17 episodes

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.

Extra Spicy Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips

    • Food

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.

    Comfort Food for Your Pandemic Hunger

    Comfort Food for Your Pandemic Hunger

     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
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    • 38 min
    Don’t Call the Cops on Pop-Ups

    Don’t Call the Cops on Pop-Ups

    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
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    • 38 min
    Mark Canha: Big League Foodie

    Mark Canha: Big League Foodie

    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
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    • 37 min
    Adapting to the Realities of Outdoor Dining

    Adapting to the Realities of Outdoor Dining

    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
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    • 37 min
    Can Vegan Soul Food Tackle Meat’s Masculinity Problem?

    Can Vegan Soul Food Tackle Meat’s Masculinity Problem?

    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
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    • 30 min
    Can Free Fridges Avoid “Poverty Porn”?

    Can Free Fridges Avoid “Poverty Porn”?

    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
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    • 44 min

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