The Splendid Table

Sunday 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

In 1994, acclaimed food writer and cooking teacher Lynne Rossetto Kasper was receiving accolades for her debut book, The Splendid Table, which at that time was the only book to have won both the James Beard and Julia Child Cookbook of the Year awards. Among the many people enchanted by the book was producer and foodie Sally Swift, who thought the time could be right for a radio program on food.

Appropriately, Lynne and Sally met over lunch to discuss the radio idea. They weren't interested in creating a show based on "talking about recipes"; instead, they wanted to explore everything they loved 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. And so it was The Splendid Table — "the radio program for people who love to eat" — was born.

The Splendid Table began as a live, Saturday-morning call-in show on Minnesota Public Radio. As the program's popularity continued to stretch across the nation, The Splendid Table eventually became the pre-recorded program that now airs on more than 400 public radio stations in the United States, plus SIRIUS satellite radio and World Radio Switzerland.

The Splendid Table has been at the forefront of food issues and policies since its inception. Long before eating local became a catchphrase and farmers' markets became ubiquitous, The Splendid Table was talking about the changes needed in the food system and what was happening on the grassroots level. In fact, when The Splendid Table first went on the air, Lynne had to make sure to define such terms as "organic" and "sustainable" for listeners. Today those terms have become part of the everyday lexicon, and people's hunger for wholesome food and the rituals surrounding it has only increased.

Audiences have continued to grow, and broadcasting peers have taken note as well: The Splendid Table has won two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show, and five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014) from Women in Communication. Lynne is also included in the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America.

Food has a way of creating bonds among people, and that is certainly the case for the people behind The Splendid Table. The program's production team of Lynne, Sally, Jen Russell and Jennifer Luebke have been together since the program's earliest days. Longtime contributors to the program include Jane and Michael Stern, who find the special, unique and idiosyncratic diners and eateries in cities and towns across America; witty wine expert Joshua Wesson; and the unabashedly opinionated cheesemonger Steve Jenkins. (All contributors.)

Special guests are also essential to The Splendid Table's ongoing culinary conversation. The late Julia Child was a steadfast advocate of The Splendid Table and appeared on the program numerous times. Among the parade of outstanding guests are food activist Michael Pollan, author of such books as The Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules; film director and writer Nora Ephron; famed Spanish chef José Andrés; the late director Ismail Merchant; food writer Anthony Bourdain; chef Mario Batali; Franz Ferdinand lead singer Alex Kapranos, who is also a food critic; and classical violinist extraordinaire Joshua Bell, who enjoyed an in-home cooking lesson from Lynne.

Always making food come alive in multiple ways, The Splendid Table has recorded programs in Portland, Ore.; in Hawaii; in Spain; and in Mexico City. To commemorate the program's tenth anniversary, a series of shows were produced on site in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, Lynne's spiritual homeland and the inspiration for her first book.

Lynne's second book, The Italian Country Table, was published in 1999. In 2008, Lynne and Sally collaborated on their first book, How to Eat Supper; both were award nominees. In 2011, they will release a follow-up volume, How to Eat Weekends.

From its first mealtime brainstorm to the award-winning weekly program it is today, The Splendid Table continues its celebration of food and the roles it plays in our lives.

Ways to Connect

Wines for Grilling

Jun 30, 2017

We often think of grabbing a beer when pulling those hamburgers and brats off the grill. However, wine can be a refreshing and beautiful pair to grilled foods. See the video above for quick tips on wine pairings.  Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor at Food & Wine Magazine, has additional suggestions below, even some for potato chips!

Village Bakery

Mar 13, 2017

Bonus: Anthony Bourdain Extended Interview

Nov 18, 2016
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The Splendid Table

In addition to our regular episodes, we occasionally offer Splendid Table Sides - extended interviews and other bonus cuts that don’t make it into the broadcast show. For this Side, Anthony Bourdain joins Lynne Rossetto Kasper talk about his new book, Appetites, the stress of cooking for five people versus 500, making Spam musubi for his daughter's school lunch, and his Oval Office-approved opinion on the matter of ketchup on a hot

Bonus: Anthony Bourdain Extended Interview

Nov 16, 2016
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The Splendid Table

Anthony Bourdain (Photo: Dimitrios Kambrouris/Getty)

Lynne Rossetto Kasper Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Nov 15, 2016
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The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table's host Lynne Rossetto Kasper was honored recently at the 2016 Charlie Awards. The awards are an annual event celebrating the exceptional contributions of the Twin Cities area restaurant, food and beverage industry. However, Lynne's deep connection to and advocacy of food and good eating goes far beyond the Twin Cities. She shared this thought on the globally connective power of food during her acceptance speech.

Wild rice - preserving and cooking with an endangered food

Nov 10, 2016
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National Archives / Marcia Lavine

Wild rice is considered as one of the United States' most endangered foods. It grows wild and has been harvested naturally for generations in northern Minnesota. Contributor Jennie Cecil Moore talked with several people in the region to learn more about their efforts to preserve the culture and culinary joy surrounding the grain.

Related Recipes

Thanksgiving preparation and people pleasing with Anthony Bourdain

Nov 10, 2016
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Butch Fisher

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: We've got a family cookbook that you've done with your new book Appetites. But I have to laugh, okay, because the family cookbook has duck fat, wild boars, and there’s about four tubs of different stocks in the fridge. So, tell me about how you cook at home.

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Stacy Van Berkel

Shauna Sever: First, let's just say that your cookbook Deep Run Roots has a presence. It is an impressive 564 pages. It weighs about four pounds. You look like a movie star on the cover. It's incredible and even more intriguing when you realize that this isn't another cookbook about the entire American South. It's actually a laser focus on this area of eastern North Carolina. So, how many square miles are we talking about?

Thanksgiving wine tips from Jancis Robinson

Nov 9, 2016
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kieferpix/Thinkstock

What wine pairs best with your Thanksgiving meal? Wine expert Jancis Robinson tells The Splendid Table contributor Russ Parsons that the key is to not worry that much about it. She also shares her favorite underpriced wines and what she drinks for pleasure.

Russ Parsons:The American Thanksgiving table is full of all of these paradoxical flavors: the sweet-tart cranberries, roasted turkey, vegetables, and stuffing. It can make wine pairing a real chore. This is one of those evergreen questions, but do you have any new insights to add to it?

A Well-Tested Thanksgiving Menu

Nov 4, 2016
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Copyright 2016 America's Test Kitchen (Carl Tremblay)

A Complete Thanksgiving Menu from America's Test Kitchen,

This year, The Splendid Table's new partner, America's Test Kitchen, joins us at the Thanksgiving table. We are delighted to present a full menu created by America's Test Kitchen that takes the guesswork out of planning a memorable holiday. And coming from America's Test Kitchen, you know these recipes have been tested and reworked to perfection. Enjoy!

Beers for the Thanksgiving Table

Nov 3, 2016

Steven Beaumont, author of The Premium Beer Drinker's Guide, suggests beer as an alternative to all the angst over which wines will go with turkey and all the trimmings. Here are three he recommends:

Lambic Gueze from Cantillon Brewery in Brussels: This beer equivalent to champagne is often made with fruit, it's crisp, and is the only beer that's spontaneously fermented. It's wonderful with food.

The Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, Wisconsin: This cherry beer is fruity, but not sweet.

How to brine a turkey

Nov 3, 2016

Q: I keep hearing about how brining is the best thing to do for a Thanksgiving turkey, but I have no idea where to start. Can I get a brining primer?

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tuchodi / Flickr

1. When deciding what size turkey to buy, figure 1 pound per person up to a 15-pound bird, or 3/4 pound per person for a larger one. [Ed. note: Find Lynne’s guide to decoding turkey labels here.]

2. Defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator or in a sink filled with ice water. Never defrost a turkey on the kitchen counter. Harmful bacteria can form quickly. Figure about 30 minutes per pound, and change the water every 30 minutes.

Osayi Endolyn meets Hoppin' John

Aug 30, 2016
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Andrew Thomas Lee

Osayi Endolyn tells guest host Francis Lam about her introduction to Hoppin' John, and how that connected her to both her personal history and to the influence of African cuisine on the food of the American South.

Francis Lam: I want to start at the beginning of your story. There's this moment where you're working at a fine-dining, modern Southern restaurant, and you come upon a traditional Southern dish that you'd never heard of before, but it reminded you of some of the Nigerian food that you grew up with. Tell us about that moment.

Tasting the Impossible Burger

Aug 30, 2016
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The Impossible Burger (Photo: Impossible Foods)

A Stanford biochemist has created the Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger that has the aroma and texture of a cow-based patty. Bon Appétit's Kurt Soller sampled it, and he tells Francis Lam what he learned and how it tastes.

Other People's Food and the Greensboro Four

Aug 29, 2016
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Joseph McNeil and Dan Pashman (Photo credit: Anne Saini)

The Sporkful's Dan Pashman has started Other People's Food, a podcast that uses the universality of food to find common ground amid racial and cultural differences. On a recent episode, he spoke with the Greensboro Four's Joseph McNeil, who successfully broke the color barrier at a North Carolina Woolworth's in 1960. Dan shares this conversation with Splendid Table contributor Melissa Clark.

Chef Jacques Pépin talks with guest host Francis Lam about why roast chicken is so iconic for French chefs, the importance of technique, and what he cooks at home.

Francis Lam: I noticed in your new book, the very first recipe is for a simple roast chicken: no brining, no spicing, just a hot pan and a hot oven. So, let me ask you, why is a simple roast chicken such an iconic dish for French chefs?

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Listening to the Vines (painting by John Wurdeman)

John Wurdeman studied music and art before becoming a winemaker in the country of Georgia. His winery, Pheasant's Tears, has revived an 8,000-year-old Georgian winemaking tradition. He tells Melissa Clark what brought him there, the myriad varieties of Georgian wines, and the integral part they play in that country's meals.

Melissa Clark: How did this all start for you? 

Lost in translation

Jul 22, 2016
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Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

Bonnie Benwick translates chef recipes for the home cook in the Washington Post's Plate Lab column. She tells Melissa Clark about some of the challenges you'll face when attempting a restaurant meal in your own kitchen.

A brief history of tahini

Jul 21, 2016
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AlexPro9500/Thinkstock

Adeena Sussman gives Sally Swift the backstory on tahini, the suddenly ubiquitous, sesame seed-based condiment.

Sally Swift:  So, tahini. It is everywhere suddenly. So, let’s back up a little bit. Tell us exactly what tahini is.

Adeena Sussman:  Tahini is ideally nothing more than pure ground sesame seeds.

SS:  That’s it?

Nordic cuisine: Leave the herring, take the taco quiche

Jul 21, 2016
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Marcus Nilsson

With almost 800 pages of recipes and striking photography, Magnus Nilsson's The Nordic Cookbook is the definitive work on the food cultures of his native land. He spoke with Melissa Clark about the impact winter has on the Nordic countries, the common source of everyone's family herring recipe, and the enduring popularity of taco quiche.

Win Your Own Copy of Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy

Jun 29, 2016
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Andrea Fazzari

Every month, the Splendid Table helps listeners equip their kitchens and fill their pantries.

This month, we're giving away a copy of Marisa Huff's Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy, a retail value of $22.

The Splendid Table is supported by Rizzoli. More information at rizzoliusa.com.

Enter before July 31, 2016, at 11:59 p.m., by submitting the form below.

 

First Name

 

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Copyright 2016 America's Test Kitchen

When America's Test Kitchen set their tasters loose on an 18-month-old wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano, their verdict was unanimous: The closer to the rind, the better it was. Molly Birnbaum, their executive editor of Cook's Science, tells us why that is, and shares a recipe for Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus.

[More from Birnbaum]

The culinary journey of Michael Twitty

Jun 23, 2016
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Michael Twitty

Culinary historian Michael Twitty is on a journey to discover himself, through the food of his ancestors. Joe Yonan talks to him about history, identity, and what exactly goes into a kosher soul roll.

Joe Yonan: Your current focus is a project you're calling "The Cooking Gene." Can you explain it to us?

The road to Samarkand

Jun 22, 2016
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The Registan in Samarkand (Photo: Siempreverde22/Thinkstock)

The city of Samarkand is on the storied Silk Road, but off the beaten path for many tourists. Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford make the case for the ancient Uzbek city's food and culture in their new book, Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & The Caucasus. They spoke with Lynne Rossetto Kasper about it.

Where in the world is Samarkand?


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Thinkstock

When you think of an Italian kitchen, preserved food may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but Preserving Italy author Domenica Marchetti wants you to think again. She talks with Shauna Sever about Italy's long tradition of preserving foods.

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Ted Turner

David Leite and Splendid Table listeners have questions about the perfect pie crust. Art of the Pie's Kate McDermott has all the answers (and 98 pie pans).

David Leite: Julie via Twitter asked, “When first forming the pie dough into a disc, how dry or wet should it be? Mine is always crumbly and dry.”

The flavors of Lima

Jun 8, 2016
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Virgilio Martinez (Photo:The Gaztronome)

Virgilio Martinez is just your average former skateboarding champ and law student who became a master of Peruvian cuisine. Noelle Carter talks to him about his new cookbook, Lima.

Noelle Carter: Virgilio, your cookbook, Lima, is such a beautiful cookbook. I love how you write in the introduction that the dishes in the cookbook are not about traditional Peruvian cuisine, but flavors and memories from a contemporary perspective.

The lust and wonder of Augusten Burroughs

Jun 8, 2016
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Lust & Wonder

Running with Scissors author Augusten Burroughs is back with a new memoir, Lust & Wonder.  He talks with David Leite about stability, compromise, his struggles with both, and how he's learning to "let the bread rise."

Jekka McVicar's Herb Garden for Hospice

May 20, 2016
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Carl Court/Getty Images

In 1987, an Englishwoman named Jekka McVicar started growing herbs in her backyard. Nothing unusual about that -- herb gardens are rampant in the U.K. But the one Jekka McVicar grew made her famous, and she's left the backyard to create the largest herb nursery in the U.K., growing some 300 herbs. 

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