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Justin Warner's Rap Video Inspired by ‘Easy to Enjoy’ Wine

Justin Warner's Rap Video Inspired by ‘Easy to Enjoy’ Wine

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Inspired by Robert Mondavi Private Selection and the Central Coast, Justin Warner brings us his new music video

Do or Dine's Justin Warner's first official music video is an homage to Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines.

Justin Warner, co-owner of Do or Dine and the winner of the eighth season of The Next Food Network Star, has just released Central Coastin’, a rap video dedicated to California’s Central Coast and Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines (“Girl, their wines go well with food/ They don’t break my wallet too”).

Warner, whom we’ve previously visited at home, (“so conducive to sitting”) has made a few earlier forays into food-inspired hip hop, but Central Coastin’ is his first ever official music video.

Like any rapper worth his salt, the ability to name-drop a luxury label is an important marker of success.

“The song, which educates consumers on the Central Coast’s value-driven, easy to enjoy wines, has an infectious beat that is sure to leave listeners Central Coastin’ to happy hour, ready for a glass of wine,” said a representative for the vineyards.

Later today, the video will premiere on Robert Mondavi Private Selection’s Facebook page, but as a special treat, we’re able to show you the video right here. Watch Central Coastin’ from Justin Warner now:

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.

Justin Warner

Foodie Call Manhattan Pancakes 06:38

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Foodie Call: Cheese 06:53

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Foodie Call: Crabs 07:26

Foodie Call: Nintendo 08:27

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Foodie Call: Scrapple Pie 06:35

Foodie Call: Hot Ice Cream 06:11

Foodie Call: Spam 06:27

Foodie Call: Space Food 07:10

Foodie Call: Matcha 05:38

Foodie Call: Goat's Milk 05:25

Foodie Call: Sous Vide 06:07

Binge-Watching Snack 06:31

Foodie Call: Corn 05:36

Foodie Call: Gochujang 05:24

Foodie Call: Turmeric 05:55

Foodie Call: Basil 04:58

Foodie Call: Eggs 04:08

Foodie Call: Ramen 04:47

Foodie Call: Jerky 03:37

Foodie Call: Coffee 04:43

Justin on Star

Check out the best moments from Justin's Food Network Star journey and flip through his contestant scrapbook.

Justin's Star Scrapbook

Flip through a Food Network Star finalist's scrapbook for an up-close-and-personal look at journal entries and digital photos taken behind the scenes.

Rebel With a Culinary Cause

Justin Warner, a 27-year-old up-and-coming chef from Brooklyn, rode out the competition all the way to the finale with his culinary rebel POV.

Justin's Star Journal

Each finalist was given a Food Network journal on day one. On the first page, Justin ranked the competition on Team Bobby and Team Giada — he was right on about Michele, but he underestimated Yvan.

Team Alton

Justin and Alton were a perfect match from the beginning. "Bobby and Giada picked their teams solely based on cooking skills. Well, Giada also picked people with pretty smiles. But they've got nothing to say. You guys have something to say," Alton told his team.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Sizing Up the Competition

Justin jotted down quippy insights about his fellow contenders during Episode 2's food tour challenge: "Ippy loves Spam. Judson has removed two of his fingertips. I hope Alton has stock in Band-Aids."

Taking Notes on the Lower East Side

Justin's drawing on the previous journal page reflected his teammate Judson's fear of pickles in the Lower East Side food tour challenge.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Challenge on the Fly

Justin had no time to write any notes in his journal for the Chopped challenge — once that basket was opened, he just had to wing it. On the opposite page, he took a little dig at Michele and her favorite New England ingredient.

Bonding With Rivals

The finalists were also given digital cameras to capture life behind the scenes in the Star house and stew room. Someone snapped this shot of Justin and Team Bobby rival Michele goofing around. Despite his cracks about her obsession with clams, they became good friends.

Culinary Couture

Justin had a great week in the fashion challenge — his winning remake of Beef Stroganoff won him $10K. Hearing Alton's advice not to get cocky, he wrote in his journal, "It's hard not to be cocky when I'm a nerd with 10 g's!" He also showed his romantic side here, drawing a diamond ring that he hoped to buy for his girlfriend.

$10K Dish

For that winning dish, Justin deconstructed the flavors of beef stroganoff into a mosaic-like presentation that floored the judges. "It's gorgeous, and he's really clever," Susie said. "It's incredibly inventive and a very fashionable dish."

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Halloween With Guy

Team Alton won the Fashion Week challenge, but the tables were turned the following week. Justin's illustration of "Guy's Big Bite" says it all — his anxiety got the better of him when on stage with the dynamic Star alum.

Off Day for Justin

Justin was excited about his dish, fried sardine skeletons, but when the presentation started, he got cold feet: "The show starts and no one is saying anything. Dead silence. I'm scared for the first time in this competition. I wasn't myself." The entire team ended up in the Producers' Challenge Justin performed well, but Judson was sent home.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Food Court Cooking

For the food court challenge in South Street Seaport, Justin made a tempura-battered fritto misto. He wrote the simple recipe here in his journal. Nothing made Justin happier than approval from Alton: "If Alton Brown says he likes your food, you know you are doing something right," he wrote.


Alton was proud of his team's food court efforts, and so were the judges. Justin's fritto misto, Martie's arancini and Emily's dessert panini were all hits: "I couldn't wait to bite into each one," said Susie.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

The Rebel's Dates

Justin reflected on Linkie's elimination after the food court challenge, showing that everyone had grown close at this point despite team rivalries. On the opposite page, he prepared for the next challenge: presenting a one-bite dish to a panel of media.

Impressing the Press

Justin presented a dish that Ed Levine called "insane": stuffed dates with peanut butter, duck and bonito flakes. But Team Alton's rebel pulled it off with a story of his late father, who was told he couldn't cook and rebelled by making stuffed dates. "I thought it was a perfect bite," said Bob. "I saw a joy and a sweetness, and it made me love him that much more."

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Goin' to Miami

Justin made it to Miami, where the first challenge involved cooking for Paula Deen. His teammate and close friend Martie was beside herself: "Forget me and Alton being two peas . Paula and Martie are peas and carrots," he wrote with a little sketch in his journal. Justin's corn soup was too spicy for Paula, but she still found him charming and told him he looked like Elvis.

Final Challenge

The final pre-pilot test was a 30-second promo for the shows the finalists hoped to have on Food Network. "I feel pretty good and I'm not scared," said Justin. "I'm here to deliver. If Alton Brown believes in me, then I'm ready to go."

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Team Alton, United

"I want Martie and I to stay in this competition together. She's becoming my BFF. She's been wanting this her whole life and if she doesn't get it, I'm going to be heartbroken," Justin said. Team Alton was shocked and thrilled to learn that both Martie and Justin would be making pilots.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Pilot Time!

Justin headed back to Brooklyn to meet up with Alton at his restaurant, Do or Dine, to shoot his pilot. "Martie and I are gonna take this," he wrote.

Mentorly Advice

Justin wanted to make an unconventional Caesar salad on his pilot, and Alton proposed a "genius idea": to screen his own Caesar salad episode of Good Eats to provide a starting point, the classic version of the dish.

The Rebel's Caesar

"It's a scary situation. It's all coming down to this moment. I am struggling as a restaurateur. The stakes for me are incredibly high. I really, really want it," says Justin. "What does America like more than a Caesar salad?"

The Big Reveal

The fans have spoken, and Justin Warner is our new Food Network Star!

Winning Moment

Justin took in the life-changing moment with his mentor. Alton couldn't be prouder of his rebellious protege.

Tools You Need for Air Fried Turkey Thighs

Ninja Foodi or any air fryer – any air fryer will work for this recipe, just make sure the turkey thighs have enough room to not be touching each other so all the skin gets super crispy.

This is easily the best kitchen appliance I have ever owned. We use it daily and make such amazing food that eating out is getting disappointing in comparison. It was on sale in Costco and one of those why not moments came over me after a friend raved about their Foodi for an hour. My friend is not a raver so I took their Foodi wisdom seriously of how it makes incredible ribs that melt in the mouth in half the time. We did this with pork ribs and mmmmm. I missed the smoke of a smoker though so we’ll have to up the liquid smoke next time we try it.

The Ninja Foodi is that it was designed to be wide and hold things like entire turkey thighs. You can pressure cook something and then broil, bake or air crisp it with the multiple functions of this magical machine. You can make an entire rack of ribs that will be the best ones you’ve ever had in these. As a Texan those words are not used lightly.

In order to know your turkey thighs are done and for in general epic meat times get a meat thermometer. We also use this thermometer for candy making and to check water temp for coffee and tea.

Small investment that then saves a blisston. Oil spray bottles are double the price of just buying the oil so buy this spray bottle, fill it with oil and save forever.

Use these to flip the meat. Silicon is best to avoid scratching your air fryer.

Marvel and BoxLunch Team Up for Brand New Eat the Universe Collection

Looking to bring the Marvel Universe into the kitchen? With the brand new Eat the Universe collection from BoxLunch you can! Featuring a wide assortment of cookware, bakeware, accessories, apparel, and more, you can merge your love of fandom and food together, hopefully with delicious results.

The Marvel Eat the Universe collection is inspired by the iconic characters of the Marvel Universe and the unique dishes brought to life in Marvel’s popular video series, hosted by celebrity chef Justin Warner.

“As a Marvel superfan, having the opportunity to create inspired meals and recipes for millions around the world to see has been a dream come true,” said Justin Warner, Executive Chef, Eat The Universe. “I’ve test-driven the BoxLunch line and am really impressed with the functionality, style, and performance. It’s definitely the ultimate go-to for Marvel fans of all ages.”

The Marvel Eat the Universe collection launches today at BoxLunch, with select home goods and apparel items, and additional styles and items will roll out online and in-store in the coming weeks. Highlights from the 43-piece assortment include:

APPAREL CAPSULE– select styles available now online (pre-sale): Fans of all ages can enjoy BoxLunch’s exclusive apparel capsule with tees and cut-and-sew styles in men, women, youth, toddler and infant sizing. Fun graphic treatments include an all-over Avengers ice cream pattern, Groot and Rocket avocado toast print and diners inspired the Marvel Universe such as X-Men’s Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters Cafeteria, The Incredible Hulk’s Gamma Ray Buffet and Captain America’s Camp Lehigh Legendary Grill.

HOME GOODS– select styles available now online (pre-sale): Assemble the most epic meals with the Marvel Eat the Universe home appliances and home goods. Colorful, culinary patterns wrap a selection of premium home pieces including two slow cooker styles, cooking apron, oven mitt, and ramen bowl while the Marvel Logo 3-in-1 Waffle Maker and Iron Man Waffle Maker appliances create meals with iconic imagery. Marvel Eat the Universe: The Official Cookbook arrives in late July with 60 recipes inspired by Marvel’s rich history and written by Justin Warner.

COLLECTIBLES – Funko Pop! launching online tonight at 9pm PST (pre-sale), pins coming soon: Spider-Man shows off his love for pizza in an exclusive Marvel Eat the Universe Funko Pop! Figure that will launch tonight for pre-sale order ahead of its in-store release in September. Pins and stickers follow-up with single and blind bag offerings.

ACCESSORIES – coming soon: BoxLunch-exclusive bags and wallets match back to key apparel styles in the collection. Four cardholders, a tote bag, and mini backpack complete the accessory selection with vivid prints inspired by The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, and X-Men.

Shop the collection now, and browse through the gallery of images below. And be on the lookout for more upcoming Eat the Universe items!

A Hip-Hop Head's Guide to Drinking

Whether it’s rap royalty like Snoop, Biggie, and the Wu-Tang Clan spitting odes to St. Ides malt liquor back in the ‘90s, or Juicy J and K Camp spending last summer imploring “All I need is one more drank, one more drank,” hip-hop artists have never been shy about bigging up their drinking habits in rhyme.

Over the years, classic hip-hop drinks have emerged from those looking to reflect their image in their booze. Snoop kept it smoothed-out in California with his cup of gin and juice, while over in New York City Mobb Deep were all about embracing the grimy side by supping bottles of “dainy” (the group’s slang for St. Ides) in project stairwells—although Prodigy would later cop to blending his malt liquor with piñ​a coladas. Playing up to his wild, loose-cannon image, 2Pac endorsed the Thug Passion, an effervescent mix of Alize and Cristal that’s still a hit in rap clubs today.

So now that BBQ season is in full effect, it’s time for the hip-hop-minded grill masters and pool-party people to crack open the bottles and begin mixing up these 12 rapper-approved alcoholic brews. Cheers to all you hip-hop drunkies out there.

30+ virtual California wine experiences to enjoy this winter

In non-pandemic times, California’s wineries and breweries were hot destinations for weekend tastings and general frolic. But even now, in our shutdown state, we can still enjoy a bit of that fun via virtual wine tastings, beer festivals and online mixology classes — and the occasional in-real-life event. Here’s just a sampling.

A Chef’s Journey Through Alexander Valley: 5 p.m. Thursdays through March. This six-episode virtual tasting series explores food and wine in the Alexander Valley hosted by journalist and sommelier Courtney Humiston. Join Alexander Valley winemakers and local chefs for one-hour virtual tastings of wines from a cabernet-driven appellation.

An Exploration of Wine and Caviar with Chappellet: 4:30 p.m. April 1. Savor and explore Russian Oscietra caviar, paired with a trio of Chappellet white wines. Cyril Chappellet and caviar expert Graham Gaspard will discuss why fine wine and caviar are such an iconic pairing. Free. Order wine pairing kit from Chappellet: . Registration: .

Aperture Cellars Virtual Tastings: Join us for a virtual tasting in the comfort of your home. Please purchase your tasting kit in advance of your virtual tasting.

Artisan Cheese Festival: Events include a Bubbles Brunch from 10:30 a.m. to noon March 14, a virtual cooking demo ($50) with La Crema winery chef and cheese specialist Tracey Shepos Cenami, who will share three brunch dishes. Cook alongside or just watch the show while you sip some La Crema bubbles. Or join the Grand Tasting of California Cheeses ($150) from 5 to 6 p.m. March 26. Pick up pro tips on building an Instagram-worthy cheese board, take behind-the-scenes tours of farms and creameries, enjoy a cheese and sparkling wine pairing with the pros at Gloria Ferrer, and a tasting kit that includes 10 California cheeses, flatbread bites and accompaniments.

Berryessa Gap Vineyards’ International Food & Wine Dinners: 6-8 p.m. April 10, June 12, Aug. 14, Oct. 30, Berryessa Gap Vineyards, 27260 Highway 128, Winters. Each dinner features a Peruvian, Asian, Moroccan or Spanish cuisine experience, plus wine. Bring your own dishes, silverware and decorations for your party’s table. The Full Passport ($240 for all four events) is available until April 10. Individual events are $70. Tock:

Bouchaine Vineyards: Order a Bouchaine Winemaker Tasting Kit delivered to your home, then book a virtual wine tasting appointment online. Each kit provides tasting notes and vintage summaries, so you’ll be all set for your private tasting with a host — seated before the panoramic view of Bouchaine Vineyards — who will lead you and your guests through a discussion of the wines.

Cardinale’s Virtual Wine and Cheese Tastings: Crafted by Cardinale’s estate chefs and selected to pair with winemaker Chris Carpenter’s mountain wines, each kit includes a set of two to four wines accompanied by an assortment of cheeses, cured meats, and a variety of seasonal small bites. $100-$150.

Chateau St. Jean Virtual Tastings: Order a tasting kit and enjoy a virtual tasting with Chateau St. Jean’s wine educators. Available 12 to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Contact Ryan at 707-345-6735

Cider Summit SF Virtual Tasting Festival: 6-7:30 p.m. April 17. Hear tasting notes on the ciders included in your festival tasting kit as well as local musicians. Choose from a festival-to-go harvest cider kit and modern cider kit. $45-$20.

Clif Family Virtual Experiences: Virtual Brunch: Enjoy farm-inspired ingredients paired with the lighter side of Clif Family wines. Tasting kit includes a rosé, a white and a red wine, three food pairings and recipes for brunch. $120-$150. Napa Valley Adventure Wine Tasting: This private gathering includes a guided tasting of Clif Family’s small production wines and hand-crafted food products, hosted by a wine educator. Kit includes one white wine, two reds and three food pairings. $120-$150. King of the Mountain Wine Tasting: This private tasting of small production wines features cabernet sauvignon from Howell Mountain Appellations of Napa Valley and three current vintages, complete with food pairings. $225-$250.

Clos Du Val “Tasting at your Table”: Purchase a three or four-bottle tasting kit ($240 and up) of wine and make an appointment for a live virtual tasting tailored around your choices of wine.

Cuvaison Estate Wines: Offering a virtual wine tasting experience to taste through the new wines. Email [email protected] to schedule a virtual Cuvaison wine tasting.

Far Niente Family of Wineries: Guests have the opportunity to ask pressing wine-related questions, while learning more about the wines and winery. Book a date and select a wine package that will be shipped directly to your door.

Flowers Vineyards & Winery’s Indefinite Virtual Tasting Experiences: Offering 30-minute daily virtual tastings of pinot noir or estate flights, or you can customize a tasting with your favorite Flowers wines.

Gloria Ferrer Virtual Tastings: This Sonoma Valley winery offers private, virtual tasting experiences with wine educators, who sip along with you through a selection of Gloria Ferrer wines. You can taste with just your household or invite friends to join in via Zoom. The Trio of Sparkling Wine & Chocolate Pairing experience ($115), for example, includes three bottles of sparkling wine and a 12-piece box of chocolate truffles. Details:

Hess Collection Virtual Happy Hour: Join chief winemaker Dave Guffy and his colleagues on Facebook Live at 4 p.m. on select Thursdays as they chat about winemaking, wine tasting and vineyards.

Inman Family Wines: Choose one of four three-packs ($84 and up) of Sonoma pinot noirs, chardonnay, rosés, and sparklers, then join a scheduled “Meet the Maker” happy hour tasting with winemaker Kathleen Inman via Facebook Video Chat, where you can enjoy the wines with fellow wine lovers.

J. Lohr Vineyards Virtual Tastings: This San Jose and Paso Robles winery has launched private virtual tastings for J. Lohr aficionados. Order a four-pack of wine ($130 and up), then pop the cork for the one-hour tasting session held Wednesday through Sunday. Order the wines and make reservations via

J Vineyards & Winery: Virtual tastings noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Choose your favorites for a custom flight, explore a new collection or take a deep look at a single wine through the years.

JCB Live Happy Hour: Jean-Charles Boisset’s online JCB Live Happy Hour sessions air through September at 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and at 4 p.m. Saturday with varying themes.

Larkmead Estate Tastings: Enjoy a private tasting ($70) featuring four current release wines and a walking tour of Larkmead’s newly-planted research vineyard (weather permitting) for two to six people. Or take a VIP tour ($95) that includes five wines from Larkmead’s distinctive Napa terroir. 1100 Larkmead Lane, Calistoga.

‘Taste at Home with Justin’: An educational tasting experience with Certified Wine Educator and Sommelier, Jim Gerakaris. Consumers can enjoy wines from their cellar or a custom flight can be put together for you. Find more details on the Paso Robles winery’s tastings at

Longevity Private Virtual Tastings: Book a private virtual wine tasting experience for you and your group. Phil Long, owner and winemaker, will take you on a personalized journey where you will sip, chat, and learn about our award-winning wines and the Longevity story.

Markham Napa Valley Vineyards Virtual Party: Host a virtual party, happy hour or wine tasting and let Markham do the work. A private guide will select options like the District Series Appellation Tasting including three wines ($113 plus shipping), or a combination of wines you choose. Book a date and schedule wine delivery for a fun, fact-filled virtual tasting from home. Details:

Monochrome Tasting Kit: This Paso Robles winery is hosting complimentary virtual wine tastings during the shutdown, with the option of shipping wines of your choice or a wine tasting sampler kit ($25) ahead of time, so you’re ready for a Zoom sipping session with Monochrome’s winemaker. Details:

Newsome Harlow Wines: Join the virtual tastings with this Sierra Foothills winery every Wednesday, alternating between happy hour with winemaker Scott Klannour and a guest and virtual tastings.

ONX Virtual Tasting Kit: Enjoy a tasting session with this Paso Robles winery by ordering a tasting kit ($30 for five 2-ounce pours) shipped to your home before your virtual sipping time. Details:

Page Mill Winery: Livermore winemaker Dane Stark is offering Virtual Twilight Tastings on Facebook on the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. The tasting benefits a different charity each time, with 10 percent of gross sales from the start of the virtual tasting to close of business on Friday going to that week’s organization.

Parallel Napa Valley: Schedule a guided tasting ($95) with the winery’s general manager Adrienne Capps, which covers Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Napa Valley Cabernet and Black Diamond Reserve Napa Cabernet.

Passalacqua Winery’s Virtual Wine Tasting: Enjoy unique personalized wine tasting flights, delivered in three individually selected 2-ounce glass vials and accompanied by a private, guided one-on-one virtual wine tasting appointment.

Priority Wine Pass Virtual Wine Tasting: Order curated wine selections for delivery, then schedule online video-tastings with winemakers from Bridgette/Courtesan, Boeschen Vineyards, Prime Solum and more. The virtual tasting experiences include a “Learn How to Wine Taste” experience with sommelier Victor Orozco.

Quilt Virtual Tastings: Napa Valley’s Quilt Wines hosts virtual wine tastings at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays that showcase a wine, discuss food pairings and often include a recipe from Avow, the winery’s sister restaurant. Purchase six wines and you can schedule your own private virtual tasting. Details:

Rombauer Hour, Virtual Wine Tasting: Schedule your own privately-hosted Rombauer hour with one of the tasting room hosts. Free.

Silver Trident Winery’s Potato Chip Extravaganza: Here’s something a tad unexpected from a Napa Valley winery — five wines paired with five different artisanal potato chips. You can sample the Symphony No. 9 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, for example, with Route 11 Sour Cream & Chives chips, and Benevolent Dictator Russian River Pinot Noir with Zapp’s Cajun Dill “Gator-Tators.” At-home Potato Chip Experience tasting kits are $347.50 and include a video hosted by winemaker Kari Auringer and enough wine and chips for four tasters.

Sonoma Valley goes virtual: Some 14 Sonoma Valley wineries are offering virtual wine tastings and wine experiences. Take a look at the offerings and pre-order wines at

Takara Sake Virtual Sake Tasting: Takara tasting room manager Mika Tsuchiiwa will lead a Zoom class from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursdays. Tasting kits ($50) include five bottles of various types of sake, detailed charts and descriptive sheets. Register in advance for home delivery or pick up at Takara Sake, 708 Addison St., Berkeley.

Truffle Shuffle Virtual Wine Dinner Events: PlumpJack Winery, 4 p.m. March 27. Learn how to prepare fresh pappardelle pasta with creamy pomodoro and truffles while winemaker Aaron Miller discusses the 2019 PlumpJack Reserve Chardonnay and the 2018 PlumpJack Merlot. $235. Experiences: Experience wine edu-tainment as you taste wines and talk to top winemakers and wine-loving celebrities, chefs and critics. Buy the wines ahead of time to get the full tasting experience.

Have a virtual wine, beer or spirits event or tasting to add? Use this form:

Homemade Podcast Episode 2: Aarti Sequeria on Tacos, Tadka, and Taking Your Time in the Kitchen

Join the Aarti party! Tune in for another episode of Homemade.

Aarti Sequeira traces her career as a cook back to a time when, new to Los Angeles, she spent hours in her kitchen working through recipes from The Joy of Cooking. It’s a fitting start for someone who brings an unmistakable joy to cooking — and competing. Sequeira won The Next Food Network Star in 2010 and has competed on a handful of cooking shows since. Whatever the circumstances, this cook knows how to keep her chin up. While hunkered down during the COVID-19 outbreak, Sequeira has shown her Instagram followers how to spin pantry staples into delicious globally-inspired meals. As for her time off camera? Find Sequeira in the kitchen with music on, hard seltzer in hand. If that’s not joy, we don’t know what is.

In this episode of Homemade, Sequeira joins Martie Duncan to chat about cooking with moms, shopping for spices online, and the Indian cooking technique that brings big flavor to everything from rotisserie chicken to sweet potatoes. Listen to Homemade on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere podcasts are available.

About Aarti Sequeira

Born in Mumbai, Aarti Sequeira grew up in Dubai before moving to the United States. She graduated from Northwestern University&aposs Medill School of Journalism and went on to work as a news producer for CNN. She filmed her first cooking show at home with the help of her husband and their friends. A natural on camera, Sequeira appeared on the sixth season of The Next Food Network Star and won. Aarti Party premiered on Food Network in 2010. She’s since appeared on cooking shows like Guy’s Grocery Games, Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped All-Stars, and Cooks vs. Cons. Sequeira has also shared her flair for Indian and Middle Eastern food in her cookbook, Aarti Paarti. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two daughters.

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and check out her website.

Episode Transcript

MARTIE DUNCAN Welcome to Homemade from Hey, I’m Martie Duncan, and on this show, we celebrate good food, the people who make it, and the stories behind the recipes. My guest today has so many great stories. She was born in Mumbai and grew up in Dubai and then moved to the States. She’s a star today, 10 ten years ago she was making home cooking videos in her home.

Today I&aposm excited beyond words to have with me the queen of spice herself and my Food Network Star sister, Aarti Sequeira. Aarti is known for her use of spices, and she is known for so many other things, but to me, she&aposs Aarti Party. I’m Martie with the Party. And ever since I met her, or even heard of her, I knew I wanted to be her best friend. Aarti, welcome to the podcast!

AARTI SEQUEIRA Thank you so much. Yeah, I always think it&aposs so funny that not only do our names rhyme, but we had a similar intention when we went on Food Network Star.

MARTIE You know, it goes a lot deeper than that.

AARTI Like you I had — well, you had many careers before you came to Food Network — but I was a news producer. I worked at CNN and I was long distance with my now-husband. He was in L.A. and I was in New York. And I was like, "Buddy, are you gonna put a ring on it or what?" Because we&aposd been together for seven years, I think at that point, all through college. We met on the first day of new student week at Northwestern and we were just together ever since.

Anyway, once we got married, I moved to L.A. and I didn&apost have a job. And I just found that I was sitting on the couch. I watched everything until The View was over. And then after The View, soap opera time. And I was like, "If I get into the soap operas, I&aposm over." Like, I will not get up off the couch until like 2:00 in the afternoon. So, someone had given me the Joy of Cooking as a wedding present, and I started working through that.

And I would walk to the store because I didn&apost know how to drive, get all my stuff, walk the 20 minutes back to my house, and I would make dinner. And sometimes it was great, and sometimes it was awful. But I also would be watching Food Network, and my husband took notice. So then that Christmas, he gave me a gift certificate to a cooking school in our neighborhood, and they had the semi-professional program and I did that. And it was the first time that I thought, oh, I could maybe do this for a living. I could cook &aposcause I think I&aposm pretty good at it.

MARTIE Yeah, ya think?

AARTI Yeah, I staged at a restaurant for a while and a friend of mine said, "You should make your own cooking show." And I said, "Listen, I&aposve just been cooking for a little while. I don&apost have anything to show people." You know? And she said, "But that doesn&apost matter because you know more than I do, and when I come to your house, it&aposs about sort of you cooking in the kitchen, me hanging out with you drinking a glass of wine. And it&aposs the hangout portion of it that people love."

MARTIE That&aposs right.

AARTI And so I said, "OK, I&aposll give it a go." And so I started shooting my own cooking show in my kitchen. My husband would shoot it and direct it. And I would host it, and I taught myself how to edit. And it was a cooking variety show. So whenever anything simmered or roasted, we would have friends come on because they&aposre all performers and actors. Or if we had nothing, we would just make up a skit.

And that led to, you know, someone say, after doing that for nine months, they were like, "You should try out for Food Network Star." So I didn&apost want to because I thought I had watched a couple of episodes of it — I feel things in my body when I&aposm watching stuff on TV — and so I felt people&aposs humiliation and their embarrassment.


AARTI Do you know what I mean?

MARTIE Yes, I do.

AARTI Yes, and I said, "Well, now why would I want to do that, exactly?" But I tried out, and I remember I got a phone call. I just sent in a tape. I got a phone call and I saw the 917 number. And I said, "That&aposs New York. I&aposm not picking it up." And my husband was like, "Why?" And I said, "Because they&aposre going to say they like it." And then I&aposm going to be.

MARTIE Then I have to make a decision.

AARTI Right! And then I&aposm going to be on this path. I can&apost say no. And I&aposm going to be stuck on it, and it&aposs just, the only outcome I could see was humiliation. There was no other. But I had to say yes. So then I went to New York and I did the audition and they loved me. And I felt like I wanted to throw up. And I came back home, and I was like, "Oh Bran, I think they&aposre going to ask me to go on this ding-dang show." And they did. And that&aposs how it started. And I never, ever, when I was on that show, felt like a front runner. And yet everyone that I talked to who had watched it since was like, "It was so clear that you were going to win from the very beginning." And I was like.

MARTIE I thought it was clear that you were going to win.

AARTI I didn&apost know. This is a good lesson, I think, to all of us that how you feel in that moment is not an indicator of the truth.

MARTIE Well, and sometimes what you have rolling around in your head is completely different. Your perception and somebody else&aposs reception.


MARTIE Of something.


MARTIE Can be very, very different.

AARTI Yeah, I like that.

MARTIE You&aposre known as the Spice Queen. I know our listeners really want us to get into the food part of this story.


MARTIE You&aposve got a cookbook. Is it An American kitchen with an Indian Soul?

AARTI Yeah, that&aposs exactly right. Yeah.

MARTIE That sounds like — to me, that&aposs the perfect description of you.

AARTI  Yeah.

MARTIE Except it should have — well it does, says Aarti Party, because you are sort of a party in a person and a party in your cooking.

AARTI Yeah, kind of.

MARTIE With all these celebratory flavors and things. So fun. But the thing is, I think that&aposs a perfect descriptor. You&aposre so soulful — when you describe your food, when you cook. You&aposre so soulful. And so I really want to talk about your mama&aposs kitchen, things you learned growing up, some of your favorite recipes. And I want you to give us some tips and tricks for how we can upgrade our own Indian food at home.

I love, of course, everybody loves daal. I know. And naan, who doesn&apost like — it&aposs kind of fried bread, right?

AARTI You have to love naan. Otherwise, I mean, there&aposs something wrong with you.

MARTIE But can we make that at home like using a cast iron skillet?


MARTIE Is that possible?

AARTI Yeah. I mean, the thing about naan — so if you don&apost know what naan is, it&aposs a bread from the north of India, and it&aposs basically pizza dough, except it has yogurt in it, as well.

MARTIE Yogurt?

AARTI Yeah. And so it just sort of tenderizes — the thing about the acid in it — it just tenderizes that dough even further. And then it&aposs cooked like pizza dough in a tandoor oven. A tandoor oven is this sort of clay pit of an oven. It gets to 700, 800 degrees in there. And they slap these rounds of this dough on the inside. I have to — they slap it, like that, on the inside of this oven. And it just blisters and chars, and they pull it out with a hook. And then it&aposs a quick-cooking bread, and so.

MARTIE Ooh, yummy.

AARTI You absolutely can do it with a cast iron skillet. You take that cast iron skillet. You put it in a 400, 500 degree oven and leave it there for 20, 30 minutes until it is hotter than Hades. You pull it out using a glove and you put it back on your stovetop and you slap the dough onto that cast iron skillet and it will blister immediately. The thing that I do is then I flip that dough to do the other side and I put a lid on it. And so it kind of steams and softens that dough. So it&aposs not a cracker.

MARTIE And that&aposs got all those little air bubbles. So, it&aposs light.

AARTI Yeah, it is. And it&aposs addictive.

MARTIE It is addictive. When I used to go to Dubai, there was a place that would make it on these big hot, hot, hot stones right in the center of the room and you could watch 𠆎m make it.

MARTIE So one of the things that we have in common is cooking with our moms and learning a lot about cooking from our moms. What is your favorite recipe that takes you back to your mom&aposs kitchen? The thing that you make together, one of those traditional things. What — tell me about that.

AARTI It&aposs probably chapatis. We have a lot of homemade breads in India, and they all tend to be sort of flat because fuel is very expensive there. So ovens are pretty much non-existent or have been until recently. So a lot of the bread cooking happens on the tava. It&aposs a flat, like a pancake pan, almost, or a crepe pan.

So chapatis are a simple bread. There&aposs no leavening in it. It&aposs whole wheat, really finely ground whole wheat flour, a little bit of oil or ghee, and some water. And that&aposs it.

MARTIE Really?

AARTI Yeah. That&aposs it.

MARTIE No leavening.

AARTI No leavening whatsoever. And so you knead it for a wicked long time. And that kneading kind of puts a little bit of air into it. But it also activates the gluten, and so you have that sort of elastic aspect to the bread. But my mom would make this dough fresh every other day. One day we&aposd have rice, one day we&aposd have chapatis. We&aposd go back and forth. And we would split up the labor.

So either she would roll the chapatis and I would cook them, or I would roll them and she would cook them. And so I just remember her looking over and me rolling them and not being able to get them into a circle. And she&aposd be like, "What&aposs that? Australia?" And I was like, "Yes, I know. It&aposs terrible." And she&aposs like, "It&aposs OK. You know, you just keep — you have to keep practicing."

And even to this day, she&aposll make daal, she&aposll make lentils. And I&aposll go, "I have made lentils the exact same way that you told me to and it doesn&apost taste the way that you make it."

MARTIE Isn&apost that the truth?

AARTI Yes. And I&aposll say, "What is that?" And she said — she says, "Aru, if you had made this recipe every week for 60 years, then you would make it like this, as well." And that, I think, is the thing about cooking that keeps me going, is that these days we&aposre so used to being able to do something instantly. Order food instantly. You want a book? Order it on Amazon, instantly. You know, they&aposre even, whatever, coming up with drones so they can drop the book on your face, like right then. You know? So.

But the thing about cooking is, it forces you to slow down. It forces you to practice, because there&aposs something about cooking that is untouchable and unexplainable. That only comes from doing it over and over and over again until you and that dish kind of have a relationship and are having a conversation with each other. You know, because every time you cook it, your onions are gonna be a little bit different. Your heat&aposs gonna be a bit different. And all of those things will teach you about another aspect of that dish.

MARTIE Yeah, a lot of times I&aposll say to people, they&aposre like, "Your recipes are pretty well-written, but mine didn&apost turn out like yours."


MARTIE I&aposm like, because I&aposve made it 452,000 times, and it&aposs a touch and a feel. And my mother would try to tell me that when she&aposd make biscuits.


MARTIE You know, our version of — say it again?

AARTI Chapatis.

MARTIE Chapatis. Our version of that, probably. Similar, except it had buttermilk and, you know, some sort of a fat in there. But she would just say the same thing. I would go to roll them out and they wouldn&apost roll out right. And she would just say, "It&aposs a touch. You will know when it&aposs ready to cut it because it&aposs the way it feels. It&aposs the way the flour feels. The way the dough feels. The way it responds. You&aposll know." And now I find myself saying those same words, and it is.

But it is very therapeutic and especially right now. Because we&aposre in the middle of a pandemic right now. People are cooking like they haven&apost in years.


MARTIE They&aposre semi-forced to.


MARTIE But it&aposs been wonderful to watch so many friends get in the kitchen and try things.

AARTI Yeah, and especially to try things that I think have always been on people&aposs bucket lists.


AARTI How many people do you know that are making sourdough starters? Like, I&aposm about to. You know, even though I&aposm not really supposed to eat that much bread, I&aposm like, I have to do it. And then I&aposm going to try to make one out of cassava flour to see if that&aposll work because, you know, the Cubans make bread out of cassava. So there&aposs gotta be a way to do it.

MARTIE That&aposs right.

AARTI The gift of this time — and you have to find a gift in it or else you&aposre just gonna get depressed — the gift in this time is the total and utter freedom to do that thing that you always said, "If I just had the time, I would be working on this." And so that&aposs what I&aposve been trying to tell myself is, what are those things? One of them that keeps coming up in my head, and you&aposre going to laugh so hard, is macramé.

MARTIE Or macramé.

AARTI Yeah, whatever.

MARTIE As the British say, macramé. I&aposm like, what? Is that the same thing? Macramé?

AARTI It sounds like a martial art when you say it that way, macramé.

MARTIE We&aposll have more with Aarti Sequeira after the break.

Welcome back to Homemade. We&aposre talking with Aarti Sequeira, who&aposs teaching us how to put a little more spice in our menu.

Listen, on trying new things at home, what other Indian dishes should home cooks try to add to their weeknight repertoire?

AARTI So I&aposve just started doing a cooking show on Instagram. I started just this week.

MARTIE Oh fun.

AARTI Yeah, I&aposm calling it Community Table because the idea is — I mean, I love community tables at restaurants. You never know who you&aposre going to talk to. But the idea is to take those ingredients in your pantry and to cook outside of your immediate community and join sort of the larger community that&aposs also doing the same thing as you. So I took a couple of cans of tomato sauce and I made chicken tikka masala this week.

MARTIE My favorite. Tell me, quickly, how do I — I want to make that at home.

AARTI So all you — the big things that you need are a knob of ginger and a couple of bulbs of garlic, because a lot of the flavor here comes from a ginger-garlic paste, and you just need a microplane and you just turn that into a paste or put it in your food processor and make it into a paste. And then you need a few spices. You need paprika, which most people have. And garam masala is one I think everybody — that&aposs an Indian spice I think everybody can get behind. Because it&aposs full of cinnamon and cloves and cardamom.

MARTIE Cardamom, yeah.

AARTI Yeah. It&aposs just a really warm, sort of Christmas-y spice that adds that warmth to Indian cooking. That thing that you can&apost put your finger on is usually garam masala. So it&aposs super easy. That&aposs something that I make all the time.

MARTIE And what are the Indian spices, the really, the basic ones that we should try to keep in our spice collection? What are things that we could really ramp up and elevate our food if we use those spices?

AARTI So in my cookbook, if you look in the front, I call it the Sacred Seven. There are seven spices that you should just keep on hand. A lot of them you probably already have.

So paprika is one of the chief ones. We call it red chili powder in Indian recipe writing. It&aposs a little bit different. Our red chili powder is not like American chili powder. It&aposs just these red chilies that are mostly colorful and a little bit spicy. So I mix paprika and cayenne to get it just to a heat level that I like.

The other one is turmeric, which now most people have started adding to their cooking. And listen, people always say to me, "How do I add more turmeric to my diet?" And I&aposm like, "Listen, if you want the same benefits that Indians are experiencing from eating turmeric, you gotta eat a teaspoon a day." On average, that&aposs how much an Indian is eating because it&aposs in every meal. Right? A quarter teaspoon here.

AARTI A quarter teaspoon there. So add it to eggs in the morning. I don&apost know if you can add it to your bowl of Cheerios, Martie, that you have for breakfast this morning.

MARTIE No, but I know I had a beautiful ginger and turmeric drink at Starbucks that was quite good. And I&aposve gotten a little bit addicted to that pre-quarantine. But I try to make it home with almond milk and turmeric and ground ginger.


MARTIE It&aposs really good.

AARTI It is really good. And the only thing I&aposll tell you to do with your almond milk is add some sort of fat to it because turmeric is fat soluble. The curcumin, which is the anti-inflammation aspect that you want to access, is fat soluble. And almond milk doesn&apost have a lot of fat. So add some coconut oil or something like that to it.

MARTIE OK. So what other spices?

AARTI Paprika, turmeric, cumin in the form of seeds.

AARTI Because we use them whole. And we also use them ground. And the flavor is just unbelievable if you grind it fresh, or at least somewhat fresh. I&aposll grind a batch and keep it for a couple of weeks. So you don&apost have to grind it fresh every time. Same thing with coriander. If you&aposre someone that makes a lot of Tex-Mex or Southwestern. You probably have a fair amount of coriander in your — but don&apost buy it ground, people. Please, please.

MARTIE You buy the seeds and grind them.

AARTI Yes, because it is night and day. The flavor difference is night and day. So that&aposs four. Garam masala, I said. Five. I like to have some of the whole aromatics. So, I like having green cardamom pods around because I put it in my tea. I put it in my rice pudding.




AARTI It&aposs really good.

MARTIE I love rice pudding. I&aposm a giant fan of rice pudding.

AARTI Yeah, and especially at this time of year. It&aposs spring. The berries are unbelievable. The strawberries right now are unbelievable. And strawberries and cardamom are brilliant together.

MARTIE Are they really?

AARTI Yes. Blueberries and cardamom are amazing, too. So it just makes any berry dish that you make taste more berry-ish, if you put just a little bit of cardamom in it.

MARTIE I didn&apost know that. OK.

AARTI Yes. And then the last one, I would have whole black peppercorns.

AARTI �use — and most people have them in their pepper mill — we use pepper not as a seasoning but as a spice. So if you coarsely grind some peppercorns and you sizzle them in some oil with some whole cumin seeds, then you add some onions to that, maybe a little garlic, that is the beginning of an incredible dish. You can put my least favorite vegetable, okra, in there and it would be delicious.

MARTIE My favorite vegetable. I love okra.

AARTI I know, you&aposre gonna have to make it for me because my mom has tried, tried, tried, and I just can&apost get down with it.

MARTIE Well, I will just say this. If somebody is going to boil it or stew it. I&aposm not interested. But if you&aposre going to fry it, that&aposs a completely different story. I&aposm going to try it your way, though. I&aposm going to add some seasonings to my oil before I cook my okra.

AARTI Yes, and let me know how it goes.

MARTIE I will do. All right, speaking of children, you have two girls.

MARTIE It&aposs Eliyah.

AARTI Eliyah, yep.

MARTIE Eliyah — and Moses?


MARTIE Yeah. And I watch you on Instagram and Facebook and all of that. You&aposre such an engaged mom.

AARTI Oh gosh.

MARTIE Like many of our listeners, I&aposm sure you struggle with balancing work, travel, family, and cooking. So what are some of your weeknight family meals? Because we have a lot more time on the weekends, most of us. Weeknights are big challenges. What do those things look like at your home?

AARTI Well, you know, we lived in L.A. until a couple of months ago, so tacos were a big part of our life. These girls are very particular about what kind of tortilla the taco is made of. You know?

MARTIE Really?

AARTI Yeah. So.

MARTIE Well, they grew up cooking, right? And watching you cook.

AARTI Yeah. I think Monday nights, often, I would make mushroom tacos because it was vegetarian. And I wanted to do one night a week that was vegetarian.

MARTIE My mama did that too.

AARTI Yeah? Did she? She was before her time.

MARTIE Well, you know, back then it was a budgetary thing.

AARTI Yes. Yeah. I love it. So usually it&aposs some form of taco. And it&aposs a great way to use up whatever is left in your fridge because a little bit of bell pepper, a little bit of sausage. You know, a whole mess of mushrooms. There you go. That&aposs your taco filling.

MARTIE I never would&aposve thought about mushroom tacos. That&aposs amazing.

AARTI Yeah. It&aposs really good. Especially if you — and then I love chestnuts. And you can buy chestnuts in a bag, you know? And so I&aposll chop up the chestnuts and cook them in a little bit of butter and then add that to the mushrooms. And it makes them meatier. A little sweet.

MARTIE Oh wow.

AARTI Yeah. It&aposs really delicious.

AARTI And then the other thing that I&aposve just been making now is we&aposve been eating a lot more rice.

MARTIE Oh, I think all of us have.

AARTI Yeah, and so I had leftover, just plain rice the other day. And I made an Indian fried rice with that. And I browned some peanuts and I put that on top and some scallion and I just went in the freezer and got whatever vegetables were in there. So we had peas. We had some bell peppers. Some carrots. And I just mixed it all together. Oh, I had some pineapple because I love pineapple fried rice, and I thought if I put something sweet in here, they&aposll think this is —

MARTIE Well, quite frankly, I never thought about putting pineapple in my fried rice. And I also never thought about making mushroom tacos. So you&aposre giving me some new ideas.

AARTI Yeah, I mean, that&aposs the gift of this. I mean, for me, the fact that we’re staying with my in-laws, and my mother-in-law loves to cook. And she always has a ton of things in her pantry, but they&aposre not always the things that I would have. And so, that&aposs the cool thing. And I remember even some of the recipes in my cookbook to this day are from staying with my mother-in-law and going through her pantry and making something for dinner.

MARTIE Oh wow.

AARTI And it turning out awesome.

MARTIE So with the Indian fried rice, how would we season that?

AARTI So you start off with some garlic and some cumin seeds. And if you have &aposem, some black mustard seeds. That&aposs one of my favorites. They&aposre not spicy. They&aposre just nutty. And I happen to have some curry leaves in the fridge. So I put those in and they sort of have this sort of lemony, cardamom-y sort of flavor. So you start with that, and then I put my vegetables in, added a little bit of turmeric and a little bit of paprika, cooked them until they were almost tender. And then you add leftover rice. And you just sort of sautee that whole thing together, finish it with some lemon, some cilantro, some peanuts, whatever you have on hand. And that&aposs your Indian fried rice.

MARTIE I&aposm making that.

MARTIE I&aposm making all these things. I never had that. I&aposve never even thought about it. I&aposm making that.

AARTI OK, good.

MARTIE You know, it&aposs hard for me. I live way out in the country, and a lot of our listeners may be challenged. Is there a place that you can recommend, like if you are in a spice desert?


MARTIE Is there a place I can go to find these things online where they’ll ship 𠆎m to me?

AARTI Yes, yes. I love places like Penzeys. The Spice House is also great. The thing I love about Spice House is you can buy in small amounts. So you can buy two ounces or four ounces or a whole big bag, depending on what you want. And when the box arrives on your doorstep, the postman is gonna be like, "What&aposs in here?" Because it&aposs so aromatic.

MARTIE Really?

AARTI It&aposs amazing. Yeah. So the Spice House is a good one. And then the last one I would say is — oh, there&aposs a place in Seattle called World Spice Merchants. And I went to their store when I was in Seattle once. And they also will ship to you and the same thing, they will do it by amounts. So that&aposs also a really good resource. But yeah, the days of — I wouldn&apost even buy stuff at the supermarket anymore. I would buy my spices from these people online because they&aposre so fresh. You&aposre getting your money&aposs worth.

MARTIE Listen. There&aposs a recipe that I made on Food Network Star that uses a lot of the ingredients that you&aposve just been talking about, believe this or not.

AARTI Uh-huh?

MARTIE Like it uses fennel seed. It uses coriander seed, mustard seeds, and celery seed.

AARTI Wait. Was it a pickle?

MARTIE Yeah. A Pickled shrimp.

AARTI Yeah. That sounds yummy.

MARTIE It is really good. I&aposm going to share that recipe with you because you have all the ingredients for it.

AARTI I want to make that.

MARTIE It&aposs really good.

AARTI What do you serve it on?

MARTIE Oh, you don&apost. You don&apost serve it on top of anything. It&aposs just all those flavors permeate the shrimp.

MARTIE I actually cook my shrimp first on a sheet pan in the oven, a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cook them just to just done and then transfer them to all the spices while they&aposre still hot.

AARTI Ooh yeah.

MARTIE Right out of the oven. And then they sit in the pickling liquid and they suck up all that yummy flavor. But I didn&apost ever really think about it before. I always thought of it as a really traditional Southern thing. But it&aposs got some Indian flair to it.

AARTI I love that. And I would put that on maybe like — and so the one other techniques — so next week on Community Table, I&aposm going to talk about tadka.


AARTI Tadka. And I think your listeners will love this technique. So it&aposs an Indian cooking technique where you warm up some oil. You put your whole spices in there. So you could do your fennel seed, your coriander seed, your celery seed. Let &aposem sizzle, and it&aposs gonna release their flavor. And then you take that whole oil and you pour it over your poached shrimp. Or you pour it over some sweet potatoes. You pour it over some rice or just a bowl of yogurt.

Now, that&aposs the Indian version of it. But think about a Western version of it. Think about putting a couple sprigs of thyme and some whole black peppercorns and some garlic and sort of swirling that around and pouring it over to some beef or some chicken or some pork.

You know any of those sorts of things. It&aposs a very quick way to take something even store-bought, some rotisserie chicken, and adding your flavor to it. It&aposs called tadka. T-A-D-K-A.

MARTIE Now, what kind of oil should we use for that?

AARTI I would use something neutral.

MARTIE Like canola if we had it?

AARTI Yeah. Canola, avocado, whatever is sort of neutral. And then if you wanted to enrich it, then you could do coconut oil or you could even do butter or, I mean, the king of all fats — you could do ghee.

MARTIE Well, listen, I&aposm going to come and visit you, and I want you to make me a chicken tikka masala and show me how to really make the naan.


MARTIE I want you to teach me some of these recipes, and then I want you to come back and visit me again.

AARTI Yes, I would love that.

MARTIE We&aposll spend a little bit more time together, and I&aposll show you a couple of my little Southern tricks, and I&aposll make you some okra.

AARTI Yes. OK, I&aposm ready for that, for sure.

MARTIE The okra that my mama would make was so good, we would fight over it. I mean, fight over it.

MARTIE Like, there&aposs only a scrap left in the bowl. You know, fight over it.

AARTI OK, I want to taste that okra.

MARTIE It&aposs good. Soak it in buttermilk first and then toss it in a little bit of seasoned cornmeal and flour. Like a little bit of cornmeal, a little bit of flour, salt, pepper, a little bit of cayenne. And then toss all that together and then kind of make sure it&aposs not too heavily coated.

MARTIE And then put it in the oil and fry it up. And boy, is it good.

AARTI Oh, wow, that sounds amazing.

MARTIE But I think also is my mama&aposs cast iron skillet that did some of the —

AARTI Yes, yeah. I mean, the one thing that I think I&aposve learned over the past couple years — I&aposm really interested in ayurvedic cooking. Ayurveda is the Indian healing science. And so that&aposs where we&aposre getting things like eating ghee and eating turmeric. And I don&apost know if ashwagandha has come near you yet. But, you know, all these things that — all these things are coming from Indian healing, right?


AARTI From Indian medicine. So one of the aspects of Indian medicine is that the actual preparation of your food is the medicine. So whereas we&aposve gotten to this place where we&aposre trying to make a meal in 20 minutes sometimes and then we&aposre like, "I don&apost understand why I&aposm so stressed and why I&aposm not feeling good." It&aposs like, well, because every aspect of your day is stress-induced, including your cooking.

So if we can turn on some music. If you drink wine, pour yourself a glass of wine. Or for me, I drink day beers. That&aposs what I call those little cans of seltzer, they&aposre day beers.

Just drink something that makes you feel good. And then when you&aposre chopping your onion, chop that onion, honey. Like, just let that be the medicine for your body, and let it be just what you were saying, therapeutic and meditative, and let your breathing slow down. Let your heart rate slow down. These are all things that are meant to help you relax at the end of the day.

MARTIE I&aposve been doing a lot of that. Put on the music. Pour a little something. And then cook. And I think it is. I have time to do it for the first time in forever. And I&aposve done a little a couple little Facebook live things where I&aposve cooked. And it was fun to interact with everybody.


MARTIE And have some community with me since I&aposm here by myself. But this has been a great joy for me to get to spend some time with you. I hope we&aposll be seeing a lot more of you.

AARTI Me too.

MARTIE Thank you for being on with us, on the Homemade podcast here at You&aposre one of our favorites, Aarti. We love you.

AARTI Thank you. Thank you. I love you guys, too. Thank you so much.

MARTIE That was the Spice Queen herself, Aarti Sequeira, aka Aarti Parti. You can find her online at

Coming up on the next episode of Homemade — if you bumped into him in the grocery store, you probably wouldn’t have a clue who he is.

CHEF JOHN You roll up lots of cheese in the crust and you form it into like a boat shape. And the inside will have like a cavity. And then you bake that cheesy bread and then you crack a couple eggs or an egg inside and you finish it off with the egg cooked and then you finish it with a couple pads of butter. And pull off the ends of the boat, the pointy tips, and you dip that in the runny egg cheesy center.

MARTIE He rarely shows his face on video, but millions of YouTube viewers might recognize his hands. Chef John of Food Wishes is my guest! You don’t want to miss it.

Subscribe to the podcast right now. It’s free, and you won’t miss a single episode. ਊnd don’t forget, you can find thousands of recipes, meal ideas, and cooking how-tos from the world’s largest community of cooks at

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Homemade is produced AllRecipes with Executive Editor Jason Burnett.  Thanks to our Pod People production team Rachael King, Eliza Lambert, Tanya Ott, and Maya Kroth.

Review: Justin Timberlake had nothing to say at the Super Bowl and wouldn’t stop saying it

“Haters gonna say it’s fake,” Justin Timberlake sang with an audible sneer to open his halftime show at Sunday’s Super Bowl LII, and it was easy to wonder who precisely he was complaining about.

Always eager to point to the imagined chip on his shoulder, Timberlake was singing the words to “Filthy,” the first song on his iffy new album, “Man of the Woods,” which came out Friday in strategic coordination with his appearance on music’s most-watched stage.

But the lyric also seemed to apply to a quick-fire controversy that ignited over the weekend on social media after TMZ reported that Timberlake — already a problematic figure in Super Bowl history thanks to his role in the 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” that famously exposed Janet Jackson’s breast — planned to perform alongside a hologram of Prince. (This year’s game, broadcast live on NBC, was played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis.)

Almost immediately, Prince fans took to the Internet to proclaim that this was a terrible idea, not least because the late legend was on record referring to holograms as “demonic.”

A privileged white pop star summoning a ghoulish simulacrum of an unwilling black genius?

You don’t have to be a hater to see the problem here.

Whatever Timberlake’s original intent was, no hologram appeared in Sunday’s halftime show — though the singer did attempt a beyond-the-grave duet of “I Would Die 4 U” with Prince, whose projected image flickered slightly more tastefully across an enormous piece of billowing fabric.

Yet that merciful bit of good judgment hardly redeemed Timberlake’s lackluster performance, which only confirmed what “Man of the Woods” had established earlier: that today this guy has nothing to say and just won’t stop saying it.

OK, sure, the tightly choreographed production was impressive from a logistics standpoint.

The show began in what looked like an intimate nightclub, with Timberlake onstage before a small crowd. Then he moved up a set of stairs and — voila! — he was suddenly inside the stadium, surrounded by tens of thousands of people, moving down an illuminated bridge (as he sang “Rock Your Body”) toward a series of small platforms on the football field.

The inventive setup, and specifically the way it expanded the space usually available to halftime performers, echoed the clever design of Timberlake’s last big tour, behind 2013’s “The 20/20 Experience.”

Later on Sunday, after flashy renditions of “SexyBack” (which he mashed up with a few bars of “Señorita”), “My Love” (rearranged as a dreary industrial-funk dirge) and “Cry Me A River,” Timberlake jumped down from the glittering main stage to the field itself, where a drum corps in formalwear backed him for “Suit & Tie.”

For that number the singer played footsy with a trick microphone that kept threatening to fall over but never did — kind of cool in a cruise-ship sort of way.

From there he moved to a white grand piano for the Prince tribute, then back to the main stage for the grand finale of “Mirrors” — picture dozens of dancers holding you know what — and “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” which Timberlake’s trusty live band had the wisdom to reharmonize with dreamy new chords that made you 3% less sick of a song you’ve heard 9 million times.

Vegan Italian Sauces

What&rsquos a delicious pasta without the sauce? The sauce is what gives the dish all of the flavor. While there are many yummy pasta sauces used in the vegan Italian recipes listed above, here are some stand alone pasta sauces. Pair them with your favorite shape of pasta, mix in your favorite vegetables, add some delectable toppings&hellipthe possibilities are endless.

Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce

A homemade pasta sauce will take that dish from excellent to exceptional in no time flat. This Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce recipe by Inside the Rustic Kitchen, an Italian food blog, shows you how to whip up a tomato sauce from scratch in only 10 minutes.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

One sauce that I really missed when going vegan years and years ago was alfredo sauce. But, I soon learned that I don&rsquot have to deprive myself of this rich, creamy meal as there are suitable vegan versions out there that are yummy, healthy, and don&rsquot harm animals in any way. My Pure Plants has an amazing Cashew Alfredo recipe that uses only 5 ingredients! It&rsquos vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free, too.

Avocado Pasta Sauce

Five ingredients&hellipand five minutes? Count me in! This avocado pasta sauce by Joy Food Sunshine is an example of Italian food without cheese, though you&rsquod hardly know it. This avocado sauce recipe is creamy and delightful, and you can pour it over pasta, rice, or veggies.

Arrabbiata Sauce

The Fiery Vegetarian claims to have the best Arrabbiata sauce. You&rsquoll have to give it a try to see what you think! The author has worked on this pasta sauce for many years, attempting to capture the flavors of a version from her favorite Italian restaurant. Pour it all over your favorite pasta shape.


They began producing a range of craft beers with names such as Sarcasm and Irony – to reflect Watneys' previous image problem.

Beer critics who derided Party Seven in the Sixties and Seventies had been even more scathing about another Watneys product, Red Barrel, a keg beer sold in pubs.

The rise of real ale saw the brand fade from view, until Mr Whitehurst came along.

Beer critics who derided Party Seven in the Sixties and Seventies had been even more scathing about another Watneys product, Red Barrel, a keg beer sold in pubs

The Party Seven was famous the world over and was at the heart of millions of parties in the 1960s and 1970s

Watney's Mortlake Brewery, seen here during the boat race of 1959. Pictured is a sign saying 'We Want Watneys'

An original Watneys brewer, Philip Downes, 57, oversees production. However, as the pub trade has been hit hard by the pandemic, for the moment the brewery is concentrating on canned beer.

So Mr Whitehurst decided it was time to act on suggestions they bring back the Party Seven. He said: 'It's out of necessity after the rest of our business shut down overnight last March.

'We felt we couldn't give up on Watneys without first trying the Party Seven, given people's affection for it. We've heard so many anecdotes.

'Many's the story of old Party Sevens exploding and hitting the ceiling when people tried to open them.

'Lots of people remember drinking it at house parties, get-togethers, music festivals and football away-days. We're providing a link back to happier times and it's also a trip down memory lane for many people.

Watneys, the brewer behind the much derided bitter, was founded in 1837 but hit the heights of fame in the 1970s with Party Seven. Pictured: A landlady pours a pint of Watneys Red Barrel in 1965

However, the beer's 'bland' and unmemorable taste was slammed by critics and saw the brand disappear in the 80s. Pictured: Peter Humphrey of Watneys in 1978

The company brought out several different types of ale during the 1950s and 60s before hitting success with Party Seven. Pictured: Watneys Hammerton Stout Magazine Advert in the 1950s

'We heard from one guy whose parents met because they were at a party when his father opened a Party Seven and it splashed over the woman next to him. She became his wife.

'We want it to appeal to people who remember drinking it years ago – but have updated the ingredients so we can also appeal to a new crowd. We have been delighted with the feedback we have had so far.'

One fan of the new Party Seven is Daily Mail reader Justin Barry, 55. Company director Mr Barry, from Allington, Lincolnshire, who enjoyed 'three or four kegs over Christmas' with wife Alison, 48, said: 'It's quite nostalgic. It reminds me of going to Christmas parties in the 1970s. I remember following my dad as he carried a Party Seven under his arm.

'It's the next best thing to a pint in the pub. I think it'll catch on when we are allowed to have parties once again. You also have to pour it into a glass, so it feels like a proper pint.'

The new Party Sevens are produced on Merseyside and are on sale via

What was Watneys Party Seven?

Watneys, a London-based brewer since 1837, launched Party Seven on 21 October 1968, one of the first bulk containers for purchasing beer cheaply.

Though much ridiculed since, their plan was a smart one - to set themselves apart from the competition by evoking the idea of a 'party drink' - seven pints worth in one can.

It also complemented their smaller can, Party Four, which they had been selling since 1964.

But Party Seven was quick to draw attention with its hefty red and gold can, retailing in supermarkets for 15 shillings (or 75p). In today’s money that would have been about £9.

It became incredibly popular, especially among teenagers in the 1970s, when it gained its notoriety for 'exploding' all over the kitchen at party when the can was pierced.

The decision not to include a ring-pull type of attachment on the can has long been questioned, with some suggesting the design of thicker metal to withstand higher pressure meant it would have not always worked.

Partygoers instead resorted to the several inventive 'can piercer' methods, including a tin opener, a screw driver, and even a hammer and a nail.

You had to be quick to puncture to holes in the can, one for the beer and another for air to get in, or else face a 'beer fountain' that could cover the walls of your house.

At Party Seven's launch, Watneys offered a specially designed Sparklets beer tap for 59 shillings and 9 pence, just under £40 in today’s money.

Sales of beer in party-sized containers took off in the 1970s, and in 1974 the UK Government added 'beer in party containers' to the list of items used to make the RPI (Retail Price Index) calculation. They removed it in 1987.

Unfortunately however, the beer's 'bland' and unmemorable taste was slammed by critics and saw the brand disappear in the 80s.

It returned to pubs in 2016 and was made using spare capacity in other craft brewers in London.