"What would your last meal be?" On this James Beard Award finalist for best podcast, National Edward R. Murrow award-winning reporter Rachel Belle asks every guest this question - but that’s just the beginning! Each dish’s origins, preparation, and cultural influence are among the many stones upturned as Rachel consults chefs and culinary anthropologists, fishmongers and fry cooks on her quest to explore every facet of Your Last Meal. Episodes every two weeks. Original music by Prom Queen.
Taylor Hanson: Caprese with Perfect Tomatoes & Burrata
32:03Taylor Hanson is the middle brother in Hanson, the band he's been performing in with his brothers Isaac and Zac since he was nine years old. So it's not surprising that this Oklahoma boy had a palate changing culinary epiphany while touring in Europe when he was 15. That epiphany revolved around a perfectly ripe, locally grown tomato, and anyone who's ever picked a pink, mealy tomato slice off their burger knows that commercially grown tomatoes leave much to be desired. Host Rachel Belle chats with Dr. Harry Klee, a horticulture professor who has worked for nearly three decades to develop a flavorful, affordable grocery store tomato. And he answers the question: why are supermarket tomatoes so bad?? And the Oklahoma Historical Society joins the show to share the story behind Oklahoma's official state meal. Follow Rachel Belle on Instagram! This episode is sponsored by Ooni Pizza Ovens, the world's first portable pizza oven company! Rachel Belle has been making incredible, chewy, bubbly, melty pizzas in her Ooni for more than three years. If you want to make the best homemade pizza of your life visit: www.ooni.com/yourlastmeal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dan Harris: Butter & Truffle Fettuccini + Warm Sugar Cookies
40:14Dan Harris is Type A, self-help skeptical and looks the part of a TV anchorman. But he recently quit his 20 year career at ABC News to fully embrace his side hustle: convincing Americans to meditate. Dan wrote a memoir, 10% Happier, about his unlikely journey to mindfulness, that has since expanded into a podcast and meditation app. Dan loves sweets, specifically cookies, and even more specifically, warm cookies delivered by Insomnia Cookies. Host Rachel Belle speaks with Insomnia's founder and CEO, who started the company nearly 20 years ago when he was a 20 year old living in a college dorm room. And we'll do some cookie detective work: what's going on when a batch of cookies spread in the oven or come out dry and cakey? Cookbook author and host of Zoe Bakes, Zoë François, joins the show to troubleshoot the most common cookie baking mistakes and shares how she became a professional baker after growing up in communes and cults that forbade sugar. Follow along on Instagram! This episode is sponsored by Ooni Pizza Ovens, the world's first portable pizza oven company! Rachel Belle has been making incredible, chewy, bubbly, melty pizzas in her Ooni for more than three years. If you want to make the best homemade pizza of your life visit: www.ooni.com/yourlastmeal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Remi Wolf: Korean BBQ + Banchan
25:21When soul/funk/pop artist Remi Wolf hopped on Zoom to chat with host Rachel Belle, she was getting ready to leave for a tour that would take her away from her LA home through October. So she was trying to eat every last remaining scrap of food in her fridge and pantry. Stars, they're just like us! Remi talks about her love of concocting meals from the wee bits and bobs hanging around her refrigerator and her disregard for planning or using recipes. Before she was a professional singer, Remi was a junior Olympics skier and she developed some...interesting eating habits on the slopes. One snack was strange enough that Rachel reached out to the FDA to confirm/deny its safety. And Irene Yoo, the Korean American chef and creator of Yooeating, joins the show to talk about banchan, arguably the best part of a Korean BBQ meal! Follow along on Instagram!This episode is sponsored by Ooni Pizza Ovens, the world's first portable pizza oven company! Rachel Belle has been making incredible, chewy, bubbly, melty pizzas in her Ooni for more than three years. If you want to make the best homemade pizza of your life visit: www.ooni.com/yourlastmeal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Kenji Lopez-Alt: Mapo Tofu
30:55When Kenji makes a late-night grilled cheese sandwich in his kitchen, with a Go-Pro camera strapped to his head, more than 10 million YouTubers tune in to watch. His recipe for scrambled eggs was the New York Times' most clicked on recipe in 2021 and every book he writes goes straight to the bestseller list, including his newest, The Wok: Recipes and Techniques. But his last meal goes back to his childhood, when he was more focused on being a scientist than a sous chef. The defining ingredient of Kenji's last meal is Sichuan peppercorn, a spice that numbs and tingles the tongue and is, frankly, not a peppercorn at all. Dr Stuart Farrimond joins the show to explain the science behind the Sichuan peppercorn and answers host Rachel Belle's questions about spice, such as: can you learn to like spicy foods or is a tolerance for heat genetic? But if there's one reason to listen, it's to learn Kenji's well-researched method of how to boil eggs with guaranteed easy-to-peel shells. Follow along on Instagram and please subscribe and review! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Julia Sweeney: Nanaimo Bars
36:54By the end of this episode, you'll feel like the charming, hilarious and down-to-earth Julia Sweeney is your best friend! Julia and host Rachel Belle discuss everything from her true love of eating alone (and how that makes her husband feel) to the 60th birthday gift she gave herself: never dieting again. Julia wants to cap off her last meal with Canada's favorite, no-bake, layered dessert: the Nanaimo bar! Rachel chats with Joyce Hardcastle, the contest winner who created the city's official recipe back in 1986, and the current mayor of Nanaimo, about the history of the bar and how ubiquitous it is in the Vancouver Island city it was named after. Follow along on Instagram! Get tickets to Julia Sweeney's Spokane, WA live shows on March 26th, 2022! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Camila Alves McConaughey: Ribeye with Matthew's Secret Spice Rub
33:31Camila Alves McConaughey co-wrote a new children's book called Just Try One Bite, about a couple of kids who try and get their picky parents to eat healthier foods. In the McConaughey household, there's one thing that everybody loves: the secret family spice rub created by Camila's actor husband, Matthew. But not all family recipes are so pure! Listeners call in to share stories about the day they learned that their family's beloved, homemade lasagna/baked beans/peach pie actually, secretly came from a can, a recipe on the back of a box or...a chain restaurant. Camila grew up in Brazil, so host Rachel Belle chats with Brazilian food writer Jaíne Mackievicz about the history of Brazilian food and one of Camila's favorite dishes, Brazilian lasagna! Follow along on Instagram! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jessica Seinfeld: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Caesar Salad, Garlic Bread & Tiramisu
33:55Jessica Seinfeld's latest cookbook, Vegan, At Times, is an ode to her current lifestyle of eating mostly vegan, but she still enjoys the occasional bowl of warming chicken soup or nostalgic spaghetti and meatballs. She calls it a "gentler approach" to veganism and doesn't believe in creating rules around eating or doing any plant-based proselytizing. Jessica's last meal took us down a path we never thought we'd go: organized crime! Host Rachel Belle chats with Anna Van Valin, co-host of the podcast Every Day Is A Food Day, about how Italian-American restaurants became the clubhouse of choice for the mafia. And Rachel consults with the folks at Ragu, the jarred spaghetti sauce of her youth, about an Al Capone rumor splattered all over the Internet. Jessica says her vegan mac & cheese is indistinguishable from the real thing, which got Rachel thinking: what allows cheese to melt and how do you get vegan cheese to do it? She spoke to the CEO of New Culture, a group of cheese loving scientists who've discovered the secret ingredient to creating vegan mozzarella that melts and tastes like the real thing. Follow Rachel Belle on Instagram! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Paul Janeway (St Paul & the Broken Bones): Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
33:04Paul Janeway is a southern boy from a small Alabama town who's had his world blown wide open thanks to music. Touring the world with his band, St Paul & the Broken Bones, has drastically expanded his palate -- he's eaten everything from pigeon heart to fancy Michelin star meals. But only one dish truly has his heart: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese! Paul and host Rachel Belle go deep into their Blue Box memories and idiosyncratic preferences, and then we learn the history of this iconic product with food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson. Paul lives in Birmingham, Alabama, which is also home to a very niche, regional cuisine that we were completely unaware of! Rachel Belle chats with Birmingham filmmaker Jessica Chriesman and the owner of Alabama's longest running family restaurant, The Bright Star, about Greek soul food. Follow along on Instagram and learn more about the show at www.yourlastmealpodcast.com See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Eugene Mirman, Dim Sum
30:41Bob's Burgers star (he voices Gene!) Eugene Mirman took an unorthodox route to becoming a professional comedian: he actually earned a bachelor's degree in comedy! And a quick scroll through his Instagram page reveals a man who loves home cooking; he's whipped up everything from pad Thai to homemade pasta while spending lots of time at home during the pandemic. So this episode is all about the intersection of food and comedy. Gastro Obscura's senior associate editor, Anne Ewbank, takes us on a historical journey, from the ancient Greeks and their genital-heavy seafood jokes to the vaudeville and silent film days, when slipping on a banana peel or smashing a pie into somebody's face was the height of hilarious high jinx. Follow Your Last Meal host Rachel Belle on Instagram! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Best Of with William Shatner: Sushi & Mexican Food
27:05At 90 years old, William Shatner is an exuberant, curious, ridiculous flavor of hilarious and his chat with host Rachel Belle feels like a live improv performance with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. Shatner is best known for his role as Captain Kirk on Star Trek and "singing" popular songs in his signature spoken word style, but he also has strong opinions about avocado toast, considers himself a sushi connoisseur and loves beautifully made Mexican food. So Rachel took a trip to Sushinola, one of the country's few Sinaloa style Mexican sushi restaurants, in Kent, Washington. Rolls are stuffed with carne asada, topped with pico de gallo, drizzled with housemade chipotle sauce and deep fried because co-owner Anayancy Reyes says most Mexicans are decidedly not fans of raw fish. And psychology professor Dr Julia Hormes joins the show to share her fascinating research on cravings. Turns out, food cravings are cultural and psychological, not a universal human experience -- the word "craving" doesn't even exist in many languages. The whole thing about pregnant women craving crazy combinations like pickles and ice cream? Dr Hormes will set the record straight. Follow Rachel Belle on Instagram! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.