard is, what its function is in a turkey, and what holiday cooks can use them for, this is the episode of Special Sauce for you. So listen up! I am confident it will make your holidays a little bit merrier and a lot more delicious.
 
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, Serious Eaters and Special Sauce-ers! See you in 2018.
Dec 14, 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 still had his day job, and his obsessive, perfectionist nature meant that sleep was at a premium. (How obsessive is Andrew? He irons his apron at least three times for each episode.)

On today's episode of Special Sauce, we find out just how Binging with Babish became a true viral sensation, and how it became both his meal ticket and his vehicle for realizing all his creative dreams. In addition to Binging with Babish, Andrew now hosts a more interactive show called Basics with Babish (which, thanks to Switcher, allows viewers to cook along with Andrew in real time and even comment) and he's published his first book Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers. The way Andrew tells it, it involved a lot of hard work, luck, vision, and more than a little craft.

As to his what he thinks his special sauce is, Andrew says, "I try to do everything I can do to push myself out of my comfort zone. It's rewarded me the whole way. There have been stumbles of course but...The point of the story is that, yes, it's scary, but sometimes you've got to see if you can swim. You've got to jump in the deep end."

So if you've ever been tempted to jump into the deep end with a creative project, or if you just want to hear a unique digital media success story, you'll want to dive into the second part of my conversation with Andrew Rea.

Dec 7, 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 watched one episode and got hooked. And I'm not alone: More than two million people now subscribe to the show.

I got so hooked that I had to have its creator, Andrew Rea, on Special Sauce. And I'm glad I managed to track him down: During our chat, Andrew revealed himself to be as smart and interesting and focused and idiosyncratic as the show itself. Which makes sense if you listen to how he puts the show together: "Every episode takes a bare minimum of 30 hours, sometimes up to 60 or 70 because I'm a one man band. I shoot it myself, I edit it myself, I color correct, I do the voiceover, all in my apartment, just me."

Here's the kicker: Up until a few months ago he also had a demanding full-time job, forcing him to work on Binging with Babish in the spare time he didn't really have. So if you've ever wondered what it takes to both produce a YouTube cooking series worth watching and develop a huge audience for it, check out this week's Special Sauce, which is just part one of my chat with Andrew (or should I say Mr. Babish?). When you do, I'm sure you will check out Binging with Babish yourself, and maybe his new series, Basics with Babish, too.

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