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Anthony Bourdain's 'The Getaway,' Ilan Hall's 'Knife Fight' to Debut in September

Anthony Bourdain's 'The Getaway,' Ilan Hall's 'Knife Fight' to Debut in September

The Esquire network debuts this September, plus a new trailer for 'The Getaway'

Finally; Esquire Network's much-anticipated debut has been announced, and it looks like Bourdain fans will be able to get their additional fix this September.

The outspoken food personality's latest project, The Getaway, will debut Sept. 25, a press release says, while Ilan Hall's Knife Fight will premiere Sept. 23.

Both The Getaway and Knife Fight were slated to premiere this summer, but since then the Esquire Network pushed back its debut in hopes of getting additional original programming. Additional shows include Brew Dogs, following "beer evangelists" who travel America to "prove that the drink of the masses doesn't need to taste mass-produced," and Horse Players, showcasing horse racing, naturally.

In any case, here is a new extended trailer for The Getaway, which recently announced its full celebrity lineup. Bourdain won't have any cameos, from what we gather, but his nitty-grittiness comes through in locations: R&B artist Eve heads to Jamaica, Aziz Ansari heads to Hong Kong, José Andrés goes to San Juan, Puerto Rico, while Seth Meyers and Josh Meyers go to Amsterdam. Stateside spots include New York City with Book of Mormon's Josh Gad, Los Angeles with True Blood's Ryan Kwanten, and Boston with Paul Feig.

Watch the extended trailer below.


CHEF JOHN TESAR

Never one to shy away from controversy or the limelight, renown Chef John Tesar’s life choices are just as daring and bold as his cuisine. The four-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist and “Top Chef” contestant specializes in modern American cuisine prepared with authentic European techniques, served up to his legion of fans who flock to his Dallas-based steakhouse – Knife. Tesar’s no-nonsense personality and sharp culinary perspective have garnered high-profile acclaim throughout his 20+ year career including national nods from Esquire (named to “Best New Restaurants” for two consecutive years), Food & Wine, New York Magazine, The New York Times, appearances on “The Today Show,” “The Early Show” and winning the inaugural season of the Food Network’s “Extreme Chef.”

Tesar opened Knife, located at the Highland Dallas hotel, to critical acclaim in May 2014. A reinvention of the steakhouse experience, the chef-driven restaurant features all-natural born and raised Texas beef, pork and lamb in dry-aged prime cuts and specialty cuts such as chuck flap, beef tongue and Akaushi beef. Named one of Eater National’s “Most Anticipated Openings,” Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants,” Zagat’s “Hottest New Restaurants,” Maxim’s “America’s Best Steakhouse Specialties,” D Magazine’s “Best Steakhouse in Dallas” 2015 and 2016 and featured on Esquire Network’s “Restaurant Revolution,” Knife is Tesar’s revolutionary steakhouse vision realized.

Prior to Knife, Tesar opened Spoon Bar & Kitchen, receiving recognition in Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best New Restaurants in the World,” Bon Appetit Magazine’s “The Best New Restaurants of America in 2013” and Esquire magazine’s “The Best New Restaurants of 2013.”

Tesar, who received classical French training at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, originally started his culinary career in his home state of New York. He worked at posh eateries such at Club Pierre in Westhampton, followed by stints at 13 Barrow Street, 44 & Hell’s Kitchen, Vine, and even cooked alongside Anthony Bourdain at the Supper Club in Manhattan. He would eventually trade the Big Apple for Sin City to work with Chef Rick Moonen at RM Seafood in Las Vegas. However by 2007, Tesar embarked on another major move to then up-and-coming culinary hotspot Dallas to take the helm at the ritzy Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek there he would earn two five-star reviews.

A highly sought-after consultant, Tesar is the genius behind the menus at DRG Concepts’ Dallas Chop House, Dallas Fish Market, Wild Salsa, and Chop House Burger as well as The Cedars Social, Oak in the Design District, and The Commissary for which he earned a “Best New Restaurant” award in D Magazine with his revolutionary CVap cooked burgers.

With a steadfast focus on the future, Tesar recently announced he is currently developing a television show, and working with Flatiron Books and Macmillan on his first book, “Knife: Steakhouse Meals at Home,” to be published in spring 2017. There are also future plans to expand Knife steakhouses nationwide, and immediate plans to to open a Knife Burger at the much-anticipate Legacy West food hall in Plano, TX for fall 2017.

From bringing seafood to the heart of Texas to reimagining the traditional steakhouse, Tesar continues to be a visionary, instrumental in Dallas’ growing reputation as a true foodie destination.


Esquire Net to Bow Sept. 23 with Magazine Anniversary Special

NBCUniversal&rsquos Esquire network said it would launch September 23, kicking off with a two-hour special commemorating the 80th anniversary of the magazine. The nascent cabler also unveiled two more original series that will fill its air.

The net is being formed from the digital ashes of NBCU-owned cabler G4. The company hopes to broaden the current net&rsquos aud beyond aficionados of gaming and gadgets and attract a broader, more upscale male audience. NBCU originally targeted April 22 as the date for the relaunch, but found it needed more time to stock up on original content. &ldquoEsquire Network is providing advertisers with an opportunity not currently offered by a television network to reach today&rsquos educated, upscale man across multiple platforms,” said Laura Molen, exec veep, cable advertising sales at NBCU in a prepared statement.

NBCU originally targeted April 22 as the date for the relaunch, but found it needed more time to stock up on original content.

One of the newly announced series is &lsquoBrew Dogs,&rdquo in which Scottish &ldquobeer evangelists&rdquo James Watt and Martin Dickie travel America trying to prove the vitality of craft beer. Esquire has ordered six episodes of the hour-long program, produced by Custom Productions and Redtail Media.

The other series is &lsquoHorse Players,&rsquo which follows a group of handicappers who visit the nation&rsquos best-known horse tracks in hopes of getting rich. Esquire has ordered seven episodes of this hour-long program, which is produced by Go Go Luckey.

Previously announced series include &lsquoKnife Fight,&rsquo an underground cooking competition hosted by Ilan Hall &lsquoThe Getaway,&rsquo which explores amazing cities across the world through the eyes of a revolving cast of celebrities &lsquoHow I Rock It,&rdquo a style show hostsed by NBA superstar Baron Davis &lsquoRisky Listing,&rsquo a &ldquodocuseries&rdquo set in the milieu of New York nightlife real estate and &lsquoAmerican Field Trip,&rsquo in which photojournalist Matt Hranek seeks out people, places and objects that embody the American spirit.

Esquire Network will also feature series broadcast elsewhere in the NBCU portfolio, including “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Burn Notice” and “Psych,” along with “Party Down,” a comedy previously broadcast on the Starz premium cable network.


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Birthday Boy: The main event was a cooking throw-down between Elisir‘s Enzo Fargione, Bourbon Steak‘s Adam Sobel, Cuba Libre‘s Guillermo Pernot, and Bistro Bis/Vidalia‘s Jeff Buben. The winner: Buben! To top it off, it was his birthday, and so Andrés asked the very awkward question: “If you win, what’s going to happen with your wife tonight?”

Goodbyes: DC Central Kitchen founder and president Robert Egger announced that he’s leaving the organization after 25 years and moving to Los Angeles to open LA Kitchen. He’ll officially step down on Inauguration Day, and CEO Mike Curtin, who has already been running the day-to-day operations, will become the top dog.


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But a source told People that friends of the celebrity chef had begun to become concerned with his infatuation with Argento.

'He would have done anything for her, and that was a little red flag for some of his friends,' the source told People. 'Like, he was crazy in love with her, crazy being the keyword.'

Bourdain's longtime publicist for Parts Unknown, Karen Reynolds, told People that he seemed 'giddy' and was uncharacteristically communicative in the days in the run up to his suicide.

Reynolds said he appeared to be delighted with his latest episode, filmed in Hong Kong and directed by Argento.

'He was so happy. I didn't talk to him this week but all I know was he was so happy last week. I mean giddy,' she said.

'He was texting me and emailing me which he doesn't normally do about publicity for episodes but he was like, 'This is a high water mark, this is the best thing I've ever done.' He was so excited to be working with Christopher Doyle. I saw nothing that would indicate what happened. Like, why this would happen?

Meal time: Anthony Bourdain (above earlier this week in France) dined out at Wistub La Petite Venise a few days before his death

Bourdain, 61, was found hanged to death in his French hotel (pictured) room on June 8

'We're just floored. A complete shock.'

The friend of Bourdain's told People that, while they knew he was overworked and struggling with the breakdown of his marriage, no one had any idea he'd been suicidal.

'None in our circle of friends knew he was struggling in any life-or-death way. Honestly, I don't think anyone knew. I don't think Eric [Ripert] knew the depths of his pain,' he said.

'The shock of Tony's death is almost as profound as the pain. Even his closest friends are still waiting for some mystery to be uncovered,' they added.

'We knew his nerves were shattered a little his marriage had fallen apart, he was way, way overworked and overdriven, but unstable. No one had a clue.'

Three days before Bourdain was found hanged in his French hotel room, where he'd been filming the latest episode of Parts Unknown, Argento had been photographed with journalist Hugo Clement in Rome.

The pair were photographed hugging, holding hands and smiling as they strolled through the Italian capital.

They were later seen dancing together and sharing a close embrace in an Italian bar. The photos have since been taken down by the photographer in question.

A source claims that friends of the celebrity chef had begun to become concerned with his infatuation with Argento (Argento and Bourdain in November)

'He would have done anything for her, and that was a little red flag for some of his friends,' friends said of Bourdain's love for Argento (pictured together last September)

Clement is a journalist with Konbini news, and has done a number of well respected pieces for the agency, most recently on the famine in Congo, the livestock industry in France and the threats facing gay men in Tunisia.

In the days since his death, Bourdain and Argento's friend Rose McGowan has defended the actress saying the couple had a 'free' relationship.

In an open letter, McGowan wrote: 'Anthony and Asia had a free relationship, they loved without borders of traditional relationships, and they established the parameters of their relationship early on.'

McGowan goes on to say: 'Asia is a free bird, and so was Anthony.'

Bourdain got together with Argento a year after splitting up from his wife, Ottavia Busia, who he shared an 11-year-old daughter with.

The 61-year-old had dismissed the idea of marrying again but had not ruled out living with Argento.

His suicide on Friday came as a huge shock, both to his many fans and to his nearest and dearest.

Argento gave a heartbreaking statement about the loss of in the hours after Bourdain's suicide where she referred to him as 'my love, my rock, my protector.'

'Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine.'

Non-traditional: 'They loved without borders of traditional relationships, and they established the parameters of their relationship early on,' claims the actress (part of letter above)

Pals: McGowan wrote the letter after travelling to Italy to be by Argento's side, and was with her on a film set as she wrote the remarks (McGowan and Argento in March)

The chef and self-proclaimed film fanatic first met Argento in 2016 when she appeared on the Rome episode of his Emmy-winning show Parts Unknown.

Bourdain and Argento's relationship then became public after the two were seen in Rome together early last year. The lovebirds could be seen walking around the city hand-in-hand and then sharing a kiss after enjoying dinner at Pommidoro.

The two then returned to their hotel room.

Argento, 42, first met Bourdain, 61, just around the time that it was revealed that he and his wife Ottavia were separating after nine years of marriage.

The actress and Bourdain's ex-wife are near look-alikes and both hail from Italy.

Bourdain's Rome episode of 'Parts Unknown' was a remarkable feat, and one that was inspired in some ways by Argento's father.

Argento and Bourdain were seen soaking up the son in Rome back in September

Dario Argento is considered by many to be one of the great horror directors, and is known for his highly stylized films, among them the 1977 classic Suspiria.

The episode was shot entirely in widescreen and featured no imagery of classic Rome, choosing instead to show only 'the architecture of Mussolini and post-Mussolini era.'

Argento helped Bourdain with this by showing him some of her favorite spots and having her sister cook for him.

She even took Bourdain to what he described as a 'bats*** crazy boxing club where we ate pasta ringside as gladiators pounded one another and the crowd hooted and roared.'

Argento has two children, an 8-year-old son Nicola with her ex-husband Michele Civetta and a 16-year-old daughter Anna from her relationship with musician Marco Castoldi.

She shot to fame as a teenager due to her famous father and roles in a number of Italian movies, receiving the Italian equivalent of the Academy Award twice before the age of 20.

Argento then found fame in America with her role opposite Vin Diesel in XXX, and two years later was back with her English language directorial debut, having adapted J. T Leroy's controversial novel 'The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things.'

She has appeared in a number of films over the past decade, most notably Marie Antoinette, Boarding Gate, The Last Mistress and Mother of Tears.

In 2014 she premiered her film Misunderstood at the Cannes Film Festival, which she wrote and directed, telling the press that she was done with acting.

Bourdain was a fan of the film, which he called 'remarkable and beautiful.'

After the two met, he posted a pic of Dario with his young daughter on Twitter, writing: 'Happy Birthday to the master.'

In New York City, mourners left tributes to the star at the Brasserie Les Halles restaurant where he once worked. Restaurants and bars all over the city put signs on the streets mourning his death overnight

Argento shared a photo of the pair last month in Florence that showed them embracing after wrapping a new episode of Bourdain's show.

It would be the last public photo of the two together

Bourdain has been open about his battle with depression and mental illness, and as recently as February, said he'd previously contemplated suicide but had decided he would 'at least try to live' for his daughter.

Bourdain, 61, whose career catapulted him from washing dishes at New York restaurants to dining in Vietnam with President Barack Obama, hanged himself in a hotel room.

He was founded dead by his good friend and chef Eric Ripert on Friday.

He had been in France working on an upcoming episode of his program, CNN said.

A French prosecutor said on Saturday that there's no evidence of foul play or violence in Bourdain's death.

For confidential help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or click here

For confidential support on suicide matters in the UK, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here

For confidential support in Australia, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or click here


All Of It


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Posted: Fri, 21 May 2021 12:34:36 -0400

On his third album, Sharecropper’s Son, blues singer Robert Finley recalls the sounds and stories of his childhood in Louisiana. After becoming legally blind and retiring from his job in carpentry, Finley released his studio debut at age 62 in 2016. The new album was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who also produced his 2017 follow-up. Finley joins us for a Listening Party.

Langhorne Slim's 'Strawberry Mansion'

Posted: Fri, 21 May 2021 12:20:16 -0400

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A Friday Music Celebration: Robert Finley, Langhorne Slim, Christian McBride on Marvin Gaye, Mwenso & The Shakes

Posted: Fri, 21 May 2021 12:00:00 -0400

[REBROADCAST FROM JANUARY 27, 2021] A new album from singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim deals with COVID-19, his own struggles with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and recovery. He joins us to discuss the album, Strawberry Mansion, which drops on January 29, and provides an exclusive performance.

On his third album, Sharecropper’s Son, blues singer Robert Finley recalls the sounds and stories of his childhood in Louisiana. After becoming legally blind and retiring from his job in carpentry, Finley released his studio debut at age 62 in 2016. The new album was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who also produced his 2017 follow-up. Finley joins us for a Listening Party.

The 92nd Street Y is celebrating the anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s work with a series called “What’s Going On: A 50th Anniversary Celebration,” directed by seven-time Grammy Award-winning musician Christian McBride. McBride joins us to discuss the series which will be available online on May 21, May 23, June 4, and June 5. The events will feature concert performances, a roundtable conversation, and a listening party of Gaye’s music, hosted by McBride himself.

[REBROADCAST FROM AUGUST 1, 2019] Mwenso & The Shakes joins us for a performance and to discuss the band's successes. On May 25 at 8:30pm, bandleader Michael Mwenso will kick off a new initiative from the organization, All Arts, called "The First Twenty" with a special performance in honor of George Floyd.

Mwenso & The Shakes Perform

Posted: Fri, 21 May 2021 11:48:38 -0400

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92Y Celebrates Marvin Gaye's 'What&rsquos Going On'

Posted: Fri, 21 May 2021 11:36:36 -0400

The 92nd Street Y is celebrating the anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s work with a series called “What’s Going On: A 50th Anniversary Celebration,” directed by seven-time Grammy Award-winning musician Christian McBride. McBride joins us to discuss the series which will be available online on May 21, May 23, June 4, and June 5. The events will feature concert performances, a roundtable conversation, and a listening party of Gaye’s music, hosted by McBride himself.

'A Thousand Ways' at The Public Theater

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 12:00:00 -0400

Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, who together are known as the experimental theater duo, 600 Highwaymen, join us to discuss a new in-person theatrical production, which runs at The Public Theater from June 8 to August 15. Titled, "A Thousand Ways (Part Two): An Encounter," the production is a continuation of their piece, "A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call," which was part of the 2021 Under the Radar Festival and will also be available in an encore presentation that runs from May 20 through July 18. "An Encounter" will bring together two strangers in an empty room seated at opposite ends of a table and separated by plexiglass. The participants will then respond together to written prompts, creating their own private theatrical event.

Social Quandaries with Philip Galanes, 1971's Musical Impact, 'Notes on a Silencing,' Live & In-Person Theater

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 12:00:00 -0400

New York Times “Social Qs” columnist Philip Galanes returns to take calls from listeners preparing to re-enter public life with questions about socializing, attending events, getting back to the office, and more from his recent column topics.

A new Apple TV+ docuseries looks at one particularly momentous year in music history: 1971. Directors Asif Kapadia and Danielle Peck join us to discuss the series, “1971: The Year that Music Changed Everything,” which premieres May 21.

When Lacy Crawford was 15 years old, she was sexually assaulted at her elite boarding school, St. Paul’s School. Years later, Crawford writes about seeking justice and the school’s attempts to protect male students in her memoir, Notes on a Silencing, named one of the best books of 2020 by The New York Times. Crawford joins us to discuss writing this moving account.

Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, who together are known as the experimental theater duo, 600 Highwaymen, join us to discuss a new in-person theatrical production, which runs at The Public Theater from June 8 to August 15. Titled, "A Thousand Ways (Part Two): An Encounter," the production is a continuation of their piece, "A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call," which was part of the 2021 Under the Radar Festival and will also be available in an encore presentation that runs from May 20 through July 18. "An Encounter" will bring together two strangers in an empty room seated at opposite ends of a table and separated by plexiglass. The participants will then respond together to written prompts, creating their own private theatrical event.

'1971: The Year that Music Changed Everything'

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 11:59:57 -0400

A new Apple TV+ docuseries looks at one particularly momentous year in music history: 1971. Directors Asif Kapadia and Danielle Peck join us to discuss the series, “1971: The Year that Music Changed Everything,” which premieres May 21.

Lacy Crawford's 'Notes on a Silencing'

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 11:05:02 -0400

When Lacy Crawford was 15 years old, she was sexually assaulted at her elite boarding school, St. Paul’s School. Years later, Crawford writes about seeking justice and the school’s attempts to protect male students in her memoir, Notes on a Silencing, named one of the best books of 2020 by The New York Times. Crawford joins us to discuss writing this moving account.

Philip Galanes Takes Your Calls

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 10:59:12 -0400

New York Times “Social Qs” columnist Philip Galanes returns to take calls from listeners preparing to re-enter public life with questions about socializing, attending events, getting back to the office, and more from his recent column topics.

Warm Weather Wines, 'Final Account,' Financial Advice with Michelle Singletary, 'Apart'

Posted: Wed, 19 May 2021 12:00:00 -0400

Ray Isle, executive wine editor at Food & Wine magazine and wine and spirits editor for Travel + Leisure, joins us to discuss his favorite wines for spring and early summer 2021, as well as some tips on the best local vineyards, wine bars, and shops to visit.

A new documentary takes a look at the last surviving generation of Germans who were part of the Third Reich. Producer Sam Pope and Dr. Stephen Smith, head of the Shoah Foundation, join us to discuss the documentary, “Final Account,” available in theaters beginning May 21.

Michelle Singletary, award-winning personal finance columnist for The Washington Post, joins us to discuss her new book, What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits: A Survival Guide. Her book addresses debt concerns, cash-flow problems, and dozens of other common financial issues.

The documentary, “Apart,” follows three mothers who prepare to return to their families after being incarcerated. Director Jennifer Redfearn joins us to discuss the film, which will play as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, running from May 19 through May 27.

Jennifer Redfearn's 'Apart'

Posted: Wed, 19 May 2021 10:57:52 -0400

The documentary, “Apart,” follows three mothers who prepare to return to their families after being incarcerated. Director Jennifer Redfearn joins us to discuss the film, which will play as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, running from May 19 through May 27.

Reckoning with Memories of the Third Reich

Posted: Wed, 19 May 2021 10:56:54 -0400

A new documentary takes a look at the last surviving generation of Germans who were part of the Third Reich. Producer Sam Pope and Dr. Stephen Smith, head of the Shoah Foundation, join us to discuss the documentary, “Final Account,” available in theaters beginning May 21.

Summer Wines

Posted: Wed, 19 May 2021 10:54:26 -0400

Ray Isle, executive wine editor at Food & Wine magazine and wine and spirits editor for Travel + Leisure, joins us to discuss his favorite wines for spring and early summer 2021, as well as some tips on the best local vineyards, wine bars, and shops to visit.

'What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits'

Posted: Wed, 19 May 2021 10:38:10 -0400

Michelle Singletary, award-winning personal finance columnist for The Washington Post, joins us to discuss her new book, What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits: A Survival Guide. Her book addresses debt concerns, cash-flow problems, and dozens of other common financial issues.

Lord Huron, 'The Nom Wah Cookbook,' Changing Mask Guidelines, 'Forget Me Not,' Dunbar's Number Reconsidered

Posted: Tue, 18 May 2021 12:00:00 -0400

Indie-folk band Lord Huron launched into mainstream fame with their hit song, “The Night We Met.” Frontman Ben Schneider joins us for an album listening party to discuss their latest record, Long Lost, out May 21.

[REBROADCAST FROM NOVEMBER 25, 2020] Wilson Tang, the owner and operator of Nom Wah Tea Parlor, joins us to discuss The Nom Wah Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from 100 Years at New York City's Iconic Dim Sum Restaurant.

Gothamist reporter Jake Offenhartz joins us with an update on all the latest local news, including Governor Cuomo's announcement that starting Wednesday, May 19, fully vaccinated individuals can go without masks in many indoor settings.

"Forget Me Not" is a documentary that follows the story of a 3-year-old student with disabilities and his family who fights for the right for their son to be educated alongside children without disabilities in the New York City public school system. Director Olivier Bernier joins us to discuss the film, which makes its premiere as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, running from May 19 through May 27.

Jenny Gross, a reporter in the London bureau of The New York Times, joins us to discuss her recent piece, "Can You Have More Than 150 Friends?" The article explains the ongoing scientific debate about how many friendships humans are capable of maintaining. She joins us to discuss her reporting and take listeners' calls.

How Many Friends Can You Have?

Posted: Tue, 18 May 2021 10:59:31 -0400

Jenny Gross, a reporter in the London bureau of The New York Times, joins us to discuss her recent piece, "Can You Have More Than 150 Friends?" The article explains the ongoing scientific debate about how many friendships humans are capable of maintaining. She joins us to discuss her reporting and take listeners' calls.

Olivier Bernier's 'Forget Me Not'

Posted: Tue, 18 May 2021 10:58:23 -0400

Forget Me Not” is a documentary that follows the story of a 3-year-old student with disabilities and his family who fights for the right for their son to be educated alongside children without disabilities in the New York City public school system. Director Olivier Bernier joins us to discuss the film, which makes its premiere as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, running from May 19 through May 27.

New Mask Guidelines Explained

Posted: Tue, 18 May 2021 10:53:09 -0400

Gothamist reporter Jake Offenhartz joins us with an update on all the latest local news, including Governor Cuomo's announcement that starting Wednesday, May 19, fully vaccinated individuals can go without masks in many indoor settings.

Wilson Tang & 'The Nom Wah Cookbook'

Posted: Tue, 18 May 2021 10:52:23 -0400

[REBROADCAST FROM NOVEMBER 25, 2020] Wilson Tang, the owner and operator of Nom Wah Tea Parlor, joins us to discuss The Nom Wah Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from 100 Years at New York City's Iconic Dim Sum Restaurant.

Lord Huron's New Album

Posted: Tue, 18 May 2021 10:51:02 -0400

Indie-folk band Lord Huron launched into mainstream fame with their hit song, “The Night We Met.” Frontman Ben Schneider joins us for an album listening party to discuss their latest record, Long Lost, out May 21.

Citizen Cope at City Winery

Posted: Mon, 17 May 2021 13:19:43 -0400

Singer-songwriter Clarence Greenwood, aka Citizen Cope, joins us during his run of shows at City Winery and discusses his latest album, The Pull of Niagara Falls, a collection of new songs as well as old ones from a planned debut album that was never released.

NYPL's AAPI Reading List for Kids

Posted: Mon, 17 May 2021 12:19:59 -0400

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, New York Public Library's senior children’s librarian, Sue Yee, gives recommendations from the library's reading list for kids as part of our ongoing "Review/Preview" series.

Alba Sotorra Clua on 'The Return: Life After ISIS'

Posted: Mon, 17 May 2021 12:16:04 -0400

A new documentary titled, "The Return: Life After ISIS," follows women who left their homes in the US, UK, Canada, and other countries, to join ISIS and now want to return. Director Alba Sotorra Clua joins us to discuss making the the film, which will play as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival from May 19 through May 27.

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu's Legacy

Posted: Mon, 17 May 2021 12:14:29 -0400

[REBROADCAST FROM MARCH 11, 2021] Post offices across the country are now selling a stamp commemorating female physicist Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu. In the early 1940s, Dr. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project, developing a key process that separates uranium metal into the isotopes used in the atomic bomb. She also disproved the Law of Conservation of Parity, which was thought to be a bedrock principle in physics. Janna Levin, professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College and chair and director of sciences for Pioneer Works, talks about Dr. Wu's groundbreaking work. Dr. Wu's granddaughter, Jada Yuan, also joins us.

Jennifer Weiner's 'That Summer'

Posted: Mon, 17 May 2021 12:13:12 -0400

Best-selling author Jennifer Weiner discusses her highly anticipated new novel, That Summer. A starred review in Booklist called it “a summer banger with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot.”

Jennifer Weiner, Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, 'The Return: Life After ISIS,' Citizen Cope

Posted: Mon, 17 May 2021 12:00:00 -0400

Best-selling author Jennifer Weiner discusses her highly anticipated new novel, That Summer. A starred review in Booklist called it “a summer banger with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot.”

[REBROADCAST FROM MARCH 11, 2021] Post offices across the country are now selling a stamp commemorating female physicist Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu. In the early 1940s, Dr. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project, developing a key process that separates uranium metal into the isotopes used in the atomic bomb. She also disproved the Law of Conservation of Parity, which was thought to be a bedrock principle in physics. Janna Levin, professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College and chair and director of sciences for Pioneer Works, talks about Dr. Wu's groundbreaking work. Dr. Wu's granddaughter, Jada Yuan, also joins us.

A new documentary titled, "The Return: Life After ISIS," follows women who left their homes in the US, UK, Canada, and other countries, to join ISIS and now want to return. Director Alba Sotorra Clua joins us to discuss making the the film, which will play as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival from May 19 through May 27.

Singer-songwriter Clarence Greenwood, aka Citizen Cope, joins us to discuss his run of shows at City Winery and his latest album, The Pull of Niagara Falls, a new collection of previously unreleased songs.

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, New York Public Library's senior children’s librarian, Sue Yee, gives recommendations from the library's reading list for kids as part of our ongoing "Review/Preview" series.

Documentary on The Go-Go's

Posted: Fri, 14 May 2021 14:05:28 -0400

[REBROADCAST FROM AUGUST 12, 2020] A documentary on Showtime spotlights the punk-turned-pop band: "The Go-Go's." Director Alison Ellwood joins us to talk about the highs and lows of one of the most iconic 80's bands, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this fall.

2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

Posted: Fri, 14 May 2021 12:33:21 -0400

The 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. The new class features Tina Turner, The Go-Gos, Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren and Foo Fighters. Stephen Thompson, NPR Music editor and co-host of Pop Culture Happy Hour, join us to talk about this year’s inductees and take listeners’ calls.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, The Go-Go's Doc, 'Project Hail Mary,' Mayoral Debate, Maangchi

Posted: Fri, 14 May 2021 12:00:00 -0400

The 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. The new class features Tina Turner, The Go-Gos, Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren and Foo Fighters. Stephen Thompson, NPR Music editor and co-host of Pop Culture Happy Hour, join us to talk about this year’s inductees and take listeners’ calls.

[REBROADCAST FROM AUGUST 12, 2020] A documentary on Showtime spotlights the punk-turned-pop band: "The Go-Go's." Director Alison Ellwood joins us to talk about the highs and lows of one of the most iconic 80's bands, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this fall.

Andy Weir, author of the bestselling book, The Martian, joins to discuss his latest novel, Project Hail Mary, which follows an astronaut who wakes up in space without any memory of how he got there.

Brigid Bergin, WNYC City Hall and politics reporter, joins us to recap last night's first official mayoral debate and take listeners' calls.

YouTube chef and cookbook author Maangchi joins us in studio to discuss her new cookbook Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking: From Everyday Meals to Celebration Cuisine.

Korean Cooking from Maangchi

Posted: Fri, 14 May 2021 11:30:10 -0400

YouTube chef and cookbook author Maangchi joins us in studio to discuss her new cookbook Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking: From Everyday Meals to Celebration Cuisine.

Excerpted from MAANGCHI’S BIG BOOK OF KOREAN COOKING: From Everyday Meals to Celebration Cuisine © 2019 by Maangchi.

Kimchi Stew [Kimchi-Jjigae 김치찌개]

We use kimchi for so much more than the small side dishes served at the table with rice. When I lived in Missouri, a friend from China, Ms. Yuyi, came to my house to pick me up for the picnic of the English class we were taking. As I opened my fridge to get the dishes I’d prepared, she looked astonished at the sight of my huge container of kimchi. I never had a chance to explain why I’d made so much, but when you taste this stew of simmered kimchi and juicy, fatty pork belly in a spicy, flavorful broth, you’ll understand why having plenty of kimchi on hand is always a good idea. Recently one of my readers left a comment on my website saying her stew wasn’t flavorful enough. After some discussion, I realized she was using freshly made kimchi. That won’t work at all. You have to use well-fermented kimchi for this recipe. It softens as it simmers but still retains a bit of crunchiness, and the sour taste gives the stew its distinctive flavor. Serve with rice.

1 pound fermented napa cabbage kimchi, cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup fermented kimchi brine (optional)

1 pound pork belly or pork shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces, about 1 inch square and ¼ inch thick

1 medium onion, sliced (about 1 cup)

1 daepa (large green onion) or 4 scallions, sliced diagonally

1 tablespoon Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang)

1 tablespoon Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2½ cups Anchovy-Kelp Stock (See Notes) or unsalted chicken or beef broth

8 ounces medium-firm tofu, sliced ¼ inch thick

1 scallion, sliced, for garnish

    Combine the kimchi, kimchi brine (if using), pork, onion, daepa or scallion, hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, salt, sugar, sesame oil, and stock in a large, shallow pot. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. If the mixture begins to boil over, uncover, stir, and then cover with the lid slightly cracked. Uncover and stir the stew with a large spoon. Lay the tofu over the top and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes, cracking the lid if the soup bubbles over, or until the pork is thoroughly cooked and the kimchi is tender. Sprinkle with the scallion and serve.

First Official Mayoral Debate Recap

Posted: Fri, 14 May 2021 11:26:38 -0400

Brigid Bergin, WNYC City Hall and politics reporter, joins us to recap last night's first official mayoral debate and take listeners' calls.

Andy Weir, 'Project Hail Mary'

Posted: Fri, 14 May 2021 11:26:03 -0400

Andy Weir, author of the bestselling book, The Martian, joins to discuss his latest novel, Project Hail Mary, which follows an astronaut who wakes up in space without any memory of how he got there.

The Troubling Reality of Bone Collection at Colleges and Museums

Posted: Thu, 13 May 2021 15:20:19 -0400

Today, May 13, marks the 36th anniversary of the MOVE bombing, when the city of Philadelphia dropped a bomb on a predominantly Black neighborhood, causing a fire that burned 61 homes and killed eleven people, including five children. Last month, it was revealed that bones likely belonging to one of the young victims had been kept by anthropologists at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, and featured in an online college course. Elaine Ayers, professor in the program of museum studies at New York University, joins us to discuss the disclosure and the controversial history of museums’ use of human remains. She is the author of the recent Slate article, “The Grim Open Secret of College Bone Collections.”

Disconnecting from Tech, MOVE Bombing 36th Anniversary, Museum Bone Collection, Chef Gregory Gourdet, Jia Tolentino

Posted: Thu, 13 May 2021 12:00:00 -0400

The average person spends 1,400 hours per year on their phone. For tips on how to do a digital detox and cut down on phone use this summer, we'll speak with James Beard Award-winner Paul Greenberg about his book, Goodbye Phone, Hello World: 65 Ways to Disconnect from Tech and Reconnect to Joy. We'll also take listeners’ calls.

On May 13, 1985, the city of Philadelphia dropped a satchel bomb in a mostly Black neighborhood, during an armed standoff between police and members of the MOVE organization. The event, now known as the MOVE bombing, caused a fire that burned 61 homes and killed eleven people, including five children. Last fall, after 35 years, the city of Philadelphia apologized and officially declared May 13 as a day of "observation, reflection and recommitment." Gene Demby, Philadelphian and co-host of NPR’s Code Switch, joins us to reflect on the bombing’s anniversary and how it has been remembered (and forgotten) over the last three decades.

Today, May 13, marks the 36th anniversary of the MOVE bombing, when the city of Philadelphia dropped a bomb on a predominantly Black neighborhood, causing a fire that burned 61 homes and killed eleven people, including five children. Last month, it was revealed that bones likely belonging to one of the young victims had been kept by anthropologists at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, and featured in an online college course. Elaine Ayers, professor in the program of museum studies at New York University, joins us to discuss the disclosure and the controversial history of museums’ use of human remains. She is the author of the recent Slate article, “The Grim Open Secret of College Bone Collections.”

Chef Gregory Gourdet joins us to discuss his highly anticipated first cookbook, Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health, which focuses on healthy recipes inspired by his Haitian-American upbringing in NYC and his French culinary training.

[REBROADCAST FROM AUGUST 5, 2019] Author and New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino joins us to discuss her book of essays, Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion.

WNYC arts and culture editor Jennifer Vanasco gives suggestions for what to do this weekend, while safely social distancing.

Debut Cookbook from Chef Gregory Gourdet

Posted: Thu, 13 May 2021 11:46:46 -0400

Chef Gregory Gourdet joins us to discuss his highly anticipated first cookbook, Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health, which focuses on healthy recipes inspired by his Haitian-American upbringing in NYC and his French culinary training.

Event: Gregory Gourdet has a virtual event with Books Are Magic in conversation with Gail Simmons tonight at 7.

SLOW-COOKED SALMON WITH TI MALICE SAUCE

Slow-cooked salmon was my initiation to the perfection-through-simplicity ethos at the famed Jean-Georges, where I had my first job in a professional kitchen. Today, I still cook salmon this way, and you won’t believe how easy it is to turn the ubiquitous, frequently overcooked fish into a tender treat.

Something this rich needs acidity to shine, so I look to sos ti malice, named for a mischievous character from Haitian folklore. The story goes: Ti-Malice was tired of his friend Bouki coming over for lunch, overstaying his wel- come, and eating all his food, so the trickster made a sauce so fiery that it would surely make Bouki run screaming from his house. And Bouki did indeed run into the street—shouting about how much he loved Ti-Malice’s sauce.

One part of the story is definitely true. The Haitian condiment, a pickle that doubles as a sauce, is that good. Mine has plenty of fruity heat from Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, the zip of citrus and vinegar, and a little crunch from red pearl onions. Peeling and separating the onions into tiny petals takes time, but the result is gorgeous. But sure, shallots cut into 1/4-inch half-moons work great, too.

11/2 tablespoons kosher salt 3 limes

1 large Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, very finely chopped

6 tablespoons white vinegar 6 tablespoons extra-virgin

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

One 2-pound salmon fillet 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Soak the pearl onions in a small bowl of warm water for 20 minutes to help loosen their skins. Take a few pearl onions at a time out of the water, then trim the tips and bottom nubs and use a small paring knife to peel off the skins. When you’ve peeled them all, halve them lengthwise.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the onions and salt, toss well, and let them sit for 15 minutes to soften. Once they’ve softened, pull the pearl onion layers apart. Use a Microplane to grate the zest of the 3 limes into the bowl, then halve enough limes (1 or 2 juicy ones should do it) to squeeze in 3 tablespoons of juice. Reserve the remaining limes for another purpose. Stir in the chile and vinegar. Let everything sit for about 15 minutes more.

Transfer the mixture to a small pot, add the oil and thyme, and set it over medium heat. Let it heat up (you’re not looking for a sizzle), stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and lose their harsh raw flavor but still have a slight crunch, 7 to 8 minutes.

The sauce keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Before serving, very gently reheat it (in a small pan or in a bowl set near a hot oven) until it’s a little warmer than room temperature.

COOK THE SALMON AND SERVE

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Evenly season the salmon all over with the salt. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil in a shallow baking dish and rub to coat the surface. Put the salmon in the dish (skin-side down, if your salmon has skin) and drizzle on the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil so it completely covers the top and sides of the salmon. Bake just until the salmon goes from bright pink to light orange and you see the tiniest white beads on the surface of the fish at the thickest part (the center will register 120°F on a thermometer), 20 to 25 minutes.


Harley Flanagan, Original New York Punker, Finds His Mellower Side

His wife, Laura Flanagan, 42, was making him a grilled-cheese sandwich before he headed off to teach a class at Renzo Gracie Academy on West 30th Street. Mr. Flanagan, 49, is a black-belt instructor of Brazilian jujitsu. But his fame predates his current vocation.

As to being a legend, he has a point. Mr. Flanagan is one of the founding fathers of the New York hard-core punk scene, although he was still a child at the time.

Anthony Bourdain, the chef and TV personality, used to see him play shows in the early 1980s at New York venues like the Paradise Garage. “He was already a fixture on the scene as ‘the 12-year-old drummer’ who could get into all the clubs and hang with all the current punk gods,” said Mr. Bourdain, whose daughters are now students of Mr. Flanagan’s at the Brazilian jujitsu academy. “Believe me, it came as a shock to find out he was my daughters’ B.J.J. teacher.”

Image

Mr. Flanagan began cultivating his image early. Before he turned 10, he was hobnobbing with Andy Warhol, Joe Strummer of the Clash and Allen Ginsberg. During the late 1970s, he was playing drums in the influential punk band the Stimulators, and then in the early ’80s he founded an even more influential band, the Cro-Mags. That band’s 1985 demo became one of a few blueprints for New York’s metallic sound, which is still alive today.

Mr. Flanagan has led a life heavily dressed with drugs, violence and bitter feuds, the greatest of all with John Joseph McGowan, the Cro-Mags’ charismatic frontman. In late July, Mr. McGowan’s current incarnation of the Cro-Mags played a free show in Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan to benefit Gary Miller, better known as Dr. Know, the ailing guitarist of the Bad Brains, another legend of the hard-core scene. Mr. Flanagan did not join him onstage he has been excluded from any Cro-Mags tours for the past decade.

The beef between these onetime best friends had been on a simmer for years until Mr. Flanagan was arrested and charged with stabbing two people at a Cro-Mags show at Webster Hall in the East Village in 2012. Initial reports painted Mr. Flanagan as a lunatic who had stormed backstage with a hunting knife and stabbed current members of the Cro-Mags. According to Mr. Flanagan, he came in peace, seeking reconciliation with Mr. McGowan, when a melee broke out. He had a gym bag with a knife in it, which he described as “a small blade.”

What happened that night remains unclear. Mike Couls, who had been recruited to play bass with the band, was stabbed during the episode and hospitalized. (Mr. Couls did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. McGowan, 53, also declined to be interviewed for this article.) Severely beaten, Mr. Flanagan spent a week at the Rikers Island jail complex until his uncle bailed him out for $25,000. A few months later, the charges of felony assault were dropped.

Suffice it to say, Mr. Flanagan has always been a magnet for drama, most of which is detailed in a memoir he has been working on since the 1990s, “Hard-Core: Life of My Own,” to be released on Sept. 27 by Feral House. It is the story of a young hoodlum who made some astonishingly bad choices, had an uncanny knack for surrounding himself with interesting people and somehow managed to stay alive and grow up.

In stark contrast to his very intimidating appearance — he is covered in tattoos, the word “Skinhead” inked across his knuckles — Mr. Flanagan is mild-mannered. He lives with his wife and two hyperactive pit bulls in an apartment decorated with family photos, martial arts medals and punk artifacts, like the key to Room 100 of the Chelsea Hotel, where Nancy Spungen, Sid Vicious’s girlfriend, died in 1978. He speaks slowly and, at times, with great profundity and a penchant for four-letter words.


Interview: Council of Dads’ Clive Standen

Clive Standen is a deep, introspective, and very chatty person. From the very beginning of our fun phone interview, we spoke about the fact that he used to live in Toronto, threw out the first pitch at a Blue Jays game, hung out with Josh Donaldson on the field, went to TIFF, and learned to love hockey.

We moved into talking about how his series, Council of Dads, is a special one. Standen plays a role unlike any that have come to define him up to this point. As Anthony, a chef, he gives one of the most immersive performances of his career. Council of Dads is an NBC/Citytv show that moved him so much upon reading the very first episode, it had him un-attach from a lead role on another series (I didn’t dare ask which one), in order to sign on to this one.

Give Council of Dads a chance. It’s hopeful, it’s optimistic, it’s quaranstreamable, and most of all, Clive Standen kicks some serious ass, but in a different way than to which we may be used.

The following is a condensed and edited version of an intense chat with the wonder that is actor Clive Standen of Council of Dads.

Brief Take: How big did you want to play this role, especially in comparison with some of your previous characters?

Clive Standen: Well I based him really, and the showrunners and writers did, on Anthony Bourdain sort of. Adding that kind of larger-than-life [chuckles] kind of, he’s a chef, he’s an aspiring Michelin star chef as well, so he has that kind of ego and that kind of presence and pull for himself. So he’s a larger than life character and he very much holds his heart on his sleeve, so when he’s angry, he shows he’s angry, when he’s happy, he shows he’s happy. He’s a bit of a whirlwind character and so that’s where the basis was. But that season, everything came from my lovely idea that you create the character in the obvious and that’s going to give you a chance to show another aspect to the character, every tattoo in most people’s lives, especially all the chefs like that, they have certain stories behind them, it’s not just: “Ohhh, I fancied having a picture of a bunch of hearts on my arm because I watched The Fast and The Furious.” [laughs] There will be a story behind the Japanese cooking place or behind the one chef with whom they worked and the experience. And also not just reading about food, sometimes it’s like: “Well this tattoo shows another broken relationship”, or it’s got something to do with his childhood or something like that. It gives it a little backstory. It may never come out to the audience, but it helps you as an actor kind of hold on to something. It’s like a little secret. It’s great as an actor to have secrets for your character because when you play into a scene, you can go: “Ahhhh, I know something you don’t know”, and it just gives that little mysticism as well, and it makes you feel a little more well-rounded as an actor and as a character.

Another thing I did, which I haven’t really talked about before in an interview and I’ve never really done with any other character, is that I did a little bit of an experiment because I wanted to kind of see, because the character was closer to me, I wanted to see if I could create some fake emotional triggers, like emotional recall, and I haven’t used it quite a lot in my acting, so I started creating a playlist, mainly of [chuckles] Mumford & Sons songs. When I listened to them, I started to create a fake story from the lyrics that was just correlated to my character. So whenever I would go to the gym, I would just play the same playlist over and over again. As I was losing myself running or cycling for 60 minutes, I would always hear the same songs and I would start to think of that story of when the songwriter sings, I would start to think about my character and I would have to put him back in that particular moment and making it his memory. So then when I was on set, I would start playing these songs and it would take me back into these different fake memories, which was a very original way for me to create a backstory because I could really pin it to an emotion, rather than writing down: “Oh, this is where he grew up and this is what happened to him and this is where he went and this is where he trained”, and it became a very visceral thing to which I could hold on. So I could hear a song and I could create a particular memory about maybe a lover that he would have at chess school, or…I don’t even know how to really tell you on the phone, but there were these really intricate moments that when this song came on, it suddenly triggered that part of me, I found that very fun and actually enabled me to create this character that doesn’t necessarily have to live through my own memories. This was really the first time that I’ve ever spoken about it out loud but I am glad that I had done it. I actually found it really, really therapeutic. It’s rather like the musical version of creating a mood board.

BT: A moment I really enjoyed in the pilot is when you took the transphobic grandmother, played by Becky Ann Baker, to task. You basically said “Not today”. I was wondering how you chose to play that particular scene.

CS: Yeah, she’s an incredible actress. She’d come in for like two days and the rest of us were like: “Oh! We have to raise our game”. She’s a brilliant actress and such a wonderful woman. But yeah, what’s nice about that is that it comes near the end of the episode, so it’s not even really about that, it actually does come at a moment in which it really doesn’t matter. It’s just JJ. And we shouldn’t be sitting there trying to point it out and making it a big thing in the show, it really is at the point in which he’s a boy, all the way through the show and there’s no difference. There’s no time to create this really big dramatic moment in which we are drawing too much attention to it because it really shouldn’t have. What is our objective, what is our M.O. in society is that there shouldn’t be a problem. This doesn’t need to be something that is highlighted, he is who he is and that’s the approach that we took to that scene at that point in that episode.

Anthony is basically just going: “this is no big deal”, it’s an educational moment. I think that’s the thing that we’re trying to be like, I know that it’s definitely what I wanted to be like, is we’ve got to get out of this society in which we judge people and we just fail them. We just go: “Well, we’ve judged you. Be wise”. The energy should be in the learning, Charles, so if someone messes up, if someone seems to be uneducated in that particular thing, it gives a chance to teach and a chance to educate, rather than to chastise and to persuade, because nothing ever gets achieved when you lash out at something. I think that’s where Anthony’s strength is in that particular moment. And with the children as well is that everything is a learning opportunity, that he connects with people on their level and tries to educate. I think that’s probably what we’re trying to do in that scene, in episode one as well. That’s definitely where I came from, that there’s definitely a chance to try and educate, rather than to chastise someone, especially when it comes to different generations.

BT: How seriously do you take the immersion into a character, especially that of Anthony in Council of Dads?

CS: I wanted to learn as much as I could, because in TV, you never know when the script changes, and baking a cake might turn into oyster shucking, but if you can’t shuck an oyster, then the next day, you’re going to be worrying ahead about how you would clutch in your fingers the shucking knife, rather than focusing on the character and what exactly he’s doing to the other characters in the scene and what is happening with him in the scene. So if you actually know how to do a lot of these skills, if you know how to chop with a chef’s knife like a chef does, then you can actually concentrate on knowing that your hand is going to do what it’s going to do and you can concentrate on playing the character. There’s that aspect of it as well, but it also gives you a flavour of who the person is, what they learn very quickly from doing a lot of these cookery classes, although I wasn’t great at a lot of these cookery classes. I did a Japanese cookery course and I was awful at that kind of cooking. Italian cooking with fresh pasta and pasta sauce, I took to that very quickly and I carry it on. Baking with apple pies and lemon meringue pies and things like making my own pie crusts and things and blind baking, I was quite good at.

What it taught me straight away when I start doing these cooking classes is it’s about a specificity and it’s about timing and if one thing, if one ingredient is too little or too much, if you put it into the oven too quickly before it hits the right temperature and then with the flavours, with acid and salt and fat and things and how every little thing can change a dish, you suddenly find that passion for which I was looking that I didn’t respect before I did the classes for being a chef, about how the timing is right and about how you have to be so passionate, you have to be so connected to the food and to take it so seriously, it’s not just slapdash. It’s about preparation and everything has its place, we saw that, there’s a place for everything and everything has its place. And how together you are as a chef, but sometimes what I love about my character and the choice I made is that he’s very together in the kitchen that he’s almost like a surgeon. But then outside of his life, everything else is messy and putters, because his brain is so focused on that one passion, which is very similar to an actor. I get very, very focused on my characters and I can tell you every little thing about him and all of my thoughts most of the way through the day, from when I wake up in the morning until I go to bed are on what I am working, but that almost means [chuckles] that a lot of my life is completely messy and crazy and I put things off until the last minute, but that’s where it came from. But it always comes from just immersing yourself in that life that you finally find that respect. You have to respect the character that you’re playing. You don’t have to like him. Like in Vikings, Rollo, I don’t like Rollo, but I definitely respect him. And as an actor, you need to respect the character that you’re playing, because you need to know where he comes from.

The best thing about acting, I suppose, is that there’s no real retirement age as long as you can do it. Even if you end up in a wheelchair, or your health is low, there’s people out there like that and therefore you can play them. Acting is about mirroring nature, so as long as there’s 90-year-old people out there, you can be a 90-year-old actor. So that’s what I intend, but it’s an industry, so you have to spin as many plates to keep people interested or remind people that you’re more than just the Viking, or you’re more than just the Action Man or whatever. And so I try my best, with every new role that I take I try to wipe the slate clean and to start from scratch and to show people that there’s another string to my bow, so to speak. And that’s what I’m trying to do because I want to be in this business a long time, I love it. [laughs]

BT: Who are the actors that you think of as your favourites or those that dig deep into the element of character?

CS: Well if I was going to have any acting hero, it would be Viggo Mortensen, but on screen. I’ve never met the man and he’s probably the one person in my life that I would go all a little bit weird with if I ever meet him and get starstruck, [laughs] but that’s what would happen when you respect him to the extent that I do. But in all honesty, when I was training in drama school, I didn’t realize that I was that lucky at the time, but I just to pay the bills and to get myself through jobs for three years and to pay the fees, I worked as an usher in the National Theatre of Great Britain. The National Theatre has three different theatre spaces and there are three different repertory groups. So at any one time, they have about nine different plays going on at that theatre at the same time. And every two or three months, they change over to a different play, so there is this revolving conveyor belt of amazing plays with incredible actors coming through all the time. And I worked there for three years, selling programs, selling ice creams and taking people to their seats. But every evening after I finished drama school, I got to watch, and in the intervals in which you’re selling programs, but then you get to watch these incredible shows over and over again. And some people that worked there, they were just doing it because they were at university and they would just sit there reading their book and do their homework outside the theatre, I chose most nights to sit at the back of theatre and watch these incredible actors, and I got to watch Mark Rylance over and over again. Vanessa Redgrave, Janet McTeer, Harriet Walter, all these incredible actors, Kenneth Branagh for three years. And what’s interesting about that is that you see how you get through that performance every time, so I didn’t just watch the play, I would start watching the same actor, every night, and seeing how their performance changes and seeing how free he was that night or what choices he made that are different than the other night, and I think that the best training that I ever had as an actor and the most respect I ever had for the process, every actor works entirely differently. And for me, that was my toolbox. I think that what works for me I get from one actor and then I take a little bit from another actor, I was very malleable back then, that was when I was 19-21 years old. I think that’s from where my toolbox comes now is from actors that I have observed for so long.

In terms of working with, Gabriel Byrne was an incredible friend to me when I first got my role in Vikings. He was in season one and seeing the way that he worked… He had just come off of In Treatment for HBO. And I remember that he came in on his very first day and he didn’t know any of his lines at all. [laughs] I was like: “Oh my goodness, me!”. [laughs] And I got really worried because I really respected Gabriel and I’m like: “God, I’m doing scenes with him” but he did know his lines but he didn’t know them as well as I imagined it. I thought that he had come into the rehearsal and he’d just blown everyone away. And I was like: “Wow! this was strange!”. And we blocked the scene and it was a big scene in which Ragnor and Rollo are coming into the big Great Hall and Earl Haroldson, Gabriel’s character, was giving a big speech. And then we set up all the lights and the cameras and that after 15-20 minutes in which they were doing that, he came back down and then take one, on camera, blew everyone away. Knew his lines perfectly, his choices, his motivation, and it was an incredible masterclass. So I asked him, I said: “Look, you seemed as though you didn’t know your lines”, and he said “I didn’t”. [laughs] He said: “While I was on In Treatment, I had to learn 45 minutes to an hour’s worth of dialogue”, because in that show that he was in on HBO, it was pretty much him and another actor in a psychiatrist’s treatment small room, so it was like doing a play every week. He said that the rewrites would happen so much and they would have to change on the day in which the two actors got together, and when they would have to start the rehearsing, the dialogue would change. And he said that “I would actually have to learn to adapt.” So in those 15 minutes, he just… And then as soon as our scene was done, he’d almost forget the lines again. But it was present when he needed it.

BT: What does Council of Dads mean to you?

CS: I think that for television purposes, we redefine the contemporary family a little bit. We bring everyone into the fold, it’s not about blood, it’s about love and who shows up. Family is more complex and includes a lot more people than I think for which the average tv show gives them credit. I think that we have changed somewhat. I think that I look back on when I was growing up and I didn’t really see my typical family very often. But the people that I called “Uncle Steve or Auntie…” they were Mum’s and Dad’s best friends that would come. Especially nowadays in lockdown, we’ve got people that we assume and have kept to a family, but sometimes it doesn’t work out the way that we hope, and it’s my friends that hold me up. I’m homeschooling and I’ve got the kids and the family and the wife, but I’m not very good at being on my own and I’m not very good at asking for their help, unfortunately. I’ve found homeschooling to be very, very tough at times, but I have great friends that suddenly, it’s so bizarre but they’re there for me right when I need them. It’s like: “Hey, how are you doing?” and they can’t come around, but it’s just like Zoom calls can sort your head and everything. And it’s like: “Wow! They’re there for me!” and it’s about who shows up.

And I think that the Council, it’s more than just godparents, as a lot of people have godparents who are there in the event of a tragedy, or they’re there for advice or our kids, but I don’t know, they’re almost like a Stonehenge. Like a fraternity of equal parts curiosity, kinship, and in our show, rivalry, that three very different people almost make them the memory of the father, kind of his legacy and his values. They’re like a community, it’s like having a community, like almost like Stonehenge [laughs], if you will. The family can seek relief and ask for the help and feel like they’re being judged for it. I think that is an issue that’s worth raising as well, which is that mainly single mums or mums that do it by themselves are home most of the day, having to do work with the kids without really having any other sort of adult company around, but it’s also about single dads as well and it’s about that there’s a kind of sense of that if you ask for help, you’re kind of lacking as a parent right now. And you’re not. And while it might not be what you expect, there are a bunch of good people right now that can rally in around you and can help. I think that’s what this show has at the forefront, it’s about how there’s nothing wrong with asking for help, there’s nothing wrong with having communicative people, because it does take a village sometimes. [laughs]

BT: How did you know this show was the right fit for you?

CS: Council of Dads, when I went through for the meeting with Tony (Phelan) and Joan (Rater), the writer / showrunners, I remember that I’d read the script, so I knew that I had wanted it, but then you meet the showrunners and you see what they had to do with it. I remember the moment in the room that I wanted to work with them because Tony had just mentioned the word “collaboration”. We would go into the writers’ room and we would tell our stories. And they would listen and they would work around us to create the character, which is just what you want to hear as an actor, the word “collaboration”. We’re not just going to write this, we’re going to build this character together, we’re going to build the show together. And it’s been very nice to have this process involved for all of the other actors, working with Tony and Joan and the writers’ room, because it’s very rare that you get that, especially on network tv. You sometimes get the show around the writers, it’s their way or the highway and they write it, and then you’re looking at this going: “Oh, can I change this particular bit?, or I’ve got this idea”, and they’re like: “Nope!” But Tony and Joan are very good. Every time they’re talking to you, they’re just soaking you in and soaking you up and then the next clip comes along and you’re like: “Oh my God! I’ve talked about that with them and they’re taking that part of me and put it into the show” and it’s a bit disconcerting, [chuckles] but it’s great that they’re so invested in me.

BT: I think that viewers will really respond to this show.

CS: Fingers crossed that people will like watching it and we’ll have many seasons of Council of Dads.


Down-home Pueblo restaurant opens Monday at Latinicity in Loop's Block 37

Monday is the soft opening for Richard Sandoval's latest restaurant. Pueblo, described as a place serving "abuela-style" food ("abuela" means "grandmother"), will make its debut as part of Sandoval's Latinicity Food Hall + Lounge, in the Loop's Block 37 development.

The restaurant is a collaborative effort between Sandoval and Pablo Salas, who owns the well-regarded Amarante restaurant in Mexico City.

Pueblo's chef will be Jim Ortiz, a native Chicagoan who was the first recipient of the Rick Bayless Frontera Scholarship. So apparently that worked out.

Look for familiar dishes — quesadillas, albondigas, fideo seco — with promises of the occasional twist.


Ohio pastor with ties to Trump postpones Chicago 'gang summit'

A Cleveland-area minister with ties to President Donald Trump had planned to hold what he billed as "a gang summit" at the O'Hare Marriott on Tuesday afternoon.

But late Monday, the Rev. Darrell Scott said the summit was postponed because certain people he invited to speak couldn't make it. Scott said the meeting would be rescheduled for a later date.

A news release Monday announcing the summit said Scott would team with employment, housing and education experts in an attempt to negotiate "an immediate ceasefire" to gang violence in Chicago.

After Scott later downplayed that possibility in a telephone interview with a Chicago Tribune reporter, an amended news release was sent out with that promise gone.

"I don't know where that came from," said Scott, sounding surprised when the reporter asked him about that detail in the release. "I think they went a little bit overboard. What is this, Israel and Palestine?"

The announcement of the gang summit came a month and a half after Scott, during a public meeting with Trump at the White House, made the surprise announcement that "top gang thugs" in Chicago wanted to meet with him to help reduce the "body count."

"That's a great idea because Chicago is totally out of control," Trump responded.

A week earlier, the president had stirred much speculation by tweeting about Chicago's violent January, saying if city officials can't address it, "I will send in the Feds!"

Last year, homicides exceeded 760, the most in two decades.

Among those stunned by Scott's televised pronouncement to Trump was Torrence Cooks, a self-styled Chicago anti-violence activist who had reached out to Scott weeks earlier about his idea to organize a field trip to Washington, D.C., for about 90 black youths.

In a front-page Tribune story last month, Cooks, identified in court records as a former high-ranking gang member, said his discussions with Scott expanded beyond just a field trip to how to curb violence in general.

But Cooks had no idea that their brainstorming would reach the president until he happened to catch Scott's remarks on television from the White House on Feb. 1.

In the interview Monday, Scott said Cooks had planned to bring about 15 to 20 people from different parts of the city to the event. Scott, though, shied away from calling them gang leaders, as the news release had.

"These will be people that have influence . in the community," Scott told the Tribune. "And I believe they are able to influence those in the community to act differently than they've been acting."


Watch the video: Anthony Bourdain - No Reservations S07E11 Naples (December 2021).