Culinary Diversity: From California Cowboys to Contemporary Oaxacan Fare

What do episodes about a Japanese vegetable farm, Irish fine dining, and California raised–grass fed beef have in common? Each conversation exemplifies a commitment to making local foodways more robust and delicious. This playlist knits together a brilliant variety of agricultural and culinary practices and is supported by Hearst Ranch, a company that is one part of a global movement to regionalize our food system.

An historic fixture on the California coast, Hearst Ranch has been raising cattle in the American West since 1865. The ranch is committed to practicing responsible agriculture and ensuring its cattle herds live a completely natural existence, foraging and grazing on rich sustainable native grasslands. Their cowboy dedication to sustainable farming and careful treatment of their animals produces remarkable beef, but that is only a fraction of what Hearst Ranch brings to the table. 

Within Hearst Ranch’s tens of thousands of acres is one of the most remarkable and diverse assemblages of native plants, plant communities, and natural habitats in all of California, including more than 1,000 plant and wildlife species. In order to protect the vital biodiversity found on the working landscape of the ranch, the land has been preserved forever thanks to one of the largest land conservation easements in California history, a joint effort with the California Rangeland Trust, the American Land Conservancy, and the State of California.

Learn about what makes the ranch unique in the very first episode of this playlist, then dig into contemporary interpretations of Mexican food, explore seasonings and snacks from West Africa, and learn about the diversity of Japanese and Latino flavors in the Midwest. 

Heritage Radio Network On Tour Episode 362: Raising Grass Fed Beef at Hearst Ranch: HRN Board Member, Brian Kenny sits down with the Division Manager for Hearst Ranch, Roland Camacho. Hearst Ranch is the nation's largest single-source provider of 100% grass-fed beef. Brian and Roland talk about the practices that make Hearst Ranch unique, including the conservation easement that protects tens of thousands of acres of California grasslands and the reasons why the company is more focused on maintaining sustainable practices rather than expanding or diversifying.

Cooking in Mexican From A to Z Episode 39: Contemporary Interpretations of Traditional Mexican Food: Zarela and Aarón are thrilled to welcome Chef Rodolfo Castallanos to talk about how traditional Mexican foodways are being reinterpreted in the contemporary Mexican culinary scene. Rodolfo starts by sharing his cooking philosophy - beginning with inspiration from the seasons and culminating in his return home to open Origen. He discusses how French culinary education has been incorporated by Mexican chefs, and Zarela asks him to share some Oaxacan culinary building blocks.

Let's Talk About Food Episode 47: Her Eminence, Nancy Harmon Jenkins: Nancy Harmon Jenkins is simply one of the great food authorities in America. She’s also one of the great storytellers, as you will hear. Nancy is the author of 8 books and counting and too many articles to count. From her two home bases in Tuscany and Camden, Maine, she teaches and writes about food topics all over the world. Her Mediterranean Diet Cookbook (now updated) is the benchmark book for the topic, as are her books on pasta and olive oil. Her work is singular: her trademark is deep research, detailed recipes, and often hilariously erudite commentary. 

Dyed Green Episode 2: A Kiwi Grows in Galway: Jess Murphy is a celebrated chef, restaurant owner, writer, and activist. Originally from New Zealand, she moved to Ireland and opened the Michelin Green Star Kai restaurant in Galway’s West End. We talk to her about why we should all think about today’s Irish food on the same level as other internationally acclaimed cuisines.

Eat Your Heartland Out Episode 33: Celebrating Culinary Diversity in the Midwest: Spotlighting Japanese and Latino Flavors: We are celebrating the ethnic and cultural diversity that makes the food of the American Midwest unique. In Champlain, Illinois, we meet Alex Sentowski and Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud, the founders of Suzu, a Japanese bakery bringing a traditional Japanese menu to a Midwest college town. Then in Holland, Michigan, we visit with members of the local Latino community who have brought their culinary heritage to the region. Johnny Rodgriguez is the Executive Director of Latin Americans United for Progress and Jackie Navarrete is an owner of Mi Favorita Grocery. Together they discuss the history of Hispanic migration to the area, as well as some particular culinary highlights from their community. 

Item 13: An African Food Podcast Episode 71: Changing Narratives Africa Fellow Temi Jebutu of AACE Foods: Temi Jebutu is a Nigerian Agribusiness professional and the Managing Director of AACE Food Processing and Distribution Limited which produces spices, seasonings, snacks and complementary foods for local and international markets. Temi joined AACE Foods in 2014 and has led the growth of the organization by introducing innovative and nutritious products, improving the livelihoods of over 10,000 smallholder farmers in the company’s supply chain and displacing imports through promoting local sourcing. 

Japan Eats! Episode 256: Growing Japanese Vegetables in America for 40 Years: Ken Suzuki is the founder of the Suzuki Farm in Delaware, which opened in 1983. In the last 39 years, Ken has devoted himself to introducing native Japanese vegetables and fruits to America. He and his team grow a variety of Japanese produce on their 28-acre land and harvest more than 30 kinds of crops throughout the year. In this episode, we will discuss why Japanese-born Ken Suzuki decided to farm in the US, what kinds of Japanese crops he grows, how unique and special they are, how you can use them in your kitchen, and much, much more!

Soul by Chef Todd Richards Episode 18: Chef Deborah VanTrece: Chef Deborah VanTrece is known for her elevated Soul Food as an owner of Twisted Soul. Chef VanTrece's cookbook, Twisted Soul, has garnished many awards and serves as an inspiration to novice cooks as well as chefs from all backgrounds. In this episode, we talk about her history in food, her cookbook, as well as pathways for minorities into the food business. 

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