Listening Locally

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Ever wondered what’s going on in all those shipping containers while scarfing down a Specken Wolf pizza or Big Tone calzone (we like ours unfolded as a pizza) in the backyard at Roberta’s? It’s not just support for a fabulous roof garden, and although it does serve that purpose too, it’s a radio station.

Back when the popular pizza joint was just getting started, Patrick Martins, head of Heritage Foods USA, approached the team at Roberta’s about starting an online radio station in the backyard, to foster what he thinks of as a “how-to movement.” Now fully operational, the Heritage Radio Network is home to nearly two dozen shows. The most recent addition to the array debuted on Tuesday. Hosted by avid fisherman and cook, Ben Sargent, Catch it, Cook it, Eat it is a guide to fishing in and around New York, with a particular eye toward Brooklyn-based spots along the East River.

The Roberta’s-radio combo “just makes sense, with what Roberta’s is doing,” says producer Heritage Radio’s go-to guy, Jack Inslee. “They buy local ingredients, some of them from Heritage.” He thinks of each show as a “little hidden gem that will last forever.” You can listen online to a streaming version of each show, or live, or subscribe via iTunes and store your favorite radio gems on your iPod or computer.

Other standouts include BB friend and contributor Cathy Erway, who hosts a show called Cheap Date, which airs at 3pm on Fridays; and Snacky Tunes, a music show that also features special musical guests. Check the Labor Day episode with Moby, which includes the musician’s musing on eating vegan on tour, as well as a recipe for pork shoulder marinade. Other New York foodsters with shows on the Heritage Radio Network include cheesy lady Anne Saxelby, Josh “Mr. Cutlets” Ozersky, and professional weirdo Will Goldfarb, who records his show from Indonesia.

Station mastermind Patrick Martins also hosts a show called the Main Course, which follows the state of food and sustainable agriculture. His one request to listeners? “Call in or email. We have great hosts and we all want to hear all our great listeners on the air now.”

Sent by Annaliese. Photos courtesy of Heritage Radio Network.

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