Kenny G is the most famous saxophonist playing today. He has sold over 75 million albums, tours all over the globe, and holds the Guinness Book of World Records record for holding the longest note on a saxophone.
On this episode of YLM, Rachel gets the facts (not the fake news!) behind Kenny's contribution to creating an iconic menu item at the world's most popular coffee chain, learns which supermodel gave him his much-celebrated pie crust recipe, and she ponders a potentially life-changing question: Is Kenny G her real dad?
Rachel also talks with the Seattle native about his jazz band days at Franklin High School, his first gig playing with Barry White (and their subsequent meeting in a Soul Train Awards bathroom), and what product he uses to tame those luscious locks!
Special thanks to Ellia Kassoff of Leaf Candy. Have they resurrected one of your favorite bygone sweets? Find out at leafbrands.com.
You may not recognize Linda Perry by name, but you definitely know her music.
She is a singer, songwriter, and producer behind massive hits for Adele, Weezer, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Pink, and many more! She's also the writer/singer behind the 90s hit (and solid karaoke jam) "What's Up" by her former band 4 Non Blondes.
But what would this musical maestro choose for her last meal? Spoiler alert: She's way more into music than food.
Which got us thinking - is there any correlation between music and taste? To get answers, Rachel talks with Professor Charles Spence of The University of Oxford about what he calls "Sonic Seasoning," his 15 year study of how sound and music can affect the enjoyability of food, and why people drink so much tomato juice on airplanes.
Linda is currently collaborating with Intuit QuickBooks new Backing You campaign to help independent artists be seen, heard and celebrated.
Get Professor Spence's new book Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating wherever books are sold.
And follow Rachel's new Instagram account @yourlastmealpodcast!
Lindy West is an author, activist, and contributing opinion writer for The New York Times whose work focuses on feminism, social justice, humor, and body image.
On this episode of YLM, Lindy details a six course last meal feast that features smorkage, a flaky, buttery, custardy Danish pastry only available at a single bakery in the United States. Rachel travels to Seattle's Larsen's Bakery (larsensbakery.com) to taste the impossible-to-pronounce Danish pastry.
Lindy, a self-described "fat" person, talks about what it's like to eat in public, why she grudgingly ordere honeydew, and shares a humiliating story that involves a personal pan pepperoni pizza and an episode of This American Life.
Then things get "hyggely." The Scandinavian concept of "hygge" (pronounced "HOO-guh") is all about coziness, comfortable conviviality, and contentment - and it's taking the world by storm! Rachel chats with authors Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and food anthropologist Signe Johansen about this defining characteristic of Danish culture.
If you live near Seattle, see Lindy West speak at Benaroya Hall on Sunday, April 15. Tickets at seattlesymphony.org/benaroyahall. And be sure to check out her book "Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman."
Pick up Meik Wiking's "The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living" and Signe Johansen's "How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life" wherever books are sold.
Maria Shriver has spent a lifetime in the public eye, but there's one thing none of us know about the award-winning journalist and author... until now: What she would eat for her last meal!
On this episode of YLM, Rachel gets to the bottom of perhaps the most iconic American food of all - the hamburger. She learns about the earliest origins of the dish from burger authority, documentarian, and tv host George Motz (georgemotz.com), whose book "Hamburger America" is about to release its 3rd edition.
Thrillest writer Kevin Alexander traveled the USA and ate 330 burgers in a year, then compiled a list of the 100 best burgers in the country. Which burger is best? You'll have to listen to find out!
Buy Maria's new book "I've Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life" wherever books are sold.
And finally, we are humbled and honored to announce that Your Last Meal has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award for Best Podcast! Rachel and Aaron will be attending the award ceremony in NYC on April 27. Fingers crossed!
Travel expert, TV & radio host, author, and activist Rick Steves has been taking people all around the planet for decades. And his passion for unique and authentic experiences, living in the moment, and trying new things matches perfectly with how Rick chose to have his last meal.
Rick has also been a longtime proponent of legalizing marijuana, so Rachel gets to the bottom of how cannabis confections are created with Jody Hill, founder of Seattle cupcake empire Cupcake Royal, as she shares how they do things at her edibles company The Goodship.
And finally, Rachel talks with her co-worker, KIRO Radio host John Curley, about his menuless 2017, and a few of John's more... let's call them "idiosyncratic" food habits.
Buy any of Rick Steves' fantastic videos and books, including the brand new 3rd edition of "Travel as a Political Act," at ricksteves.com.
Learn more about The Goodship Company at thegoodship.com.
Nicki Bluhm is one of Rachel's favorite singer/songwriters, touring with the likes of Josh Ritter and The Wood Brothers. She's also the fourth person to choose steak as their last meal!
So on this episode of YLM, Rachel covers something she hasn't in any of the previous beefisodes: the history of the American Steakhouse.
But steak isn't usually on the menu for Nicki, who eats according to a 5000 year-old Ayurvedic diet. Rachel's yoga instructor and Ayurvedic practitioner Jodi Boone is here to explain way of eating that's believed to be the most ancient healing system in the world.
Nicki is going on tour in April. Find her schedule at nickibluhm.com. And keep up with Jodi at jodiboone.com.
In 2004, Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings won 74 episodes in a row, making him the record holder for longest winning streak. And 14 years later, host Rachel Belle decided it would finally be a good idea to interview him.
Ken shares Alex Trebek's strange and sugary breakfast choice (you'll never guess), he explains why Jeopardy contestants have to eat lunch together and, a huge BBQ lover, tells us why he doesn't want to be known as a "BBQ guy."
He also clues us in to the regional food of Utah: Jell-O! Ken's last meal is not Jell-O, but the jiggly dessert was too iconic to pass up. We learn the history of Jell-O with Lynne Belluscio, executive director of the Jell-O Gallery in LeRoy, NY, who tells us that Mormons in Utah eat more of it than anyone else in the country.
Check out Ken's fun and informative books at www.ken-jennings.com and his new podcast OMNIBUS, an encyclopedic reference work of strange-but-true stories with musician John Roderick, at www.omnibusproject.com.
Greta Gerwig, the Golden Globe winning writer/director of "Lady Bird," and star of one of Rachel's all-time favorite films "Francis Ha," is the talk of Hollywood! But one question no one on the red carpet has asked: What would Greta want for her last meal?
Speaking of Rachel's favorites, one of her favorite culinary writers, and a Forbes' 30 Under 30 in 2017, Molly Yeh shares the secrets behind perfecting her own Funfetti cake - which she makes from scratch. Even the sprinkles!
Also: what it's like to meet Justin Timberlake, the surprising origins of the "You Are Special" plate, and we hear what YOU would have as your last meal.
Go see "Lady Bird" in theaters now. If you don't like it, you'll literally be the only one.
Visit Molly Yeh's website mynameisyeh.com and order her cookbook "Molly on the Range."
And don't forget to send your last meal voice memos to email@example.com for a chance to be featured on the show! Just record a quick memo on your phone with your first name, city you live in and what you would choose to eat for your last meal.
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) loves monsters, and his movies often use creatures of fantasy to tell stories about what it means to be human. It's no surprise that his choice is for last meal is grounded, complex, and beloved - just like his films.
On this week's YLM, Rachel dishes with del Toro about his two homes full of monster memorabilia, his latest Golden Globe nominated project "The Shape of Water," and more!
We also learn about the fairy tail-esque origin and incredibly complicated process of making mole from Iliana de la Vega, a Mexican-born chef, restaurateur and former Mexican/Latin Cuisines Specialist for The Culinary Institute of America.
Many of us have a disgusting creature in our daily lives: the office fridge! So King County Health Inspector Mike Simpson drops by the KIRO Radio station to assess our own slimey, green monster.
And finally - NEW SEGMENT ALERT! For the first time, we play YOUR last meals. Record a voice memo telling Rachel what YOU want for your last meal and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to be featured at the end of a future episode.
Top Chef judge Gail Simmons has one of the best jobs ever. She travels the world eating incredible cuisine made by some of the best chefs on the planet. So what would she choose for her last meal?
Banoffee Pie is a ubiquitous dish in British culture, but Rachel has never even heard of it! So she talks to its creator Ian Dowding to get the scoop on the history and incredible popularity of this delicious dessert.
Pick up Gail's beautiful new cookbook "Bringing it Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating" wherever beautiful new cookbooks are sold.
D'Arcy Carden is on fire! Best known as Janet, the Siri-esque robot concierge on NBC's hit show "The Good Place," the veteran Upright Citizen's Brigade performer played Gemma on Comedy Central's "Broad City" and just happens to be old pals with our very own Rachel Belle!
Join these two friends as they talk about D'Arcy's journey to her recent success, where that apostrophe in her name comes from (fans of 90s rock might be able to guess...) and - of course - her choice for last meal.
Speaking of which, Rachel talks to Alan Finklestein, McDonalds owner and American success story, about one of the world's most perfect foods: The McDonald's french fry.
And, things get real sweet with Lauren Wilson, owner of Sweet Lo's Ice Cream, who gives us the scoop on Rocky Road.
There is nothing celebrity chef Paula Deen won't put butter on, and that includes her last meal, which is topped with a big ol' dollop of the stuff. The TV host, restaurant owner and cookbook author chews the fat with host Rachel Belle, revealing that her love of cooking blossomed during the two decades she spent in her house, dealing with agoraphobia.
Plus, a little history lesson from the Idaho Potato Commission on how steak became best friends with the baked potato. And Rachel takes us on a field trip to Seattle's Wedgwood Broiler, her favorite place in the world to get a fully loaded spud.
But the thing you really don't want to miss is Paula's signature cackle, which is liberally sprinkled across the episode like bacon bits on a baked potato.
Controversial "shock jock" Tom Leykis has been on the air for decades and made his fair share of enemies with his polarizing views on women and relationships.
But nobody is one-dimensional, and in her effort to get to the bottom of why Tom is the way he is, Rachel discovered a charming man who makes his own wine, loves to experiment in the kitchen, and refuses to buy meat from a grocery store.
On that note, we talk to Tom's butcher Lou DeRosa of Marconda's Meats, the oldest standing meat market in Los Angeles - where 3 generations of DeRosa butchers have been working since 1941.
Actor, animal rights activist, author, and the reason everybody was running around in 1995 saying "As if!" Alicia Silverstone joins Rachel on this episode of YLM!
The "Clueless" star admits that although she's been vegan since 1998, she's most tempted by a delicious cheese, so we talk to Youssef Fakhouri, owner of Alicia's (and LA's) favorite vegan cheese shop Vromage.
And remember that 2012 video of Alicia feeding her child like a baby bird? It caused quite the stir, so Rachel gets to the bottom of "premastication" with Melanie Martin, post-doctoral associate at Yale University in the field of Biological Anthropology.
Check out Alicia's books at thekindlife.com. And order Youssef's "cheeses" to try yourself at vromage.com.
Scoop up this slice of Your Last Meal featuring Seattle Seahawks center Justin Britt, featuring the food Rachel's been dying to delve into: pizza. You'll learn the history of pizza in the United States with Scott Weiner of New York Scott's Pizza Tours and find out buckets of fascinating food info morsels about the world of Major League Eating with Crazy Legs Conti.
Singer Mary Lambert, made famous by her stunning vocal accompaniment to the smash hit "Same Love" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is now a solo star in her own right. Mary brings pure joy and candor to her music and everything she does -- and she is very passionate about food. Tuck into one of the most delightful interviews you'll ever hear, and learn the not-so-true origins of chicken fried steak that no one in Lamesa, Texas will ever complain about.
Jenny Slate (Landline, Obvious Child, Parks & Rec,) exposes her sweet tooth on this edition of YLM! The super-delightful actor & comedian goes full-cherry with her last meal which includes a slice of cherry pie and a Shirley Temple.
What comes to mind when you think of cherry pie? If you're like Rachel, two things: that famous Warrant song, and Twin Peaks. So we've got both! Rachel talks to Warrant's guitar player Joey Allen about the history behind their iconic song and why he can no longer eat cherry pie.
Also, we're live from Twede's Cafe in North Bend, WA, better known as the Double R Diner in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks," for Rachel's first ever slice of cherry pie and she talks to owner Kyle Twede about what goes into their famous dessert.
Mary Roach is one of Rachel's favorite authors. She writes brilliant nonfiction books about science and the human body that are gripping, hilarious, and usually really gross.
On this episode of YLM, Mary explains her reasons behind choosing this delicious bivalve for her final feast, Rachel digs into the myths behind oysters with Rowan Jacobsen, author of "The Essential Oyster," and food & science collide as we meet Tom Ryan: CEO of Smashburger, and the man behind legendary fast-food favorites like McDonalds' Flury, McGriddles, and Pizza Hut's stuffed-crust pizza.
Cat expert Jackson Galaxy (Animal Planet's My Cat From Hell) is basically the male version of Rachel. On this episode of YLM, these two feline-obsessed friends discuss Jackson's rise to animal-expertise, his roots as a Jewish New Yorker, and why cats are so different from dogs.
Also, we explore the next level in vegan food science with Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown whose company is making plant-based meat that bleeds. And David Sax, author of "Save the Deli" tells us about the slow death of the Jewish delicatessen in America.
Fran Drescher (The Nanny) is an actor, cancer survivor, and LGBTQ activist.
On this episode of YLM, Rachel dishes with the New York native about being a gay icon, how she uses her celebrity to advocate for important causes, like curing cancer, and why Fran was the first guest to object to sharing her last meal.
We also dig into the habits of picky eaters. Rachel talks to a woman who has never let a vegetable pass her lips, and chat with Stephanie Lucianovic, author of Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater's Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate.
To support the Cancer Schmancer movement visit www.cancerschmancer.org.
Kevin Allison (Risk!, MTV's The State) is a freaking delight. Whether it's his infectious laughter, his willingness to be honest no matter the cost, or a shared love of eating Doritos with milk, Rachel may have found her new best friend. And we think you will too! Exclamation point!
On the latest YLM, we learn about Kevin's early life as a gay kid in Ohio, explore his imperfect veganism, and in honor of Risk!, Rachel and Producer Aaron share stories about some of the weird & risky foods they've eaten.
Rachel also talks to "Cocktail Evangelist" Robert Hess about the history of, and how one should make, the perfect martini. (HINT: James Bond has it all wrong.)
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a celebrity astrophysicist (yes - that's a thing!), author, Director of The Hayden Planetarium in NYC, host of Fox's "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" on Fox and the "Star Talk" radio show, and the guy we love to blame for Pluto not being a planet anymore.
On this episode of YLM, Rachel talks with one of the greatest scientific voices of our time about his love of melted butter, the time he almost became a stripper, and what foods Neil would take with him if he could travel to space.
Speaking of space travel, former NASA Astronaut & Hubble Space Telescope repairman Mike Massimino (author of "Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe") tells Rachel all about eating in zero gravity, the last meal he ate before his first shuttle launch, and what food options are available for a crew orbiting Earth.
SPOILER: There is definitely steak in space!
Thanks also to lobster expert Barton Seaver, author of "For Cod and Country."
Happy Mother's Day! To celebrate, we took a little time to talk to the woman responsible for bringing our beloved Rachel Belle into the world: her mom Barbara. From the streets of Brooklyn, to digging through another Barbra (Streisand)'s garbage in LA, Barbara's life has never been boring.
And speaking of moms, how 'bout that placenta?! Rachel talks to Heather Woskey of seattleplacentaencapsulation.com about the practice of mothers eating their placenta. (It's put into pills, so it's not as gross as it sounds. Unless you're already totally grossed out, then it might not get that much better...)
On the next episode: Neil deGrasse Tyson!
New York Times Bestselling author Augusten Burroughs has written several deeply personal memoirs including "Running with Scissors," "Dry," and his newest "Lust & Wonder." From his messed up childhood, to alcohol addiction, to his obsession with infomercials, there's one thing we still don't know about Augusten: What would his last meal be?
On this episode of YLM, Rachel also talks with the extraordinarily delightful "Queen of the Cooking Infomercial" Cathy Mitchell, and gets stuck between two warring sides over the hotly-debated origins of Brunswick Stew: a traditional dish in the American South created in either Brunswick, Georgia or Brunswick County, Virginia. (Depends on who you ask... and DON'T ask the wrong person!)
Thanks to stewmaster John Clarey from Brunswick County, VA, and Bryan Thompson, former mayor of Brunswick, GA.
Ann Wilson, lead singer of the band Heart, is widely considered one of the best vocalists in rock and roll history. On this week's YLM, the "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda" singer (and Seattle native) dishes about being a "blue stater living in the red X of Trump Country" in rural Florida, her favorite karaoke jams, and the delicious glory that is Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Rachel also talks with Lori Eberenz at KFC HQ in Kentucky to learn the incredible true story of Colonel Sanders: how he got the title, the origins of the white suit, and how the former amateur obstetrician built the world's greatest chicken empire - a journey he began in his 60s while on social security.
AND Rachel cooks and eats her first beef heart (get it?! "heart") with crowdcow.com founder Ethan Lowry.