Tsubaki's Asari Saka-Mushi: Sake-steamed Baja clams, green garlic dashi | Courtesy of Life & Thyme

The Convergence of Cultures: Shaping Great Cities

How is the cultural identity of a city formed? Rubén Martinez, journalist and writer of the film "When Worlds Collide," explores how the immigrant experience shapes great cities.

As Ruben states "It's productive in terms of the economy and it's also creative because people are trying to do good business. And to do good business... to get customers you have to be creative. And often times, of course, that happens on the level of culture itself. Fusion cuisine is nothing more and nothing less than the story of immigrants bumping into each other on the street in Los Angeles. 

Stuff starts to shift, culturally. In all kinds of different ways. People start learning the language, that starts to shift. It's not just the immigrants that are changed, the immigrants are changing the natives too and you can literally track a people's history and the history of a city through these waves and the culture they are bringing from the old country. And how it's transformed here. And how it transforms the whole. And that is how great cities are made."

Be sure to check out The Migrant Kitchen, KCET's new, original series launching on September 20th in association with Life & Thyme.

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Omotenashi

Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan, the couple behind Echo Park's Tsubaki, have always loved the culture of izakaya but found Los Angeles lacking in these Japanese taverns. Sonoko Sakai is a teacher with a passion for buckwheat and the near-sacred art of soba noodles, and Seiichi Yokota knows how to prepare and preserve fresh fish with a traditional Japanese technique never seen before in Los Angeles. Each aims to introduce Angelenos to the unique spirit of Japanese hospitality and the culture's deep culinary customs.

  • 2018-06-24T09:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-06-29T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-07-22T09:00:00-07:00
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The Migrant Kitchen 1-Hour Special

Los Angeles’ booming food scene is being shaped by a new generation of chefs. Visit almost any kitchen in Los Angeles and it is likely you will find a migrant chef combining ethnic cuisines with new flavors and techniques. And often within the food, is a story of their migration.

“The politics of migration, the labor economy, all that drama plays out in the restaurants that we go to,” says journalist and author Rubén Martínez

  • 2018-07-01T02:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-07-01T08:00:00-07:00
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Beyond Pho

Banh Mi. Spring rolls. Pho. The war and its subsequent refugees. These are things most commonly associated with the Vietnamese culture and its people. But a group of chefs in Los Angeles (including Cassia’s Bryant Ng and Diep Tran of Good Girl Dinette) are hoping to demonstrate that there’s so much more than that. Featured in the episode: Cassia in Santa Monica, Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, Red Boat Fish Sauce, and Minh Phan of Porridge & Puffs.

  • 2018-07-01T09:00:00-07:00
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Alta California

A collective of culturally connected, distinguished chefs (including Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos, Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, as well as Jorge Gaviria of corn purveyor, Masienda) work to preserve heritage and push forward the “Alta California” Mexican food movement. By celebrating those dishes and ingredients integral to Mexico's cuisine and its economy, a group of accomplished Mexican-American chefs are working to elevate not only the food, but what people of their heritage can achieve in the food business.

  • 2018-07-08T09:00:00-07:00
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Badmaash

Indian food has often been associated with stiff restaurants, all-you-can-eat buffets and heavily spiced, cream-based dishes. The Mahendro family (Anu, Pawan, Nakul and Arjun) immigrated to Los Angeles and found that they didn’t recognize any of the so-called Indian food available to them. Like carefully selected spices to a classic Indian dish, each family member contributes something special and significant to their restaurant Badmaash and to the city of L.A. Featured in the episode: Downtown L.A.’s Badmaash.

  • 2018-07-15T09:00:00-07:00
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