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Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle

What would your last meal be? Host 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. Twice monthly. Original music by Prom Queen.
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Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle
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Jun 14, 2017

Kevin Allison (Risk!, MTV's The State) is a freaking delight. Whether it's his infectious laughter, his willingness to be honest no matter the cost, or a shared love of eating Doritos with milk, Rachel may have found her new best friend. And we think you will too! Exclamation point!

On the latest YLM, we learn about Kevin's early life as a gay kid in Ohio, explore his imperfect veganism, and in honor of Risk!, Rachel and Producer Aaron share stories about some of the weird & risky foods they've eaten.

Rachel also talks to "Cocktail Evangelist" Robert Hess about the history of, and how one should make, the perfect martini. (HINT: James Bond has it all wrong.)

Jun 1, 2017

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a celebrity astrophysicist (yes - that's a thing!), author, Director of The Hayden Planetarium in NYC, host of Fox's "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" on Fox and the "Star Talk" radio show, and the guy we love to blame for Pluto not being a planet anymore.

On this episode of YLM, Rachel talks with one of the greatest scientific voices of our time about his love of melted butter, the time he almost became a stripper, and what foods Neil would take with him if he could travel to space.

Speaking of space travel, former NASA Astronaut & Hubble Space Telescope repairman Mike Massimino (author of "Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe") tells Rachel all about eating in zero gravity, the last meal he ate before his first shuttle launch, and what food options are available for a crew orbiting Earth.

SPOILER: There is definitely steak in space!

Thanks also to lobster expert Barton Seaver, author of "For Cod and Country."

May 17, 2017

Happy Mother's Day! To celebrate, we took a little time to talk to the woman responsible for bringing our beloved Rachel Belle into the world: her mom Barbara. From the streets of Brooklyn, to digging through another Barbra (Streisand)'s garbage in LA, Barbara's life has never been boring.

And speaking of moms, how 'bout that placenta?! Rachel talks to Heather Woskey of seattleplacentaencapsulation.com about the practice of mothers eating their placenta. (It's put into pills, so it's not as gross as it sounds. Unless you're already totally grossed out, then it might not get that much better...)

On the next episode: Neil deGrasse Tyson!

May 3, 2017

New York Times Bestselling author Augusten Burroughs has written several deeply personal memoirs including "Running with Scissors," "Dry," and his newest "Lust & Wonder." From his messed up childhood, to alcohol addiction, to his obsession with infomercials, there's one thing we still don't know about Augusten: What would his last meal be?

On this episode of YLM, Rachel also talks with the extraordinarily delightful "Queen of the Cooking Infomercial" Cathy Mitchell, and gets stuck between two warring sides over the hotly-debated origins of Brunswick Stew: a traditional dish in the American South created in either Brunswick, Georgia or Brunswick County, Virginia. (Depends on who you ask... and DON'T ask the wrong person!)

Thanks to stewmaster John Clarey from Brunswick County, VA, and Bryan Thompson, former mayor of Brunswick, GA.

Apr 18, 2017

Ann Wilson, lead singer of the band Heart, is widely considered one of the best vocalists in rock and roll history. On this week's YLM, the "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda" singer (and Seattle native) dishes about being a "blue stater living in the red X of Trump Country" in rural Florida, her favorite karaoke jams, and the delicious glory that is Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Rachel also talks with Lori Eberenz at KFC HQ in Kentucky to learn the incredible true story of Colonel Sanders: how he got the title, the origins of the white suit, and how the former amateur obstetrician built the world's greatest chicken empire - a journey he began in his 60s while on social security.

AND Rachel cooks and eats her first beef heart (get it?! "heart") with crowdcow.com founder Ethan Lowry.

Apr 4, 2017

Top Chef Season 14 winner Brooke Williamson talks about life behind the scenes on Rachel's favorite reality TV show, how much of the improvised cooking is truly off the cuff, and the simple joys of dough.

Of course you can't talk about donuts without mentioning their biggest fans: Cops. So we've got three of Seattle's finest in-studio for a taste-test of their favorite beat treats. We get to the bottom of the (apparently true?) stereotype, and learn about the muddled history - and spelling - of America's favorite confection.

Like YLM? Leave us a review!

Mar 22, 2017

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Sir Mix-A-Lot's monster hit "Baby Got Back." (I know, right?!) Rachel asks the rapper/producer about his iconic tribute to tush, what the song really means, and why it was good getting banned from MTV.

OH, BUT THE FOOD! YLM goes down to Louisiana to uncover the difference between Cajun and Creole (cuisine and culture) from Chef & TV host John Folse, author of The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, and Louisiana Eats' Poppy Tooker. Rachel also talks to Georgea Pappas, daughter of the founder of Pappadeux: the home of Texas Redfish Ponchartrain and a favorite of Hip Hop's finest.

Mar 8, 2017

Dan Pashman's podcast "The Sporkful" is one of Rachel's favorite shows and one of the most popular food podcasts on iTunes. On this week's YLM, Dan schools us on the most delicious way to eat pizza and burgers and explains why his six-and-a-half year old daughter is a better dinner date than his wife. Plus, the history of the tortilla with Jeffrey Pilcher, author of Planet Taco, and prepare to get hungry as we break down the Phorrito (pho + burrito!!) invented by Chef Erwin Tjahyadi at Komodo in Los Angeles.

Feb 21, 2017

Known to millions as "Mary Ann," one of Gilligan's Island's seven iconic castaways, Dawn Wells is a television legend. So sit right back, and you'll hear a tale - a tale of Dawn's nostalgic past, a philosophy professor's take on the ethics of eating animals, and food facts from a precocious 9 year-old Ginger on this episode of YLM.

Feb 7, 2017

Matthew Inman's "The Oatmeal" (theoatmeal.com) is one of the most popular webcomics on the entire internet. His game "Exploding Kittens" holds the record for the most successful Kickstarter game campaign of all time ($8.8m of its $10k goal!), so for his last meal we had to bring in the big guns...

Have you seen "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" about 91 year-old Jiro Ono, Japan's greatest sushi chef? His apprentice Shiro Kashiba was the man who brought sushi to Seattle, and he joins Rachel in-studio to tell us about the history of sushi, the proper way to enjoy Matthew's final dish, and why he's still working 5 nights a week at his restaurant Sushi Kashiba at Seattle's Pike's Place Market. SPOILER ALERT: It's because he's a delightful human being.

If you want to participate in Matthew's Beat the Blerch race, sign up or get info at beattheblerch.com. Original music on YLM by Prom Queen.

Jan 24, 2017

Celebrity Librarian (yes - that's a thing), and regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition Nancy Pearl is one of Rachel's favorite people. And she isn't your average librarian: She's been made into an action figure, had a bluegrass band named after her, and her best-selling Book Lust series - a collection of thematic reading lists that cater to every mood, occasion, and personality - has helped millions of people discover their new favorite stories.

Nancy's choice for last meal is as classic as a dusty old tome: good ol' macaroni and cheese. But homemade? Or from the ubiquitous blue box? Which of the boxes is best? And where in the world did that powdered cheese stuff come from?! Rachel has answers to all of these questions and more on this latest YLM!

Jan 10, 2017

Former drummer of indie-rock icons The Shins and current hatch green chile empresario Jesse Sandoval joins Rachel on this week's YLM to discuss bringing New Mexico's much-loved pepper to the masses, the band's fallout with fans after "selling-out" in a McDonalds ad, and with which Golden Girl would Jesse most like to eat cheesecake.

We also learn about Jesse's last meal by talking to 3rd-generation Valencian paella chef Perfecte Rocher (who LA Weekly called the best paella chef in Los Angeles), and we get the history of saffron - a key ingredient in the dish and one of the most expensive spices on Earth! All that and more on this episode of Your Last Meal!

Dec 14, 2016

Legendary East Coast rapper Prodigy (Mobb Deep) served over 3 years in prison, but because of his sickle cell disease, had to eat well or he'd be painfully ill. The prison food, as you can guess, wasn't exactly full of vitamins. So, he wrote "Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook," with dozens of recipes he and his fellow inmates would cook with foods available to them on the inside.

Rachel also talks with Death Row Chef Brian D. Price, author of "Meals to Die For," who has cooked 218 last meals in Texas for condemned inmates before they banned last meals in 2011. He's got some amazing stories, and is trying to get the practice reinstated.

Also on YLM this week, Matt Rodbard, author of "Koreatown: A Cookbook," and Rachel makes & eats a dish from Prodigy's cookbook called Prison Surprise!

We're taking a short break for the Holidays, so see you in January!

Nov 29, 2016

You know Mario Batali. His passion for Italian cuisine made him one of the most recognizable celebrity chefs in the world. Well... that and his signature orange Crocs.

Join Rachel as she mambos Italiano with "Molto Mario" from his humble beginnings in Washington State to cooking for President Obama's final State Dinner. And speaking of the White House, Rachel gets unique insight into the kitchens at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from former White House chef John Moeller whose tenure spanned both Bush's and the Clinton's presidencies.

This week's YLM also includes advice on how to become the best chef you can be, and profiles the history of America's first celebrity chef: fellow Italian-American Chef Boyardee.

Nov 15, 2016

The chef in the bow tie, Christopher Kimball, is the founder of Emmy-winning America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Illustrated magazine, and now Christopher Kimball's Milk Street.

Mr. Kimball is old-school, and on this episode of YLM, Rachel digs into everything from table manners to his Rockwellian choice for last meal. Ever hear the expression "as American as apple pie?" Well, turns out that's not entirely accurate.

We learn the history of apple pie, which apples make the best pie, and that there more passionate opinions about how to make this delicious treat than you knew existed - a la mode, anyone?

Thanks to author, illustrator, and adorable person Jesse Oleson Moore from cakespy.com; poet and pie expert (she was an Iowa State Fair Pie Contest judge!) Kate Lebo of katelebo.com. Also, Rebecca Loions, International Marketing Director at The Washington State Apple Commission. Original music by Prom Queen.

Nov 1, 2016

Dan Savage is an author, journalist, LGBTQ activist, and media pundit. From his internationally syndicated sex-advice column "Savage Love," to his massively popular podcast "Savage Lovecast," Dan is never afraid to speak his mind.

On this week's YLM, Rachel talks to Dan about food, sex, food during sex, food after sex... and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

We've got a special treat this episode! Since it's our last show before the big election, we've got a presidential-style debate about Dan's (and America's) favorite food that you don't want to miss.

Special thanks to Cathy Johnson from the National Peanut Board. Original music by Prom Queen.

Oct 18, 2016

Mara Wilson, the little girl from Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda, and Miracle on 34th Street, is grown up. But what's she been up to? Writing articles, plays, and books - including her new memoir Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame - and dreaming of her last meal: A San Francisco Mission Style Burrito.

BUT WAIT! That's basically Rachel's favorite food of all time! Seriously. 30% of all her conversations in real life are burrito-related.

So join Rachel on this episode of YLM as she consults author, ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist and burrito authority Gustavo Arellano, and FiveThirtyEight.com writer and ultimate burrito bracketeer Anna Maria Barry-Jester in order to find out everything she can about her and Mara's favorite food.

Original music by Prom Queen.

Oct 4, 2016

Check out this resume: Former KIRO Radio personality Luke Burbank is the host of the podcast TBTL on American Public Media's Infinite Guest network and the Portland-based public radio variety show Live Wire. Also a panelist and fill-in host of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Luke has appeared on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and This American Life, in addition to his TV work on CBS Sunday Morning.

Whew! Looks like Luke's gonna work 'till he's dead. Speaking of which, I wonder what his last meal would be...?

Join Rachel on this episode of YLM as she uncovers Luke's culinary past and the labor-intensive process of creating Luke's favorite dish. She also talks to professors at both Harvard and MIT about the psychology and economy of waiting in line. Get ready to learn stuff!

If you like the show, please tell a friend or consider leaving a review on iTunes. Follow @imrachelbelle on Twitter. Original music by Prom Queen.

Sep 20, 2016

Episode 4 is chock full of surprises - especially for Rachel! Don't miss this special episode of YLM as Rachel talks with hilarious, albeit confusingly-named, comedian Quincy Jones who is living with terminal cancer.

Quincy shares how his appearance on Ellen led to a stand-up special on HBO, his strong opinions on cereal, and Rachel talks to the granddaughter of the man who created the Caesar Salad. Original music by Prom Queen.

Seattle! Don't miss Quincy Jones at The Neptune Theater this Friday, September 23.

Sep 6, 2016

Inspirational fitness guru and admitted former "fat kid" Jillian Michaels confesses the secret food cravings that would comprise her gluttonous last meal. If we tell you one of her selections is Ben & Jerry's ice cream, that won't spoil the whole meal, right? Great! Find out the practical joke behind the creation of Chubby Hubby ice cream and meet a real-life couple who share the same names as the iconic ice cream makers on this week's YLM.

Aug 23, 2016

Former President of the United States frontman and current kids music maestro Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants, joins me to reveal what he would have as his last meal. Then he improvises a song about it in-studio! And maybe plays another song...? Ok, yes! He does! (I'm bad at secrets.)

This episode of YLM also features Chris Roberts, author of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme, and James Beard Award-winning author of A Mediterranean Feast Cliff Wright. Original music by Prom Queen.

Aug 9, 2016

On the debut episode of YLM, Rachel asks her titular question of James Beard award-winner & Seattle's most popular chef Tom Douglas. But his answer brings up more questions: How has the dish changed since its earliest incarnations? What is the human cost of some of our favorite foods? And how many last meals has Tom had?!

Featuring author Jennifer 8 Lee, restaurateur Taylor Hoang, and "Deadliest Catch" Captian Keith Colburn. Original music by Prom Queen.

Aug 2, 2016

What would your last meal be? On this twice-monthly show, Rachel Belle will ask her guest this question - but that's only the beginning! Check out this trailer to find out what you can expect on this new podcast from KIRO Seattle. Original music by Prom Queen.

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