Larkin Page-Jacobs

For many of us, Larkin Page-Jacobs is the voice on the radio that keeps us company during the rush hour commute. As a reporter and host on 90.5 WESA, Page-Jacobs covers everything from art to criminal justice to breaking news.

But Page-Jacobs had always wanted to create a show that focuses on food. (A couple of years ago, she interviewed me for a story on Wild Edibles that aired on NPR’s Morning Edition.) This past spring, she launched a new radio and podcast series on WESA called On The House—where she tells stories about the local food scene.

“My first job was a hostess at an Italian restaurant in California and when I first moved to Pittsburgh, I worked as a server. That’s where I learned about the ins and outs of the restaurant scene and what eventually inspired this series. What goes on in a restaurant when you work there is different from what the customer experience is. It’s like a hidden world. The show is less about the dishes or food but about the industry itself.” The episodes are so good, they almost make me wish for five more minutes of getting stuck in rush hour traffic.

Larkin’s best meal last week?

The best meal I had last week was the fried chicken at Union Pig & Chicken. I have a weak spot for Southern food—especially chicken, barbecued or fried.

 My family is from the South so I feel like I’m pretty good at ID’ing a good piece of chicken. This one was good—crispy and golden on the outside and moist on the inside.

 I also had the mac and cheese—I also like mac and cheese a lot—and this was just really creamy. I’ve had other mac and cheese around town and while there are some that are not good most of them nail it. 

Then I had the greens with bacon, which was perfect because I like my greens a little tart.

 Union Pig & Chicken is close to where I live and it’s an easy sell to a friend when you want to eat out. Do you want to get fried chicken? Yes I do!

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.