More of Chewing the Fat
What would you want for your last meal? On this series finale of Chewing the Fat, co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng dedicate the episode to Kiba Chu. Kiba was Louisa’s adopted Alaskan Malamute mix dog, who joined CTF adventures everywhere from salmon fishing to barbecue contests. Speaking of Q, Monica shares her big Berkeley fellowship BBQ, worthy of a last meal, with author and This American Life contributor Jack Hitt. Plus for this final meal Will She Eat It? Louisa makes her innovative take on an iconic Chinese-American-Midwestern-Chicagoan food, but will Monica eat it? But wait, this podcast might be over, but long live Chewing! Subscribe now to Louisa and Monica’s new food and health podcast Chewing at, please? Thank you!
Do or Diet: The Chewing the Fat ladies are back hearing from Dr. David Ludwig about his bestseller “Always Hungry” on the best way to finally lose that gut forever. Author Dawn Lerman talks about growing up the daughter of a 450 pound Don Draper who was always trying the food he advertised. And Louisa dares Monica to eat a shaggy piece of old chicken…but will she?
In this first bite of Chewing the Fat, hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng share the ingredients of their past and lay out their recipe for the upcoming season on cooking, dining, culture food policy, culinary characters and more. Julie Shapiro, creative director of the Third Coast Festival, tells us about appetizing elements of this weekend's Filmless Festival (
Sustainable meats are considered to be a more ethical approach to raising animals for our carnivorous side. But does meat, regardless of how its raised, still raise an ethical dilemma? We speak with several folks on the consumer side of the equation: farmers, butchers and even a vegan. Plus, Xiao Long Bao dumplings, a collision of food and sound, the eggless egg and three meaty treats! That and more on the season (and, series) premiere of Chewing the Fat.
Brains! Blood! Intestines! In this week’s Halloween episode, Monica and Louisa try some of the scariest foods in Chicago. Tony Hu, famed chef of the renowned Lao Sze Chuan restaurant, chews the fat about balancing his boundary-pushing authentic Chinese cuisine with the demands of queasy-stomached Americans. Plus, recent Shaw's Crab House Oyster Hall of Fame inductee Bill Taylor of Taylor Shellfish Farms talks about the delicious creature many are squeamish about, Jonathan Groubert from The State We're In's stops by for the sad and scary story behind one of the dishes at his wedding, and for dessert, Monica and Louisa share their Halloween giveaway do’s and don'ts.
Less fat and more chewing as Monica and Louisa go vegan (this week only). In this vegetarian and vegan-friendly episode, they chat with the wife-and-husband team of Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, authors of the revered culinary guide, The Flavor Bible. Page and Dornenburg tell CTF about their new vegetarian diet. Then, Sheila Essig and Rob Gardner of Chicago food blog, the Local Beet, share their experience making the switch from meat-eating omnivores to rockin’ the vegan lifestyle… and it hasn’t always been easy. Also, they'll stomach natto atop microwavable rice, and share their favorite vegan spots in the city, and to make at home. All that, plus a remembrance of Chicago (and, world) food legend, the late Charlie Trotter. Photo: Flickr/Louisa Chu
This week, Monica and Louisa take a trip into the wild as they explore food that's been hunted and foraged. Our fearless hosts double... or, triple-down on dishes made from the Beast of the Urban (and, Rural) Wild -- the adorable little squirrel. Tim Burton of Burton's Maplewood Farm stops in to help on the squirrel front, and offers up some vegetarian and vegan options. He helps explain the surprises and rewards of foraging for your own food. The Chicago Reader's Mike Sula likewise has an affinity for squirrel meat -- though, his love grew from a mild hatred of the critter that once destroyed his garden. After several *civil* attempts to rid his garden of the fluffy-tailed rodent, he decided to take matters -- and the lives of these squirrels -- into his own hands. But that's just the beginning of his remarkable, award-winning story. Plus, Beard Award-winning blogger (Hunter Angler Gardener Cook) Hank Shaw joins CTF. He's also a duck hunter, and talks about the appeal of hunting, preparing and cooking certain fowl. His book "Duck, Duck, Goose" says it all. That and more on this episode of Chewing the Fat. (Photo: WBEZ/Monica Eng, Louisa Chu and poor little squirrels)
To help ring in the foodiest of all holidays, hosts Monica and Louisa invited in two of the city's top sibling chefs, brothers Mike (Cicchetti, ex-Trenchermen and Blackbird) and Pat Sheerin (Trenchermen, ex-Signature Room) to serve up some competing sides. Who better to judge which brother's side is worth serving up than their mom, Carol? Plus, the Sheerins taste-test Louisa's turkey, which was prepared using the latest trend in turkey cooking -- sous vide (boiled in a bag) turkey. It's much tastier than it sounds, and can make your dull, old breast meat delightfully yummy. Then, world-class pie maker Megan Miller (Bang Bang Pie Shop) stops by with dessert. Her pumpkin pie is beloved, and that's due in part to all the work that goes into making not just the instantly devourable filling, but the handmade crust and toppings that surround it. Plus, what would the holidays be without points of controversy coming up? Monica and Louisa square off over the latest delicacy in their daredevil food challenge, Make Her Eat It. Inspired by the turkey testicle festivals taking place around this time of year, they decided to give it a shot. Being that there was a run on turkey testies, though, they went an alternate testicle route. Oh, the holidays. This and more on this Thanksgiving episode. (Photo: Bang Bang Pie Shop's pumpkin pie/photo by Louisa Chu)
Waste-not, want-not. EL ideas chef/owner Phillip Foss gives his thoughts on doggy-bagging his Michelin-starred restaurant's food. Plus, Rene Redzepi's Noma restaurant has been named best in the world. Some of Noma's meals that are well regarded came from once under-appreciated veggies. He tells how he took produce that sat in the ground far-too-long, and turned them into delectable "vintage" offerings. Plus, Ken Dunn has taken waste and discarded land and more, and turned it into culinary gold.
The recent opening of the massive Italian marketplace Eataly Chicago inspires this episode of Chewing the Fat. Louisa and Monica speak with principal partners and master chefs Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich (*of* MasterChef) about how their one-stop-super-shop of high quality (if highly-priced) Italian food, dining, teaching and more can compete in Chicago without trampling the smaller shops. They also talk about the Sicilian roots of Chicago's deep dish pizza, and though Jon Stewart may think Chicago pizza sucks, Monica and Louisa give you their top places to catch a delicious slice -- New York *and* Windy City style! Plus, will she eat tripe? The ladies bring in some offal done Italian style -- tripe Florentine from Riccardo Trattoria, to be exact. It’s a plate for which the Chicago restaurant has received great accolades but... hey... it’s still a stomach! Will Monica and Louisa measure up to the Italian Challenge? That and more on this episode of Chewing the Fat. (Photo: Flickr/Louisa Chu)