The Splendid Table

Sun 2 P.M.

More than just talking about recipes, Splendid Table explores everything about food: the culture, the science, the history, the back stories and the deeper meanings that come together every time people sit down to enjoy a meal.

http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/

To say that Michael Cimarusti is obsessed with fish would be a severe understatement. Cimarusti is the Executive Chef at Providence in Los Angeles and Connie & Ted's in West Hollywood, both featuring an extensive fish- and seafood-centric menu. Last year, he also opened his own seafood market called Cape Seafood and Provisions.

Cookbook author and former chef Amy Thielen says working in restaurant kitchens can be a postive experience, almost like being a member of a supportive large family, or playing a role in theater troupe. But she’s also seen the dark side to many kitchens, one that allows for sexism, physical aggression and verbal conflicts. Thielen recounts her life in kitchens in her book, Give a Girl a Knife. She discusses her experiences – good and bad – with Francis Lam.

Kat Kinsman has been writing about food for over a decade. But in her other life, she writes about something else: living with mental illness. A few years ago, while she was interviewing chefs, she began to notice how much anxiety and depression came up in conversation. So, she’s trying to do something about it.

Francis Lam: You started a website and a Facebook discussion group called ‘Chefs with Issues.’ What's it about?

Amy Thielen reads from Give a Girl a Knife

Feb 2, 2018

Amy Thielen reads an excerpt from her book Give a Girl a Knife, a memoir recounting the many struggles -- and support -- she encountered during her years of working in restaurant kitchens.

If Julie’s predecessors, such as T1, had taught me to cook well fast, she taught me to cook well even faster, and for bigger numbers.

Over the past few months there have been lots of news stories about the widespread issue of sexual harassment and assault in restaurants. I'm hopeful that this will start an industry-changing conversation. It's one, frankly, that many professionals, mostly women, have been having for years while seeing it fall on mostly deaf male ears.

Frozen in time, The India Club faces an uncertain future

Feb 2, 2018

The India Club is a totally nondescript place in the center of London, two flights up from the street, but it turns out to be a vital center for the British Indian community. It even played a role in India’s fight for independence. However, it might not be long for this world. Reporter Meara Sharma has the story.

Meara Sharma

America's Test Kitchen simplifies salt-cured egg yolks

Feb 1, 2018

Eggs are a wonderfully versatile ingredient. They can be cooked many ways on their own, or included in a variety of recipes. Recently, we learned about what might be the simplest way to prepare and present eggs – salt-curing the yolks. Managing Producer Sally Swift talked with Molly Birnbaum from America’s Test Kitchen about the curing process and how salt-cured egg yolks add umami flavor and a bright dash of bright color to dishes.

Beyond finger food: elevating tater tots to star ingredient

Jan 31, 2018

Prepare yourself for tater tot overload! During the research and recipe testing for his upcoming book, Tots!, Dan Whalen obsessed over tater tots. Whalen, a cookbook author and the blogger behind The Food in My Beard, came up with dozens of fun, innovative ways to use tots in appetizers, entrées, and even desserts.

Enter to win Paladares Cuban cookbook

Jan 31, 2018

February 2018 Giveaway

Every month, The Splendid Table helps listeners equip their kitchens, stock their pantries, and fill their bookshelves.

This month, one (1) winner will receive one (1) copy of Paladares: Recipes Inspired by the Private Restaurants of Cuba. Written by Anya Von Bremzen, with recipe development and photography by Megan Fawn Schlow, the book has a retail value of $40.00.

Remembering Douglas Oliver, legendary barbecue pitmaster

Jan 29, 2018

When Douglas Oliver passed away in the fall of 2017, the food world lost someone special. For more than 30 years, Oliver cooked hogs in a small town in South Carolina and made people happy, whether or not they knew who he was. Hidden in the pits, working through the night, probably most of the customers never even saw him. It was like their succulent, smoky pork just came out of nowhere. But Douglas Oliver, like every cook, busser, server, or dishwasher in every restaurant, has a name.

America's Test Kitchen equipment review: stovetop tea kettles

Jan 24, 2018

When you think of essential kitchen equipment, you most likely think of pots and pans, knives, cutting boards, and the like. But what about the tea kettle? Chances are that you use yours a lot, but when is the last time you replaced it? When looking for a new tea kettle there are a lot of things to consider. Managing Producer Sally Swift turned to Lisa McManus, the equipment review guru at America's Test Kitchen, to learn about her recent kitchen test of stovetop tea kettles.

Flan is a wonderfully rich and sweet Mexican dessert made from custard, often topped with a caramel sauce. The dessert is versatile and welcomes all sorts of experimentation with everything from spices to binders. For a lesson on a classic old-fashioned flan, Francis Lam visited Fany Gerson. Gerson is the chef owner of La Newyorkina and has written three books about Mexican sweets including My Sweet Mexico and her latest, Mexican Ice Cream.

Lisa Morehouse

Wesley Avila was a forklift driver who became a fine dining chef, then started Guerilla Tacos, a taco truck that has been called the best in Los Angeles. He is also author of a book by the same name, Guerilla Tacos: Recipes from the Streets of L.A. His approach to making tacos isn't so much about tradition; it's about making delicious tacos out of anything. However, Avila is not a total anarchist.

Chilaquiles is a delicious dish highlighted by a spicy pepper sauce with the texture and corn flavor of crispy homemade tortilla chips. It’s essential to use chips substantial enough to stand up to being stirred into the thick sauce – which means store-bought versions are not ideal. Managing Producer Sally Swift talks with Tucker Shaw, from America’s Test Kitchen, about the best way to get the perfect chip to finish the recipe for Chicken Chilaquiles.

The southern United States is seeing an increase in the number of Mexican and Mexican-American communities. Not only in larger cities, but also in some of the region’s more rural areas. This cultural shift is an area of research that interests many academics including Steven Alvarez, currently an Assistant Professor of English at St. John’s University. In a previous position at the University of Kentucky, he taught classes called "Mexington, Kentucky" and “Taco Literacy." The students learned about some of the newer Latino communities by talking to people and writing about their food.

In its industrial form, a tortilla is basically an edible plate. There's little substance or flavor to it. Jorge Gaviaria says that is not the way it is meant to be. Gaviria is the CEO of Masienda, a company that supports people who grow native varieties of corn in Mexico and uses traditional methods to make tortillas in the US. Francis Lam talked with Gaviria about what makes the difference between a good a tortilla and a great tortilla.

Video from Lynne's Goodbye farewell event

Dec 28, 2017

After more than 22 years, Lynne Rossetto Kasper has retired as the host of The Splendid Table. Cameras were rolling during our Lynne's Goodbye live farewell event for Lynne at The Fitzgerland Theater. Here are some videos from that evening that include the origin of The Splendid Table book and radio show, some of Lynne's favorite interviews, and a moving tribute from Francis Lam.

THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK, THE SPLENDID TABLE

Mark Bittman's Minimalist Thanksgiving

Dec 18, 2017
James Pauls / iStock / Thinkstock

The author of How to Cook Everything streamlines the holiday feast.

Last Thanksgiving, I vowed to minimize everything: time, number of ingredients and, most of all, work. Heretical as it may seem, I thought it might be fun for the cook to have enough energy to actually enjoy the meal for a change. My idea was to buy all the food in one trip and prepare the entire feast in the time it took to roast my 15-pound turkey - roughly three hours. And, with one minor exception, I was successful.

Daniel Boulud: The Key 3

Dec 18, 2017

Daniel Boulud is a many-starred chef and proprietor of the New York restaurant Daniel, among many others. In this installment of The Key 3, he shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of his favorite recipes: Le Grand Aioli, Braised Beef Shoulder and Caramelized Apple Tart.

Here are Daniel's keys, as told to Lynne:

Don't be intimidated by this familiar yet mysterious fruit

Dec 18, 2017

Fruit expert David Karp on the date, a fruit at once both familiar and mysterious.

On where dates come from

The quince: The fruit that started the Trojan War?

Dec 18, 2017

The quince rarely gets its due. Fruit expert David Karp has the lowdown on this luscious, rosy fruit.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: What is a quince?


Recipe: Quince and Vanilla Sorbet

How to pick the best nectarines and apricots

Dec 18, 2017

Fruit expert David Karp shares how to pick the tastiest nectarines and apricots of the season.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: How did you get interested in fruit varieties? Why are they important?

Loquats may be rare, but they're worth looking for

Dec 18, 2017

Fresh from the tree, the loquat is juicy, sweet, and bursting with juice and flavor. But it's so delicate and decays so quickly that it's rarely shipped to commercial markets. Fruit expert David Karp has written about loquats for The New York Times and delivered a talk on this delicious fruit at a meeting of the American Institute of Wine & Food. 

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: On my travels in Italy, I've tasted a delicious fruit called a loquat. What are they and why are they special?

When life gives you Meyer lemons, make lemonade

Dec 18, 2017

Meyer lemons are an intriguing hybrid that originated in China. Fruit expert David Karp explains.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: What exactly is the small, yellow-orange citrus fruit called a Meyer lemon?

Fruit connoisseur David Karp, a contributor to The New York Times and Saveur, sampled 44 varieties of apples. He lists his favorite varieties -- and explains why supermarket apples are often mediocre.

Q: I understand you just held an apple tasting in which you sampled 44 varieties. What were your favorites?

Excerpt from: Peace Meals

Dec 15, 2017

Chapter Four -- Candy-Wrapped Kalashnikovs

Lynne's favorite tools for the kitchen

Dec 15, 2017

Lynne Rossetto Kasper is a self-proclaimed "equipment junky.&quot. In her many years spent teaching and entertaining in the kitchen, she's worked with a wide array of pots, pans, peelers, scrapers, knives and gadgets. In this Splendid Table video, Lynne discusses and demonstrates her must-have list of tools for home cooks.

Favorite Blogs by Sally Schneider

Dec 13, 2017

A good blogger is like really a great editor who has selected things for you to view and think about. My favorite blogs run the gamut, but all go toward fueling interconnected ideas about lifestyle, work, home design, cooking and food.

On the 'improvised life's homepage, there's a drop down menu called "Blogs We Like", that has about 50 great blogs.

Kottke: Jason Kottke's miscellany of interesting things, much to do with innovative thinking.
Similarly: Neatorama

John Besh: The Key 3

Dec 10, 2017
lrk-john-besh.jpg
The Splendid Table

Award-winning chef John Besh is the force behind nine acclaimed restaurants. In this installment of The Key 3, the author of My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of his favorite recipes: Fried Egg Sunny-Side Up, Cream of Any Vegetable Soup and Risotto.

Here are John's keys, as told to Lynne:

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