Broken Bread | KCET
Co-produced by KCET and Tastemade
In Broken Bread, entrepreneur, social activist and chef Roy Choi takes a journey through his hometown of Los Angeles to explore complex social justice issues including food deserts, food waste and sustainability. Challenging assumptions and the status quo, Choi meets inspiring individuals and organizations who use food as a platform for activism and a catalyst for change.
Roy explores the power of cooking to rehabilitate those on the margins of society and the organizations taking a chance on those who need it most. He spends time with Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy and Homegirl Industries, the pioneer of socially minded food enterprises focused on transitioning former gang members from lives on the street to lives in kitchens. Roy also visits Mar Diego, a food entrepreneur who has opened Dough Girl, a pizza shop in the San Fernando Valley employing local kids struggling with drug use and homelessness. Additionally, the episode features L.A.
Roy explores future culinary landscapes looking forward to a world affected by climate change. He spends an evening with chefs Henry Fischer and Anna Rose Hopkins from Hank and Bean who make a surprising plant-forward dinner featuring non-traditional protein sources like crickets and jellyfish. Roy also visits with Ethan Brown of Beyond Meat, a company pioneering the plant-based replacements for our favorite burgers and sausages, and Vegan Hooligans, a pop-up restaurant in eastside LA’s Eagle Rock making classic American diner food out of entirely plant-based ingredients.
Roy meets the individuals bringing healthy and affordable food options into South L.A. communities that lack access to fresh food. Roy also visits with vegan grocer Olympia Auset, whose startup Süprmarkt delivers healthy and affordable food to the doorsteps of her community. Finally, Roy visits Earle’s Hot Dogs, a vegetarian hot dog cart that has grown over its 30-year history into a multi-location brick and mortar shop, now a staple of a community hungry for healthier options.
Roy journeys from L.A. to Orange County to discover how two non-profit innovators are tackling the problem of food waste. Roy visits Robert Egger, whose project LA Kitchen is simultaneously aggregating wasted food, using it to cook fresh meals for those in need, and providing workforce training. Roy also follows Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen, who partners with Chefs to End Hunger to reuse leftover food and distribute it with his food truck in Orange County.
Roy visits Chris Yang’s Pop Cultivate to explore the emergence of a new culinary landscape since the advent of legalized recreational marijuana. He then tackles the gentrification of cannabis culture by visiting Med Men, the leader in upscale legal weed retailers in Los Angeles. An interview with Virgil Grant, a formerly incarcerated weed dealer now seeking to run a legal distribution business, sheds light on efforts to build cannabis equity for those hit hardest by the War on Drugs. The episode also features interviews with actor/activist Cheech Marin and Shep Gordon.