The Feed Podcast

Chef, Restaurateur and TV Host Rick Bayless joins forces with James Beard Award-winning food journalist Steve Dolinsky, to bring the world of food and drink into your ears and have a little fun in the process.

The Podcasts

Chicago native Tanya Baker knew at an early age she wanted to be a cook. Applying solely to culinary schools, she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2006, then worked at a few restaurants before becoming the opening sous chef at The Boarding House.

By the time she was 26, she was promoted to Executive Chef at the restaurant. Last year, she was named a finalist in the James Beard Awards' Rising Star category. Baker's cooking is French-influenced, yet she grew up with a Korean mother and a Louisiana-bred father, which broadened her palate.

Rick asked her to stop by for one of our regular challenges this week, using cucumbers as the main ingredient.

Direct download: Cucumber_Challenge.mp3
Category:Chef Competition -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

Pretty much everyone agrees that fried chicken is delicious. It doesn’t matter where you’re from; the combination of crispy skin and juicy meat, sometimes doused in hot sauce and served with pickles is a true Southern delicacy that is hard to resist. But what are the origins of this dish, and more importantly, why have cooks all over the U.S. started opening fried chicken joints?

On this week’s episode, four very different views on fried chicken, through the lens of different regions in America. We’ll dredge up some history, then take a deep-fried dive into what makes the perfect platter.

Paul Fehribach is the chef and owner of Big Jones in Chicago, a restaurant dedicated to preserving the traditional Southern foodways; he’s probably as close to what John T. Edge’s Southern Foodways Alliance would consider legitimate, mainly because he’s both a historian and preservationist, when it comes to cooking Southern food in Chicago.

Then, Jared Leonard, the chef and owner of The Budlong, where they specialize in Nashville Hot chicken joins us in-studio.  And on to Memphis style at Gus’. They now have several franchises outside of their native location, including one here in Chicago which Zach Goodman owns.  

And finally we head to North Carolina courtesy of Joe Scruggs. He’s the guy who started out with a food truck, called Roost Carolina Kitchen, and eventually opened a restaurant of the same name. He now has two locations in Chicago, and in Steve’s opinion, makes some of the city’s best fried bird.

Direct download: Fried_Chicken_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

On this week’s show, the driving force behind one of Chicago’s premier cocktail lounges stops by, to talk about a category of spirits you’ve probably never heard of before. Don’t worry, it’s nothing to be bitter about.

While studying Italian and Journalism at DePaul University here in Chicago, Eden Laurin began moonlighting as a bartender, and fell in love with it.  After graduating, she headed to Guatemala to volunteer, starting a school for children. She returned to Chicago and continued her non-profit work, but stayed close to the bar, hosting and serving at The Violet Hour, in Wicker Park. Her persistence paid off there, where she became one of their first female bartenders.

In 2009, Laurin helped launch the bar program at their sister restaurant – Big Star – while still pulling shifts behind the stick across the street at The Violet Hour. Eventually promoted to General Manager there, she started SHE, a cocktail consulting company made up exclusively of ladies. In 2015, Laurin was part of the team that garnered a James Beard award for Outstanding Bar Program. In her current role as Managing Partner, she oversees both the bar as well as their off-site cocktail catering. 

Direct download: amari_cocktails.mp3
Category:Beverages -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

Sure, you can stuff yourself silly with all manner of slow-smoked short rib, brisket and ribs in and around Austin, but there are elements to the food scene there that defy stereotypes, namely, the fact that the casual dining scene there right now is as solid as anywhere.

Austin has come a long way from the days of breakfast tacos and barbecue. Sure, you can still find both of those components all over the Texas capital, but you can also find some of the most thoughtful, delicious food, from chefs who’ve put in their time working all over the world.

Steve was just down in Austin a few weeks ago, and managed to catch up with the one guy responsible for documenting every notable place to eat there. Coming up on this week’s show, we’ll talk about Austin’s highs and lows with a local food critic Matthew Odam who has earned his stripes.

Direct download: Austin_Food_Tour.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

This time of year often dictates what home cooks and professional chefs work with in the kitchen. Right around Labor Day, the corn is high and abundant, and we’re seeing it on menus everywhere. So we thought, why not feature corn in this week’s challenge? We asked Jason Vincent, one of Chicago’s most seasonally-focused chefs to join us this week.  He is the Chef and Owner of Giant, which recently opened in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. We asked him to come up with something using corn as the star, plus five other easy-to-find ingredients, and get a main dish on the table in 15 minutes or less.

Direct download: Ingredient_Challenge_-_Corn.mp3
Category:Chef Competition -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

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