Chewing the Fat

Chewing the Fat

United States

From WBEZ Chicago, Chewing the Fat is a weekly podcast with food journalists Louisa Chu and Monica Eng. Together they tackle cooking, dining, culture food policy, culinary characters and more.


The Art of Lebanese cooking with Maureen Abood  

Is one simple mistake ruining your hummus? Just how much bulgur belongs tabouleh? Why is demand for Middle Eastern food sweeping unlikely parts of the U.S.? And why does Lebanese food rule the region? Learn the answers to this and more in our interview with award-winning food blogger, and author of “Rose Water and Orange Blossoms,” Maureen Abood.

BONUS White Heat 25, Legendary Chef Marco Pierre White (NEW interview)  

A Chewing the Fat BONUS! In an all-new interview, hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to legendary chef Marco Pierre White on the release of "White Heat 25," the 25th anniversary edition of the book that inspired Anthony Bourdain and generations of cooks. Chef White tells all about Gordon Ramsay, Hot Doug’s, and much more. (photo: Marco Pierre White by Bob Carlos Clarke for the book cover of "White Heat 25")

CTF Ep 52 Pleasure: Marco Pierre White, ortolan and eating with your hands  

At what price pleasure? On the latest Chewing the Fat, it is the Pleasure episode. Hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to the original so-called bad boy chef Marco Pierre White, about the pain that made him give up his three Michelin stars. And Paris-based correspondent for The New York Times Liz Alderman talks about her story on the attempt to revive the tradition of the ortolan, the tiny songbird eaten with a napkin over the diner’s head, to hide one’s face from God. Plus Maria Rodale -- from the first family of healthy living -- about the pleasure of her organic roast chicken and gravy. Twitter:,, (Photo by Monica Eng/Delicious doughnut)

CTF Ep 51 Food and Antibiotics: The butcher, the animal caretaker and the documentary filmmaker  

Hard pill to swallow? Chewing the Fat examines our pairing of food & antibiotics. Hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to "Resistance" filmmaker Michael Graziano about the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, National Pork Producers Council Chief Veterinarian Dr. Liz Wagstrom about antibiotics and livestock, and Eataly butcher Daniel Roderfeld on their meat standards. Then Monica brings Louisa a Never Ever wild boar sausage, but what is it, and Will She Eat It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Raw Piemontese beef toast with white Alba truffle at Eataly in Chicago)

CTF Ep 50 Pet & Baby Food: Authors Marion Nestle and Amy Bentley, and veterinarian John Tegzes  

What’s more important than feeding ourselves? At Chewing the Fat it’s Pet and Baby Food! Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to Amy Bentley, author Inventing Baby Food Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet. And professor Marion Nestle, author of Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine and Feed Your Pet Right. Plus Dr. John Tegzes, the Toxvet, a veterinarian specializing in Clinical and Diagnostic Toxicology. Then we serve up baby food called Lil' Sticks® and a literal dogs dinner, but Will We Eat It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Kiba Chu eats smoked shrimp at Calumet Fisheries in Chicago)

CTF Ep 49 Ramen: Lucky Peach editor Peter Meehan, Slurping Turtle chef Takashi, and Ramenritto  

Chewing the Fat slurps the fat on this Ramen episode. Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to Lucky Peach magazine editor and ramen expert Peter Meehan. And they visit Slurping Turtle, where Top Chef Master Takashi Yagihashi makes noodles inspired by his hometown in Japan. Then Louisa surprises Monica with hot and spicy instant ramen in a McDonald’s burrito, aka a public radio budget friendly Ramenrito, but Will She Eat It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Pork ramen bowl at Ramen Jiro in Toyko)

CTF Ep 48 Carnivore: Author Ted Genoways, blogger Hank Shaw, and deer hunting  

Chewing the Fat gets to the matter of meat in this Carnivore episode. Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to Ted Genoways about his new book The Chain: Farm Factory and the Fate of our Food. And award-winning Hunter Angler Gardener and Cook blogger Hank Shaw about the ethics of harvesting your own meat. And Monica goes into the wild to hunt deer. Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Venison ribs in buffalo chili at the 2013 Harvard Sportsman's Club Wild Game Dinner in Harvard, Illinois)

CTF Ep 47: Diet  

Happy New Year from Chewing the Fat! In this Diet episode hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng disagree on a few new trends, and discuss fads and facts. They talk alkaline diet with Donald Hayes; and the new book Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog with author Grant Petersen. Then Louisa surprises Monica with the new White Castle Veggie Slider, but Will She Eat It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / New Veggie Slider with Ranch dressing, honey mustard, and “sweet Thai” sauces at White Castle by Dr. Praeger’s)

CTF Ep 46: Drinks, the artistry of cocktails with barman-author Greg Seider, & some rare teas  

Happy New Year from Chewing the Fat! Hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk health conscious cocktails with Manhattan Cricket Club owner Greg Seider, author of the new book "Alchemy in a Glass." And Louisa invites Rare Tea Cellar owner Rodrick Markus to mix his take on a classic 50 / 50 Martini for cocktail hater Monica... but Will She Drink It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu | 50/50 Martini cocktails by Rare Tea Cellar owner Rodrick Markus)

CTF Ep 45: Alaska, holidays, bears in your garden and other cold-weather food gathering and eats  

Chewing the Fat goes north to the future: Alaska! Hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng explore the final frontier of food. Louisa shares a visit to a tiny town CSA farmed by artist Terry Kennedy. Then they talk to Nic Mink, professor and founder of CSF (Community Supported Fishery) Sitka Salmon Shares. And Nerdette podcast co-host and Alaskan Greta Johnsen joins CTF for a surprise ingredient just in time for the holidays... but Will She Eat It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Dungeness crab caught by Captain Dan on the Brewski Run in Tenakee Springs, Alaska)

CTF Ep 44: Manners  

This week on Chewing the Fat, let’s mind our Manners. Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng hear how Michelin starred chef / partner Bruce Sherman of North Pond restaurant gives and takes complaints. Then Monica and Louisa dine with Chicago’s legendary Breakfast Queen, chef / author Ina Pinkney and restaurateur Dan Rosenthal who share their expert etiquette tips. Plus Vietnamese-American chef / partner Thai Dang of Embeya restaurant shares his most shocking manners moment. Plus Louisa and Monica tell some delicate delicacy stories, but Did They Eat It? On this Manners episode of Chewing the Fat! Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Chef Thai Dang’s pickled grilled short rib with pickled green mango, lettuce, and herbs at Embeya restaurant in Chicago)

CTF Ep 43: Cook the Books with Dorie Greenspan and Gabrielle Hamilton  

This week on Chewing the Fat, co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng Cook the Books, not literally, but literarily. Best selling author Dorie Greenspan joins them in studio to discuss her new book Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere. And chef / restaurateur / author Gabrielle Hamilton visits with her highly anticipated cookbook debut Prune. Then Louisa makes Monica Gabrielle’s signature bar snack Canned Sardines with Triscuits, Dijon Mustard, and Cornichons — but Will She Eat It? Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Canned sardine with Triscuit, Dijon mustard, and cornichon)

CTF Ep 42: Vegging In w/ Mark Bittman, Yotam Ottolenghi and Karen Page  

After years of vegging out we think it's time to Veg In on this fresh episode of Chewing the Fat. Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to veggie-loving chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi; Vegetarian Flavor Bible author Karen Page on her veg conversion; plus New York Times food writer and opinion guy Mark Bittman explains why he's a Vegan Before 6pm. Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Vegetarian chili with sour cream by Mare Swallow at Soup & Bread & Pie, The Hideout Chicago)

CTF Ep 41: Thanksgiving with Mario Batali, Marcus Samuelsson, Dorie Greenspan, Sporkful & more  

Happy Thanksgiving from the Chewing the Fat family, and we’re bringing our Season Four premiere episode! Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng serve main dish conversations with chef Marcus Samuelsson, The Sporkful’s Dan Pashman, plus FOCTF Brian Babylon makes us his new crockpot creation but... Will She Eat It?! Plus a celebrity chef Friendsgiving with Mario Batali, Dorie Greenspan, Prune chef / owner Gabrielle Hamilton, and best-selling Vegetarian Flavor Bible author Karen Page! Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Marcus Samuelsson | Photo by Staffan Johansson)

CTF Season 4 Teaser: Staying Fit with Yotam Ottolenghi  

In this preview appetizer for Season 4 chef and cookbook writer Yotam Ottolenghi tells us how he stays so fit and what (non-vegetarian!) dinner he makes when he’s rushed for time at home. Listen as co-hosts Louisa and Monica compete shamelessly for the chef’s attention.

CTF Bonus! Bronzeville’s Gourmet Hot Dogs  

Cliff Rome worked for Wolfgang Puck and Mario Batali, but when he returned to Chicago he wanted to do something to employ people in his community who looked like him. So he’s started a mini catering and restaurant empire in historic Bronzeville on Chicago’s South Side. Monica Eng of Chewing the Fat talks to him here.

CTF Ep 40: Chef Battle; & Top Chefs and a top brewmaster re-invent themselves  

What happens when two Top Chefs and an American cider pioneer re-invent themselves? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng get a taste on this week’s "re-invention" episode and Season Three finale! They talk to Virtue Cider founder Greg Hall. And Parachute restaurant chef and owner Beverly Kim. Plus Maddy’s Dumpling House chef and owner Chrissy Camba. All live at the 7th annual WBEZ Chicago Chef Battle. Kendall College! Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Reuben dumpling and pumpkin dumpling by chef Chrissy Camba of Maddy’s Dumpling House at ‪‎Kendall College for WBEZ Chicago Chef Battle)

CTF Ep 39: Mythbusting the Fat  

Can fat make you sick? One listener listener letter inspires this week’s Chewing the Fat episode of MYTHBUSTING THE FAT. Co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to Nina Teicholz, author of the New York Times best-seller The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. And for a dissenting opinion, Tufts University Professor of Medicine Alice Lichtenstein advises Monica to let go of her lard. Plus Louisa and Monica invite tech entrepreneur and chef Kimbal Musk to taste Soylent, but Will He Eat It? All that and fat hate listener mail on this MYTHBUSTING THE FAT episode of Chewing the Fat. Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Smoked prime rib with black garlic butter; grilled broccoli with smoked cheddar cheese sauce; smoked twice baked potato with bacon and crème fraîche by Pitmaster Gary Wiviott at Barn & Company in Chicago)

CTF Ep 38: Food as Medicine: Organic gardening DJ, a wonder spice & food instead of meds  

Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng go off their meds in this week’s Food as Medicine episode. Monica talks to hip hop artist and OG, as in organic gardener, DJ Cavem, and author of "Turmeric: Great Recipes Featuring the Wonder Spice that Fights Inflammation and Protects Against Disease," Colleen Sen. Sen then challenges Louisa to taste raw turmeric, but Will She Eat It? Plus modern day medicine woman Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark pays a house call, bearing roasted broccoli and raw collards. Show Notes: Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Roasted broccoli and raw collards by Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark)

CTF Ep 37: Community, Gardens, and Farms (Pets or plates? And who's winning in urban farming?)  

Pets or plates? And who's winning in urban farming? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng dig in on this week’s Community, Gardens, and Farms episode. Monica visits rural farmer Kim Snyder at Faith’s Farm and her free-range rabbits, some destined for plates, and others as surprise pets. Louisa crashes an urban end of summer picnic at the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm in the diverse neighborhood of Albany Park in Chicago. Show Notes: Twitter: @ChuEngFat @louisachu @monicaeng (Photo by Louisa Chu / Garden vegetable rolls at end of summer picnic at Global Garden Refugee Training Farm in Chicago)

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