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 email@example.com 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.
Top Chef Season 14 winner Brooke Williamson talks about life behind the scenes on Rachel's favorite reality TV show, how much of the improvised cooking is truly off the cuff, and the simple joys of dough.
Of course you can't talk about donuts without mentioning their biggest fans: Cops. So we've got three of Seattle's finest in-studio for a taste-test of their favorite beat treats. We get to the bottom of the (apparently true?) stereotype, and learn about the muddled history - and spelling - of America's favorite confection.
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2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Sir Mix-A-Lot's monster hit "Baby Got Back." (I know, right?!) Rachel asks the rapper/producer about his iconic tribute to tush, what the song really means, and why it was good getting banned from MTV.
OH, BUT THE FOOD! YLM goes down to Louisiana to uncover the difference between Cajun and Creole (cuisine and culture) from Chef & TV host John Folse, author of The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, and Louisiana Eats' Poppy Tooker. Rachel also talks to Georgea Pappas, daughter of the founder of Pappadeux: the home of Texas Redfish Ponchartrain and a favorite of Hip Hop's finest.
Dan Pashman's podcast "The Sporkful" is one of Rachel's favorite shows and one of the most popular food podcasts on iTunes. On this week's YLM, Dan schools us on the most delicious way to eat pizza and burgers and explains why his six-and-a-half year old daughter is a better dinner date than his wife. Plus, the history of the tortilla with Jeffrey Pilcher, author of Planet Taco, and prepare to get hungry as we break down the Phorrito (pho + burrito!!) invented by Chef Erwin Tjahyadi at Komodo in Los Angeles.
Known to millions as "Mary Ann," one of Gilligan's Island's seven iconic castaways, Dawn Wells is a television legend. So sit right back, and you'll hear a tale - a tale of Dawn's nostalgic past, a philosophy professor's take on the ethics of eating animals, and food facts from a precocious 9 year-old Ginger on this episode of YLM.
Matthew Inman's "The Oatmeal" (theoatmeal.com) is one of the most popular webcomics on the entire internet. His game "Exploding Kittens" holds the record for the most successful Kickstarter game campaign of all time ($8.8m of its $10k goal!), so for his last meal we had to bring in the big guns...
Have you seen "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" about 91 year-old Jiro Ono, Japan's greatest sushi chef? His apprentice Shiro Kashiba was the man who brought sushi to Seattle, and he joins Rachel in-studio to tell us about the history of sushi, the proper way to enjoy Matthew's final dish, and why he's still working 5 nights a week at his restaurant Sushi Kashiba at Seattle's Pike's Place Market. SPOILER ALERT: It's because he's a delightful human being.
If you want to participate in Matthew's Beat the Blerch race, sign up or get info at beattheblerch.com. Original music on YLM by Prom Queen.
Celebrity Librarian (yes - that's a thing), and regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition Nancy Pearl is one of Rachel's favorite people. And she isn't your average librarian: She's been made into an action figure, had a bluegrass band named after her, and her best-selling Book Lust series - a collection of thematic reading lists that cater to every mood, occasion, and personality - has helped millions of people discover their new favorite stories.
Nancy's choice for last meal is as classic as a dusty old tome: good ol' macaroni and cheese. But homemade? Or from the ubiquitous blue box? Which of the boxes is best? And where in the world did that powdered cheese stuff come from?! Rachel has answers to all of these questions and more on this latest YLM!
Former drummer of indie-rock icons The Shins and current hatch green chile empresario Jesse Sandoval joins Rachel on this week's YLM to discuss bringing New Mexico's much-loved pepper to the masses, the band's fallout with fans after "selling-out" in a McDonalds ad, and with which Golden Girl would Jesse most like to eat cheesecake.
We also learn about Jesse's last meal by talking to 3rd-generation Valencian paella chef Perfecte Rocher (who LA Weekly called the best paella chef in Los Angeles), and we get the history of saffron - a key ingredient in the dish and one of the most expensive spices on Earth! All that and more on this episode of Your Last Meal!