7 episodes

From artists to architects, musicians to entrepreneurs, its places and its spaces and most of all, its food. That’s what makes a city 'special.’ Hosted by Minya Oh, a.k.a. “Miss Info,” we’re checking out six American cities to find out what gives them their unique flavor. In each episode, we’ll be guided by a local restaurateur, culminating with the special — a dish that is the manifestation of the city on a plate. BMW’s first ever X7 inspired “The Special,” by bringing together a new collaboration between two expert storytellers — The New York Times’s T Brand Studio and The Infatuation. Together, we examine culture and food in a way that only we can. Sponsored by BMW.

The Special BMW

    • Food

From artists to architects, musicians to entrepreneurs, its places and its spaces and most of all, its food. That’s what makes a city 'special.’ Hosted by Minya Oh, a.k.a. “Miss Info,” we’re checking out six American cities to find out what gives them their unique flavor. In each episode, we’ll be guided by a local restaurateur, culminating with the special — a dish that is the manifestation of the city on a plate. BMW’s first ever X7 inspired “The Special,” by bringing together a new collaboration between two expert storytellers — The New York Times’s T Brand Studio and The Infatuation. Together, we examine culture and food in a way that only we can. Sponsored by BMW.

    Houston: Where Cultural Change Remains Constant

    Houston: Where Cultural Change Remains Constant

    In this episode of “The Special,” we learn how Houston has embraced its heritage and reimagined it for a modern era. We meet Anna Pham, whose Mai’s Restaurant has been a city staple; Chris Shepherd, a chef who draws on Houston’s ethnic blend for his culinary creations; and James Glassman, a historian with insights on the city’s changing culture.

    Mai’s serves as the venue for our talk, as we dine on traditional Vietnamese fare, including catfish, hot and sour soup and Vietnamese crepes.

    BMW’s first ever X7 inspired “The Special,” by bringing together a new collaboration between two expert storytellers — The New York Times T Brand Studio and The Infatuation for the first time. Together, we examine culture and food in a way only we can.

    For more information and behind the scenes photos, visit nytimes.com/thespecial. Sponsored by BMW.

    • 28 min
    How Greenville Keeps Moving Forward

    How Greenville Keeps Moving Forward

    When you’re in Greenville, S.C. you feel like you’re home. There are no strangers in Greenville, the locals say, only friends you haven’t met yet. In this episode of “The Special,” we explore Southern hospitality through the eyes of the people who live there. We’ll hear from the chef Shaun Garcia on his restaurant, Soby’s, where he puts a modern twist on recipes from his great-grandmother. We’ll also explore how Greenville’s dedicated residents transformed the city for the modern era. We’ll tour the city’s parks with a member of the City Council, speed along BMW’s test track with a high-performance driver, and learn about the city’s past from a civil rights legend.

    We’ll sit with our guests for a meal of fried chicken with a honey and peppercorn twist. Sponsored by BMW.

    BMW’s first ever X7 inspired “The Special,” by bringing together a new collaboration between two expert storytellers — The New York Times T Brand Studio and The Infatuation for the first time. Together, we examine culture and food in a way only we can.

    For more information and behind the scenes photos, visit nytimes.com/thespecial.

    • 29 min
    Philadelphia: A Big City with a Small-City Feel

    Philadelphia: A Big City with a Small-City Feel

    In this episode of “The Special,” we explore the constantly evolving South Philadelphia neighborhood. Once considered a red light district, an influx of businesses have moved there, some of which are owned by the chef Marcie Turney, who has opened restaurants, bars and boutiques in the area. While Turney prepares this episode’s meal, we’ll tour South Philly and visit a local glassblower, a butcher and a boxing coach.

    We’ll sit for a traditional Italian-Philly meal of “Sunday Gravy” with three female entrepreneurs. For more information and behind the scenes photos, visit nytimes.com/thespecial.

    BMW’s first ever X7 inspired “The Special” by bringing together a new collaboration between two expert storytellers: The New York Times’s T Brand Studio and The Infatuation for the first time. Together, they examine culture and food in a way only they can. Sponsored by BMW.

    • 25 min
    Minneapolis: Cold Weather Creates Unique Culture

    Minneapolis: Cold Weather Creates Unique Culture

    Minneapolis is evolving. The weather may be frigid, but it's a welcoming and inclusive environment in which creativity and diversity are valued. In this episode, we'll explore the melding of Nordic, Somali and indigenous flavors to enrich the city's culinary scene.

    We’ll sit with artists, activists and chefs as Alex Roberts from Restaurant Alma creates a hearty and unexpected dish featuring local ingredients. We learn how the city is culturally evolving and what role these artists play in that evolution everyday. For more information and behind the scenes photos, visit nytimes.com/thespecial.

    BMW’s first ever X7 inspired “The Special” by bringing together a new collaboration between two expert storytellers — The New York Times’ T Brand Studio and The Infatuation for the first time. Together, they examine culture and food in a way that only they can. Sponsored by BMW.

    • 26 min
    Exploring Downtown L.A.'s Creative Edge

    Exploring Downtown L.A.'s Creative Edge

    From painters to chefs, documentary filmmakers to dancers, the population of downtown Los Angeles is an eclectic mix of artists and creators of culture. In this episode of “The Special,” we tour the city with entrepreneurs who are making L.A. a thriving destination for art, design and food. Join our host Minya Oh, a.k.a “Miss Info,” as she tours us through an urban farm, an apron factory (with a zipline) and the Los Angeles Flower Market.

    We’ll sit with creatives from the neighborhood, including entrepreneur Ellen Bennett, and artist Stephen Seemayer, as the chef Josef Centeno artfully prepares a meal incorporating the area’s freshest ingredients in bold and unexpected ways. For more information and behind the scenes photos, visit nytimes.com/thespecial.

    BMW’s first ever X7 inspired “The Special” by bringing together a new collaboration between two expert storytellers — The New York Times’s T Brand Studio and The Infatuation for the first time. Together, they examine culture and food in a way that only they can. Sponsored by BMW.

    • 25 min
    Making Connections In Seattle

    Making Connections In Seattle

    Seattle has transformed from a logging town into one of the most desirable cities in the USA. But for newcomers, it can be difficult to meet new people. It’s a phenomenon known to the locals as “the Seattle Freeze.” In this episode of “The Special,” we meet Zac Reynolds, a chef using unique flavors to spark conversations among customers at his restaurant Cook Weaver. We hear from Reynolds about his use of diverse ingredients, including locally-made Ethiopian Injera, and how he puts his own spin on Eurasian fusion food. Along the way, we tour Seattle’s pop culture museum, fishing ports and a pinball arcade.

    We’ll sit with culture makers from the neighborhood as chef Zac Reynolds prepares dishes featuring injera.

    BMW’s first ever X7 inspired “The Special” by bringing together a new collaboration between two expert storytellers — The New York Times’s T Brand Studio and The Infatuation for the first time. Together, they examine culture and food in a way that only they can.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

EpicOrangeCountyCA ,

Sadly mediocre

The quality of production and Minya Oh’s narrative both pop but it becomes apparent immediately that this is a 6 part commercial for the BMW X7. Hopefully Minya realizes she could produce a much better podcast on her own soon, I think she would find a loyal following quickly.

Alexgweiser ,

Surface level, inauthentic, good idea!

I like this concept, but the execution is weak. Scenes feel inauthentic, and sometimes staged. Interviews feel surface-level, and not to the depth or quality I have learned to expect from shows like This American Life, 99% Invisible, or Bullseye. The BMW sponsorship mentions do not blend well with the content. I have little faith that this show will improve.

wordwoman ,

Feels forced

This podcast is a good idea in theory but not in execution. It feels like an ad, interpersed with details about the city being featured. It feels a little inauthentic and forced. I would expect better from the Infatuation and T Brand.

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