episode 41 :: the food tube


In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of a very food rich television season. With shows like Top Chef Masters, No Reservations, The F Word, and The Next Food Network Star in full swing, and a new season of Top Chef on the horizon, it’s an entertainment-rich environment for foodies.

It’s been a year and a half since King Corn hit the big screen, so I wanted to remind those who haven’t yet seen it to do so. I pulled a few clips from the movie to tease you with the films message of how corn is changing everything (and I mean everything) about food. I highly encourage you to either rent it, or buy your copy on the films web site.

Listen to episode 41 now.

In this episode:
• The most content-rich Summer in food television history
Ludo Bites
Charles Thompson’s 100 Miles
• Is tuna becoming endangered?
• Welcome new listeners
Jennifer Litz at FoodBytes, the future of food writing – no, writing period.
FACT – Food Animal Concerns Trust
• Season 6 of Top Chef, featuring Chef Michael Voltaggio from The Bazaar
• Padma leaving Top Chef for a sitcom, and my idea for her new sitcom
• Julie & Julia opens August 7th

Listen to episode 41

Music in this episode from The Prodigy. Download “Spitfire” from the iTunes Store.


  1. I really like The F Word. The rest of Ramsey’s shows are just crap, though. Kitchen Nightmares looks set up and Hell’s Kitchen is nothing but him yelling at these prep cooks for an hour every week. I wish he’d do more shows like the F word.

    Great show, Phil. Really like the music too. I’m going to download that song from iTunes. I always like the music you play, but lately you’ve been playing some really good stuff. I bought an entire album’s worth last month.

    Love the intro too. I thought it was a real newscast at first.

    Take care,


  2. Hey Phil, great show. It is so nice that you mention the new listeners by name. It’s always a thrill to hear your name mentioned somewhere.

    I remember the hoopla over King Corn when you played clips before, but I never got a chance to see it. We don’t get very many documentaries where we live. I’ll have to buy the DVD. I’ll see if it’s available on Amazon.

    It was so funny when you talked about all of the new food shows, then got to the next Food Network star. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t heard it yet. It was comedy without saying a word. And I couldn’t agree more either. It just seems to get worse and worse.

    Keep the shows coming. We love it.


  3. Your teasers are SO effective. Sadly, I am an office drone with no speakers on her computer. I will listen to your podcast when I get home. Looks like a terrific line up!

  4. Funny stuff, Phil. Loved your whole rant on Padma and her potential new show. I think they should go with it! It’d be like Top Chef meets The Fugitive.

    Looking forward to the new stuff on television. Really enjoyed your recaps. Obviously you left out Hell’s Kitchen for a reason. I wonder if that is even a food show.

  5. Leitch, thanks for your comments. There are a lot of shows that I didn’t mention and Hell’s Kitchen is certainly one that I don’t see as a real food show. I’m not sure what that is.

    Michelle, thanks for checking out King Corn. It really is a powerful documentary and it goes hand in hand with Food, Inc. However “propaganda” it may seem, there are a lot of facts in that movie that cannot be denied. And you’re getting a lot of those facts from the most reliable source imaginable — the people who raise the cattle.

    Gastronomer – thanks for even thinking of listening! I love your blog, and it never ceases to make me hungry. And I know what being stuck in the office is like when you want to listen to audio.

    And thanks, Paul. I appreciate that you found humor in the show. And I wholeheartedly agree with you about Hell’s Kitchen.

  6. Thanks for the shoutout! I’m so starstruck 🙂

    Your ripping on Salman Rushie was hilarious. But make no mistake: That old man can be pretty hot to some young literati. I interviewed him at the Texas Book Festival a coupla years ago; he was so nice, I thought, “damn that Padma. There’s no way I can compete.” Of course, they’re divorced now … I should have pounced when I had the chance!

    • There’s that thing again, where you girls show how cerebral you are. 🙂 Obviously, those who’ve married him have found his brain (and I’m sure, his charisma) as the attraction. Sorry I had to use him as the brunt of my joke, but it was the only idea I had at the time. Obviously, I respect him as a writer.

      Thanks for listening, and for commenting, Jennifer. You inspired a lot of the material this time. I’m not going to re-hash it any more than I have already, but I thought it was the right time to do it, on the heels of Food, Inc., etc.

  7. Robert and I listened last night. Another great show — thanks so much for the shout out and the inclusion. I am honored to be a part, and really, really appreciate it! Love that you keep hammering away at how bad corp. food is. It’s so easy to forget how awful it is and to continue eating all the poison they put on shelves. It takes real diligence not to eat it. Have to Netflix ‘King Corn’ especially after seeing Food Inc., and learning that corn is in EVERYTHING. Love all the riffs on all the food shows. Padma, oh please. And the music. More great music. It’s all good, Phil!

    • You are way too kind as always, Charles. Thank you! And I’m proud to be a member of this LA Food Blogger Posse with you. I’m in good company.

      I hope I don’t sound like a broken record with this corporate food thing – and I’ll take it easy, at least for a while. I just wanted to make sure it’s fresh in everyone’s minds.

      Cheers, Charles!

  8. Loving the last few shows, Phil. Really great. I recently finished reading Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and it was very good. Just like the documentary King Corn that you mentioned, a lot of the information in his book is about corn and there is an entire chapter on High Fructose Corn Syrup, which as we now know is in pretty much everything in grocery stores (and some things not in grocery stores).

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it. The best part about the book was the “dilemma.” Much like rats and cockroaches, we can eat just about anything. Koala bears and many other species are specialists, but we’re generalists.

    That is our dilemma. What should we eat?

  9. Phil! Awesome show as always, we really really enjoy listening to your show, so informational and funny at the same time. (And by the way I am fan of your show for life too!!!)
    I feel the same way about Top Chef Masters, but I can’t wait for the new season of Top Chef, especially with Chef Michael Voltaggio his food is amazing we enjoyed it few times!
    Thanks again Phil for your Awesome entertaining shows, keep them coming.

    • Thank you SO MUCH, Afaf. So now I have TWO fans for life??? I am stoked!!! 😀

      I appreciate that you guys took the time to listen together. And I really can’t wait to watch this new season of Top Chef. It’s the first time we all know a chef on the show! How cool is that?

  10. hey phil,
    been busy as a tweeked-out bee, but wanted to let you know, i’ve been listening and loving the new season thus far.
    don’t know if you caught this article in the NYtimes mag this week:
    but i thought it tied in to the last episode, most definitely.
    the salman rushdie bit! hilarious!!!

    anyway, keep it up, dude.

    (how bout them brewers!) 🙂

    • Thanks for the link, and for your comments Nik! That is an awesome article, and I’m putting that on my to-read list for everyone. So funny. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

  11. Phil,
    Thanks so much for the shout out! Totally unexpected…you made my day!

    The show was great as always. I have only just recently started watching Top Chef (on your advice) and got in on Top Chef Masters. I really like Rick Bayless and hope he wins. I look forward to the upcoming season of the show so I can experience the “real” Top Chef.

    Conversely, I am absolutely disgusted with The Next Food Network Star. I loved your slam of the show and it is totally justified. I have (unfortunately) watched every season of TNFNS, hoping beyond hope that they will pick someone who is at least somewhat interesting and fun to watch. Nope, stiffed again. They choose yet ANOTHER Rachel Raye clone over an actual chef with an interesting take and good skills. Really?! They’ve picked (in my opinion) only one semi-decent “star” in what, 5 seasons? Well, that’s it for me…I’m DONE with it. Last year was a joke with that Aaron whatever-his-name-was chosen the winner. Two years ago the winner didn’t even want to do a show and pulled out after a handful of episodes. If the winners are such “stars” why do they bury their shows within the early Sunday morning schedule? Ridiculous.

    I’ve been a fan of Tony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” for some time now. II followed him from “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network, and, although I know he hates being associated with the FN, I always found that show to be a welcome departure from their normal fare. I’m looking forward to the rest of this new season of NR.

    I must admit I like Hell’s Kitchen. No, it’s not a cooking show, but it can be hilarious at times. It is wearing a bit thin now though and is becoming very predictable. I guess I’ll watch anything Gordon Ramsey does. I like the F-Word, but I think my favorite GR show is the BBC version of Kitchen Nightmares. I’ve seen them all at least two or three times (they need to make more!).

    Phil, thanks again for mentioning me in your show. It really meant a lot to me. Put me down on the “fan for life” list!

    ; )

    • Thanks Steve! Wow, obviously you’re getting the passion. Look at your comments!! 🙂

      Good to know I have another “fan for life!” I love it. And yes, you hit the nail on the head. In regards to quality food shows, some aren’t great quality and don’t stand with the rest. But there’s entertainment in just about every one of them. Maybe not our kind of cooking/food education entertainment, but fun to watch nonetheless. Didn’t Ramsey almost get his ass kicked on that show by one of his contestants a few weeks ago? That had to be a ratings boost.

      Thanks again, Steve. I love your passion for this stuff.

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