About the hosts
Rico has been a fan of dinner parties since discovering, as a child, that it meant he got to eat in his parents’ room and watch TV all night while the grownups got wine-tipsy. 20 years later, armed with an MFA in Screenwriting, an armload of TV writing credits, and a crushing student loan debt, he did the only logical thing by plunging headlong into public radio. His stories have aired on All Things Considered, Weekend America and the much-missed Savvy Traveler, but he’s best known as a reporter on Marketplace – for which he’s filed stories from India, South Korea, and throughout Western Europe. He also pens and performs many of the show’s “Marketplace Players” comedy sketches. Speaking of laffs, Rico has been found on the interwebs cavorting with comedy troupe “The Ministry of Unknown Science,” and playing power-pop with L.A. band “Man & The Motorcar.” Favorite cocktail: martini, extra olive. Favorite meal: coniglio cacciatore with gnocchi, Rome 1995.
BRENDAN FRANCIS NEWNAM
Brendan has been winning dinner parties since first taking a seat at the kids table at his family’s Thanksgiving feast. Of course, by that time he was in his early twenties, had graduated with honors from Rutgers and was working as a researcher for Fresh Air. Through the venture-capital grant program “Web 1.0,” Brendan wrote travel guides in Europe and authored stories for magazines like Black Book and Vice. Upon returning to the states he realized it was easier to get a scholarship to law school then to get a paying job in public radio, so he earned a J.D. from Temple Law School. Since then he’s been heard on Weekend America and on Marketplace, where he’s now a producer. Brendan was a Knight Media Fellow, which means the iPhone pictures he takes of the food he cooks are top-rate. When he’s not busy giving impromptu lectures on how to use turn signals, he pretends to play guitar and writes the “Letter from Los Angeles” column for Philebrity.com