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Have You Become A “Foodie?”

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Aired 4/11/11

Food movements and TV food shows are influencing the way we eat. In this KPBS Food Hour, we'll talk about the adventurous and knowledgeable restaurant patrons and home cooks brought forth by the "foodie craze."

Food movements and TV food shows are influencing the way we eat. In this KPBS Food Hour, we'll talk about the adventurous and knowledgeable restaurant patrons and home cooks brought forth by the "foodie craze."

GUESTS: Caron Golden, food writer of the column "Local Bounty" for San Diego Magazine and author of the blog San Diego Foodstuff.

Steve Black - Executive Chef of the Sheraton Hotel & Marina

Gavin Kaysen - Cafe Boulud, New York, New York.

PUBLIC INFORMATION: 30th Annual Celebrity Chefs Cook Gala: Epicurean Elegance Benefiting the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina on Harbor Island. April 16, 2011 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm |

Read Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

CAVANAUGH: Attitudes about food are changing. We want to know where our food comes from and learn new interesting ways to use it. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, coming up on These Days, we'll talk about how food movements and TV food shows are influencing the way we eat. Would you have ever tasted bacon licorice peanut butter hors d'oeuvre if it weren't for top chef. Or are you trying to incorporate all the new local produce into your recipes? [CHECK] and we'll be taking your calls about your eating adventures. That's all ahead this hour on These Days. First the news.

I'd like to introduce my guests, Karen Golden is food writer of the column, local bounty, for San Diego magazine, and author of the blog, San Diego food stuff, Karen, good morning.

GOLDEN: Good morning. Always good to be here.

CAVANAUGH: Chef Steve black is executive chef of the Sheraton Hotel and Marina, chef Steve, good morning.

BLACK: Thank you for the invite.

CAVANAUGH: And later in the show, we'll be hearing from chef Gavin Kaysen of [CHECK] UCSD's Epicurean elegance, celebrity chefs cook, it's a gala this Saturday [CHECK] that you never thought you'd try? Have your tastes been changing toward fresher, more adventurous kinds of foods? Give us a call with your questions and your comments issue our number here is 1-888-895-5727. That's 1-888-895-KPBS. Now, I gave some suggestions about the possible origins of foodie craze, but Karen, how do you think this has all developed?

GOLDEN: I think it's a combination of different things that sort of turned into this sweet moment in time. You well the development of food TV, and the proliferation of all of these cooking shes, and cooking shows as entertainment as opposed to strictly educational.

CAVANAUGH: Right, right.

GOLDEN: So we moved from, you know, the galloping gourmet and Julia child to iron chef, and you know, a lot of these kinds of shows which were much more entertainment oriented, and I think drew people in. You've got people traveling much more easily now, and parts of the world opening up to people, and of course once you go some mace and you try the food, you want to bring become that experience to your home. Magazines like gourmet, Bon Apetit, all of those have been around for a long time, but when you campaign that with now blogging and this proliferation of bloggers, it seems like everywhere you turn, people are talking about food, and the other thing I was thinking approximate driving here was the access now that people have to sophisticated cooking tools, that they can create a much more sophisticated kitchen than perhaps their grandmothers did. Although perhaps their [CHECK] than we do now. I think the irony of all of that is that we talk about this foodie craze, but Americans cook far less than they did many, many years ago.

CAVANAUGH: Right.

GOLDEN: And so my grandmother with a whisk was probably doing a lot more baking than I do with my Kitchenade. But I have it and it inspires me to do things that I probably wouldn't have tried benefit.

CAVANAUGH: What about the show food movement, Karen? And the whole idea of eating more locally? Does that inspire people to [CHECK] who knows where, to actually have something that's grown here that perhaps they wouldn't be their 50 choice?

GOLDEN: I think it depend -- certainly in San Diego, yes. If we were to generalize across the kitchen, your gonna find parts of the country that don't have the kind of growing seasons and agriculture that we do. But certainly we've got year-round agriculture, we've got over 50 farmers' markets in the County, we have whole foods, crystal farm, I mean we've got so many things going on here that, yeah, it's much easier. I led a tour, in fact, on Saturday of Balboa international market, which is mostly a middle eastern market, but it has a lot of other thing, and I did this for the [CHECK] group here, and I was surprised at how many of these women who are in the food industry had not seep fresh garbanzo beans, couldn't tell me what the -- a green almond was. They just had never seen these before. But now they're gonna be going back and trying them. And I think that's a very exciting thick, that you can expose people who have been in the industry for a long time to new things, you can expose kids to things if you do it the right way, to fresh fruits and vegetables that they would never have thought or, you know, edible, let alone, you know, really good for them, and really great tasting.

CAVANAUGH: I want to invite our listeners issue once again, to join our conversation, if you are a foodie, want to be a foodie, don't want to be a foodie, girlfriend us a call with your questions and comments issue 1-888-895-5727. That's 1-888-895-KPBS. Chef Steve Black, let me get you in on the conversation 678 you've heard what Karen said about the possible origins of this foodie craze, what would you like to add?

BLACK: Well, I can tell you that in the hotel world, that sustainable is a huge positive movement within the hotel, with a lot more groups asking and requesting for sustainable had menus. We have -- what we have is called e-menus on our hotel website that change seasonally so that we can use more of the hole ingredients that are grown in the specific growing season. Imperial Valley, for example, is only two hours away, just east of San Diego over the mountains, first percent of the produce comes from Imperial Valley for the rest of the country. They grow everything there. We do a lot of camping down there. And know some of the local farmer, and they have romaine, asparagus, beats, cantaloupes, you name it, they're growing it. Lettuce. A lot of them had a hard time when they had the spinach E. Coli a few years ago. But sustainability is how many. And fortunately we're here in San Diego, [CHECK] producer dealer gives us a weekly list where the product comes from, whether it's organic, sustainable, [CHECK].

CAVANAUGH: I wonder, what do you think -- what kind of impact do you think these TV shows and TV food computations have had on the way people view selecting food.

BLACK: Well, like Karen was saying, there's a lot of products out there that people haven't ever worked with, a Jerusalem artichoke. In the '80s it was fresh herbs. I remember when I started in the hotel industry, I had never seen fresh basil, thyme, any of that. It was always dry.

CAVANAUGH: Sure.

BLACK: [CHECK] but when it comes to those iron chefs and they lift up the sheet there on what they're working with, it educates everybody, and gets them ready to go out and try something different.

CAVANAUGH: I'm wonder, as a chef, do you like these shows?

BLACK: You know, I watch them a lot, my wife loves then. But sometimes to me, it's lick the mailman doesn't go for a walk when he goes home. So I like them, they're a way to come up with good ideas, but I deal with it all the time, when you talk about a quick fire challenge on top chef, I have 15 of those probably a day that I have to deal with, and putting out fires, solving problems issue getting orders in, specialty products so I do and I don't. Sometimes it's just the mood that I'm in. [CHECK] [CHECK].

CAVANAUGH: We're taking your calls thea 1-888-895-5727. Eve is on the Hine from bay park. Good morning, eve, and welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning.

CAVANAUGH: Hi.

NEW SPEAKER: Thank you for taking my call.

CAVANAUGH: Yeah.

NEW SPEAKER: So I just wanted to bring up a couple things. The first thing is I've gotten a CSA box before, and though they are pretty pricey so I don't always get them, but when I do, I find it inspires me to cook all sorts of different things because you get vegetables in the box, you know, things I've never heard of before, different type it is of kale for instance, you know, there's so many types of kale, I had no idea. And I'm vegan, so it's really nice to have that different variety of vegetables that allows me to really make things creative when I'm in the kitchen.

CAVANAUGH: Now, you're talking about a box that you sign up with a community garden and once a week, once --

GOLDEN: Once a week or every two weeks depending on what the subscription is, yeah.

CAVANAUGH: You'll get a box filled with all different kinds of locally grown produce. And I'm wondering, we've talked about that on this show a couple of times, Karen, and the challenge is knowing what these vegetables are and knowing how to use them.

GOLDEN: Yeah, a good CSA, for instance, Suzie's farm has a CSA, and they [CHECK] Lucilla de Alejandro, who's one of the owners, writes a blog, and she has lots of information about what goes into the buildings during the week. So you can get recipes, you can get ideas how to do it, you can get information about it, there's always ways to get information, even if your CSA doesn't have that particular kind of information available, I mean, all you have to do is go to Google and Google it. There are plenty of resources for people. They're also, now, a surprising number of cooking classes coming up, great news at cut's culinary, that actually focus on what's inside the CSA bag. So they'll pull things that are more unusual ingredients to teach you. And even, like, a few weeks ago, I was at cup's for a charcuterie class, and the second part of the second part of the class was teaching us how to make pickles to go with out charcuterie.

CAVANAUGH: What is charcuterie?

GOLDEN: Charcuterie is fresh sausage, salami.

BLACK: Salami.

CAVANAUGH: Oh, okay.

GOLDEN: So we were learning how to make the sausages, second week we learned how to make pickles to go with them. And in the box for the vegetables were huge heads of Romanesco cauliflower, which is the really bizarre green kind of space age looking cauliflower. And that alone set a lot of people off, because they had never cooked with them. And it was untrimmed, so we're [CHECK] putting them in the compost pile, and jar Ed van camp, who is I quality social, [CHECK] just so you know, folks, the leaves are delicious, and we started tasting them, and then we all were picking them and putting them in bags to take home with us, and I sauteed a bunch that night with some garlic and preserved lemon, and it was absolutely delicious. So in fact there are things that most people throw away from vegetables that you can use and would be a great source of revenue for a lot of farmers if they sold those as well.

CAVANAUGH: I wonder, what happens when you put an unusual vegetable or produce item on the menu? You know --

KAYSEN: Well, you have two different animals. If you're in an outlet or restaurant, then you can get away with different things because people have the choice of selecting that entree or not. When it comes to feeding the masses in banquets, catering, catered events, that's where you have to be a little careful, and probably that's why -- come into effect, and almost all the time, they will end up with a vegetable that people are familiar with, that will please the whole crowd, and a protein as well. That's why we end up serving the noble cuts of beef, filet, rib eye, and --

CAVANAUGH: And how adventurous they're becoming, has that influence been felt even in New York where people are thought to be adventurous eaters to gip?

KAYSEN: Yeah, I think what TV has helped do is help take away the mystery of what it takes to produce the food in the kitchen, and really helps the diners kind of understand what's on the plate. Which has helped us in the back a lot, because it's helped us create dishes that are [CHECK] is now simply a lot bit boring, and it's interesting, because now you start to see, at least, I'm starting to see now more food that was produced baaing in the twenties and thirties and '40s come back even more because it's so old that it's actually even more exciting than anything else because people just haven't seen it yet.

CAVANAUGH: Well, give us an example. What do you mean?

KAYSEN: Well, I mean, like, in New York if you go [CHECK] for decades, and if you go and you eat there, it's something that you've never had before or if you have, you forgot how wonderful, you know, the Quinnel of pike is, or you forgot how wonderful that kind of old -- you know, that old school service is, and the old school cooking, and just very simply plated, and it's just all about the -- at the end of the day, it's just all got ingredients, and it's all about the execution of those ingredients.

CAVANAUGH: [CHECK].

KAYSEN: It's hard to say, so you kind of see everything, but you know, I think the one thing that's actually interesting in New York is that I'm starting to see a big trend of Mexican food right now. Which is interesting, because coming from San Diego, I ate so much of it while I was there, and then moving to New York, you know, almost four years ago, I really haven't seen much. And we have, you know, four sections on our menu, which are traditional French, seasonal 47, vegetarian, and then one which we call the voyage, which is where we just travel the globe, and we can do whatever we want, and in this [CHECK] Oajaca, so we're doing a lot of very interesting, Oajacan dish, and [CHECK].

CAVANAUGH: That's interesting.

KAYSEN: Yeah.

CAVANAUGH: We are taking callers at 1-888-895-5727. Anthony is calling, he's on the I-15, good morning, Anthony, and welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning, thank you for taking my call. Can you hear me okay?

CAVANAUGH: Yes, we can.

NEW SPEAKER: Good. I just wanted to make a comment. My wife and I, we love to enjoy different restaurants, and we wept to the Ethiopian restaurant in Hillcrest, and it was incredible. [CHECK] the service, and whenever we find a good restaurant, we go to it, but we also like to try different ones too.

CAVANAUGH: Well, thank you. Thank you for that, Anthony. And that's quite a voyage to Ethiopia. Donald is calling from San Diego. Donald, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning.

CAVANAUGH: Yes, hi.

NEW SPEAKER: Hello.

CAVANAUGH: Yes, hi, how can we help you?

NEW SPEAKER: Well, the reason I was calling in, I own a vegan bakery on 5th avenue, and I feel a lot of the pulse in San Diego of the food scene, and being on what I consider the healthier end of it, and the food craze that's going on with the explosion of TV shows and even the chef in New York just sounds wonderful, I'd love to come eat there some time, but I think the food craze is going on so strong because of the lack of healthy diets in culture. I think that people see healthier choices when they bring in from other cultures that don't use meat as a main course but as a, you know, a garnish for a dish. And I believe that that has a lot to do with the food crazes that people are seeking something healthier to eat in the American culture.

CAVANAUGH: That's an interesting point, Donald, thank you for that. And let me go to you, chef Gavin, you just described going back to old fashioned French cuisine, which we don't normally think of as terribly health conscious. [CHECK].

KAYSEN: Yeah, you know, I mean, I think that's absolutely part of it. But I think the health craze is also, you know, is also part of the fact that people are understanding because of a lot of television, people are understanding what goes into the foot, and what it takes for the food to taste good. Which a lot of the time unfortunately is the fat. Un[CHECK] it has made the chefs become better chefs because it's made us figure out a way to make food or flavorful that maybe will not have as much fat. [CHECK] and it's all about Mediterranean cuisine, but one of our main focuses when we developed that menu over there was how to take out all of the butter. And how do we create a menu that's just more focused on olive oils, more focused on flavored oils [CHECK] the clientele that are there.

CAVANAUGH: Very interesting. I'm wondering issue chef Steve black, you have your constraints because of the kinds of dishes that you need to prepare for the Sheraton. However, has there been that kind of an influence on what goes on in the kitchen in trying to make things a little bit more healthy.

BLACK: As far as the healthy part, yes. We have had to expand as, like I said, in the local sustainable movement that the groups that are coming in are requesting. And we also have other things that [CHECK] I have one coming up where I'll be taking them to one of the local farms, picking up the produce, there'll be a lot bit of a teaching segment, come back to the hotel, cooking with that, and then I have a second one coming up in the fall, where we're gonna go to seafoods, Chesapeake [CHECK] healthier, what are some of the new products that are out is there, and how do you use them.

CAVANAUGH: That's interesting. You know, Karen, when people get inspired by a program on television, is it a good idea to just take the chance and try sort of an elaborate recipe at home?

GOLDEN: Well, actually, I don't know that a lot of these recipes are all that elaborate. And I think many of them are fairly straightforward. There may be a lot of steps involved, but they're not necessarily things that require special techniques. If you're looking at Martha Stewart or [CHECK] most of these things are things people can do. I think you need to know if the chef is doing dishes that are more for entertainment than for the home cook, and sort of gauge accordingly. But absolutely, I think it's always worth trying things. And it's worth taking cooking classes to learn how to do some of these techniques, maybe you don't know how to roast or to saute well, or maybe you don't know how to make a pickle like we learned the other day. But there are all sorts of resources, particularly in San Diego now, where you can learn those skills and then apply them at home.

CAVANAUGH: Chef Gavin, I'm wonder, do you get a lot more people asking you where the food is from?

KAYSEN: Yeah, we get a lot of that. I don't think that's ever really been an issue of we've always had that part of cuisine here, and we've always had that part offer clientele. [CHECK] that are very much regulars, so they're very familiar with the menu and kind of where everything is from. Out here, I'd say the person who's probably the most incredible chef in regards to building a farm that's sustainable and reality doing something that's a movement is Dan barber who's at the but hill and stone barns, he has his restaurant there, and then outside of the restaurant is his farm. I mean, the land that is there is the land that you eat, the pigs that are there are the pigs you eat. To go out and experience that, whatever season it may be, I was fortunate enough to be out there this spring, actually, not too long ago, and it's just an incredible movement to see how he interacts with all of those vegetables, and how much you really need to respect how the reasons are, [CHECK].

CAVANAUGH: Now, I know that there is a new, actually a new TV show coming up, chef Gavin, that you think may do even more to inference this foodie craze across America.

KAYSEN: Yeah. Yeah. I mean there's a lot of, you know, we have a show coming out in the fall, it's gonna be on A and E, it's gonna be called the American chef, and it's followed us for the last year in the [CHECK] which, when I was the chef at [CHECK] at the Rancho Bernardo in, and in 2008, when I moved out to New York City, Danielle had asked if I wanted to compete again, and I respectfully said yes, but I just needed a lot of money and a lot of time off. And his response was great, he said let's build a foundation. We ended up building a foundation, and the three people that are in charge are [CHECK] and it's been incredible to see how that has really reshaped the foundation for the United States and for our efforts in the [CHECK] this should be a really incredible documentary. [CHECK] four episodes, and it's gonna really brick people on the journey of what it takes to really put your career and your life on hold. It took us nine months of we trained for nine months on everything. And we trained about 2500 hours.

CAVANAUGH: Wow of the.

KAYSEN: For the when he will thing. But the guy who won was Denmark, and he trained 8000 hours. So we have a lot more work to do.

CAVANAUGH: All right. So we'll look forward to that. We're taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. Marge is calling from the Sorrento valley. Good morning, Marge, and welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Hello?

CAVANAUGH: Hi Marge.

NEW SPEAKER: Thank you. It's a gorgeous day. I'm here in Sorrento Valley on a CSA, communicate supported agriculture, sea breeze farm, and we're totally inspired by the number of schools and children that come to visit the farm with their families and with their schools. It's really fun to have them run to want to pick carrots or turnips and to eat them right there, and to just see that our younger generation wants to know where thirds requirement food comes from, and how to become part of it.

CAVANAUGH: Well, thank you for the call, Marge, and Karen, that really does -- it marks a generational defense. I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, everything you needed to know about food was in the super market.

GOLDEN: Well, actually, when I was growing up, and can if my parents are listen, they'll be laughing at this, I grew up in the San Fernando valley at Los Angeles, and when I was very, very young, the freeways weren't in there, and that I guess dates me, but there were orchards, and there were a lot of farms, and we had Maria's corn stand, and we would go and pick corn there, and it was fresh lemon, fresh oranges, everything. And so we had that, and my mother was always into gardening. So we had all of that. But I think in the interim, you're right, that has been lost a lot. And I teach, as you know, at olive wood gardens, and this is basically low income kids in national city who come, and they come to learn about gardening and learning how to cook fresh food, and this is something that when you bring produce to them, a lot of the times they don't know what it is that you're holding because if it's not in a package, it doesn't exist. And so it's wonderful that we've got all of these programs now that are getting kids onto farms, into gardens, teaching them just how to use a spade and get dirt to move, you know? They don't know from these things of they don't know from seeds, they don't know from any of this. And they're learning. And it's becoming important to them. And that's the next generation of people who are going to be demanding that they get fresh food, and they're not gonna want everything to come in January from Chile because we want asparagus in January, they're gonna want something that's seasonal. So maybe they're gonna be willing to eat greens because they have had an experience on the farm or in a classroom setting, or their patients are educating them, and the parents need educating too, which is the other part.

CAVANAUGH: In just a few minutes, I want to talk [CHECK] into their daily liars and their own kitchens but I'm wondering, chef Steve Black, do you think that's gonna be the take away from this foodie craze? The idea of getting to know locally produced fresh foods and having that as just a standard part of your diet.

BLACK: Yeah, well, you can see now, it already is happening of it's already in motion. At the larger chain stores, not the specialty ones, Vons, Albertson's, they are starting to give you information about where it's coming from, whether it is local or whether it's sustainably grown, organic, but it already is in full motion, and I don't think people can afford to overlook at the importance of that, and the fact that everybody has already jumped on that wagon. And they're demanding it, they're looking for it. They want it.

GOLDEN: When Wal-Mart decides that they're going to decide organic, you know that there's no turning back, you know?

CAVANAUGH: Chef Gavin Kaysen, [CHECK] epicurean gala.

KAYSEN: Yeah, I'm very excited. I leave on Friday to come back out. So we'll be out there for the -- to help with the epicurean gala for the UCSD cancer center, [CHECK] so we're looking very forward to getting back out to San Diego, and getting some sunshine as we have had a brutal winter here, so it'll be nice to get some sun in and see some old faces and cook some food. And then we're actually gonna head out to Los Angeles on Sunday, and we're gonna do two dinners both at animal, animal at Monday night and Tuesday night.

CAVANAUGH: Well, thank you so much for your time.

KAYSEN: It was my pleasure.

CAVANAUGH: I've been speaking with chef [CHECK] we have to take a short break, and when we return, there are an awful lot of people who want to get in on this conversation, so we'll take a lot of your calls any continue our conversation about the foodie craze. You're listening to These Days on KPBS.

Welcome back, I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, you're listening to These Days on KPBS, and we're talking about the foodies amongst us, those people who have become more adventurous, more appreciative, and more informed about food in recent years and month we're taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. And I'd like to reintroduce my guests, Karen golden and chef Steve Black. Let's go right to the phones and take a call from Andrea in San Diego, good morning, Andrea, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Hello, good morning.

CAVANAUGH: Hi.

NEW SPEAKER: Hi, I'm on the advisory board for San Diego roots, [CHECK] Sherman heights community center, and also a participant, and foodie myself. And many of us were at air conference this past weekend, the cultivating food justice event.

CAVANAUGH: Uh-huh.

NEW SPEAKER: And this was definitely something where it was all set up so that people could incorporate a lot of these food trends into their own kitchens and their own daily lives so they had miniworkshops from [CHECK] to aqua culture, and built cooperatives, and eating healthy, growing [CHECK] so if people missed this conference, all the -- they videotaped all of them, and they're on thirds requirement website, SD food justice.org.

CAVANAUGH: Well, thanks for telling us about that, Andrea, that's something to check out. And when it comes to the idea of locally produced fresh food, and eating adventurously and healthily, [CHECK].

GOLDEN: Oh, no, you've gotta talk about seafood. We have a huge crisis on our hands with over fishing and basically eating the wrong part -- the seafood food chain. We love salmon, we love tuna we love swordfish, and these are all the huge fish, the kings, the lions, if you would, of the sea. And when you complete those, then you complete everything that goes up that food chain. So what's wonderful about a lot of what's going on in San Diego, because we're on the ocean, we're close to Baja, we have the ability to get a lot more local fish that is fished by local farmer -- local fishermen as opposed to big trollers. So it's a much smarter way of eating seafood. And I think there are a lot of local fish that people don't really know are edible or have not really thought about in those ways, and so sardines, for instance, we have wonderful sardines here. We have local -- we have mussels, we have actually a farm here, Carlsbad aqua culture farm, that -- you know, they grow mussels. They grow a lot of different kinds of shell fish. I think abalone is another one that they grow. And they're delicious. The other thing that we are probably trying to transition to, is instead of eating conventionally raised and slaughtered cattle is to go from either grass fed beef or even bison. And no, we don't grow a lot of beef in San Diego. We do have mount Palomar, the Limels grow beef here. I think your definition of local has to expand somewhat when you're talking about cattle, because we just don't have as much Pasteur as you do in the midwest, say. But it is possible to get local beef here, to get bison. To get -- there are some people who are growing pig, and certainly a lot of people growing -- raising chickens now. And all of these things are accessible through farmers' markets. [CHECK] but the quality isn't good, and it's slowly killing you. I mean, it's all fat.

CAVANAUGH: I want to talk a little bit more about that. But chef Steve, I know that you are an avid fisherman yourself.

BLACK: Yeah.

CAVANAUGH: So you incorporate a lot of locally developed or caught fish into your menus.

BLACK: Right. I saw the movie end of the line. I don't know if you ever did, it was about over fishing in the United States. But while there are a lot of fisheries that are over fished, there are some really great success stories, the striped bass back in Atlanta, and the Atlantic ocean off Montauk, Chesapeake, Boston, they were almost really depleted in the '80s. Now they have really come back. Locally, California halibut, white sea bass, they have also had a big resurgence in the stocks because of the bill nets that were taken away and have to be placed three miles or further out. They were earlier right up along the beach and really decimated the number of fish. So currently, white sea bass, last year was an epic season of [CHECK] halibut as I mentioned, also. There's also a lot of fishermen out there who are pole catching albacore. And I don't recall the name. It was on [CHECK] but there's a family, six families that work on that, and just show video of fish that are actually being caught and then processed right there. And so yeah, I definitely choose and select the fish that are, what would you say? More ocean ecofriendly than the fish that we had before, which I Leanne sea bass being probably the biggest offender of the list of it's a wonderfully delicious fish, but they are really taking a beating down south.

CAVANAUGH: The way they're being over fished --

BLACK: Over fished, yeah, over fished.

CAVANAUGH: And I want to talk a little more about the idea of choosing bison over regularly [CHECK] because of health relationships have gotten to know the defense. So tell us why that is healthier for you.

GOLDEN: Well, they're much leaner. The meat is just much leaner, as grass fed beef would be leaner. Those are not corn fed animals who are being raised for marbling. [CHECK] and not very much fat at all.

CAVANAUGH: If you went to a restaurant here in San Diego, could you get bison in --?

GOLDEN: In? Restaurants. Cow boy star servings bison, for instance. But [CHECK] and it's not just ground. And I've been using ground, actually, to make meat loaf, and they make great burgers. You have to cook these things differently, because they don't have the fat to protect them. So over cooking can just ruin them. But if you understand, and you follow the directions, and you can find -- if you buy bison, you can buy it at whole foods, for instance, it's readily available and there are a lot of companies on line that are selling it that you can order from. And my superintendent, because my sister gave me a gift of this, was that it did come with instructions and cautions on -- in terms of timing of but basically, you can have a lovely piece of meat that is going to create [CHECK] than traditional heavily marbled beef.

CAVANAUGH: It's interesting. Betty is calling from Poway. Good morning, Betty, and welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Hi there. I had two things to say, one is that on my CSA box, which I actually find is an economical way to buy produce, which I get from the Dutch farmers up in rainbow, I tried faba beans I never would have tried on my own.

GOLDEN: Aren't they fun to play with?

NEW SPEAKER: Oh, they were delicious of so it's something I'd go back to. And the other thing I liked about going local for produce and even for meat because there are different seasons for those is anticipation, and the flavor. You look forward to a season when you have the food available. And the flavor's always better. And so having -- getting the average or flavorless food year-round it's something, you know, when the peaches come in or the strawberries request come in.

CAVANAUGH: And you know what they're really supposed to taste like after you have them grown fresh from the ground, and you can anticipate. It's not like having sort of something flavorless that's available year-round.

GOLDEN: Oh, yeah.

NEW SPEAKER: Yes.

GOLDEN: Spring lamb, that kind of thing. Absolutely.

CAVANAUGH: Thank you so much for the call. Let's hear from Nancy in Point Loma. Good morning, Nancy, and welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning.

CAVANAUGH: Hi.

NEW SPEAKER: Thank you for taking my call.

CAVANAUGH: You're welcome.

NEW SPEAKER: I'm calling about a food they recently discovered. Moroccan cooking. I had gotten interested in food when I retired, and I was reading about a utensil, a ceramic utensil called the tajin. And my husband gave me one for [CHECK].

GOLDEN: Good.

NEW SPEAKER: And I was so impressed with the cooking. Are you familiar with this utensil?

GOLDEN: Absolutely. Yeah.

NEW SPEAKER: And the shape of it, you know, a round kind of a shallow --

GOLDEN: It's a conical, yes. You basically have a platter.

NEW SPEAKER: A conical top. And what you can do with it is you never have use butter, the recipes I have all call for olive oil and not very much of it. And it's -- you can cook a stew in one of these utensils much quicker than you would if you were using a standard Dutch oven. And they use all kinds of ingredients. There's a whole section of vegetation -- vegetarian.

CAVANAUGH: Nancy, we're gonna comment on what you're saying of thank you so much for the call. That's the kind of thing, you know, when people get excited about a different kind of food that perhaps they've never even tried before.

DEFENDANT: Paul is a friend of mine. Yes, who wrote -- she is the queen of Moroccan cooking in the U.S. and she is very much into clay pot cooking, which she completely converted me on. And I have got the most crazy collection of clay pots now that I love to cook with. Including a couple of tajins, and our caller was absolutely right. The things that you can do, you're mostly in these cases braising the food. And the way the tajin is shaped, it's basically looks like a terra cotta pot that you would, like, put on the bottom of your pot in the garden. And a conical cover over it that has a little escape route for steam. But the way it's designed, the heat goes up into the cone, and then comes down as moisture, so you always have this moist heat flowing in there that cooks the food and is absolutely delicious. And I use clay pots, the stone ware to put in the oven, to make squash dishes like casserole type dishes because they cook much faster. You're basically cooking them in two ovens. And -- but the flavor, there's something different about the flavor when it's cooked in clay as opposed to cooked in metal. And it's a very gentle lovely thing, and the pots look beautiful in the comprehend.

CAVANAUGH: It's all around great.

GOLDEN: Exactly.

CAVANAUGH: Finally, I just want to ask briefly, do you think that there's any way that the foodie craze is going too far?

GOLDEN: Oh, yeah.

CAVANAUGH: Anything that you see that's just a little bit over the top? Let me starts with you, Steve.

BLACK: I would just have to say just some of the combinations on some of the shows, [CHECK] but sometimes we were talking earlier about what a lick wish peanut butter something or other.

CAVANAUGH: Bacon.

BLACK: Yeah, it just -- you know, I know that Americans are becoming more and more educated, but sometimes I also think sticking to tradition and at least traditional styles is also a safe way to playthings, but with a slight variance on how it's done.

CAVANAUGH: Right.

GOLDEN: I think we were talking about. I -- the food shows don't bother me. They crack me up. And they're done to basically stymie the chefs. So that's fine. But when I go to [CHECK] I think that someone is -- needs to go back to school. The other thing that cracks me up is molecular gastronomy. For its own sake. And there are people like William Bradley and Addison who use it and they incorporate it into the dish in a way that really compliments the dish. But to do it just to prove that you can do it, to take something --

BLACK: Jell it.

GOLDEN: And jell it, and then do all these crazy, you know, chemical things to it, I think is very entertaining, and it can be fun. But I don't think ultimately it's terribly satisfying.

CAVANAUGH: Gotcha. I'll avoid that. I want to end by, chef Steve, if you'd tell us a little bit about the celebrity chef's cook gala, are the epicurean [CHECK] tell us about that.

BLACK: Right, well, it's coming up this Saturday, the fifteenth, and we'll have a lot of chefs, a lot of them locals, and Gavin, as you mentioned you had on the phone early every, but they come in, they do the reception, part of the event, 6:00 to 7:00, and then 7:45 is when we do the dinner. So the portions for the dinner, nice and small because they have had all the wonderful appetizers from the visiting chefs. [CHECK] and it's all for a good cause of, you know, raising the money for the Morris cancer center.

CAVANAUGH: Yeah, so let me tell everyone, it's the 30th annual one this year, by the way, the celebrity chef's cook gala, Epicurean [CHECK] Sheraton hotel and marina on harbor island, and it is this Saturday starting at six, and ending at 11:00 PM or whenever you're too full to move. Thank you so much, Karen golden, and chef Steve black, thank you for talking with us today.

GOLDEN: Thank you.

BLACK: Thank you.

CAVANAUGH: And you're listening to These Days on KPBS.

Comments

Avatar for user 'chimenac'

chimenac | April 11, 2011 at 10:18 a.m. ― 3 years ago

Specialty produce has a farmer market bag for only $20 which is really great! I love getting new vegetables each week to try and they make it affordable.

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Avatar for user 'hopeheadsd'

hopeheadsd | May 25, 2011 at 12:15 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

Food is one of those "answer is right in front of your face" common bonds that we as humans all share. We should be rejoicing in becoming more aware of how it can be a centerpiece for socializing and well being. Buying fresh food or trying new things can really be a treat to the senses.
Some of the shows are fluff, but make an impact. I am glad to see this trend though.

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