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10 Things in the Food World We Loved in October
Including a one-recipe cookbook, a short documentary about women in food, and Ina's latest release.
10-31-2020
America's Test Kitchen

One of the things all of us at America's Test Kitchen have in common—no matter what department we work in, whether it's in the kitchen or at a desk—is a love of food. And not just eating and cooking it, but learning about it. We talk about the latest food podcasts with coworkers, share interesting articles in Slack, and have long email chains about what food-related activities we're doing after work or on the weekends.

That's why we decided to start a series where we share the things we loved over the course of the previous month: things that made us think, things that made us laugh, things that reminded us why we relish being a part of the food world. If we enjoyed them, we thought you might, too.

In the latest installment of the series (you can find the other months' lists here), we've got 10 things that we loved in October, submitted by ATK staff members from all over the company. The list includes a destination for diverse food radio, our favorite of Sohla's El Waylly's post-Bon Appetit ventures, and a few social media accounts worth following.

Anyone who’s been to Parachute (Chicago's James Beard Award–winning, Michelin-starred Korean fusion restaurant) knows the Bing Bread. It's a fried-then-baked; bacon-, potato-, scallion-stuffed; bacon-fat brushed masterpiece that's served with sour cream butter. If I could, I’d hop a plane to go get more, but in the meantime, I’m gonna order their Bing Bread Cookbook. It’s a one-recipe tome that chef/owners Bevery Kim and Johnny Clark made in collaboration with (ATK's own) Kevin Pang, and it details the restaurant’s exact method. This is the weekend cooking project you’ve been waiting for. (And for anyone in the Chicagoland area: The restaurant is back open for takeout with a gorgeous new menu.) — Liz Bomze, Cook's Illustrated Managing Editor

Heritage Radio Network is a non-profit radio station and podcast network all about food. They broadcast from two recycled shipping containers behind Roberta’s Pizza in Brooklyn, and produce over 35 different shows about every aspect of food you can think of. I was just recently introduced to them when they launched a new kids' show, Time for Lunch, but they have been making shows for adults since 2009 that feature some really big names in the culinary industry. With shows like Feast Yr Ears with Harry Rosenblum, Soul with Chef Todd Richards and Inside Julia's Kitchen from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, they seem to have something for everybody! — Chad Chenail, Podcast Producer

3. Sohla El-Waylly's new YouTube series, Stump Sohla

You might be familiar with Sohla El-Waylly from her stint at Bon Appétit where she was the unofficial resident expert on . . . just about everything (and there are supercut fan videos to prove it). Now, since her departure from the magazine and test kitchen it seems like she's everywhere—from a profile in Vulture to a new Food52 show—and it's all so well-deserved.

My favorite of her recent ventures is Stump Sohla, the newest addition to Andrew Rea's Babish Culinary Universe on YouTube. She starts every show by spinning a giant game show–style wheel that puts a spin (sorry) on her challenge for the day—things like cooking macaroni and cheese using techniques and ingredients from the 18th century, creating a tasting menu made from items found at a convenience store, and making Halloween candy that's actually scary.

The show plays on all of Sohla's strengths—her playful and casual-yet-meticulous approach to food, her enthusiastic and creative can-do attitude, and her serious technique chops. You can tell she has a great rapport with the crew behind the cameras, and it's clear she's having a lot of fun. She's open to failing, and does so with grace, self-depricating charm, and a wicked sense of humor (though she has yet to be "stumped").

With all of the show's whimsy it's almost easy to overlook the fact that not only does Sohla know her stuff, she's also a phenomenal teacher. She walks you through the steps of every part of the process, and explains things in a way that's approachable and lighthearted but really showcases her wealth of knowledge. Do I need to know the ins and outs of creating a beet caramel or how to make a spaetzle mac and cheese over an open flame? Probably not. But with Sohla teaching, I'm thrilled to learn. — Brenna Donovan, Assistant Editor, Cookbooks

Let me start by saying that almost any Ina Garten recipe qualifies as comfort food for me, as the vast majority of my meals growing up came from her repertoire. Her most recent book, Modern Comfort Food, is comprised entirely of classic "comfort foods," so I knew I had to check it out. Luckily, my mom had preordered it and it arrived in time for a recent visit. It's chock full of cozy, hearty dishes like baked pastas, chocolatey desserts, and stews, with a few jazzed up vegetable dishes for good measure. While I was there, my mom made the Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese with Creamy Tomato Soup and the Skillet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes. I love both grilled cheese and tomato soup but never really make them at home, so this was a special treat. Who knew extra sharp cheddar and mango chutney paired so well together? As for the chicken, Ina is truly the queen of roast chicken so you cannot go wrong. After the buttermilk-marinated thighs cook, you cook the potatoes in the leftover schmaltz and as Ina always says: "How bad could that be?" — Sarah Sandler, Social Media Coordinator

5. The ReluctantEntertainer Instagram account

The "Reluctant Entertainer" is Sandy Coughlin, a lover of food and family. Her Instagram account is full of what she calls "the big board"—oversized platters of sharable food, from donuts and tacos to salads and burgers. Her goal is to bring people together with food and love, opening their hearts to others through hospitality. She is a big proponent of family gatherings and sharable meals. As someone who also loves to host, I love that each of her big boards is themed and fun.!They're a great way to feast the eyes and the soul. — Sara Mayer, Senior Editor, Cookbooks

6. A Woman's Place documentary on Hulu

This 29-minute documentary is like a good restaurant dish: It's beautiful to look at and it keeps you wanting more. It features three women at different stages of their culinary careers—London-trained butcher Etana Diaz, Oakland chef Marielle Fabie, and Minneapolis restaurateur Karyn Tomlinson—as they reflect on past experiences, future plans, and challenges of choosing careers in the industry. Commissioned by KitchenAid and directed by Academy Award-winning directer Rayka Zehtabchi, the film is quietly moving and hopeful, and its stars show how much grit, grace, and resilience it takes to be successful in the male-dominated restaurant industry. —Mari Levine, Web Managing Editor

7. General Assembly's Cultural Appropriation in Food panel with Studio ATAO

One good thing about the past few months is that book readings, concerts, and talks are just a click away. In mid-October, some ATK colleagues and I all attended a discussion on cultural appropriation in food hosted by Studio ATAO and General Assembly. The following day, we hopped on Zoom to share our thoughts and how we can do a better job at ATK. We had plenty to talk about. The conversation—which was hosted by Jenny Dorsey and featured Preeti Mistry, Jocelyn Ramirez, and Aaron Hutcherson—was lively and thought-provoking. It was grounded in a tangible, relatable passion for food and a commitment to getting things right, two things my coworkers and I can very much relate to. You can watch a recording here. (Be sure to listen for the story about the Scotch egg!) And if you’re interested in catching future events in this series, check out Studio ATAO’s Instagram and Facebook. — Kate Shannon, ATK Reviews Deputy Editor

8. The SaltySeattle Instagram account

Pasta powerhouse Linda Miller Nicholson is based in Seattle and makes incredible plant-dyed pasta art. I've known about her work for a while, but started following her on Instagram only recently when she posted a beautiful tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg made out of (you guessed it) pasta. Her work is inherently beautiful and also political, as she uses her platform to encourage folks to vote and to raise issues she cares about.

She also offers virtual hands-on pasta-making workshops—I am incredibly tempted to join her upcoming Jack-O'-Lantern Ravioli class because they're just so darn cute! I highly recommend giving her Instagram account a follow and learning more about her—and ordering a copy of her boook, Pasta, Pretty Please—over at her website. — Afton Cyrus, ATK Kids Senior Editor

9. The MashUp Americans newsletter

This free weekly email newsletter, part of mashupamericans.com, is "your guide to hyphen-America." The site was created by two women, Amy S. Choi and Rebecca Lehrer, and the stories are always thought-provoking, entertaining, moving, and informative. Like this piece on why galbi reigns supreme, or this one about a women's motorcycle group in Nigeria. They also have an excellent podcast— Lisa McManus, ATK Reviews Executive Editor

10. The MenWithThePot TikTok account

If you love food and the outdoors, MenWithThePot on TikTok is the perfect account for you to follow. The owners of the account cook a variety of recipes—carbonara with homemade pasta, a skillet pizza, the perfect fried chicken—in the middle of the forest over an open fire. Their tools of choice are usually their trusty cast-iron skillet and handcrafted knives, along with other non-electric cooking utensils. Thanks to the close-up shots and high-quality sound, you'll find yourself mesmerized and relaxed as you scroll through their feed. — Danielle Lapierre, Digital Content Producer