We got incredibly nerdy this week. From wheat and mezcal to pasta shapes and a history lesson in rice pilaf, we dove deep into a wealth of culinary topics. We also celebrated the vegan dining scene in London and cooked up several bowls of vegan vivid purple soup in its honor. Speaking of London, the UK has some ideas about controlling the amount of sodium its population consumes. All that and more on this week’s Hot Topics.

  1. The James Beard Foundation announced its list of award nominees this week.
  2. This peppery purple soup is delicious, vibrant and very healthy.
  3. The U.K. may start requiring restaurants to post warnings of excessive sodium.
  4. Watch these Italian grandmother make a pasta shape you have probably never heard of.
  5. London’s vegan scene is burgeoning!
  6. Richard Betts of Sombra Mezcal stops by for our special business episode of Food Republic Today.
  7. Steven Redzikowski returns to his hometown to discuss Colorado’s dining scene on our podcast.
  8. Kevin Fink gets super nerdy about wheat with us.
  9. The top 50 selling beers in America were announced.
  10. You may be surprised to learn the story of Near East Rice Pilaf.