Forks on the Left

Hollywood stories. Food stories. Drink stories. Wine, beer and cocktail tastings, chefs' secrets, recipes and cooking demos. Conversations with chefs, writers, winemakers, bartenders, actors, bakers, producers, directors, butchers, musicians… Grab a fork and a glass, and join ‘Friends' Writer/Producer/Cook/Wine-Guy, Jeff Strauss and co-host Writer/Comedian/Eater/Beer-Guy, Jeff Phelps as they bring together experts and friends from the worlds of food, wine, spirits, beer, TV, movies, theater and music to talk about…all that stuff. Listen to your stomach. Feed your ears. Fresh episodes weekly. Please rate/review to tell us what you're liking so you can have more of it. Also, please help us spread the word by sharing with your friends on social media. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @forks_ontheleft and Facebook @forksontheleft.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 30, 2016

Hangover Cures! In honor of New Years and "The Great Morning After” we dig deep into the downsides of alcohol consumption and tips on prevention as well as a wide-ranging exploration of remedies from the mythical to the medical.  Hair of the Dog? Hydration? Does mixing beverages matter? What about clear vs colored booze? Is there anything you can eat or drink the next day that makes a difference? Is there something that medical science can do for you? In true Forks on the Left style, Phelps throws himself all the way into his hangover research — both on an evening spent “getting in” and to the final “stab” he subjects himself to in his search for answers. We search for expert help from Bar Manager/Mixologist Sean Griffin as well as actual medical insights from our friendly, anonymous neurologist friend, Dr. ?????? and traveling nurse, Kendra Butler from The I.V. Doc (  And whether you’re suffering or just want a great brunch the next day, Strauss breaks out a pair of amazing egg recipes that are sure to perk you up on New Years or any morning (“after" or not).

Bar Manager/Mixologist: Sean Griffin

The I.V. Doc

Dec 23, 2016

Happy Holidays! Here's a musical gift of laughter from all of us at Forks on the Left brought to you by the brilliance of Jeff Elmassian, Andy Rehfeldt, Grant Cornish and Mary Catherine Finney. Cheers!

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Dec 21, 2016

Cookbook Gift Ideas from one of the world's most knowledgeable cooks and cookbook authors: Susie Heller, co-author of all 5 of Thomas Keller’s cookbooks including “The French Laundry," “The Pizza Bible” with Tony Gemignani, and “Happy in the Kitchen” with Michel Richard. There's something here for every cook and foodie on your list!

Check out our website for links to each of the books Susie recommends.

Susie Heller: @susiefeast

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Dec 16, 2016

Lots more Tom Lennon. Lots more comedy. Lots more Cheesy Christmas — including illegal cheese smuggling, Strauss’s all around favorite red-wine-pairing cheese, and the surprising discovery of Tom Lennon’s impromptu “the best cheese I’ve ever had in my entire life” award.  Tom wades into the “Great Chicago Giordano’s vs Malnati's Pizza Debate." Tom and Strauss discover an unexpected fire-arms stupidity/run-ins with the law connection...Stories of youthful excess, Hollywood Christmas gifts and Chanukah sex. Lots more wine discussion covering the Grenache/Syrah blend from Longtable and Gigondas from Tom’s cellar, and a little excellent beer, too — thanks to Phelps and Deschutes Brewery!  For those who want to play-along at home — grab a bottle of your favorite Syrah/Grenache blend, pick up a couple of the cheeses from the Cheesy Christmas List on our website (or ask your cheese store for the closest thing)… and indulge with us, it’s Christmas, right?!

Tom Lennon - Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Day Drinking: Deschutes Brewery Jubelale, Longtable “The Gathering” 2012 Mt. Veeder, Napa (also available at Backroom Wines), Gigondas 2013

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Dec 9, 2016

Get out your generic Lipitor and your favorite hangover cure because the cheeses are all lined up and the Wine and Champagne is flowing like a hip-hop video. Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Comedian /Ethical Vegetarian/Wine Snob Tom Lennon joins us to share stories of eating and drinking, comedy, Chicago, New Orleans, wine, cheese and Tom's "current wife," Jenny Robertson. Phelps kicks off the session by pouring “the largest glass of champagne (Tom) has seen in 20 years” and in no time the three are deep into figuring out “What is Christmas food?” “What is the best ‘drinking city’ in America, and Tom’s secret theory behind “Why Americans think the French are rude." Don’t miss Part 1 of “Tom Lennon: A Very Cheesy Christmas” because if you do, you’ll miss a lot of great stuff and you’ll probably be a little lost next week when we release Part 2.       

Tom Lennon - Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Day Drinking: Henriot Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Longtable “The Gathering” 2012 Mt. Veeder, Napa (also available at Backroom Wines)

Visit our website for the list of cheeses Tom and The Jeffs ate so you can eat (and drink) along at home! 

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Dec 3, 2016

It’s the season of miracles, right? So why not hang out with one of the creators of an actual “miracle” — Natasha Case, who with her partner Freya Estreller, reinvented not one but two of life’s perfect things, the ice cream sandwich, and the ice cream truck!  Starting with just an idea — "architecturally-inspired gourmet ice cream” — the two started making cookies and ice cream and calling them things like “IM Pei-Nut Butter” and “Mintimalism” — and with a couple thousand borrowed dollars, a beat up old mail truck and just a little bit of luck, Coolhaus was born.  Strauss and Phelps dig in with Case on this story of inspiration and entrepreneurialism. With a little prodding, they get Case to give up the “inside scoop” on some of your favorite celebrities’ favorite flavors. AND, they get to try a whole bunch of extraordinary ice cream and cookie combos. They’re joined by writer/producer Diana Levy, who is developing a TV series based on the amazing Coolhaus story.  Phelps' 7-year-old, Coolhaus-obsessed daughter “phones in” some expert questions and commentary. And, of course, there’s a little Day Drinking — asking, how well does beer go with ice cream???

Natasha Case / Coolhaus - WebsiteTwitter, Instagram, Facebook
Diana Levy - Twitter, Instagram
Kate Phelps - Special Correspondent, Ice-cream Expert

Day Drinking: Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing 

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Nov 25, 2016

"Leftovers." It’s a word that strikes terror into the hearts of so many of us. Well, fear no more. We love when life gives us a little more than we can handle in one sitting — the key is to make great use of what you couldn’t finish the first time. And that’s what we’re doing this week. Strauss and Phelps discuss all kinds of great ideas and recipes using the remains of Thanksgiving Day, and we’re also serving up a great interview with wine-expert Jill Bernheimer (@DomaineLA), owner of Domaine LA, one of LA’s most creative and thoughtfully curated wine and spirit shops. She brings us three very well-priced and interesting wines from her store for a little audio wine tasting. And, we’ve got a brilliant “remix” of our Episode 1 interview with Phil Rosenthal. Resident Endless Noise musical geniuses Jeff Elmassian and Andy Rehfeldt bring us the audio version of raising the leftovers game with a remix titled, “Talking ‘bout Fried Chicken” — we think your “leftovers” can be every bit as good as the original, if not better. Listening is believing!

Visit our website to download the Phil remix! 

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Nov 22, 2016

A handful of Strauss' favorite Thanksgiving suggestions. How much turkey per person? Secrets to a moist turkey...What to do if you or people you love are vegetarian...What wine to drink...And a super easy way to up your holiday "stuffing game."

Visit to check out the recipe for Jeff Strauss' confit turkey wings. 

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Nov 19, 2016

Let’s face it, we’re right at the beginning of “Dessert Season," cold weather, family gatherings, ski-vacations…it lasts until we start thinking about bathing suits and beaches sometime after Valentine's Day. After a little dessert-directed Day Drinking featuring Stone Brewing Co’s Seasonal Chocolate/Chili/Spice/Coffee Beer, “Xocoveza” and Handmade, Barrel-Strength Bourbon from Noah’s Mill, Strauss and Phelps sit down with Lisa Ritter, one of the founders of LA's beloved “Big Sugar Bakeshop” (and a really great story-teller). We taste and talk about the sweet stuff and hear about Lisa ’s journey from being raised in a food-centric, Jewish/Italian family to the surprising, even to her, beginnings of Big Sugar.  She'll share her recipe for Old-Fashioned (and amazing) Banana Bread and a few great secrets to REALLY EASY Cookie Pie Crusts. Oh, and Strauss and Lisa explain the wonders and complexities of catering “Abondanza" style…something they each learned in their own way from Lisa’s mother, (and pro-caterer) Carol Ritter. Additional guest appearance from Friends writer/producer, Jeff Greenstein (who also happens to be Lisa's husband).


Day Drinking: Stone Brewing's "Xocoveca" - a winter-spiced mocha stout, and Noah's Mill handmade, small-batch Kentucky bourbon.   

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Banana Bread

Big Sugar Bakeshop - WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebook

Nov 15, 2016

If you didn’t fill up on Kim Dickens during our Halloween episode, here are a few more delicious bites. It’s incredible how much “what we eat” says about “who we are."  Kim answers Forks on the Left’s “10 Questions” — picture James Lipton (or Will Ferrell) and the “Inside the Actors Studio” questionnaire…but with food, and Strauss and Phelps.

Guest: @KimDickens
Host: @Forks_ontheLeft

For more bonus content, check out our website -

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Nov 11, 2016

It’s a 'Friends' reunion! We are joined by Jeff Strauss’s college buddy and for many years, his writing and producing partner, the award-winning Jeff Greenstein, the original "Other Jeff." In this week’s episode, Strauss and Greenstein, who co-wrote the very first 'Friends' Thanksgiving episode, share never-before-revealed secrets behind “The One Where Underdog Gets Away."

You’ll hear the hilarious and horrible, real-life story from Strauss’s life that inspired that much-loved, Emmy-nominated holiday tale. You’ll also learn the surprising inspiration for Monica’s need to keep everybody happy with potatoes. An exploration of Greenstein's childhood in suburban Atlanta and his comical “food-rules” lead to a discovery and a dare as Phelps and Strauss make Greenstein eat a food he has never tried before. What more could you want? A little eating, a little drinking, great stories from behind the scenes at one of the biggest hit TV shows ever — and a food called “Orange Carnage."

Jeff Greenstein - Twitter, Instagram
Day Drinking: a Nordic alcohol adventure — Aalborg Aquavit from Denmark and Bjork from Iceland (liquor with a real birch branch in the bottle)

Nov 4, 2016

In honor of the election season we all wish would end, it’s the most American of battles… no Dems v. Repubs, no "Blue v. Red”, this is Ultra-High-Calorie Meal v. Ultra-High-Calorie Meal. It's Corn Dog versus Salmon Tartare Coronet, Brisket-Cheesy-Fries versus Sweet-Butter-Poached Lobster Fricassée.  It’s the 2016 Tulsa State Fair facing down a 2012 visit to Napa’s 3-Michelin-Starred The French Laundry!

How will Strauss and Phelps survive course after course of complete and total over-indulgence?  These are the GREATEST FOOD EXCESSES OF OUR TIME going toe to toe… do not miss one riveting minute!  Hear about how Phelps had to call in reinforcements in a moment of weakness facing down the dreaded Donut-Cheeseburger.  Hear how Strauss’s dining companion collapsed in the face of just too much great food and wine… Who will be left standing…? And what about the mechanical bull??

Special Phone Guest: Steve Clark (actual survivor of the donut-cheeseburger)

Day Drinking: Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin and Fever Tree Tonic vs. Tito's Handmade Vodka and Club Soda

Check out our website for pictures of the Tulsa State Fair food extravaganza and our Day Drinking cocktails. 

Oct 31, 2016

Guests: Phil Rosenthal, Adam Cole


In our first-ever episode, hosts Jeff Strauss & Jeff Phelps hang out with the always-funny Phil Rosenthal, writer/creator of the massive hit comedy 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and star/creator of 'I’ll Have What Phil’s Having'. Strauss, Phelps and Phil talk eating, family, TV, travel and Phil’s lifelong hate/love experience with food.


The three are joined by chef Adam Cole, whose career has taken him from the front-lines in fine-dining kitchens of superstar chefs Michael Voltaggio and José Andrés to open his own Los Angeles restaurant — Maple Block Meat Co. — a BBQ joint. Chef Cole shares some smoked-brisket secrets and talks about how modern technique informs his approach to ‘Cue.


Day Drinking: Craft Beer vs Beer Beer — Hanger 24 Orange Wheat vs Miller High-Life

Oct 26, 2016

Guests: Kim Dickens, Erika Nakamura, Curtis Di Fede


Nothing better than blood, sharp objects and zombies on Halloween, and we’ve got lots of all of that — and Kim Dickens, star of 'Fear the Walking Dead' and HBO’s ‘Treme'.  Starting off with a cocktail — "The Bloody Vampire Killer" — Kim and The Jeffs dig into her experiences playing Chef Janette Desautel and starring alongside the likes of Superstar Chefs Tom Colicchio, David Chang, Eric Ripert, Wylie Dufresne, John Besh and Susan Spicer as well as her current role as Bad-Ass Mom, Madison Clark and feeding/killing for your family during the zombie apocalypse.  Strauss surprises Phelps and Dickens with a little in-studio, fresh-made Beef-Heart Tartare and the three wrestle with the perennial question: “If you had to eat one person, who would it be?"


Along the way, Strauss visits one of America’s “Top Woman Butchers”, Erika Nakamura at her hot-new butcher-shop/eatery, White-Gold Butchers, in New York to talk “How to Cut Up a Carcass”… and later sits down with Napa’s rising-star chef, Curtis Di Fede, of Miminashi. The show finishes with a musical ’treat’ courtesy of YouTube star Andy Rehfeldt.


Day Drinking: "The Bloody Vampire Killer" with guest bartender "Manimal"