Chewing (food & health podcast)

New food and health podcast by Chicago Tribune Food & Dining reporter Louisa Chu and WBEZ Food & Health reporter Monica Eng
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Chewing (food & health podcast)



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Aug 4, 2017

Monica learns all about lentils, world’s healthiest food? She and Louisa lunch with veteran Chicago Tribune restaurant critic and pal Phil Vettel. Dessert is 7-Eleven 90th anniversary Birthday Cake Snack Pie, but Will They Eat It?

Jul 1, 2017

Monica talks pu-erh tea, dim sum, and "The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane" with best-selling author Lisa See.  Then Monica and Louisa talk to microbiome scientist and author of "Dirt is Good" Jack Gilbert at Lit Fest. Plus dirty food, but Will They Eat It?

Jun 23, 2017

In this episode of the Chewing food and health podcast, Louisa Chu and guest co-host Bill Daley, fellow Chicago Tribune Food and Dining reporter, welcome back Monica Eng (who’s finished writing her debut book on magical dumplings). First, they talk about the importance of potstickers in dating profiles. Then Bill tells the stories behind his stories on mayo and Chicago’s mild sauce. Finally, Louisa offers Monica and Bill Japanese themed snacks but Will They Eat / Drink It?

Jan 20, 2017

In this episode of the Chewing food and health podcast, co-host and WBEZ food and health reporter Monica Eng visits Chinese-American restaurant DanDan in Milwaukee, named not for the Sichuan noodle dish, but two guys named Dan. Then co-host and Chicago Tribune food and dining reporter Louisa Chu goes to Girl Scouts HQ in Chicago talk about the culinary and cultural importance of cookies. Plus Louisa brings Monica, who refused to eat Thin Mints, the new 100th anniversary Girl Scouts S’mores cookie, but Will She Eat It? (Photo: Girl Scouts S’mores cookies)

Oct 28, 2016

McSweeney's founder and best-selling author Dave Eggers does premiere Drive Thru interview, Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein talks The Dirt Cure, plus Cheetos chicken fries and exotic Midwestern fruit for "Will She Eat It?" but will they?

Oct 14, 2016

Christopher Kimball, best known for America's Test Kitchen talks his new Milk Street Kitchen, and plays Delicious Combo. Plus a visit to a Filipino food festival for balut, duck egg embryo, for "Will She Eat It?"

Sep 30, 2016

Pizza, Chinese food, plus vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores get unstuffed. Monica debuts What Chinese People Eat When Chinese People Go to Chinese Restaurants. And Louisa talks to the Nancy herself of Nancy’s Pizza, home of the original stuffed pizza in Chicago. Then Monica chats with food filmmaker and author Anna Thomas about her newest book “Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore: Dinner For Everyone At The Table”. Plus Monica brings Louisa a tropical cocktail cheddar cheese but Will She Eat It? (Photo: stuffed pizza at Nancy’s Pizza on Golf Road in Niles, Illinois by Louisa Chu)

Sep 16, 2016

Chef Grant Achatz live on stage at the Steppenwolf Theater, joins Chewing co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng for the inaugural Sounds Like Chicago podcast festival. Chef Achatz talks the new Alinea, plays Delicious Combo (with wasabi peas and Junior Mints) and Will She Eat It?, plus explains what he once made with eggplant ends, peanut nips, and cocoa husks, and why.

Jul 29, 2016

In this Chewing food and health podcast episode co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng go South Side, to the southside of Chicago. Monica goes on eat-alongs with  author of "The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation" / WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore, and then with tech entrepreneur Paul Lee. Plus Louisa investigates the Big Baby, the South Side double cheeseburger, what should be the Chicago-style burger. Plus for a very special first season finale both Monica and Louisa bring South Side food to taste for the other, one which dangerously migrated from the very far South, but Will She Eat It? (Photo: Big Baby double cheeseburger at Nicky's Hot Dogs on the South Side of Chicago, by Louisa Chu)

Jul 15, 2016

In this Chewing food and health podcast episode co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng go Animal Style. Monica talks to her former Chicago Tribune colleague Kevin Pang about an all penis hot pot restaurant in Beijing.  Then Louisa tells a shocking family dog story. And Monica talks to BBC journalist Anna Jones before Brexit about a badger versus cow problem involving Queen’s Dr. Brian May, musician and animal rights activist. Finally fun-phobic Monica brings Louisa and producer Iris Lin shark week inspired donuts, but Will She Eat It? (Photo: 7-Eleven Shark Week Slurpee flavored donut, by Louisa Chu)

Jul 1, 2016

In this Chewing food and health podcast episode co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk Fat Books. Monica talks to The Omnivore’s Dilemma author Michael Pollan, aka her prestigious $10,000 fellowship pal. Then Chu and Eng talk with Fat Rice chefs / owners / authors Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo about their origin story, new bakery and speakeasy, plus upcoming graphic novel cookbook, The Adventures of Fat Rice, live at the Printers Row Lit Fest. Finally Louisa brings Monica, Adrienne, and Abe a secret seafood flavor jelly beans, but Will They Eat It? (Photo: Chicago hot dog bun by at The Bakery at Fat Rice, by Louisa Chu)

Jun 17, 2016

Episode 10: GMO Yo or No. This week on the Chewing food and health podcast co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk to Neil Young at Farm Aid about his new album Monsanto Years, Michael Pollan about why he did not write about GMOs in Omnivore's Dilemma celebrating its 10th anniversary, and reps from the Farmers’ Union and the Farm Bureau about their opposing views on GMO labeling. Plus Louisa brings a bounty of non-GMO snacks for Monica and Iris Will She Eat It? (Photo: Non-GMO Project Verified snacks, by Louisa Chu)

Jun 3, 2016

This week on the Chewing food and health podcast, it’s the Bits, Bites, and BBQ episode with co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng. Monica talks to Meathead Goldwyn, founder of, and author the bestselling new book Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. Then in a tale of two Beard awards, Louisa talked to Bizarre Eats’ Andrew Zimmern, Momufuku’s David Chang, and Top Chef Master Rick Bayless on their Chicago must-eats; while Monica talked to top food media on their go-to home recipes. Plus Chu brings Eng surprise treats from the annual Sweets and Snacks Expo, aka Candy Show, but Will She Eat It? (Photo: Hotlix Real Sour Earthwoormz at Sweets and Snacks Expo 2016 in Chicago, by Louisa Chu)

May 20, 2016

This week on the Chewing podcast co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk Coffee and Buzz. They get a preview of the new Alinea re-boot, and get inside buzz with chef Grant Achatz and partner Nick Kokonas. And guess what coffee they served at the best restaurant in America? Kyoto Black, as heard on a previous episode, and maker Justin Doggett visits Chu, Eng, and producer Iris Lin in studio for some highly caffeinated surprise tastings, but Will We Drink It? (Photo: Kyoto Black coffee at Alinea restaurant in Chicago, by Louisa Chu)

May 6, 2016

Is it OK to nurse your friend’s baby—without asking? Monica reveals a dark secret about this—that ended up in a movie. And is it better to drink human milk raw or pasteurized? Plus, what tastes better New York water or Chicago’s?  Monica and Louisa dive into these basic questions on this week’s Chewing. (Photo: boba milk tea at Saint's Alp Teahouse in Chicagoo, by Louisa Chu)

Apr 22, 2016

How does memory affect our relationship with food? Monica chews it over with chefs Sam Kass, Gale Gand, Dave Beran, Ming Tsai,and Nathalie DuPree. Louisa talks pizza memories with Burt’s Pizza founder Burt Katz. And psychiatrist Drew Ramsey tells us how to eat for optimal brain and mental health. Finally, Louisa brings Monica and Iris twists on nostalgic treats from their Chinese childhoods—but will they eat them? Press play to find out. (Photo: Burt's Place pizza by Louisa Chu)

Apr 8, 2016

This week on the Chewing podcast, co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng talk “Ethnic” versus “White” food, whatever that means. They discuss with Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, also the star of the new documentary “City of Gold”, as well as Lucky Peach editor in chief Chris Ying, and author of The Wurst of Lucky Peach: A Treasury of Encased Meat. Plus Louisa offers Monica the classic Chinese-American dish egg foo young, but Will She Eat It? (Photo: takeout sweet and sour pork, fried, rice, and egg roll in Chicago, by Louisa Chu)

Mar 25, 2016

This week on Chewing, co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng go behind the curtain, with the stories behind their own headlines! Seen the Clickhole egg video yet? You will, and our very own producer Iris Lin made it! She’ll share behind the scenes drama, and how to make your own viral food video. Then Monica saw the world famous Billy Goat Tavern (Cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger!) serving fries so she investigates Cheeps-gate. Plus she uncovered her audio postcard with late local legend Olga of Olga’s Deli. Then, stop the presses! Louisa brings in the very first food Monica won’t eat in the game we like to call Will She Eat It?! (Photo: Billy Goat cheezborger at Navy Pier in Chicago, by Louisa Chu)

Mar 11, 2016

This week on Chewing, co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng DOGGY BAG it! But how safe is it? And why don’t we always do it? What’s the science and culture behind the one thing we can control to reduce food waste worldwide? Monica talks to the Undersecretary of Agriculture and for once they’re not fighting. Instead they agree on one of the most important ways to cut food waste in the nation. Then we call up extreme doggy bagger, Serious Eats founder Ed Levine. And Louisa brings Monica and producer Iris Lin a Leap Year leftover, but Will She Eat It? (Photo: Raccoon doggy bag from annual Coon Feed in Delafield, Wisconsin, by Louisa Chu)

Feb 26, 2016

This week on Chewing, co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng crack some eggs! Who doesn’t love a runny yolk fried egg? Even newly outed PVPO (Personally Vegan Professionally Omnivorous) Louisa does, but what about the scramble on big ethical issues? Monica talks to Josh Balk, senior director of food policy at The Humane Society of the United States. And FOC (Friend of Chewing) Ben Roche, Research and Development chef at Hampton Creek, gives a sneak peek at the future of egg-free foods from the makers of Just Mayo. Then Louisa brings in a thousand-year-old egg, aka century egg, while Monica digs up a forgotten egg tart, But Will She Eat It? (Photo by Louisa Chu: Rhode Island Red and Araucana chicken eggs at Fortress of the Bear in Sitka, Alaska)

Feb 12, 2016

Welcome to Chewing! In this premiere episode, co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng are Coming Out. Monica talks with Dr. Boyd Eaton, one of the godfathers of Paleolithic nutrition, the so-called caveman diet, who now controversially says cut the meat to save the future. Then she asks the world’s top nutrition experts for their ideal breakfasts. Plus Louisa makes a big coming out announcement: she’s PVPO (Personally Vegan, Professionally Omnivorous). And to celebrate Fat Thursday / Fat Tuesday and our big, fat, first episode, she brings Monica, noted sweets and alcohol hater, and Chewing producer Iris Lin, moonshine & lemon curd paczki, but Will She Eat It? (Photo by Louisa Chu: strawberry and cream pączek, the singular of pączki from Delightful Pastries in Chicago)