Extra Spicy

By Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips

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Description

Join hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips as they attempt to decipher the bizarro happenings of the food world alongside a mix of fascinating folks. They dismantle diet culture and angry chefs, cover the restaurant apocalypse and pandemic pivots, and dish out advice you didn't know you needed. Extra Spicy will stimulate your mind and your appetite.

Episode Date
Chuck E. Cheese & Ferrero Rocher: How Immigrants Learn to be American
2088
The child of Iranian-Armenian refugees, writer and journalist Liana Aghajanian shares stories of growing up in the United States, the role that places like Chuck E. Cheese, Sizzler and IKEA have in teaching immigrant communities how to be American, and how she approaches writing about immigrant experiences in a way that embraces their nuances. Her multimedia project, Dining in Diaspora, documents the Armenian experience in America through food. Related: Read Liana Aghajanian’s piece about Ferrero Rocher at Thrillist.com. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 01, 2021
Finding Wild Food with @BlackForager
2511
Alexis Nikole Nelson – @blackforager on TikTok and Instagram – talks about the racial history of foraging laws in the United States and what it’s like to teach people how to identify and cook wild foods. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. |  Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 22, 2021
The Fight to Save Chinatown
1859
The 2021 Lunar New Year marks a full year of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on San Francisco’s Chinatown. Well before the Bay Area shut down, America’s oldest Chinatown experienced reduced business and xenophobia. With thousands living in single-room-occupancy hotels and legacy businesses on the brink of closure, the neighborhood is fighting to survive. Related: Fifth & Mission podcast: Chinatown's Endangered Banquet Halls: pod.fo/e/b68e0 Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2021
Brogurt & Burgers: Dude Food, Explained
2430
What is “dude food” and where does it come from? Dr. Emily Contois explores these questions and more in her new book, "Diners, Dudes, and Diets: How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media and Culture." She dissects how Powerful Yogurt was created to appeal to men, the power that marketing departments have in upholding the patriarchy, and the many ways that “the dude” remains a privileged masculine figure. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 08, 2021
The Restaurant Apocalypse Is Upon Us
2272
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the restaurant industry since its outset in March. In the wake of shutdowns, paired with little material help from the government, more than 1,000 restaurants and bars have permanently closed across the country, leaving hundreds of thousands of people out of work. Restaurateur Samir Mogannam of Beit Rima, former restaurateur Hetal Shah of August 1 Five, Golden Gate Restaurant Association Executive Director Laurie Thomas, and former restaurant and cafe worker Adonis Valentine share their thoughts on how the pandemic has affected the restaurant world and their relationships to it. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 01, 2021
Extra Spicy Season 2
146
A new season of Extra Spicy is coming soon! Join hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips as they attempt to decipher the bizarro happenings of the food world alongside a mix of fascinating folks. They dismantle diet culture and angry chefs, cover the restaurant apocalypse and pandemic pivots, and dish out advice you didn't know you needed. Extra Spicy will stimulate your mind and your appetite. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 16, 2021
2020: What Was This Nonsense?
1745
In the final episode of season 1, hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips apply their question, “What is this nonsense?” to the year 2020. From a KFC movie to the politics of French Laundry dinners, the hosts are wrapping up their top nonsense from a year like no other. Extra Spicy will return with season 2 on January 25, 2021. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 28, 2020
Kevin Vaughn Talks Travel Writing
1941
In this week's episode, hear Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips' full interview with Kevin Vaughn: a writer, cook and tour operator based out of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Vaughn discusses travel writing, the problems within travel media and deconstructing ideas of how to tell the story of another place. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 21, 2020
Aubrey Gordon Discusses Anti-Fat Bias
2997
The author who until recently wrote under the moniker Your Fat Friend talks to Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips about the social realities of being a very fat person, the fallacy of tying morality with health, how fat people have difficulty getting the healthcare they actually need, and much more. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2020
Bonus: Chef Anthony Salguero on Salvadoran Food in the Bay
2139
Anthony Salguero, chef / founder of Popoca in Oakland, was a guest on Extra Spicy back in August. In this bonus episode, you can hear Soleil Ho's full interview with Salguero, who talks about bringing traditional Salvadoran wood-fire cooking and recipes to the Bay Area and an evolving restaurant culture. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 07, 2020
Bonus: Dessert Potatoes with Daniel M. Lavery
1634
Extra Spicy is off for the season, but we're leaving you with a series of bonus episodes during the holidays. In this week's episode, we're bringing back Soleil Ho's full interview with Daniel M. Lavery, a writer and advice columnist who has produced satirical writing on the rhetoric of beans, breasts and "Columbo" in his newsletter, Shatner Chatner. Lavery talks about potatoes for dessert, imaginary restaurant ideas and the persistence of the dinner table as the place where family tensions come to a head. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2020
Roman Mars: How the Pandemic is Transforming Restaurants
2441
The author and host of the design and architecture podcast 99% Invisible talks about how the pandemic creates an opportunity to make restaurant design more resilient by innovating parklets and reclaiming outdoor space. He also digs into how delivery apps and contactless delivery are destroying people’s empathy towards restaurant workers. Plus: This is the last episode of the season! Hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips will release bonus episodes for the rest of the year and are preparing for a revamped — and extra spicy — Season 2. Stay tuned!  Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 23, 2020
Breaking Up with Diet Culture
2260
Virgie Tovar, author and podcast host of the Rebel Eaters Club, talks about diet culture: what it is, how it feels and how we can push against it in favor of a less punitive way of thinking about how we eat. Battling fatphobia is about more than just changing attitudes on a personal level, she says. Hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips also discuss how food writers and food media at large have perpetuated myths about diets and eating. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 10, 2020
How a Recipe Can Become a Protest
2187
“Chinese Protest Recipes” is an antiracist zine from chef and activist Clarence Kwan, who insists food and cooking are political. Kwan joins hosts Justin Phillips and Soleil Ho to discuss his project, the recipes and anti-Black racism within Asian communities. Plus: some tea is spilled about Drake, Kwan’s fellow Torontonian. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2020
Food Photography Is a Meritocracy — If You’re a White Person
2200
Food photographer Oriana Koren talks about their work researching and documenting Black contributions to American cuisine, including their notable feature on underground chefs in South L.A. As a Black, non-binary professional, they talk about the politics and power behind the camera — including the extra work it took them to establish a career in food media. Plus: Co-host Soleil Ho got an orb. Send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2020
Food Pop-ups in Legal Limbo
2461
While AB-626 legalized the permitted sale of home-cooked food, most California counties have not developed a permitting process, creating a legal gray area. Katie Valenzuela, an incoming Sacramento city councilmember who helped work on the bill, joins Justin Phillips and Soleil Ho to discuss the origin and iterations of the new policy, how it affects racial and class equity, the role of the pandemic, and the importance of being civically engaged. Read a transcript of the full interview, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 26, 2020
Three-Michelin-Starred: A Fine Dining Legacy, Burned Down
2355
Located in Napa Valley’s St. Helena, the highly acclaimed Restaurant at Meadowood was destroyed on September 28th by the massive Glass Fire, which scorched close to the 67K acres in Sonoma and Napa counties. Under the leadership of executive chef Christopher Kostow, the decades-old resort restaurant earned accolades for its artistic, garden-to-table cuisine. The owners of Meadowood Napa Valley, which housed the famed restaurant, have since vowed to rebuild the property. But amid the news of its destruction, former employees and local fine dining chefs explore a range of emotions regarding its lasting legacy. On this episode, hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips look into what it took for The Restaurant at Meadowood to earn its place as an international fine dining destination and the highly-disciplined, intense work environment that some former employees say was necessary for success, while others claim was an abusive workplace culture. You'll hear from San Francisco chef Traci Des Jardins, sommelier Alexis Davis Iaconis of Brick & Mortar Wines, chef Ricky Odbert of Six Test Kitchen and more. Read the story and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 19, 2020
A Foodie's First Impressions of the Bay Area Food Scene
2176
Serena Dai, the new senior features editor for The San Francisco Chronicle, talks about her first impressions of the Bay Area food scene and why food writing continues to fascinate her. Dai worked closely with co-host Soleil Ho to produce The Chronicle’s Top 87 Restaurants list and explains why food accolades are here to stay, even amid a global pandemic that has upended the industry. Fun fact: Dai, a veteran food editor and reporter, hasn’t eaten a single avocado since she moved here from New York City a few weeks ago, and she’s very concerned about it. Read a transcript of the conversation with Serena Dai, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2020
What Wildfires Mean for California Wine
2063
With more than a dozen California wineries damaged and even more threatened by smoke tainted grapes, this season might prove to be calamitous for the wine industry. Chronicle wine critic Esther Mobley talks about the wineries impacted by fire, the economic toll of the one-two punch of the coronavirus pandemic and wildfires, and what the future of Wine Country might look like as climate change makes fires more frequent and more intense. Read a transcript of the full interview and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 05, 2020
Barbecue That's Worth the Wait
2043
Matt Horn, the pitmaster and proprietor behind Horn BBQ, talks about his journey from cooking in a backyard in Tracy and putting on a roaming Bay Area pop-up to opening a highly anticipated brick-and-mortar space in Oakland. Horn’s Texas-style barbecue has become the stuff of legend, earning him regional and national acclaim, as well as a spot on this year’s Top 88, The Chronicle’s list of top Bay Area restaurants. Hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips break down why Matt Horn's barbecue — from his tender smoked brisket to his extraordinary attention to detail — has always been worth the wait. Read a transcript of the conversation with Matt Horn, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 28, 2020
Comfort Food for Your Pandemic Hunger
2305
 As the coronavirus pandemic keeps stress levels elevated, Brenda Buenviaje, chef and owner of an eponymous restaurant mini-empire, shares her coping strategy: producing YouTube cooking videos with her son. Plus: Buenviaje discusses having a French Soul Food menu in the Bay Area, while Justin and Soleil explore the concept of comfort food. Read a transcript of the full interview, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 21, 2020
Don’t Call the Cops on Pop-Ups
2288
Palestinian chef Mona Leena Michael went from heading up Oakland’s Middle Eastern restaurant, Dyafa, to putting up a Mana’eesh pop-up once the coronavirus pandemic struck. Michael talks about how the Alameda County health department shut her operation down due to an anonymous complaint — even during a global health crisis that has rendered many food industry workers like her unemployable. Plus: Michael shocks co-host Soleil Ho by saying that she’s “elevating” Palestinian cuisine. Read a transcript of the conversation with Mona Leena Michael, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 14, 2020
Mark Canha: Big League Foodie
2267
Baseball players are mostly steakhouse guys, but Mark Canha of the Oakland A's is a self-proclaimed food influencer.  Canha talks about his unlikely turn as a Bay Area food influencer and how he connects with his fans via his food-centric Instagram account, @BigLeaugeFoodie. Canha is rethinking the types of restaurants he eats from amid the coronavirus pandemic and talks about how food has kept him connected with his loved ones while living in isolation during the season. Plus: Canha gives listeners social media tips to get the most likes on Instagram posts. Read a transcript of the conversation with Mark Canha, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 07, 2020
Adapting to the Realities of Outdoor Dining
2253
Prubechu, a popular restaurant in the Mission district, is adapting to the times. As the coronavirus pandemic reshapes how restaurants function, co-founders Shawn Naputi and Shawn Camacho are steadfast in their dedication to show San Francisco what Guam has to offer. In this episode, they discuss their challenges and triumphs. Read a transcript of the conversation with “the two Shawns”, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you’re obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 31, 2020
Can Vegan Soul Food Tackle Meat’s Masculinity Problem?
1815
Toriano Gordon, a rapper-turned-restaurateur, talks about finding his place in veganism, meat’s masculinity problem and the history of plant-based eating in Black communities. Gordon’s vegan soul food restaurant, Vegan Mob, has made a huge splash in Oakland’s food scene, offering everything from plant-based cheeseburger egg rolls and fried chicken po’boys to Impossible meat tacos and gumbo. Read a transcript of our conversation with Toriano Gordon, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you're obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 24, 2020
Can Free Fridges Avoid “Poverty Porn”?
2644
Gabriela Alemán and Ashley Rahimi Syed, who’ve helped bring a fridge stocked with fresh food to the Mission, talk about protecting the dignity of those they serve, and mitigating the “performative” aspect of some of the giving. Read a transcript of our conversation with Gabriela and Ashley, and send us your questions about food, life and everything you're obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 17, 2020
Centering Black Foodways in A Hungry Society
2592
Korsha Wilson talks about her website and podcast, A Hungry Society, and how she’s protected her byline by only taking on writing assignments she believes in. Her focus on Caribbean cuisine and Black foodways at large has been an inspiration to Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips. Plus: Soleil and Justin compare their writing careers to the acting career of Nicolas Cage. Read a transcript of our conversation with Korsha Wilson and send us your questions about food, life and everything you're obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 10, 2020
Only Nigerian Restaurant in San Francisco Burns Down
2505
Simileoluwa Adebajo, owner of San Francisco’s Eko Kitchen, speaks with hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips just hours after her restaurant burned down in a major fire. She remains positive she can rebuild the city’s only Nigerian restaurant and has launched a GoFundMe in support of her business as well as several others that lost property in the fire. She also talks about performative support for Black-owned restaurants by white folks amid the surging Black Live Matters movement. Read a transcript of our conversation with Simileoluwa Adebajo and send us your questions about food, life and everything you're obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 03, 2020
Hungry Hungry Hooker
2337
San Francisco food blogger and professional companion Adahlia Cole talks about the ways in which sex work intersects with the food industry. Cole also talks about her pandemic-era work documenting the myriad side hustles that laid-off or underemployed restaurant workers have taken on in recent months to supplement their incomes. Plus: Justin Phillips and Soleil Ho tackle some listener questions about foie gras and the things they miss about restaurants. Read a transcript of our full conversation with Adahlia Cole and send us your questions about food, life and everything you're obsessed with at sfchronicle.com/spicy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 26, 2020
The Pandemic Pivot: Restaurant to Grocery
2474
Anthony Strong, the chef and owner of San Francisco's Prairie, talks about his restaurant’s quick pivot to a general store at the onset of the pandemic. Hang on to the end to hear some nonsense about Hot Pot Panic, Soleil Ho's new favorite computer game made by a Bay Area local. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2020
How JustUs Kitchen Feeds the Movement
2273
Bay Area chef and community organizer Jocelyn Jackson is the founder of JustUs Kitchen, a project that provides healing food experiences for Black women and femmes. Jackson, also the co-founder of the People’s Kitchen Collective, talks about what it means to create liberated spaces, the ancient history of mutual aid, and how we can sustain the political moment. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2020
Not Interested In American Cuisine
2574
Hawa Hassan, CEO of Basbaas Somali Foods, talks about her work to promote African cuisines here in the U.S. and her new cookbook, “In Bibi’s Kitchen.” She also has a frank discussion of her work with Bon Appetit’s Test Kitchen, which she says used her image to uphold the illusion of diversity while not affording her the respect she deserved. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 06, 2020
Drama at the Dinner Table
2366
Writer and advice columnist Daniel M. Lavery talks about potatoes for dessert, imaginary restaurant ideas and the persistence of the dinner table as the place where family tensions come to a head. Plus: In this week’s Dear Spicy, Soleil Ho and co-host Justin Phillips dole out their own advice about making it as professional food writer. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 29, 2020
A New Deal for Restaurants
2341
Organizer and sommelier Vinny Eng talks about working with SF New Deal, a nonprofit that has provided financial relief for restaurants by enlisting them to cook meals for people and organizations in need. Eng lays out how the program works, as well as how crucial this kind of aid can be for restaurants and communities suffering during the coronavirus pandemic. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2020
Pickle Jar Time Machine
2214
Pickle profferer and master fermenter Kelly McVicker geeks out about pickles: how time is an essential ingredient, and how an increased interest in the craft during the coronavirus pandemic is a sign that people are rethinking the place of pickles in our food system. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2020
Padma Lakshmi: Redefining “American Food”
2398
The writer and television personality talks about her new show, Taste the Nation. Lakshmi, an award-winning author who previously hosted “Top Chef,” talks about using her show to broaden the definition of “American food” — as an antidote to xenophobia and ahistoric notions of who “Americans” are. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2020
This is Extra Spicy
174
San Francisco Chronicle food writers and columnists Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips talk to fascinating food folks in the Bay Area and beyond about restaurant life, cookbooks and the devastating horror of ranch dressing. Their attempts to decipher the bizarro happenings of the food world will stimulate your mind and your appetite. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 05, 2020