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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: 2017
Mar 17, 2017

Many serious eaters know the pleasures associated with ordering something delicious from the online food retailer Mouth.com.  But not many people know the fascinating backstory of Mouth's cofounder Craig Kanarick. That's where this week's episode of Special Sauce comes in.  How Craig went from telling Fortune 500 companies what to do at Razorfish to finding the next great jam-maker at Mouth is a terrific story of risk and reinvention, and you can hear every detail on this episode of Special Sauce.

 
Mar 10, 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 philosophy and, inevitably, the development and opening of Lilia, her much-lauded Italian restaurant in Brooklyn and her first as a chef-restaurateur. Contrary to prior emphasis on garnering accolades and critical acclaim, Missy says she wanted Lilia to have no part in striving for Michelin or New York Times stars; she just wanted to cook great food. And, glowing reviews, while good for the ego, are besides the point now. The mantra she tells her staff? "Let's welcome people into our home and make them feel great when they leave here, and let's make them crave the food."  A laudable goal, don't you think?
 
Mar 3, 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 think about anything else for hours. And when we tried to edit our conversation down to one episode we found that we couldn't, so this week's episode is just part one.

 

Feb 17, 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, Born Round: A Story of Family, Food, and a Ferocious Appetite, have "essentially been in bed" with him, and what he feels are the true qualifications for a restaurant critic.

Feb 10, 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 did he return to the U.S. after so much success in Japan, and what non-noodle project does he have in the works in New York City?  You'll just have to tune in to find out.

Feb 3, 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 a high school job working as a dishwasher in a local Japanese restaurant helped first develop his palate, his early years teaching English in Tokyo, the restaurant cooking experiences in the U.S. that shaped his philosophy on hospitality, and how he was able to overcome tremendous loss.

Jan 27, 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 country are struggling, his mother's reaction to his decision to drop out of college and attend cooking school ("You're kidding, right?"), and why young cooks at a restaurant should think twice before suggesting new dishes for the menu.

But I suppose the most important lesson Serious Eaters may learn about after listening to our conversation is the importance of doing something you love, day in and day out. Now that's some Special Sauce worth listening to.

 

Jan 20, 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 stop obsessing over creating a technically perfect fried chicken recipe and embrace it as "an emotional endeavor"–with a little tough love from a famous singer.
 
Who was that singer, what does jazz have to do with the way he approaches cooking, and which late legendary Motown star would Marcus have loved to lunch with?  You're just going to have to listen to find out.
Jan 13, 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 fact, this is the first interview I've done for the show that has brought me to tears. There's so much to Marcus's remarkable story, so tune in to part one of this extraordinary interview. 

 
Jan 6, 2017

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

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