It's been a little over a year since food blogger Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch launched 'Food Is The New Rock,' a collaboration with KCRW DJ Chuck P that produces a podcast exploring the intersection of food and music. Over the last 50 podcasts, Brooks has interviewed an impressive roster of musicians, chefs, and food writers, including the Beastie Boys' Mike D, food writer and Top Chef Masters judge Francis Lam, Cheech and Chong's Cheech Marin (on the show with chef John Sedlar), Henry Rollins, Marcus Samuelsson, Jonathan Gold and many more.
"It's actually exceeded my wildest expectations," Brooks says. "I look back at the list of the guests we've gotten over the past year and I still can't believe some of the people we have gotten."
Brooks had been thinking about the idea of the intermingling of food and music for a long time, and has found that both chefs and musicians respond enthusiastically when given the opportunity to talk about something they're not usually asked about. "The most rewarding thing was seeing the idea work in a way that's fun and easy to listen to. Chefs are way more excited to talk us about the music they grew up listening to, rather than answering the same questions about their restaurant over and over again. And bands love talking about their favorite places to eat on tour over the inspiration behind their latest album."
I asked what episodes have been Brooks' favorite, and which ones have had the most response. "Nerding out about New York City halal street food with Action Bronson was a personal high point for me. (No pun intended ... OK, maybe, pun intended.) Also, Roy Choi admitting to Mike D that when he saw him at A-Frame he put the Beastie Boys on the stereo to see if it was really him. The Henry Rollins show was definitely the most intense, and the most listened to episode we've done."
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To celebrate the 50th podcast, Brooks and Chuck P invited back L.A. chef Roy Choi, who was featured on the original episode with Mike D. In this episode, they discuss Grateful Dead parking lot egg rolls, Alice Cooper, and the similarities between chefs and DJs. You can download it from iTunes, or stream it on the Food Is The New Rock website. There's also a signed cookbook package giveaway in celebration of the one year anniversary when you sign up for the FITNR newsletter.
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