I recently asked 10 leading L.A. chefs, “Which podcasts do you listen to and what do you like about them?” Learn what they listen to at home, while commuting, working out, or on the line.
Arjun Mahendro + Nakul Mahendro (Badmaash)
“The Stew” with Jason & Chris Stewart, and their friend Andre Canaparo
The Stew is awesome. It’s informative, casual, and funny. You really feel like you are there with Jason, Chris & Andrew. They are local to L.A. and reference a lot of local spots.
“Good Food” with Evan Kleiman
Good Food is legendary. Evan has been through it all. She’s a fixture of the L.A. dining scene and knows her stuff. They always have the best guests and not only is it very easy to listen to, you always end up learning something new. It also doesn’t hurt that Evan’s voice is so, so, so soothing after a long day of running a restaurant.
Honorable Mention (aka shameless self promotion): “Super Amazing Restaurant Show“
We love it because it’s a “behind the scenes” look at what restaurant people go through.
Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon)
My favorite is “How to be Amazing.” It’s Michael Ian Black. It’s every two weeks. He has one person and runs the gamut. All really interesting people, never obvious. I love it.
I listen to “Good Food.” I love Evan Kleiman. She is the best. Has a great approach.
Sarah Hymanson + Sara Kramer (Kismet + Madcapra)
Hymanson: I make a few hour-long drives a week and podcasts are fantastic for those times! I’m a fan of the podcast called “Hardcore History.” The five part series called “Wrath of the Khans” is fascinating and Dan Carlin’s excitement is contagious. I don’t have a very good memory for dates and names, but he is very much a story teller – and is great at giving the listener a conceptual overview of a moment – or…hundreds of years of history. I also love the podcast called “Fugitive Waves” which tells niche stories about amazing people – largely, but not entirely related to food. The episodes about the creation of Rice-A-Roni is particularly cool! It is also a very beautiful podcast to listen to, with lots of found footage and audio texture!
Kramer: You know, I listen to a lot of podcasts. Love Alec Baldwin’s “Here’s the Thing.” Love “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross. Also love lesser-known gems like “The Hidden History of Los Angeles,” where you can hear about things like the history of Griffith Park. I like podcasts for a quick in-depth spotlight on a topic or a person. Plus, they’re great for car time or while going on hikes (not that I have time for any these days!)
Roxana Jullapat (Friends & Family)
I kinda play a few podcasts when I’m in the kitchen or doing chores, but I’m not the most attentive or loyal listener.
I’m subscribed to “Star Talk,” “The Splendid Table,” “Freakonomics Radio” and a few fitness ones I can’t remember, mostly about running and injuries (ha!). “Star Talk” is actually very entertaining and you actually learn something. I find myself laughing a lot when I listen to it. To see what I mean, check the God episode. I really like “Freakonomics” because it’s really current and exhaustive. They’ll talk about everyday topics such as Uber or recycling with a unique point of view. It can be a little dry but it’s probably my favorite. I resisted listening to a podcast about food because I thought it would be healthier to be informed about things you don’t know a lot about. But I finally subscribed to “The Splendid Table” which is just right. Light and fluffy yet meaty enough. My favorite is whenever the Sterns (traveling food writers) are on and they always do a great show around Thanksgiving. Oh, and Serial!!!
Kevin Meehan (Kali Restaurant)
As I get older I listen to less music in the car, and more podcasts. I’m into the science and general interest stories on “Stuff You Should Know.”
I pretty much stopped listening to music the last 3 years. I always have a podcast going in my headphones, car or house. I suppose its just my way of getting news, information and laughs. Just checked by Stitcher account, looks like I’ve been listening to podcast on it for about 7.5 years. I listed the podcast I listen to monthly.
- Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History“
- “Joe Rogan Experience“
- “The Fighter and the Kid“
- “The Drunken Taoist” with Danieli Boelli
- “I AM Rapaport“
- “The Church of What’s Happening Now“
- Ari Shaffir’s “Skeptic Tank“
For the most part I like these podcasts because they are unscripted and unedited (besides Radiolab and Dan Carlin’s HCH). So it’s just people having open discussion about what ever they want, most lean towards a specific topic but they don’t stick to it. There are no producers in their ear or team of writers giving the host their two cents or driving an agenda so for me it’s just real.
Jimmy Shaw (Loteria Grill)
“Good Food” is on the top of my list as I often find myself busy when they’re on the air. I love listening to Evan and her guests; food, restaurants, seasonal market finds, impact of food on the environment. I can go on and on.
Another is “Los Gastronautas,” a group of super interesting and dedicated food nerds from Mexico.
These are my most regular. I do find myself looking on YouTube for helpful, funny, and occasionally time-wasting content.