Serious Eats' podcast Special Sauce enables food lovers everywhere to eavesdrop on an intimate conversation about food and life between host and Serious Eats founder Ed Levine and his well-known/famous friends and acquaintances both in and out of the food culture.
United States
177 episodes
since Oct. 29, 2015


In part 2 of my extraordinary chat with chef-restaurateur-activist Alvin Cailan, we delved deeply into his socio-political motivations, but we still managed to fit in some laughs. Cailan says he's always been motivated to confound the pessimism he frequently encountered growing up, akin to what former President George W. Bush described as "the soft bigotry of low expectations." "I grew up in the early 1990s in the rebellious era of gangster rap and...the rise of the immigrant voice," Cailan tells me, and that spirit helped him push back against the people in his hometown of Pico Rivera in California, who would tell him his ambitions were fantasies. "Everyone tells you, 'Oh, you can't do that.' 'Don't even think about going to UCLA or USC.' My whole entire life I've always been fighting for,'I can do it, too.'" That can-do attitude basically led to the creation of the popular web series he hosts on First We Feast, The Burger Show. After convincing the producers of the FOX cartoon Bob's Burgers to allow him to run a pop-up that offered burgers featured on the show ("I had seven days, seven chefs, seven pun burgers and we did out of my incubator in Las Angeles."), Cailan became known for his burgers. Or, as he puts it, "I became the burger dude. People started asking me to go on their shows, their podcast, whatever. Finally, [the producer] Justin Bolois...asked me if I can host this show he's working on." And he couldn't pass it up. "I love burgers," Cailan says. "I never really intended to be a TV or personality." The Usual, one of Cailan's restaurants in New York City, has an unusual sandwich board sign in front: "American comfort food cooked by children of immigrants." I ask him what the story is about that. "I want people to know, when they're coming here, they're going to have food cooked by people of color and it's American comfort food, but influenced by our ethnicity and our culture...It's American food in 2019." I also get Cailan to explain to me why you can't order one of his signature sandwiches at The Usual, but to find out what sandwich that is and why he can't give it to you, you're just going to have to listen to find out. -- The full transcript for this episode can be found over here at Serious Eats: https://www.seriouseats.com/2019/07/special-sauce-alvin-cailan-2-2.html  
Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Serious Eats, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.


Why to claim podcasts?

If you are a podcaster, the best way to manage your podcasts on Listen Notes is by claiming your Listen Notes podcast pages. It is a great, free way to engage the podcast community and increase the visibility of your podcasts.
After claiming your Listen Notes podcast pages, you will be able to:
Manually refresh the RSS feed to sync up
Get a verified badge (
) alongside with your podcast name on Listen Notes
Post classified ads for sponsorship, guests, co-hosts, cross-promotion...
Coming soon:
Self-service promotion on Listen Notes
Use speech-to-text techniques to transcribe your show and edit transcripts
Improve the presence of your podcasts, e.g., self served podcaster interview...
Respond to listener comments on Listen Notes
Track your podcast stats on Listen Notes, e.g., listens, page views...
Manage episodes


Thank you for helping to keep the podcast database up to date.