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

Enter to win American Seafood book by Barton Seaver

Mar 6, 2018

March 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 American Seafood by Barton Seaver. The book has a retail value of $50.00.

Enter before March 31, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, by submitting the form below.

Forager Pascal Baudar wildcrafts plants, herbs and fungi from the wild, then uses them as ingredients to create food and beverages that he says express the true flavor of the environment. He is the author of two great books on the topic, The New Wildcrafted Cuisine and The Wildcrafting Brewer.

The path to become a Master Sommelier is not for the weak of will or unprepared of palate. The certification exam literally goes on for days and includes portions on theory, practical knowledge and tasting. Those taking the exam must be able to taste wine at random and be able to name the grape, the place it's from, and the year it was made.

Barton Seaver is an award-winning chef whose work now focuses on sustainability in the fish and seafood industries. He is the author of more than a half-dozen books including the essential American Seafood, a deep dive into the past, present and future of America's emotional and economic relationship with seafood.

Antibiotics and the future of Big Chicken

Mar 2, 2018

Maryn McKenna is a journalist who specializes in superbugs – bacteria that have evolved to survive antibiotics. Her book, Big Chicken, focuses on research involving the use of antibiotics in modern agriculture and how they changed the way the world eats. McKenna says the chicken industry is largely to blame for our enormous overuse of and exposure to antibiotics.

Chef James Syhabout: living between culinary worlds

Feb 23, 2018

Chef James Syhabout is a first-generation Asian-American whose family came to the Bay Area from a Lao refugee camp in Thailand in the early 1980s. He grew up working in his mother’s Thai restaurant before going on to a successful career as a chef specializing in fine dining. However, when his mother gave up her restaurant to return to her homeland, James came face-to-face with deep personal regret of not having learned more about the food of his people.

People involved in the 1960s and 1970s counterculture movement stood up to protest what they considered the moving forces behind the industralization of corporate food manufacturing. Their food-centric forms of civil disobedience resulted in the popularization of many foods we still eat today: granola, tofu, soymilk, and maybe even the toast you had this morning. Their food movement is the topic of the book Hippie Food by Jonathan Kauffman.

Understanding why we eat what we eat

Feb 23, 2018

How we eat says a lot about us. How we say we eat also says a lot about us. Rachel Herz is a psychologist and neuroscientist who teaches at Brown University and Boston College. She has written a book called Why You eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food, a fascinating read about the psychology of our food choices. And a lot of what she's found is probably not what most people would expect.

The Instagram-ization of food

Feb 22, 2018

For many Americans, social media is an important part of the modern eating ritual. Whether we're tweeting photo of your cooking process at home, or posting an Instagram of a perfectly plated meal at a restaurant, it's undeniable that for some people sharing our food images is on par with sharing an actual cooking and eating experience. But when we let well-prepared food get cold while we hem and haw over the perfect photo angle, it begs the question: Have we gone too far? To discuss this question, Francis Lam turned to Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris.

Adam Rapoport on The Art of the Sandwich

Feb 9, 2018

Sandwiches are the work horse of lunches everywhere, but not always memorable.  Adam Rapoport of Bon Appetit helps turn this work horse into a work of art. Check out his tips, then try his recipe for Green Goddess Tuna Salad Sandwich, a beautiful melding of tuna, greens and herbs.


Francis Lam: So, you and the magazine put together this enormous package on the A to Zs of the art of sandwich making.

Elle Simone of America's Test Kitchen talks with Joe Yonan about the secret of vegetable broth concentrate- a space saving solution for having homemade vegetable broth at the ready. Try ATK's recipe for Vegatable Broth Base to have this handy staple ready in your home.

Paladres- Cuba's private restaurant scene

Feb 9, 2018

Anya Von Bremzen, author of Paladares: Recipes from the Private Restaurants, Home Kitchens, and Streets, explains the underground private restaurant scene of Cuba.

Doc Willoughby on country-style pork ribs

Feb 9, 2018

What is a country-style rib and why does Doc Willoughby love this underappreciated cut? He and Francis Lam disucss.

Try Doc's recipe for Soy-Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs.

Francis Lam: You are super into country-style pork ribs.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


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:

Mark Bittman's Minimalist Thanksgiving

Dec 18, 2017

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.

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

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?

Vampire Turkey

Dec 10, 2017

What do you say to someone who optimistically decides to develop a recipe with 80 cloves of garlic? I mean, is there ever enough garlic?

Well, surprisingly, the answer turns out to be yes. As we were dreaming up this year's Thanksgiving menu— one rich with spices and aromas — Lynne decided to do the turkey in a French-inspired take on the classic chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. Since turkey is kind of a giant chicken, it makes sense, right?

Andy Ricker: The Key 3

Dec 10, 2017

Andy Ricker is an expert in Thai cuisine. He owns restaurants in Portland, Ore., and New York under the Pok Pok umbrella. In this installment of The Key 3, he shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper his recipe for steamed fish, as well as his techniques for perfect jasmine rice and boiled eggs.

Here are Andy's keys, as told to Lynne Rossetto Kasper: