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.)
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."
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!
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!