Kenny G is the most famous saxophonist playing today. He has sold over 75 million albums, tours all over the globe, and holds the Guinness Book of World Records record for holding the longest note on a saxophone.
On this episode of YLM, Rachel gets the facts (not the fake news!) behind Kenny's contribution to creating an iconic menu item at the world's most popular coffee chain, learns which supermodel gave him his much-celebrated pie crust recipe, and she ponders a potentially life-changing question: Is Kenny G her real dad?
Rachel also talks with the Seattle native about his jazz band days at Franklin High School, his first gig playing with Barry White (and their subsequent meeting in a Soul Train Awards bathroom), and what product he uses to tame those luscious locks!
Special thanks to Ellia Kassoff of Leaf Candy. Have they resurrected one of your favorite bygone sweets? Find out at leafbrands.com.
You may not recognize Linda Perry by name, but you definitely know her music.
She is a singer, songwriter, and producer behind massive hits for Adele, Weezer, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Pink, and many more! She's also the writer/singer behind the 90s hit (and solid karaoke jam) "What's Up" by her former band 4 Non Blondes.
But what would this musical maestro choose for her last meal? Spoiler alert: She's way more into music than food.
Which got us thinking - is there any correlation between music and taste? To get answers, Rachel talks with Professor Charles Spence of The University of Oxford about what he calls "Sonic Seasoning," his 15 year study of how sound and music can affect the enjoyability of food, and why people drink so much tomato juice on airplanes.
Linda is currently collaborating with Intuit QuickBooks new Backing You campaign to help independent artists be seen, heard and celebrated.
Get Professor Spence's new book Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating wherever books are sold.
And follow Rachel's new Instagram account @yourlastmealpodcast!
Lindy West is an author, activist, and contributing opinion writer for The New York Times whose work focuses on feminism, social justice, humor, and body image.
On this episode of YLM, Lindy details a six course last meal feast that features smorkage, a flaky, buttery, custardy Danish pastry only available at a single bakery in the United States. Rachel travels to Seattle's Larsen's Bakery (larsensbakery.com) to taste the impossible-to-pronounce Danish pastry.
Lindy, a self-described "fat" person, talks about what it's like to eat in public, why she grudgingly ordere honeydew, and shares a humiliating story that involves a personal pan pepperoni pizza and an episode of This American Life.
Then things get "hyggely." The Scandinavian concept of "hygge" (pronounced "HOO-guh") is all about coziness, comfortable conviviality, and contentment - and it's taking the world by storm! Rachel chats with authors Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and food anthropologist Signe Johansen about this defining characteristic of Danish culture.
If you live near Seattle, see Lindy West speak at Benaroya Hall on Sunday, April 15. Tickets at seattlesymphony.org/benaroyahall. And be sure to check out her book "Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman."
Pick up Meik Wiking's "The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living" and Signe Johansen's "How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life" wherever books are sold.
Maria Shriver has spent a lifetime in the public eye, but there's one thing none of us know about the award-winning journalist and author... until now: What she would eat for her last meal!
On this episode of YLM, Rachel gets to the bottom of perhaps the most iconic American food of all - the hamburger. She learns about the earliest origins of the dish from burger authority, documentarian, and tv host George Motz (georgemotz.com), whose book "Hamburger America" is about to release its 3rd edition.
Thrillest writer Kevin Alexander traveled the USA and ate 330 burgers in a year, then compiled a list of the 100 best burgers in the country. Which burger is best? You'll have to listen to find out!
Buy Maria's new book "I've Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life" wherever books are sold.
And finally, we are humbled and honored to announce that Your Last Meal has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award for Best Podcast! Rachel and Aaron will be attending the award ceremony in NYC on April 27. Fingers crossed!
Travel expert, TV & radio host, author, and activist Rick Steves has been taking people all around the planet for decades. And his passion for unique and authentic experiences, living in the moment, and trying new things matches perfectly with how Rick chose to have his last meal.
Rick has also been a longtime proponent of legalizing marijuana, so Rachel gets to the bottom of how cannabis confections are created with Jody Hill, founder of Seattle cupcake empire Cupcake Royal, as she shares how they do things at her edibles company The Goodship.
And finally, Rachel talks with her co-worker, KIRO Radio host John Curley, about his menuless 2017, and a few of John's more... let's call them "idiosyncratic" food habits.
Buy any of Rick Steves' fantastic videos and books, including the brand new 3rd edition of "Travel as a Political Act," at ricksteves.com.
Learn more about The Goodship Company at thegoodship.com.
Nicki Bluhm is one of Rachel's favorite singer/songwriters, touring with the likes of Josh Ritter and The Wood Brothers. She's also the fourth person to choose steak as their last meal!
So on this episode of YLM, Rachel covers something she hasn't in any of the previous beefisodes: the history of the American Steakhouse.
But steak isn't usually on the menu for Nicki, who eats according to a 5000 year-old Ayurvedic diet. Rachel's yoga instructor and Ayurvedic practitioner Jodi Boone is here to explain way of eating that's believed to be the most ancient healing system in the world.
Nicki is going on tour in April. Find her schedule at nickibluhm.com. And keep up with Jodi at jodiboone.com.
In 2004, Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings won 74 episodes in a row, making him the record holder for longest winning streak. And 14 years later, host Rachel Belle decided it would finally be a good idea to interview him.
Ken shares Alex Trebek's strange and sugary breakfast choice (you'll never guess), he explains why Jeopardy contestants have to eat lunch together and, a huge BBQ lover, tells us why he doesn't want to be known as a "BBQ guy."
He also clues us in to the regional food of Utah: Jell-O! Ken's last meal is not Jell-O, but the jiggly dessert was too iconic to pass up. We learn the history of Jell-O with Lynne Belluscio, executive director of the Jell-O Gallery in LeRoy, NY, who tells us that Mormons in Utah eat more of it than anyone else in the country.
Check out Ken's fun and informative books at www.ken-jennings.com and his new podcast OMNIBUS, an encyclopedic reference work of strange-but-true stories with musician John Roderick, at www.omnibusproject.com.
Greta Gerwig, the Golden Globe winning writer/director of "Lady Bird," and star of one of Rachel's all-time favorite films "Francis Ha," is the talk of Hollywood! But one question no one on the red carpet has asked: What would Greta want for her last meal?
Speaking of Rachel's favorites, one of her favorite culinary writers, and a Forbes' 30 Under 30 in 2017, Molly Yeh shares the secrets behind perfecting her own Funfetti cake - which she makes from scratch. Even the sprinkles!
Also: what it's like to meet Justin Timberlake, the surprising origins of the "You Are Special" plate, and we hear what YOU would have as your last meal.
Go see "Lady Bird" in theaters now. If you don't like it, you'll literally be the only one.
Visit Molly Yeh's website mynameisyeh.com and order her cookbook "Molly on the Range."
And don't forget to send your last meal voice memos to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on the show! Just record a quick memo on your phone with your first name, city you live in and what you would choose to eat for your last meal.