BEST FOOD PODCAST James Beard Awards, Webby Awards

Can You Spot A Fake Chef?

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Sep 16, 2019

When the Sporkful decided to create its first game show, we knew it needed three things: comedy, deception, and surprise. And so, Sporkful listeners, we present to you: TWO CHEFS AND A LIE!

The rules are simple. We call three purported chefs. Dan asks them five — and only five — questions each. And together with Dan, we sift through fact and fiction. The task: decipher which of the three chefs is real and which is an utter fraud.

Is it the New Orleans sandwich maven who got her start catering to her weed dealer’s cravings? Or is it the dentist-turned-Indian-street-food impresario whose business is booming in Pennsylvania? No, it’s definitely the sugar-starved pastry chef who escaped a restrictive childhood diet and found refuge making the fattiest, sweetest confections this side of the Seine. Right? Right??

Listen and play this week's episode to find out. Can you spot a fake chef?  

Today's sponsors:

Interstitial music in this show by Black Label Music:

- "On the Floor" by Black Label Productions

- "Together Again" by Ken Brahmstedt

- "False Alarm Instrumental" by Hayley Briasco

- "Talk to Me Now Instrumental" by Hayley Briasco and Ken Brahmstedt

Photo courtesy of Satish Krishnamurthy.

Speaker 1:                    Now, a delicious word from our sponsors.

Speaker 2:                    Mmm, mmm. It's very good.

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Ngofeen M.:                 Hey.

Dan Pashman:               Hello, Ngofeen, Sporkful producer.

Ngofeen M.:                 Hey, Dan, Sporkful host.

Dan Pashman:               You have brought me into the studio to record an episode of The Sporkful.

Ngofeen M.:                 That's what we do here.

Dan Pashman:               But like normally, when this happens, there's prep and there's discussions and you give me a lot of research to read. Then I come in with notes and ideas and questions.

Ngofeen M.:                 Yep.

Dan Pashman:               Now I am sitting here in front of a blank piece of paper.

Ngofeen M.:                 Correct.

Dan Pashman:               What's going on?

Ngofeen M.:                 We're doing something different this week. This episode of The Sporkful is a game. The entire episode is a game. You are the player, the contestant, as are Sporkful listeners. Do you remember the game, Two Truths and a Lie?

Dan Pashman:               Yeah. That's like, it's like you sit in a room and people take turns saying three things about themselves.

Ngofeen M.:                 Right.

Dan Pashman:               Two truths, one lie.

Ngofeen M.:                 You try to figure out ...

Dan Pashman:               Right. Everyone else in the room has to figure out which one of those of three things is the lie.

Ngofeen M.:                 Exactly. We have three chefs. Two of them are real chefs, one of them is faking. Your job is to figure out who is the fake chef. Get ready, Sporkful listeners too, for Two Chefs and a Lie. Da, da, da, da.

Dan Pashman:               Da, da. We need some good '70s game show music in there.

Ngofeen M.:                 Obviously.

Dan Pashman:               This is The Sporkful. It's not for foodies, it's for eaters. I'm Dan Pashman. Each week on our show, we obsess about food to learn more about people. Hey, real quick here at the top. Just a few days until our live taping at Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival in Charlottesville.

Dan Pashman:               Our show is part of a whole day of great speakers and tastings. That's this Saturday, September 21st. Make a whole weekend of it. Info and tickets at Sporkful.com/live. Okay, Ngofeen, turning it back over to you. How do we play?

Ngofeen M.:                 All right, so Two Chefs and a Lie. Here's the deal. We've got three chefs lined up. They'll each give you like a really brief intro to give you a sense of who they are. Then you get to ask them questions.

Dan Pashman:               Okay.

Ngofeen M.:                 Since this is a game, there are rules.

Dan Pashman:               Okay.

Ngofeen M.:                 First off, no Google.

Dan Pashman:               Right, right. That's obvious, but yes.

Ngofeen M.:                 No scrolling through your phone.

Dan Pashman:               That goes for folks at home too.

Ngofeen M.:                 Exactly.

Dan Pashman:               Okay.

Ngofeen M.:                 Number two, you only get five questions.

Dan Pashman:               Ooh.

Ngofeen M.:                 Then there might be other surprises to come. You never know.

Dan Pashman:               Okay, okay. Let me just think a little bit here, before we do the first one, about strategy. I mean, you're trying to catch someone in a lie is what you're doing here, so I think the first key is specifics, make them get into specifics, because that's where people tend to get tripped-up.

Dan Pashman:               Then also just sort of like, a little bit just kind of trying to read the answers, like how natural does it feel? Does it seem like this person is hesitating or making it up as they're going along?

Dan Pashman:               I mean, if you think of the basic principles of Two Truths and a Lie, when it works well, you want one of the truths to be so outrageous that that's what everyone thinks is a lie.

Ngofeen M.:                 All right, Dan. Let's get started with our first chef-

Dan Pashman:               Chef in quotes.

Ngofeen M.:                 Oh my gosh, so eager. Chef in quotes, Elizabeth Anderson.

Dan Pashman:               All right. Let's talk to Elizabeth. If that is her real name.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Hello.

Dan Pashman:               Hi, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth Anderson:      Hi. How are you?

Dan Pashman:               Good, good. It's Dan Pashman from The Sporkful, how are you?

Elizabeth Anderson:      I'm doing well. Thanks for calling.

Dan Pashman:               Thanks so much for joining us on the show today.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Yeah, I'm very excited.

Dan Pashman:               Okay.

Elizabeth Anderson:      My intro is I now own one of the most popular restaurants in New Orleans, and it's all thanks to my weed dealer, and yeah. Basically, I grew up moving around a bunch. I'm originally from New Orleans. I lived in Miami for a while. Then I moved back to New Orleans for college. Yeah, while I was studying there, I started-

Dan Pashman:               Where did you go to college?

Elizabeth Anderson:      Where did I go to college?

Dan Pashman:               Yeah.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Tulane.

Dan Pashman:               Okay.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Yeah.

Dan Pashman:               That's one of my questions.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Okay, yeah. That's why I was like, wait, are we starting the questions?

Dan Pashman:               Yeah. I was just trying to keep you on your toes there, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Sure, sure, sure.

Dan Pashman:               One question down.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Yeah, I went to Tulane for English. I guess that's free info. Yeah, I went to Tulane for English, and I, while I was studying, I would make these really big, crazy sandwiches. I would put like fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese and chips, and leftover cabbage. Whatever we just had in the fridge, I would just make these big sandwiches.

Elizabeth Anderson:      One night, our weed dealer came over and was bringing us weed, and my weed dealer was like, "Can I have a sandwich?" I made him a sandwich and he was really into them. He kept hitting me up after to get sandwiches from me.

Elizabeth Anderson:      I got really into making them, and started making sandwiches at like a stand kind of thing, that I would sell at like jazz fests. Did the rounds at a lot of festivals, and after concerts would let out, and stuff like that. I would sell these sandwiches, and eventually made enough money through selling them to open my own restaurant.

Dan Pashman:               What's the restaurant called?

Elizabeth Anderson:      Turkey and Wolf.

Dan Pashman:               She said that very definitively, but she probably anticipated that question.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Yes, I was prepared to tell you what restaurant I own.

Dan Pashman:               Okay. Hmm, okay, all right. Question number three. Tell me how you make your most popular sandwich.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Have you ever had a po' boy before? I guess is my first question.

Dan Pashman:               Yeah, like a hot dog bun with fried something inside.

Elizabeth Anderson:      I guess, kind of, yeah. It's like a different kind of ... It's French bread, traditionally.

Dan Pashman:               Right. It's not an actual ... Right, right. It's not, you're right. In proper terms, it's not a hot dog bun.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Sure, sure, sure. Yeah. I take French bread and I deep fry it. To make it really crispy, I fry it really hot, really fast.

Dan Pashman:               The bread?

Elizabeth Anderson:      The bread.

Dan Pashman:               This is not one of my questions. This is for point of clarification.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Okay.

Dan Pashman:               You deep fry the bread?

Elizabeth Anderson:      I deep fry the bread.

Dan Pashman:               Okay.

Elizabeth Anderson:      If you deep fry it in really hot oil really fast, it doesn't have time to absorb the oil, and it just gets really crunchy on the outside, but stays soft on the inside. That's how I prepare the bread. Then I make a dressing that's kind of like a combination of like, I don't know if you know what Comeback dressing is. It's like a dressing that's big in the South that's kind of like Thousand Island. I make a sauce that's like a mixture of Comeback dressing and potato salad.

Elizabeth Anderson:      I, essentially, make a potato salad with Comeback dressing as like the mayonnaise, but then I purée it up, so it's more of the consistency of like a sauce. It's kind of based off like if you've ever had Skordalia at a Greek restaurant, which is like a cold potato and garlic dip, it's kind of based off that, so that's the spread on the bread. Then I put fried green tomatoes, fried onion rings, shrimp.

Elizabeth Anderson:      You can either get it fried, which is what I like to do, because why not get it all fried? Or you could also get it grilled. Then I do pickles that are marinated in Tabasco, freshly shredded lettuce, and then raw onion. That's our most traditional sandwich, because it's kind of a spin on what you can get at other places in New Orleans, so it's big with tourists.

Dan Pashman:               Question four. Why do you slice the raw onions in your po' boy at whatever thickness it is that you slice them?

Elizabeth Anderson:      I do a big hunk, like a big, thick slice of onion, because that's how I like it. I think onion is so important, both in texture and in flavor. Then we use a little bit of a sweeter onion so it kind of offsets those spicy pickles. I like that the size of it is roughly the same size as the fried green tomatoes on the sandwich. I think that's nice.

Dan Pashman:               Question five. What is the address of your restaurant?

Elizabeth Anderson:      627 Tchoupitoulas Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 71369.

Dan Pashman:               That was, that seemed pretty assured. That didn't sound like you were making that up. Maybe that's just your home address, but you probably wouldn't want to give that out on a podcast.

Elizabeth Anderson:      No. That would be absolutely insane.

Dan Pashman:               All right, Elizabeth Anderson, who claims to be the chef at, what's this restaurant you made up for this segment?

Elizabeth Anderson:      Turkey and Wolf.

Dan Pashman:               Turkey and Wolf. At what address?

Elizabeth Anderson:      I can't say it again. Do I have to put that together?

Dan Pashman:               Okay, all right. You don't have to say ... All right.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Okay. That feels crazy to me. I feel like you're cheating.

Dan Pashman:               No, okay. All right, all right. Well, Elizabeth Anderson, who claims to be a chef at Turkey and Wolf in New Orleans, well, I guess, you'll be back on the line at the end of the show when the faker is revealed. Is that right?

Elizabeth Anderson:      Yeah, I think so.

Dan Pashman:               All right, great. Thank you very much. Stand by and I'll talk to you at the end of the show.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Great, all right. Thanks so much.

Ngofeen M.:                 Dan, you get how this game works?

Dan Pashman:               I'm picking it up now. I went in with a strategy of like, make them talk about specifics about their food, because if they're a real chef, they'll be able to answer those questions, and if they're not, then they'll eventually get flustered.

Dan Pashman:               What I realized is that because I'm not a chef, and don't really know that much about cooking, it's kind of like talking to an auto mechanic who's like, "Yeah, your flux capacitor's broken." I'm like, "Okay, I guess it's broken. Oh, well. How much is it going to cost?" "It's a million dollars." "Oh, no. Not a million dollars." No idea. Everything she said sounded very convincing, but she literally could have been making it all up. I don't ...

Ngofeen M.:                 Right, right, right, right, right. Well, Dan, you and Sporkful listeners have a few minutes to rethink that strategy, figure out what you want to do while we go to our break. When we come back, the game continues and we reveal the fake chef.

Dan Pashman:               I'm excited, slash, nervous.

Ngofeen M.:                 I get to say this now. Stick around.

Dan Pashman:               That was good.

Ngofeen M.:                 Thank you. I try, I try.

Speaker 6:                    Time to cook up some advertisements.

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Dan Pashman:               What would your ideal morning look like if anything were possible? I'll tell you about mine. It would start with a Thomas' English Muffin. I would split it with a fork, of course, because a knife would destroy the nooks and crannies. I would toast it. You get the nice dark brown peaks, the light brown edges, the soft, chewy interior.

Dan Pashman:               Then I would take that English Muffin, and hmm, let's see. Today, I think, I'm going avocado toast, but I got a twist. I'm going to take the avocado, it's perfectly ripe, it's smooth and creamy. I'm going to spread it on the English Muffin, and then instead of a nice coarse salt, which would be my normal move, I'm going to use some spicy chili crisp.

Dan Pashman:               You guys on to this? Oh my god. I can't even really describe it, but you put it on anything. It's got little crunchy bits, it's salty, it's got some MSG in it, it's fantastic, and it's great with avocado. Now as I bite into this, I have the crunchy bits on top, the smooth, creamy avocado, and then the Thomas' English Muffin is the foundation of the structure.

Dan Pashman:               Tell me, what would your ideal morning look like if anything were possible? While you think about it, I'll post a recipe in the show notes for you to check out. Thomas', wake-up to what's possible.

Dan Pashman:               What are the components of the perfect eating experience? Well, good food, of course. You want the right setting. Maybe it's a great restaurant, maybe it's your couch. Then, of course, the people. You want the right company or maybe no company, if you feel like being alone. Whatever it is, it's got to be right for you.

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Dan Pashman:               Welcome back to The Sporkful. I'm Dan Pashman. Question. What's the best way to eat eggs? Well, keep listening until the very end of this episode when I'll discuss that and more with a Pete and Gerry's organic egg farmer in Augusta County, Virginia. Not all organic eggs are the same. Stay tuned to find out why.

Dan Pashman:               In other news, last month we dropped a pretty special episode all about jelly and its use throughout music history. Black musicians have used jelly as a metaphor, dating from the Harlem Renaissance to Beyoncé.

Speaker 7:                    Anytime women go against what is a cultural expectation, there's going to be tensions. Part of what, to me, Beyoncé's doing with Bootylicious is breaking out to say, "I'm reclaiming black women's bodies."

Dan Pashman:               In this special episode, we also talk with the guy who created the Peanut Butter Jelly Time meme, and the whole episode culminates with us performing an original song all about jelly. Yes, for the first time in our show's history, I sing in this one, just a little.

Dan Pashman:               Once you hear our song, you won't be able to stop singing it yourself. That episode is called Jelly: A Musical Odyssey. It's up now, you got to hear it.

Ngofeen M.:                 All right, Dan. Welcome back to the game, Two Chefs and a Lie. Quick recap. You get five questions per chef to figure out which one of these people is not a real chef. We've got two more chefs left. Sound good? Sound good for you?

Dan Pashman:               All right. I got it. I'm ready.

Ngofeen M.:                 All right. Let's talk to our next chef, Katie Simpson.

Dan Pashman:               All right. Katie?

Katie Simpson:             Oh my gosh. I can't believe that I'm talking to you. This is amazing.

Dan Pashman:               Is it, really?

Katie Simpson:             Yes, it really, really is.

Dan Pashman:               Well, yeah. Thanks so much for joining. I can't believe I'm talking to you, but am I really talking to you, Katie? That's the question, isn't it?

Katie Simpson:             Well, I know. We'll find out, right?

Dan Pashman:               Yeah, yeah.

Katie Simpson:             Okay. In my childhood, my parents were extremely focused on health, and like focused on health to the point where we had very, very specific rules about what we could and could not eat, and so food was a constant focus all the time, and so it was constantly like, what are the ingredients? Who made it? Where did it come from? Is it like, quote, like good enough to be eating?

Katie Simpson:             I grew up, like my whole childhood, we never had anything resembling cereal, ever. I never tasted fast food the entirety of my childhood. Anything-

Dan Pashman:               Where did you grow up, Katie?

Katie Simpson:             Oh, I grew up in Chicago.

Dan Pashman:               Okay, all right. That's my first question. I just wanted to, I'm trying to jump in, keep you on your toes there. Took you a while-

Katie Simpson:             Yeah, no problem.

Dan Pashman:               ... to remember where you're from, but that's okay.

Katie Simpson:             Well, no. You did totally catch me off-guard there, yes, so yeah, I grew up in Chicago. Thankfully, of course, in Chicago, you have a whole breadth of beautiful food to be eating.

Katie Simpson:             Going through life this way, obviously, my favorite thing in the whole world was dessert. It was something that was doled out at very, very special occasions. We never had candy, so the kind of desserts that I had when I was a kid were all very fancy. It was all very much like super expensive premium ice cream, and things from like actual real bakeries.

Katie Simpson:             When I got old enough, basically, I started making my own desserts. Because of kind of the life that I had had, I didn't know anything different. I didn't know that you could just go to a store and get something frozen and, or get like a cake mix and icing, so I just made everything from scratch.

Katie Simpson:             I was 12, 13, like 15 years old, I'm making my own pâte à choux to make eclairs. I learned how to make pastry cream from scratch. I taught myself all these things, and so when I actually got to a culinary school, I already knew how to do a lot of it. I didn't know it was called pâte à choux, of course, but I knew what it was, and I knew what I had to do with it, and I knew how to make it, so that was super weird.

Dan Pashman:               How do you make it?

Katie Simpson:             Pâte à choux?

Dan Pashman:               Yes. Question two.

Katie Simpson:             It's water and a fat. You bring that to a boil, you add flour. You cook the flour and then you take that mixture, allow it to cool slightly, and then you paddle in eggs, whole eggs.

Dan Pashman:               Okay, all right.

Katie Simpson:             Yeah.

Dan Pashman:               Okay, Katie. Question number three. Where are you now with food? Like are you a professional chef? Are you working somewhere? What are you doing?

Katie Simpson:             Yes, yeah, so I am a professional chef. I am a pastry chef. I'm actually in management now, which is super fun, of course. I manage a bakery now.

Dan Pashman:               What's the name of the place where you work?

Katie Simpson:             It's a coffee shop, actually, and we make our own bakery there, so I manage the bakery that's onsite.

Dan Pashman:               Okay, all right. Got it. One more question for you, Katie. How do you make a roux?

Katie Simpson:             Blonde or dark?

Dan Pashman:               What's the most classic type of a roux? Like ...

Katie Simpson:             Well, so I would say, again, I'm a pastry chef. I would say the most common type is a blonde roux. A roux is, of course, a mixture of fat and flour, not starch, flour. You have to have the liquid, the fat has to be liquid, so you warm it. Then you'll do the flour too, and you cook it. It's typically a one-to-one ratio of flour and fat.

Dan Pashman:               Okay. Because I don't know how to make a roux, so ...

Katie Simpson:             I don't believe that at all.

Dan Pashman:               That's true. No, it is true. That's how I maintain my street cred, Katie, is by not knowing how to execute very basic cooking maneuvers, but I wanted to see if you knew how to make one. Well, Katie, thank you so much. I'll be bringing you back for the big reveal.

Katie Simpson:             Okay.

Dan Pashman:               All right. Thanks, Katie.

Ngofeen M.:                 All right, Dan. It's time for our final chef. Are you ready?

Dan Pashman:               Yeah.

Ngofeen M.:                 Maya, are you there?

Maya Sarabhai:             Hello?

Ngofeen M.:                 All right. Maya, go ahead and give us your intro.

Maya Sarabhai:             Yeah, so I am a ... I make Indian street food, but I started off in a very different life. I was a dentist. I was actually running my own practice in East Brunswick, New Jersey. I came to America to go for my last two years of high school, and I started working in restaurants.

Maya Sarabhai:             After a few years of being a dentist, I really felt a pull to go back to the thing that I really love to do. Everybody in my family said I was completely mad, but now we're in the fifth year of my restaurant, Chai Pani. Now we just moved to a location, a new location, and it's in a food hall, and it's really fantastic.

Dan Pashman:               Hi, Maya. First question. How do you make your most popular dish?

Maya Sarabhai:             Actually, our most popular dish is the Papri Chaat, which made from lentils. We actually make them fresh every morning and they're, yeah, they're very good.

Dan Pashman:               Question two. Do you serve Pani Puri?

Maya Sarabhai:             Yes. Are you a fan of Pani Puri?

Dan Pashman:               Big fan, love it. That's my personal favorite chaat.

Maya Sarabhai:             Oh, yeah. Well, you must come over to our stall, because it's actually, funnily enough, it's more ... I think I have a harder time ... I actually love the Pani Puri very much as well, but I have found that people are less likely to try it, because they just, they're intimidated by the dipping in the water.

Dan Pashman:               That's what makes Pani Puri fun.

Maya Sarabhai:             I agree, I agree.

Dan Pashman:               It's like, I mean, for people who don't know, it's like, imagine like a little fried ball, but it's very thin and delicate. It's about the size of a golf ball. It's hollow inside, and you tap on it to crack it open.

Dan Pashman:               Then you put fillings in, like let's say potatoes. Then you take that whole little thing and dunk it into spiced, cold water. It is crunchy and creamy and acidic and tangy and very refreshing on a hot day.

Maya Sarabhai:             Yes, exactly.

Dan Pashman:               Question three. Maya, you say that you were a dentist.

Maya Sarabhai:             Yes.

Dan Pashman:               How do you know when someone needs to have their wisdom teeth taken out?

Maya Sarabhai:             Well, usually, the issue is an impacting that is when it needs to be taken out. If you are going to have something that, when the wisdom teeth are coming in, and they're going to cause an inflammation because you have an impacted tooth, and that is when we suggest that an extraction should take place.

Dan Pashman:               Extraction. Nice use of a medical sounding word there. Okay, fourth question. What was the exact location of your operation when you first opened?

Maya Sarabhai:             The first location, actually, when we first started, I did it outside of Philadelphia, one hour away, and we'd actually just moved to Philadelphia. It was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at 435 Nevin Street.

Dan Pashman:               Okay. That's an exact address, but it took you a while to come up with it.

Maya Sarabhai:             Oh ...

Dan Pashman:               That makes me a little bit suspicious. You didn't just say like, "435 Nevins," right off the bat, so that's, hmm. What region of India would you say that your food represents?

Maya Sarabhai:             It's from the North, but chaat is like the street food in Northern India. That's not where ... I grew up in Mumbai, which is still very, it's not ... Everybody doesn't say that Mumbai has the best of chaat on the street, but it's more Delhi and Calcutta that are considered the most well-known for the chaat.

Dan Pashman:               Got it, okay. That was question five, but I didn't want to precede it by saying, "Question five," because I was trying to just catch you off-guard there, Maya.

Maya Sarabhai:             Okay.

Dan Pashman:               All right, well Maya [Sarabat 00:25:53]. Tell me again the name of your place.

Maya Sarabhai:             Chai Pani.

Dan Pashman:               All right. Chai Pani-

Maya Sarabhai:             Yes.

Dan Pashman:               ... At the food hall in Philadelphia, or so you claim. We'll check back in with you at the end of the show when I make my final guess about whether or not you were telling me the truth.

Maya Sarabhai:             Fantastic.

Dan Pashman:               All right.

Maya Sarabhai:             Thank you, Dan.

Dan Pashman:               Thank you so much. Take care.

Maya Sarabhai:             You too. Bye, bye.

Ngofeen M.:                 All right, Dan. We've reached the end of the line, the end of the road. Are you ready for the big reveal?

Dan Pashman:               I mean, I'm ready, I'm excited. I'm feeling a little bit nervous. Like, what if I get it wrong?

Ngofeen M.:                 What if you do get it wrong, Dan?

Dan Pashman:               There's always next week.

Ngofeen M.:                 Okay. We should have everyone on the line. Elizabeth, are you there?

Elizabeth Anderson:      Hello.

Ngofeen M.:                 Katie, are you there?

Katie Simpson:             Yep, I'm here.

Ngofeen M.:                 Okay, great. Maya, are you there?

Maya Sarabhai:             Yes, I am. Hello.

Ngofeen M.:                 Great. What are you thinking, Dan? What do you think?

Dan Pashman:               I don't want to get swayed by which story seems more or less likely, because life can be crazy. It would be like you, Ngofeen, to try to find an especially outrageous true story to throw me.

Ngofeen M.:                 Would it?

Dan Pashman:               Well, it would be like any good producer and player of this game, quite frankly.

Ngofeen M.:                 True.

Dan Pashman:               Elizabeth, our New Orleans-based po' boy slinger, whose weed dealer inspired her to start a sandwich shop, she had very quick answers.

Ngofeen M.:                 Okay.

Dan Pashman:               I'm a little skeptical of her po' boy, because it has a lot of different things in it.

Ngofeen M.:                 Okay.

Dan Pashman:               She said she had like shrimp and three other things on it. I thought, usually, po' boys were just one ingredient. There's potatoes in her po' boy, did she say?

Elizabeth Anderson:      Nope, nope. No potatoes. I feel like you're just forgetting.

Dan Pashman:               Oh, I'm sorry. You compared the dressing to a like potato salad dressing.

Elizabeth Anderson:      Yes.

Dan Pashman:               Okay, all right. Okay, fair enough. Okay, so Katie seemed to be ... Well, the fact that she's a passionate Sporkful listener, I also don't want to factor that in, because if I was ... Like if I was going to create a character to do this, that would be like a clever way to break into the call.

Dan Pashman:               I think that Katie's passion for food seemed real, but I asked her the name of the coffee shop where she works or worked, and she dodged that question. She didn't answer, she didn't give me a name.

Elizabeth Anderson:      She did not give you a name.

Dan Pashman:               That was a big red flag to me. Maya, her backstory seemed plausible. She answered the question ... I asked her a question about dentistry and she answered that very definitively. Then again, I could have made that up.

Dan Pashman:               I mean, I don't have a deep enough knowledge of regional Indian cuisine, so this could be 100% wrong. I asked her ... I thought chaat was, and like Pani Puri and those things were not from Northern India.

Maya Sarabhai:             I did say that-

Dan Pashman:               Oh, you're right.

Maya Sarabhai:             ... It's something enjoyed by everyone.

Dan Pashman:               You're right, and you said you're from the North, but that's not where chaat is necessarily most famous.

Maya Sarabhai:             No, chaat is actually the most famous in the North, but I'm from the West.

Dan Pashman:               Got it. Okay.

Ngofeen M.:                 I love that everyone's like actually, "You don't remember what I said. Try again, Dan."

Dan Pashman:               This is what happens when I interview people with no notes. I have some great doodles here.

Ngofeen M.:                 Dan, here's how we're going to do this. This is the moment of truth. I want you to eliminate one person. One person who you are confident is telling the truth. Who's the first person that you think is a chef?

Dan Pashman:               Maya. I'm going with Maya. I think Maya is a chef. Her backstory was plausible, and she had quick answers to all of my questions.

Ngofeen M.:                 Maya, are you a chef?

Maya Sarabhai:             I am not a chef.

Dan Pashman:               What? Oh, man.

Maya Sarabhai:             And I was talking with a fake accent.

Dan Pashman:               Oh, wow. That's really good, that's good.

Maya Sarabhai:             I have to say, I feel really, really good.

Dan Pashman:               That was very impressive.

Maya Sarabhai:             Thank you so much.

Ngofeen M.:                 Maya, who are you really?

Gaya Rajagopalan:        My real name is Gaya, and I am an actor and improvisor in New York City.

Dan Pashman:               Wow. Well, you're really talented.

Gaya Rajagopalan:        Thank you so much.

Ngofeen M.:                 All that Indian food knowledge, you are from India as well, actually.

Gaya Rajagopalan:        I truly am from India.

Dan Pashman:               Do you even like chaat, Gaya? Or did you make that up too?

Gaya Rajagopalan:        Well, I do really like chaat. Like everybody from all different parts of India, I do really like chaat.

Dan Pashman:               Wow, and so, and like what about, do you have any actual experience with dentistry?

Gaya Rajagopalan:        I have zero experience with dentistry. I've actually not even had my wisdom tooth taken out, so that was probably the part where I freaked out the most during the phone call.

Dan Pashman:               Got it. All right, well, great job. You're a very good liar, or as you call it, actor.

Gaya Rajagopalan:        Yes. That is what I call it.

Ngofeen M.:                 Dan, Sporkful listeners, thank you for playing Two Chefs and a Lie. There is actually a surprise though. There's one more thing you should know.

Dan Pashman:               Okay.

Ngofeen M.:                 Elizabeth, are you a chef?

Elizabeth Anderson:      I am not a chef.

Dan Pashman:               Oh, is that where this is going? None of these people are chefs?

Ngofeen M.:                 Elizabeth, who are you?

Jordan Myrick:              My name is Jordan Myrick and I'm an LA-based comedian and writer.

Dan Pashman:               Oh, man. Is ...

Ngofeen M.:                 The real chef, Katie, would you like to tell us about yourself?

Katie Simpson:             Yeah, I'm the chef.

Dan Pashman:               Wow.

Katie Simpson:             Yeah.

Dan Pashman:               What's the name of the place where you work? How come you couldn't tell me?

Katie Simpson:             Because, I don't know. I thought that that would be weird to actually tell you where I worked.

Dan Pashman:               Oh, well, that was a good move. It sure ... That was the number one thing that made me feel like Katie was lying. I mean, Katie was going to be my guess. I was going to guess that Katie was not the real chef, and that was going to be the reason why.

Ngofeen M.:                 Got it. Katie was going to be your fake chef?

Dan Pashman:               That's right. Yeah.

Ngofeen M.:                 Yeah, Dan. Sorry.

Dan Pashman:               Katie, so that's true. You grew up, like no sweets except for fancy stuff, and now you ended up being a sugar maven.

Katie Simpson:             Yes. Actually, my mother still tells people that I became a pastry chef out of spite. True, that is the true story.

Dan Pashman:               Elizabeth, what was that address? Like you gave me an address so quickly. Where is that?

Jordan Myrick:              I just made it up. Tchoupitoulas is a real street in New Orleans, but that is just an address I made up on the spot.

Dan Pashman:               Have you been to New Orleans? Have you spent time there?

Jordan Myrick:              I have, yeah. I lived there as a child, and I have family from that area, so I usually go back about once or twice a year.

Dan Pashman:               All right, so you were grounding your lie in reality.

Jordan Myrick:              Yes, some fact and then some fiction.

Ngofeen M.:                 Dan, how do you feel? What's going through your brain?

Dan Pashman:               I mean, I feel a little bit deceived, but I guess that's how you're supposed to feel at the end of this game. This was a fun game. I appreciate you guys putting it together. I'm curious to know how many listeners got it right. Well, what's everyone ... Well, I don't remember your real names. I've written down your fake names on a piece of paper in front of me.

Ngofeen M.:                 Elizabeth, or Jordan, thank you so much.

Jordan Myrick:              Thank you.

Ngofeen M.:                 Maya or really, Gaya, thanks.

Gaya Rajagopalan:        Thank you.

Ngofeen M.:                 The ever-faithful, ever-true, Katie. Thank you.

Katie Simpson:             You're welcome.

Ngofeen M.:                 All right. Thanks everyone, that's it.

Dan Pashman:               Take care everyone. Thank you, guys.

Jordan Myrick:              Bye. Thank you.

Gaya Rajagopalan:        Bye, everybody.

Ngofeen M.:                 Bye.

Katie Simpson:             Bye.

Jordan Myrick:              Bye.

Dan Pashman:               Man. I knew you were going to have some kind of trick. I knew, I said it at the beginning. I knew there was going to be something.

Ngofeen M.:                 Well, you know. Keep things unexpected.

Dan Pashman:               Yeah.

Ngofeen M.:                 Surprise.

Dan Pashman:               If you picked Maya, we'll go with the fake names we used. If you picked Maya as the fake chef, you won.

Ngofeen M.:                 Correct.

Dan Pashman:               If you picked Elizabeth as the fake chef, you also won.

Ngofeen M.:                 You've also won, yes.

Dan Pashman:               Okay. If, like me, you picked Katie as the fake chef, you lost.

Ngofeen M.:                 Wah, wah.

Dan Pashman:               In spite of having a two in three chance of winning.

Ngofeen M.:                 That is ... Yep.

Dan Pashman:               Man. You're telling me that after nearly 10 years of hosting a food podcast, I still can't spot a real chef when one is placed in front of me.

Ngofeen M.:                 That is the truth.

Dan Pashman:               Thank you to our two excellent improv performers this week. Even though they tricked me, they were really good. Jordan Myrick, who played Elizabeth. She hosts a monthly variety show for charity at the El Cid in LA. It's called Staycation. You could check out this month's show on September 29th at 8 p.m., and it's totally free.

Dan Pashman:               Gaya Rajagopalan, who played Maya. She performs in an improvised '90s teen drama called The Place We Live, every month at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.

Dan Pashman:               Next week on the show, do restaurants make smaller sandwiches for women? My friend, Laura Anderson, and I run around New York buying sandwiches, then weigh them to find out if sandwich sexism is real. That's next week.

Dan Pashman:               While you wait for that one, make sure you check out our episode all about jelly's many uses in music. Hear the story of the guy who created the Peanut Butter Jelly Time meme, plus hear me sing. Isn't that enticing? Maybe not. Listen anyway. That one's up now. It's called Jelly: A Musical Odyssey.

Dan Pashman:               Finally, please follow me on Instagram. I post a lot of good stuff there. Stuff that does not go out on the other social media channels. Super special food pics, thoughts, opinions, things you probably want to know about. Follow me on Instagram @TheSporkful. Thanks. This show is produced by me, along with Senior Producer ...

Anne Saini:                   Anne Saini.

Dan Pashman:               And Associate Producer ...

Ngofeen M.:                 Ngofeen Mputubwele.

Dan Pashman:               Our Engineer is ...

Jared O'Connell:           Jared O'Connell.

Dan Pashman:               Music Help from Black Label Music. Our Editor is Peter Clowney. The Sporkful is a production of Stitcher. Our Executive Producers are Daisy Rosario and Chris Bannon. Until next time, I'm Dan Pashman.

Emily:                           And I'm Emily, from Moscow, Russia, reminding you to eat more, eat better, and eat more better.

Speaker 1:                    Hope you're hungry, because it's time for some ads.

Dan Pashman:               What do you think is the best way to eat eggs?

Judith Kline:                 My favorite way? Oh my goodness. I eat eggs every way that you could possibly think of.

Dan Pashman:               This is Judith Kline. She's a Pete and Gerry's organic egg farmer in Augusta County, Virginia, about an hour west of Charlottesville. Judith's eggs all come from her free-range chickens, so the eggs have those bright, rich, yellow yolks.

Judith Kline:                 Probably my ultimate favorite is ... I am a gardener so I like to go out in my garden and get fresh onions and garlic and herbs, and just sautée those up, and honestly, make a fabulous omelet. Then I like to top it off with some sour cream and salsa.

Dan Pashman:               Ooh.

Judith Kline:                 That's probably my all-time favorite. It's simple, it's easy. I'm busy, I'm on-the-go, but yeah, that's probably my favorite way to eat eggs.

Dan Pashman:               You put cheese in that omelet?

Judith Kline:                 Oh, absolutely.

Dan Pashman:               Okay. Oh, that sounds good. I like runny yolk, but I don't like runny white.

Judith Kline:                 Okay.

Dan Pashman:               I'll do an over-easy, or sometimes I'll do like, I'll crack the egg and I'll throw it in the pan, break the yolk, mix it all around a little bit. Then dump it on a plate quickly, so you still have some runny yolk but with some cooked yolk. I like the texture of scrambled eggs, but I want runny yolk in there.

Judith Kline:                 Well, then do you clean off your plate with a piece of toast after you're done?

Dan Pashman:               Yes. Sometimes, I just lick it. I'll just lick the plate, literally. I mean, you got to, right?

Judith Kline:                 Yeah. You got to clean it up somehow.

Dan Pashman:               What's your strategy? What's your favorite way to sop up yolk?

Judith Kline:                 We are big into sourdough bread.

Dan Pashman:               Mmm, yes.

Judith Kline:                 We always make our own sourdough bread.

Dan Pashman:               Oh, wow.

Judith Kline:                 Toasted, with lots of butter.

Dan Pashman:               Oh, yes.

Judith Kline:                 Then clean it up. Can't beat it.

Dan Pashman:               I'm getting so hungry right now. Judith's husband is a cop in nearby Harrisonburg. He works on the farm on his days off, but otherwise, every morning it's Judith and their five-month-old son, Silas, going down to the barn to check on the chickens.

Judith Kline:                 I call them my babies. There's one that likes to rattle my basket. I call her Gertie, because she just, every time I walk in through the barn, she likes to jump up. Honestly, they are kind of like people in a lot of ways. I think, so many times, like when I'm at the barn and I'm sitting there just like, "I absolutely love my job." Prior to this, I was actually a labor and delivery nurse, and I kind of got peopled out.

Judith Kline:                 Here, I have the opportunity to talk to my chickens. Obviously, they're going to make noise back but we just have a great conversation all the time. They're like people but sometimes, they're even better than people actually, because they don't ever get ideas, so you know.

Dan Pashman:               Right. You went from being a labor and delivery nurse to being, essentially, an egg delivery nurse.

Judith Kline:                 Yes, 100%.

Dan Pashman:               Judith takes pride in taking care of her chickens, and in that certified, humane, free-range label.

Judith Kline:                 The thing that you actually see a lot of times, is very misleading is cage-free. Cage-free birds do not go outside. They're just roaming around inside of a barn, and I, the first time I figured that out, I was really, I was really disappointed. Because I always believed when I was buying these cage-free eggs that these birds were outside. Right?

Dan Pashman:               When Judith and her husband bought their farm in 2017, they didn't want to raise chickens cage-free, they wanted to do better. They wanted organic and free-range. They wanted to farm for Pete and Gerry's, because Pete and Gerry's is all about small scale, humane, organic farming. Judith and her husband even met the owner at an event. His name is Jesse Laflamme. His uncle is Pete, his dad is Gerry.

Judith Kline:                 We just felt like we were as important to them as the next farmer, and everything just felt like a really good fit for us.

Dan Pashman:               Pete and Gerry's organic eggs come from small, family farmers like Judith, whose free-range chickens go out in the pasture, because that's the right way to farm, and because Pete and Gerry's wants you to believe in what you buy. The next time you're in the egg aisle at the grocery store, please check out Pete and Gerry's organic eggs, and visit PeteandGerrys.com to learn more. That's Gerry's with a G. G-E-R-R-Y. Pete and Gerrys.com.

Dan Pashman:               Is it possible to have a Thomas' English Muffin for breakfast, lunch and dinner? The answer is, "Yes." Start with a buttered, cinnamon raisin English Muffin for breakfast. A green goddess on light multigrain for lunch, and a lamb burger on the original Thomas' English Muffin for dinner. So many ways to incorporate Thomas' English Muffins' nooks and crannies into your life. Thomas', wake-up to what's possible.

Speaker 1:                    Stitcher.

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