The Unsinkable José Andrés Feeds the World | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

JOIN! 12 Weeks for $1

Episode 807
March 28, 2024

The Unsinkable José Andrés Feeds the World

The Unsinkable José Andrés Feeds the World

José Andrés returns to tell us how he feeds millions with World Central Kitchen. Plus, he reveals his secret ingredient for chicken stock and his special method for cooking eggs. Also on this week’s show: silversmith Andreas Fabian takes an artist's look at spoons and "spoonness"; Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette uncover the language of restaurants; and we share our favorite new way to make cakes with our recipe for Brazilian-Style Chocolate-Glazed Carrot Cake.

Questions in this episode:

"I brought back za'atar from a trip to Istanbul. How should I use it at home?"

"I have four cans of sweetened condensed milk. Is there anything I can use them for besides desserts?"

Jose at market 1

Christopher Kimball: This is Milk Street Radio from PRX. I'm your host Christopher Kimball. Jose Andres is at his core a great organizer. He runs 31 restaurants and has fed millions of people after natural disasters and in war zones. But he is of course also a chef with his own flair. For example, Jose would never make chicken stock without one special ingredient.

Jose Andres: That flavor. Is that like, cheese that your mom gave you before you fall asleep when you were a little kid.

CK: Later in the show, Jose Andres shares his culinary secrets, plus stories from World Central Kitchen. But first, we're taking a look inside the utensil drawer. Andreas Fabian is a silversmith with a particular interest in spoons. In fact, he was awarded a PhD for his research on spoons and spoon nests. Unlike the rest of us, he pays attention to one of life's most commonplace objects. Andreas, welcome to Milk Street.

Andreas Fabian: Thank you very much for the invitation.

CK: You really like spoons a lot. I'll quote from you. “People just don't think about spoons in their day to day lives. We question everything else in life, but we never question spoons”. So how would you define a spoon? Or how would you define spoon this in your words.

AF: So, a spoon is a really interesting object. Because it's a vessel and the utensil in one object, it's got a hand and has got a bowl. So, I think that's that's from a design point of view, the essence of a spoon. And I think especially the things we always take for granted, in my opinion, are normally the most interesting ones like paper clips, and a nail and a pencil. I think when you look how influential a spoon or a pencil were in the history of mankind, there are probably much more influential than many, many other things.

CK: Okay, so let's go back in time. So, give us a brief history from I’ll say the Middle Ages on how did the spoon evolve?

AF: So basically, the first spoon like we know nowadays is about 5000 BC, and I found it in Anatolia in Turkey. And some were found, I think, 6000 years in Egypt, and they were carved from bones or from ivory. And then until the Middle Ages, the handles were very short, because people were not holding the spoon between the fingers like they do nowadays. So, in the past, they did it intuitively, like a child will do. And nowadays, we have to learn how to handle a spoon between our fingers. So, it's not intuitively at all anymore.

CK: So, in other words, they pick up a spoon with it in their fists.

AF: In their fists exactly like a child and just in their fist. But then at that time, people didn't have the so-called table manners and etiquette and everything like that, which came from the 17th century from France. And that's also when they started to introduce the fork. And what I think is really, really interesting is that when etiquette kicked in, the handles on the spoons became longer and longer. So, people always think that the handles became longer because of hygienic reasons, which is just not the case. The reason is, because at that time, in the 17th century, everything became much more sophisticated of the royal court. So, the language became more sophisticated. The furniture, the fashion, manners in general became more sophisticated. And that had an impact on the table culture as well. So, the handles move more and more away from the food. So that's another way of showing that we are not animals.

CK: You know, it's so that's sort of interesting, because I just finished a book about the courts, (brilliant) at that time. And, you know, head lice were common, the teeth often would fall out or were black. And were just horrendous. And you know, they didn't pay very often. So, there were some parts of that world which were very sophisticated. But other parts make me so glad I was not alive in the 16th or 1700s right.

AF: Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's a lot about the facade. It's almost like showing off. (Right, exactly). Coming back to the royal court. What I've personally found really, really interesting is when you think about the hall of mirrors in Versailles, I'm sure that the mirrors had an impact on our table manners, because that was the first time we could see ourselves how other people would see us. So, we started to control ourselves. The invention of a mirror was almost parallel to the development of table etiquette, then I find that quite fascinating.

CK: And one thing that strikes me about some of your writing, I'll just quote, “we go into a restaurant. Just the notion that your spoon has been in the mouths of 1000s of other people already. Yeah, it's quite a disturbing thought” and the whole idea of play eats or spoons or utensils, being private and public at the same time is something that's strikes you as interesting or odd, right?

AF: Yeah. Yeah, because it's not only about public and private, it's about the intimacy of a spoon. There are not that many things we put into our mouths. But a spoon is one of them.

CK: You're right. I mean, you wouldn't use someone else's toothbrush. Yeah, you do use someone else's spoon. So, you designed a spoon based on some back and forth with a chef named Charles Michel. It's called the gute spoon. And it's similar in shape to a human finger. So how did that design come to life?

AF: Yeah, I met Charles Michel. He's, he's a wonderful cook, researcher, etc. So, I asked him, what was the best compliment people ever made to you? And he said, when people lick the plate, and I thought, Wow, great. And then we started to think what else do people do when they do it privately. And one thing is they put their finger into creamy things and lick their fingers. And we thought, we want to bring the sensual pleasure back to the people and rather than moving them away from the food, so we designed that good spoon, which is a bit like a drop shape. And when you put that in your mouth, you have got the food around it. And in a spoon, you have only got it in the bowl, and just a tiny little bit underneath. Where's the gute, it goes around the form. Of course, you can't use the good for really liquid soups, but you can use it for creamy stuff.

CK: One thing that strikes me I know in West Africa, I was in Senegal a few years ago, when you're cooking, you took a little dab of food sort of on your hand, or the back of your hand, and you lick it. And that's how you taste food as you're cooking it. And I started doing that myself. And the experience is totally different than if you just took a taste from the spoon itself. How you taste that food totally changes the taste.

AF: Yeah. Which I think is brilliant because it reminds me of a movie I saw a few years ago, there was a little Indian boy invited to a German family. And the first evening they presented him a western style meal and gave him fork knife spoon, and he just used his fingers. And then they said to him, why don't you use the fork and spoon? Yeah, but then I don't feel the texture of the food anymore. I don't feel the temperature of it anymore. It's a totally different experience. And I might not like it anymore. Yeah. And I find that really, really interesting. It's the intimacy as you said. And also, that's part of what we want to get back was our utensils we are designing.

CK: So, you mentioned a movie in your writings. Emily Eating Soup. What is that movie, I couldn't find it.

AF: It's just a clip basically, I wanted to film someone just using a spoon and eating soup. I just wanted to record the movement. But the key thing was at the end, there was a drop the drop dripped back into the plate. And that little drop at the bottom of a spoon affected her whole-body language. Basically, we don't want that drop to drop on the tablecloth. We don't want to drop on the clothes, and we take it to the public and people say oh, that person can't eat has got no manners. And I find that absolutely fascinating that one drop can change our whole-body language.

CK: You have little sort of folksy bits of information, you say in Germany, when you die, the expression is you give away your spoon. What does that come from? What what does that mean?

AF: When you think about the spoon, that's the very first eating you answer. We are fed when we are young are babies and this problem is the very last month when we are fed again just before we die and basically in Germany, there's a saying you give it away. You don't eat any more you just die. And sometimes when you go to graveyards you can even nowadays you can find sometimes people put little spoons somewhere. So, there's so many sayings about the spoon but shows how important it is a spoon is not only a practical thing to eat with, it has also got ritual function. When you think about questioning spoons, souvenir spoons, people buy spoons when they travel around the world and take their wisdom is just as a souvenir and just look at them without using them. There are many collectors of spoons in the world.

CK: Well, someday, you may invent the ultimate spoon. And they'll call it the Andrea spoon. Maybe.

AF: This is really interesting. I've always been asked to Andreas, what's the ultimate spoon? I’ll say it doesn't exist. There might be ultimate spoons for different contexts. That's it's always depending on the context for what do I want to use it? Where do I want to use it? So, we always need a certain variation.

CK: Andres Thank you. Beauty, simplicity, design and philosophy all in one. Thanks so much.

AF: It was a pleasure to talk to you.

CK: That was silversmith Andreas Fabien. He runs his own design studio in Berlin. Now it's time to answer your cooking questions with my co-host Sara Moulton. Sara is of course the star of Sara's Weeknight Meals on public television and also author of Home Cooking 101

Sara Moulton: So, Chris, before we get going here, I just was wondering what is your favorite way to cook fish?

CK: I have lots of ways. First of all, I've adopted Kenji Lopez Alts, this is a classic Japanese technique of salting fish. (Yeah) And I do that overnight, especially with salmon. And so, when you cook it, it doesn't have that smell. I mean, I cook some salmon the other day and forgot to salt it and I can still smell the salmon three days later.

SM: So, this is no skin on?

CK: You do center cut filets, yeah you salt them, let them sit, and then you cook them and you don't get that white albumin because it holds onto the proteins and it also concentrates the flavor and salts it. That's a great way to cook it. There are two ways I do it. I put it in a skillet with a little bit of liquid on lemon slices and parsley stems. Steam at essentially for 10 to 12 minutes. That's a really simple thing and you can make a sauce out of what's left in there. The other thing I do is use a stovetop, sort of griddle you heat it up for two or three minutes, right on the stovetop, it's not electric. And without any oil or anything. You put the salmon right in there. You cook it, flip it over halfway takes maybe three or four minutes to cook. You get this incredible crust. It's just amazing. I mean you don't have to put it on a grill or anything else. It just works really well. So, I like those two methods.

SM: It's interesting you brought up salmon because I met any old fish, but you weren't right for salmon which is you know yummy fish that we should all be eating a lot of anyway. And now I know the salt thing I'm going to do that but what I do is I and don't laugh I get these parchment bags. I cook it in a bag (of course you do) but I don't do the fancy folding although I can you know the French thing fish en Papillote. I put the salmon in with sliced chilies and orange and oddly enough rosemary I don't know why and oil cured olives (rosemary is a bit odd). It is it's a very robust herb but so is salmon it is true. And then a little bit of orange juice, lemon juice and fold up the bag and the great thing about cooking it in the bag is (a) you can stick a knife right through the bag to see when it's done. But also, the house doesn't stink. If you cook it in a bag. It doesn't smell fishy. That's it. It's also yummy. I should have started there. I should have started there it’s really tasty.

CK: Your new fish book is going to be the house doesn't stink. The art and practice of fish cookery

SM: The recipe is delicious. Okay, that too. All right.

CK: All right. Let's take a call.

SM: Welcome to Milk Street. Who's calling?

Caller: Hi, this is Ann in New York City.

SM: Hi Ann in NYC how can we help you?

Caller: Well, my son and I went to Istanbul. And there were so many wonderful spices there that we brought home. And the one we liked the best when we were there was za’atar. But we don't really know what to do with it now that we have it at home.

SM: Oh,

CK: Send it to us.

SM: Yeah, well, yeah. I'm going to give this a shot. And then Chris is going to tell you 5 million ways to use it, but I'm just going to start. So, you know what it's made of za’atar is made of Za’atar which is a wild herb, sort of like wild thyme and maybe a little reminiscent also of oregano. And then it's combined with a few other things. Generally, those other things are sesame seeds and sumac. And sumac is very lemony. So essentially what you have is a spice mix that is both herbal and lemony. So anywhere you would like those two elements to be introduced to a dish, you should reach for the Za’atar. You know, when you roast vegetables, when you roast a chicken, I'd add it to scrambled eggs, combine it with olive oil and drizzle it on bread. Well, that sounds good. You can put it on top of yogurt. Get it into the oil and then put it on top of the yogurt or on top of hummus. Oh, really just see it as a nice herby lemony spice mix

CK: I’ve sourced lots of different za’atars they're really not very good. And Reem Kassis who wrote The Palestinian Table, I visited her and her family in Palestine. And then her parents also live in Jerusalem. And her mother sent me a bag of she picked the za’atar and made it herself. (Wow) And it was like, oh my God, it was like the best thing I've ever had in my life. It was phenomenal. We I think we used it all up in about four weeks. So, the difference between the real thing and what you get in the store, there's a big spice market did you go there?

Caller: Yes, we went to the big spice market and the person we were with brought us to sort of an alley behind the spice market (Okay) to some guy he knows that makes good

CK: Good for you because I find that spice market some of that stuff is not

SM: In big tubs of it.

Caller: It’s pretty touristy

CK: It’s very touristy, so anyway, so the good stuff is more Secondly, it does have sumac in it and sesame seeds other things, but I find that most za’atar mostly tastes like thyme slash oregano. I use it as a base spice like you know if you go to a lot of place in the Middle East every household has their own spice mix and they use it on everything (right) Za’atar is a really wonderful sort of all-purpose thing and I think Sara's you know, eggs chicken, I put it on chicken every time it roasted chicken. It's great. I actually use it in tomato sauce sometimes.

Caller: Really?

CK: Yeah, I think of it as a baseline foundational spice mix. You can use, you know, goes on virtually everything. It goes on fish, it goes on chicken, and it goes on meat, you can use that anything. The quality makes all the difference, and the good stuff is not related to the not good stuff. Okay, so it sounds like you got the good stuff so

SM: Yeah. it does.

Caller: Yeah

CK: How much did you buy by the way? Did you buy a big bag of it or a small bag or

Caller: You know, they vacuum sealed it so it would stay fresh for us. It's probably as big as a dinner napkin.

CK: Yeah, well, that's pretty good. If you ever go back, you'll get one the size of a pillowcase because you realize how good it is. There was a wonderful social media thing a couple years ago, Reem sent it to me of women from the Middle East, tasting za’atar (oh dear) and they just were like, they threw it out. It was like this is garbage.

Caller: That is funny. I want to look up that too.

CK: It was pretty funny. Anyway, it sounds like you got the good stuff. So

SM: Yay.

Caller: I hope so. Thank you I’ll let you know how it turns out.

SM: All right.

CK: Bye. This is Milk Street Radio. If you're struggling with a recipe, give us a call anytime. Our number 855-426-9843 one more time 855-426-9843. Or you can email us at questions at Milk Street Welcome to Milk Street. Who's calling?

Caller: This is Sharon Cantor from California.

CK: How can we help you?

Caller: I have a crazy question. When my husband was sent to the store for evaporated milk, he tends to come home with condensed sweetened milk. And now I have four cans, I have no idea what to do with them other than make desserts. So, I would love to find some wholesome healthful recipes for which one could use sweetened condensed milk?

CK: The short answer is if you want to actually use any substantial amount of it, other than for desserts, you're probably going to be hard pressed. I mean, sweet and sour is common in most cuisines in the world. So, you could have fish sauce for savory on one side and something sweet on the other. But you're not going to use a can of it. Right? So, I can give you though a recipe. First of all, let's go back. Evaporated milk was invented by Borden back in the mid 19th century because a lot of kids died because fresh milk was full of the bacteria and killed them. So, this was a health issue. And that's why it was shelf stable. You know, sweetened condensed is a sweeter version of that. But there's a lot of desserts, cakes and other things in let's say Central America, Mexico, etc. which use the product because that, you know in a hot climate is the safe way to go. There's a corn cake we actually did. I got from someone in Mexico City at a market that's made with condensed milk. It’s made in a blender, the whole thing. And it's not particularly sweet, (right) He's fresh corn. It's amazing. It has this velvety. It's almost like devil's food cake texture, almost. It has corn flavor, but it's not overly corny. So, I would go find something where you can use a whole can the recipe but it's not particularly sweet. It's also you know, ice cream, if you want to make no churn ice cream, a lot of those recipes are based on sweetened condensed milk. But if you want to use the up a whole can, I can't think of a really savory application where you would need more than a couple of tablespoons, I guess. (Right) I mean, it's shelf stable. So, I wouldn't get that

SM: I bet it might freeze well too after he because there's not a lot of water. I mean, it's like the water’s been evaporated in the can for a while.

Caller: Yeah well, trust me. They've been there through at least one move already.

SM: Yeah. Well, Sharon, one thing you said healthy. I think you have to throw that by the wayside. Because it is as you know, very, very, very sweet. (Yes) So you know, either use it in an application like Chris said in this cornbread, and is that in the magazine?

CK: It's actually a corn cake.

SM: What's it called so she can find it

CK: I think it’s called Mexican corn cake, but it's one of my favorite desserts. It's also it's a blender cake. Right. Basically, it takes two minutes to throw together.

SM: Yeah, so that sounds like but I had another suggestion. Either Thai iced coffee or Thai iced tea. (Or Vietnamese iced coffee). That too. I mean, yes, Southeast Asian.

Caller: That's a great idea. hadn't even thought of that.

SM: Yeah, but I agree with Chris. Those cans will last.

CK: Just put the cans in your will. So, the next generation

SM: Right there with fruitcake,

Caller: No but this can actually ensure longevity. I can't die until all these cans are used up. There

SM: There you go. So, tablespoon a year

CK: I've been looking for a way to do this. That's really good. I like that. I'm going to go and buy lots of cans now.

SM: Yes.

Caller: Just don't send them to California

SM: Okay Sharon

Caller: Thank you so much for your call and I so appreciate your suggestions and recommendations. This is great.

SM: Okay. Take care.

CK: Bye.

Caller: Bye.

CK: This is Milk Street Radio coming up the world according to Jose Andres, that's up after the break. Hey, this is Chris Kimball and I need your help. We're working on a story about the battles we all have in our home kitchens. Maybe you're tired of your partner telling you how to cook. Or maybe they always leave a mess. Or maybe you're frustrated by your loved ones highly restrictive diet. We want to hear about your kitchen dramas from the biggest food fights to your everyday grievances. You can leave us a voicemail at 617-249-3167. 617-249-3167 or send a voice memo to radio tips at 177 Milk One more time, call us at 617-249-3167 or email us a voice memo at Radio tips at 177 Milk Please include your name and where you're calling from and thank you. This is Milk Street Radio I'm your host Christopher Kimball. Just hours after the earthquake and Turkey and Syria in 2023. Jose Andres arrived on site and started feeding people. In the last few years. He's also been to Ukraine, Hawaii, and most recently, Gaza. from natural disasters to warzones Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen have served more than 350 million meals since 2010. Jose also somehow runs 31 restaurants, and his new book is based on his restaurant is a Zaytinya which has locations in New York, Washington, DC and also South Beach. Jose, welcome back to Milk Street.

Jose Luis: Thank you. So happy to be back. Chris.

CK: Let's talk about Asturias. You are from the north coast of Spain as tourists. It is like Brigadoon at some amazing place mountains seashore. So, my first question is, do you ever get the you know the feeling you just want to go back and spend some time there and relax? How do you live away from the stress?

JA: We can write entire book about that. My father and mother met in Asturias; my father was a nurse working in the mountains going from little town to little town taking care of the different villages. I study as is a region of 1 million people. In less than half an hour you can be in some of the highest mountains in Europe. And you can be in less than an hour by the sea next to the fishermen. When I go back, I almost cry. Sometimes I will cry for eight hours or take a plane from a very faraway place, even if it's only to be 24 hours in Asturias. Yes.

CK: So, the first time you worked to serve people after a disaster of some kind or war was that was Haiti the first your first time doing that?

JA: In an emergency situation, yes. But the reason of me going to Haiti was no Haiti itself but moments iin my life before. Obviously, you know, I always been part of DC Central Kitchen. The organization that was founded over 35 years ago by a guy called Robert Egger where we were feeding homeless ex-convicts but also I was a training school for people to become cooks. A place to fight food waste and in the process feeding 10 20,000 homeless a day in Washington DC, a great model. There is so the power of food, to change a community to give dignity to the people that sometimes receive none. But then Katrina happened. The Superdome is specifically how America, how we did it had the response to feed 10 20,000 people in the Superdome. Because arenas and stadiums are full, full of restaurants that the only thing you need to do is open them up. Didn't happen. I saw it, but they didn't do anything about it, thinking about it, thinking about it, then Haiti happened. And I seize the moment I say I have to go. In fires, you send firefighters, when you have to take care of the wounded, you send nurses and doctors. So, the simple idea was who will be the better people to activate in an emergency, a powerful feeding response. And they came to realize that we'll be the cooks that we feed the few, we will be the same people that we will have the network, and then now the knowledge to feed the manyy. That's very much what I began doing in Port au Prince, going to markets, buying the local foot, going back to the camps, picking up some of the people that everybody wanted to volunteer this way, I began making few 1000 meals a day. But what I realize is that the local community is always ready to be the first responders to help their own community. You don't have to look far away for the helpers. The helpers are all around you.

CK: So, the model before you started was to import the help and the food right. And your model was to organize locally, with kitchens that were available, people who want to volunteer, go to the markets source things locally. So, it was a local solution instead of some sort of the imported solution to the problem, right?

JA: When we can, that's why we do not always you can do look in Ukraine, a country that feeds the world experts food to fit closely to 400 million people on planet earth every year. Wow. At the beginning, we were bringing food from outside. Why? Because the factories shut down because they were in mayhem. Russia was invading. But very quickly, we realized that we were serving so many people that what if we help reopen the local factories, employing locally leaving the money locally. This is the way that you have a smarter solution. Because you empower the locals in the process, you are not only taking care of the problem, but you are already investing in a way in the reconstruction.

CK: It seems to me that your ability to organize which is really clear and how you run your restaurants also applied to the world central kitchen. So, you want to just talk about that just for a minute because you have a keen ability to organize people and processes.

JA: Well, yes but one thing I know that we did have a tendency to plan we plan too much. But what happens when things don't go as planned? Well, many people will freeze under the weight of the mayhem. If you embrace the complexity, and you embrace adaptation, anything that happens use, you use it as an opportunity for you to come up with something new. Plans go away and adaptation wins the day. For World Central Kitchen, we're trying to fit people in Gaza. We're doing 350,000 meals a day, we've done more than 34 million meals. It's still we don't feel successful because he's many more than needs food. We are now able to bring more food inside. We're not complaining. We're finding new ways to bring food into Gaza. We've been part of pushing for air drops. Okay, 50 100,000 meals extra they've been brought down every time food drops have happened. We’re thinking about bringing food by boat into the beaches of Gaza. Why are we doing it because we want to be in the news? No, we are coming up with ways that we can keep feeding people no matter what you see, the mission wins. feed everybody as quick as you can bring water to everybody as fast as you can and do whatever it takes to make it happen.

CK: So so, let me just say thank you. I mean your work with World Central Kitchen is amazing. And you do it, which I have a hard time understanding on top of running almost three dozen restaurants and cookbooks your new cookbook Zaytinya is about the Mediterranean. And there are a lot of, you know, really interesting recipes. But I have one in particular, I'd like you to chat about and that is, when you make chicken stock, you add chickpeas. That's the first time I've ever seen that. So, could you explain why you do that?

JA: Seeing how big chickpeas are, obviously, especially because hummus and others in Lebanese cooking. You could argue Turkish but even in Greek, for us was very logical to say, okay, how our chicken stock in a way can be not different but can already be building on that flavor that in a way is the DNA of those regions. So, because we were born in so many chickpeas, we began to realize it that why are we throwing the water away when the water is actually one of the best natural vegetable broths that you can have for anything. And I am very happy that we made this decision many years ago because now when I close my eyes, that flavor of chickpeas, it's almost like a kiss on the cheek when your mom before you go to bed at night will come and we'll give you a kiss on the cheek or she will pass her hand through through the side of your face. I have a feeling that the aroma and the flavor of chickpeas is is that like kiss that your mom gave you before you fall asleep when you were a little kid. That to me why chickpeas belong to our chicken stock.

CK: Now you're a poet too. You're just there's always a new side of you. That was extraordinary. Another thing you fry eggs in olive oil which I see more and more you want to just talk about that because I think that's a really great idea.

JA: I love eggs, and I love fried eggs and these these painting is this painting from Velasquez which is not as Spain if I'm right it’s in a museum in Edinburgh. Why it’s there I don't know. But we should debate and take back our painting. But it's an iconic painting because it's this woman frying an egg in a terracotta casserole. And with a bowl and a spoon which is so traditional in the Spanish version of cooking using wooden spoons. Which actually is great because if you know how to use the wooden spoon the egg white doesn't stick in the same way metal does the egg white has love for metal. I think the egg white wants to have a ring of metal and nobody has ever give a ring to the egg white and that's why the egg white always sticks to the metal I think is because nobody has ever offered to marry the egg white and a ring and that's why attaches to the metal when the metal is no hot enough. And that's why wooden works well sometimes wooden also sticks which this is another conversation. Long story short, Egg white can attach to things because I think needs love because everybody loves the egg yolk and seems egg white is always on the side even now you go to LA and everybody wants egg white omelet which is changing and I hope eggs realize that egg white is receiving equally the same love as egg yolk lately, but going back to the question you asked me no country has more dishes with eggs then in Spain. We adore eggs. Me I like what we call _____ which will be like fritter eggs that at the end what it is is yes the temperature of the oil is higher, yes you don't need much oil but you need to make like a pool. Then you drop the egg and very quickly when the oil is hot enough the egg white itself because how hot the oil is almost at the edge of the beginning of this smoky point it starts opening up forming those bubbles that began growing up like it was a crazy souffle going mad and in that moment if you're quick enough with that quick move right the leaven with the help of that spoon. You make sure that egg why the stars covered the top of the egg jug that is always unprotected. At the end what you have is a crunchy milliard reaction. Crispy dehydration exterior of the egg with a nice softer egg white inside and with the very is slightly warm but still liquidly egg yolk. I love to do those eggs because I like that challenge that almost you are at the edge of failure. But the day I do Wow. I feel so satisfied.

CK: It's interesting because I heard heard a story about the Topkapi Palace. You know, long time ago, they had what? 50 or 60 resident chefs and to get hired, the one dish you had to make were breakfast eggs. That was it. Just eggs. And that was your test that if you couldn't do it, you weren't hired.

JA: Well, it like a French omelet you know, I remember I met Jacque Pepin so many years ago and my God, that guy could cook. But the place I saw he was a genius of geniuses, was when I saw in a cooking class in Aspen, how he made a French omelet with such a simplicity that I know everybody felt like they could do it but this guy was a genius

CK: the way he bangs the handle and gets it the flip is

JA: Oh my God. Listen, I think I make a very dam good French omelet because I made many my life since my navy days and before. But I was always so impressed the way a guy like Mr. Jacque Pepin could get two eggs and a little bit of butter, I forgive him for using the butter. And the way he will achieve it’s no matter what pan you give him, everybody else will complain that their eggs are sticking to the pan. I don't know if he speaks to the pan, or the pans know he's Mr. Jacque Pepin. Like, he's the Santa Claus of culinary world and nothing wrong will happen with him. That's no matter what's the pan, every other mortal the eggs will stick to the pan. You can give him any pan, he will never, he will never get his eggs for the omelet to stick to the pan.

CK: I want to end with a quote from you. Which I really liked, which is “too often charities about the redemption of the giver, when in fact it should be about the liberation of the receiver”. Do you want to just talk for just a minute about that. Because I was, I was struck by that.

JA: I wish that was my phrase, I repeat that phrase so often. That phrase came from Robert Egger, the founder of DC Central Kitchen. And I was roughly 24 When he told me that it's okay you do things because you feel good about it. But at the end of the day, it’s about being unselfish, is about recognizing than to give will always be much more powerful than to receive. We receive so much that we're surrounded by things we don't know what to do with them anymore. But that when you give in a way you feel you're emptying yourself out, in a way is when you are becoming weightless. And that being weightless is what liberates you and allows you to really have an impact in the life of others. So that phrase really was very important. I think I grew up understanding the power of that phrase. I don't even think Robert understood the power of the phrase when he told me that I think he understood, but I don't think he understood that that phrase is one of the great phrases of humanity.

CK: Jose, you're now a poet, a scholar, a chef, a humanitarian the list keeps growing. It's really been a pleasure having you here and chatting with you. Thank you.

JA: Yeah, I mean, you waited for so long to invite me again to your podcast in the No, I don't know. It was my accent what was going on here?

CK: Take care.

JA: Thank you, Chris. I love you.

CK: That was Jose Andres. His new book is called Zaytinya Delicious Mediterranean Dishes from Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. Experts say that we can feed 10 billion people. That's 2 billion more than the world's current population. Although there are many critics of modern agriculture, our ability to produce more food per acre turned Paul Ehrlich's 1960s best seller of The Population Bomb into fiction. Today, the problem is not agriculture. War and politics are the two main reasons that populations starve. And these problems appear intractable until Jose Andres asked a very simple question. Why not use local resources kitchens, chefs and food producers to feed the local population in a crisis. So, in a world that seems headed into darkness, it turns out that the impossible that is feeding the world is actually doable. The solution is simple. Get up early in the morning and just do it. This is Milk Street Radio. After the break Grant Barrett and Martha Burnette reveal the secret language of restaurants. That's coming right up I'm Christopher Kimball, you're listening to Milk Street Radio. Now let's head into the kitchen with Lynn Clark to talk about this week's recipe. Brazilian style chocolate glazed carrot cake. Lynn, how are you?

Lynn Clark: I'm doing well Chris, how are you?

CK: You know, a couple years ago, I came across a blender cake recipe in Mexico, a corn cake. And it got me thinking like, are there other blender cakes around the world and we found one, a Brazilian style carrot cake. It's not anything like the carrot cake of the 1970s. My best decade. But it is fabulous. And it's made in a blender. So how does it work?

LC: It's a really great concept. And this is a really significant part of cake making in Brazil, they do it with corn, they do it with coconut, passionfruit. And in this case, carrots. And I'm not sure why we don't do this more often because it really simplifies cake making. This is kind of very different than what you would think of when you think of carrot cake. The first reason is, it's a Bundt cake, it's not a three-layer confection with cream cheese frosting, it will get a glaze. And the second thing is that it is orange, it looks like carrot. And that's because they use a really great method to make the cake by using the blenders. So, everything goes in the blender, all the wet ingredients, including chunks of carrot, and those carrots get just pureed up. And we didn't realize how much that was going to impact kind of the flavor and the texture of the cake. But when you really break root vegetables down like that, it kind of ruptures their structure, and then it gives off more sugar and more really strong flavor compounds. So, you get really intense natural sweetness from carrot and the earthiness and then also more moisture. So, it's a really moist cake. And then that just gets whisked together with the dry ingredients. So really, really simple process.

CK: Yeah, and also uses oil instead of butter. Another trend I've been thinking about a lot because oil gives you a cake that's moister. And also, last longer. Butter tends to dry out. So that's another reason it's tender. We should also say the texture is unlike carrot cake. It's not course, it's extremely fine. Right?

LC: Right, exactly. Part of the reason why that is is you know a lot of these cakes are made with dairy, sometimes sour cream, but we chose to kind of lean into the tropical nature of this Brazilian cake and use coconut cream, which is that sort of heavy coconut thing you find in the can that you make a pina colada with. What we found when we added that to the cake is not only did we get that really nice coconut flavor, but it made the cake really nice and fluffy and light, which was good because we had all these carrots adding so much moisture, we had the oil adding so much, you know moist texture, that it really nicely balanced out all of those other, you know, more wet ingredients.

CK: So just think if I had this recipe back in the 70s, you know, I would have been popular than

LC: Yeah, you'd have a whole different idea of what carrot cake is

CK: It would have changed my life. And finally, the chocolate glaze, which really you know, at first, I was going chocolate, but it works really well with this cake.

LC: It is really nice here and you know you do sort of think chocolate? carrot cake? it's not what we think of but it doesn't mean it's not delicious. We also sort of added a little bit of orange flavor here too to kind of highlight that color you know like you look at it you're like orange, and nothing is better than chocolate and orange together I don't think so we add a little bit of orange juice, some semi-sweet chocolate and then a little bit of oil for shine and cooler cake and then put that over the top and it's really important to cool this glaze down to room temperature so that it will slide over the cake but not just completely slip off the cake. And then I think the best part of this cake is traditionally done with some very colorful sprinkles on the top, so it makes it really cute.

CK: Cute,

LC: It's very festive.

CK: It does look cute, and it's extremely delicious. So Brazilian style chocolate glazed carrot cake. A totally different way of doing it but in a blender and I think, you know, over the next year or two, we should come up with more blender cakes. It just makes it so simple, and I think actually better. Thank you, Lynn.

LC: You're welcome. You can get the recipe for Brazilian style chocolate glazed carrot cake at Milk Street

CK: You're listening to Milk Street Radio. Right now, let's check in with Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette hosts of A Way with Words. Hey, Grant and Martha what's going on?

Grant Barrett: Hi, Chris.

Martha Barnette: Hey, Chris. Today we're thinking about restaurant lingo. You know all that colorful language behind the scenes that makes a kitchen run a lot more smoothly, but maybe mysterious to its customers.

GB: But if you're thinking about Adam and Eve on a raft, just hold your horses because when those listicles make the rounds with all their colorful diner slang, most of it is invented for the fun of it by people who did not work in kitchens.

CK: Oh, so the the real stuff is grittier you mean

GB: Well, it's plainer than people in kitchens don't tend to say moo juice for milk, you know.

MB: And it makes sense that in a situation where every second counts, you're going to develop your own shorthand. But sometimes they do get picked up by mainstream English,

GB: You can go to just about any restaurant in the United States, or North America for that matter, that can serve eggs. And if you say sunny side up, they will know what you mean. That is old restaurant lingo from the 1880s.

CK: So, I have a question like, Sunny Side Up is is charming, but it's a little longer. You could just say, you know, yoke up or whatever, you could make a shorter version. But I think some of it is, is it because there is a certain charm, or it sounds good too?

GB: Yes, it's also an easy way to explain this concept that you're only cooking the egg on one side, you know, everyone understands the meaning of it. Also, that alliteration even though there are more syllables, right makes it go faster. By the way in several European languages, they call them mirror eggs, which originally probably came from French.

MB: And I love the fact that in Romanian, it's ____ which is eye eggs, you know, you get up in the morning and you haven't had your coffee yet, and you're trying to cook these eggs, and they're looking back up at you.

CK: Well, that that would kind of make sense. But I would gather, there's some expressions you have to actually think about, because it's not really clear. Right at the beginning.

GB: Yeah. So there's a whole ton of that stuff. I think everyone understands in the weeds. Now, would you say Martha?

MB: Sure. Yeah, if you're in the weeds, you're you're slammed basically.

GB: Yeah, maximum capacity. And we're not sure where the weeds comes into this. It could be golf, where your ball goes into the roof and doesn't stay on the green, or more likely, it had to do with letting your garden go, you know, letting it go til its weeds.

CK: Oh, I see you're not keeping up with it.

MB: But you know, I do like some of those expressions that did get reprinted in newspapers. I mean, like stars and stripes. Did you ever have a plate of stars and stripes Chris?

CK: Oh no, what's that?

MB: That's pork and beans

CK: Stars and Stripes

GB: and some some roly poly Chris? If I served you roly poly what would?

CK: Well, that's kind of like a cake roll or something.

GB: Oh, you did know it Yeah. Well, it's not exactly about what we found in our glossaries is strawberry pudding.

MB: Yeah, and another one is summertime. For some reason, I have no idea why summertime supposedly meant oatmeal.

CK: What?

MB: Serve me up a bowl of summertime.

GB: There is one bit of restaurant lingo that's left the restaurant world. And that's 86 meaning there's nothing more there's nothing left. The menu item is completely depleted. And you will find in other industries, we will talk about somebody being at 86 they were kicked out of the establishment, or any kind of inventory that sort where at 86 the nuts and bolts, you know.

CK: So does anyone know where that came from? How did that start?

GB: Alas, we do not

MB: We thought you might ask that

GB: No, nobody knows the origin. There are a lot of theories. But as is usually the case, when there are a lot of theories, there's no evidence to support any of them very fully.

CK: I like that one.

MB: And another one is camper. You can probably guess what a camper is in a restaurant.

CK: No,

GB: it's also used in video games. If that helps.

CK: Nope.

MB: Well, a camper is somebody who stays too long at the table.

CK: Oh, I see. I thought you're talking about a food dish.

GB: Oh no

MB: Like s'mores or something. Yeah, right. Exactly.

CK: Yeah, right. Exactly. Well, my favorite thing is at a restaurant where you're having a particularly good time and the food's great and the company's great and, and they obviously have another table booked. And so I just love what they do. There are some places where they obviously ask you if you'd like another cup of coffee or something, but then they start taking away the salt and pepper. Have you ever had that happen? Oh, that's my favorite. They start removing things from the table quietly. (Oh, yeah, sure) Yeah. I mean, I do understand like if you come in and someone says look, you know we’ve got to turn the table. We can see you now, but you know, you have to leave by nine. That's fine. Yeah.

GB: And that's another bit of restaurant lingo to turn a table. Yeah, turn and burn it means to get those customers in serve them and get them out.

CK: The restaurant business is a hard business. (Oh, sure yeah) So I have great sympathy for them

GB: Oh, yeah, the margins are thin, and the failure rates high and the work is hard it is. And I've only ever worked in fast food. But even there, we had our customs and our rituals and our lingo.

CK: Wait, wait wait, so where did you work?

GB: It was a Hardee's, a fast-food restaurant in Missouri. That was the best grillmaster in Troy, Missouri. A boss with a tourist bus would roll in somebody would yell bus. And I would stack them high and stack them deep and I could get the burgers out.

CK: Man. That's stack them high and stack them deep.

MB: So, Grant, I assume that you weren't a shoe.

GB: Oh, no. Do you know, a shoe Chris?

CK: No, I don't know that.

GB: It's a bad cook.

CK: Really.

GB: Bourdain says in his book that sometimes people call them army because they cook like an army chef. high volume, low quality.

CK: A shoe

MB: Yeah. So, Chris, we're hoping that all of your dinners in the future out at restaurants will be shoeless

CK: And I hope that no one steals the salt and pepper. Because as I sit there, nursing my cold coffee

MB: Right then you wouldn't be a happy camper.

CK: I knew that was coming. Well, Grant and Martha once again, we plumb the secrets of the origins of words and this time, little behind the scenes in the restaurant world thank you.

GB: Oh, it's our pleasure, Chris. We'll see you next time.

MB: Bye Chris.

CK: That was Grant Barrett and Martha Burnette hosts of A Way with Words. That's it for today. You can find all of our episodes and Milk Street or wherever you get your podcasts. You can learn more about Milk Street at 177 Milk Street comm there you can become a member get all of our recipes and access to all live stream cooking classes, plus free standard shipping from the Milk Street store and more. You can also find us on Facebook at Christopher Kimball's Milk Street on Instagram at 177 Milk Street. We'll be back next week with more food stories and kitchen questions and thanks as always for listening.

Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Radio is produced by Milk Street in association with GBH co-founder Melissa Baldino, executive producer Annie Sensabaugh, senior editor Melissa Allison, producer Sarah Clapp, Assistant Producer Caroline Davis with production help from Debby Paddock. Additional editing by Sidney Lewis, audio mixing by Jay Allison and Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole Massachusetts. Theme music by Toubab Krewe, additional music by George Brandl Egloff, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio is distributed by PRX.