One of the most peculiar interviews I have ever experienced during my years hosting the program took place about 20 years ago. In those days the program aired live from our studios every weekday afternoon and the majority of my guests came out to the station to be interviewed.

I had been contacted by a fellow named Andrew Jones. He called himself "The Flying Wine Man." I had no idea what he meant by that appellation but I was about to find out.

This year marks the second season of Dayton Food Truck Battles, an offshoot of the Yellow Cab's food truck rallies.  Davbe Obenour returned to the WYSO studios to talk with Music Director Niki Dakota about the upcoming battles.

The next Dayton Food Truck Battle is June 13 at Yellow Cab Tavern beginning at 5pm.  For a full schedule of Yellow Cab's food truck events, visit: https://www.facebook.com/yellowcabfoodtrucks/

Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Founded on April 22 in 1970 as a civilian protest against the environmental impacts from industrial development - that spring day sparked the beginning of the environmental awareness movement - and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Earth Day has now become a global event marked by civic participation and political action. Protect Our Species is the theme for this year, which falls on Monday, April 22. 

Ashlie Tinor works at Uncle Beth's BBQ, a small family restaurant in Champaign County.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

When small towns shrink or disappear in rural America, homestyle, family restaurants feel the pinch, and they have often been replaced by chains like Applebee’s, Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans.

But that trend looks to be reversing. In 2016 Bob Evans, based in Ohio, sold 27 restaurants, and Bloomberg News has reported a resurgence in the popularity of mom and pop restaurants all over the country.

Learn Love Eat

Food and drink experts from the Miami Valley and beyond are coming together for a beer, bourbon, cheese, chocolate, and coffee "tasting camp" event this month in Dayton.

Learn Love Eat, helmed by creative lead London Coe, seeks to create experiences to celebrate learning about and falling in love with what we eat and drink. WYSO's Niki Dakota spoke with Coe alongside Brad Measel from local distillery Stillwrights, David Nilsen, a Columbus-based Certified Cicerone, and Jessica Beans from local coffee micro-roaster Namesake Coffee, about the event and their expertise.

On the day that I interviewed Ruth Reichl she was in her office at the New York Times. She had been the long time restaurant reviewer for the newspaper and it was her last day on the job. She was leaving to become the editor of Gourmet Magazine.

Last month, Ohio issued food stamp benefits for February to low income Ohioans. The idea was to get needy families the assistance up front so they wouldn’t go hungry due to the federal government shutdown. But now, families are finding it hard to stretch those dollars into March. So the state is making another adjustment.

Danny Jones, Dale Friesen, and Ed Hill with a field of Turkey Red Wheat behind them.
courtesy of Dorothy Lane Market

During the early 1800s, wheat production made Ohio one of the leading grain-growing states in the U.S. As prairie land was settled and major wheat growing moved westward, the grain became less important to the state’s agricultural economy. Corn and soybeans became the staple of farming, and now wheat fields are few and far between in the Ohio countryside.

Sara Bir returned to the program to discuss her cookbook of recipes from all over Ohio. We live in a big state with varied cuisines. The food you'll find in Cleveland will be quite different from what you might discover to eat in Cincinnati. And then there are all those places in between. The author did a great job of assembling a wide variety of recipes that reflect the diversity and culinary excitement that you can find in Ohio.

crowds at the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition
courtesy of Springfield Rotary Club

Ross McGregor, president of the Springfield Rotary Club, returned to the WYSO studios ahead of the group's fifth annual Gourmet Food Truck Competition.  McGregor talked with WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota about the event, which support Springfied Rotary Club's work locally and internationally.

The 2018 Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition is Saturday, August 18 at Springfield's Veterans Park. Learn more at: springfieldfoodtruck.com