Yia Vang is a multi-nominated James Beard Award chef, the founder & head chef of Union Hmong Kitchen; he competed on the Netflix show, “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend”; hosts the show, ”Feral” on the Outdoors Channel; hosts another show, “Stoked” on the Food Network; and hosts the excellent podcast, “Hmonglish” which focuses on the Hmong people, their culture, and representation.
How do you define “consistency” — the ability to produce the exact same thing time & time again, or producing a product that is never exactly the same, but is always of high quality? That question underlies our talk of official offerings vs independent bottlings, and we also talk about Scotch and spit buckets, Matt’s current top-3 ‘hottest’ Scotch brands, and more.
Today’s conversation explores the broader question of how to assess greatness? To get there, Jonathan and Troy Russ discuss the art & craft of tennis (and whether it is the greatest of all sports?); the art & craft of great sports writing (and whether David Foster Wallace’s essay, Roger Federer as Religious Experience is the pinnacle of the form). Then we discuss Troy’s Top 5 all-time tennis players, which serves to help us assess greatness in any sport.
Last week, Jonathan headed to The Crown in Oakland, California, which is the Coffee Lab and Tasting Room of Royal Coffee. He was there to sample experimental coffee drinks, meet with Royal Coffee CEO, Max Nicholas-Fulmer — who’s favorite ski is the Moment Blister Pro — and to discuss the world of specialty “green” (not-yet-roasted) coffee.
Why are there so many collabs in the craft beer world? We talk to Offset Bier co-founder, Conor Brown, and New Image Brewing founder, Brandon Capps, for answers, and also about the new collabs they’ve just released; “New World” or “West Coast” pilsners; snooty bike shops; skiing pow; barley wine; & more.