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

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.

THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK, THE SPLENDID TABLE

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:

The Final Exam: Peter's Wine Quiz

Dec 10, 2017

Excerpted from Educating Peter by Lettie Teague. Copyright 2007 by Lettie Teague. Reprinted by permission from Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Grass Fed Beef

Dec 9, 2017

New York Times columnist Marion Burros says these are currently the most reliable sources for grass fed beef. Visit the Web sites for where to buy and online ordering information:

Tallgrass Beef Company
www.tallgrassbeef.com

Laurel Ridge Grass Fed Beef
www.lrgfb.com

Faygo Pop

Dec 8, 2017

Faygo Beverages, Inc. recently celebrated their 100th anniversary. Started in 1907 by two brothers, the beloved and quirky Detroit company was the one that turned soda into "pop." Today, the company produces approximately 40 flavors of soda pop, Ohana non-carbonated beverages, and a new energy drink called Rip It. Take a look at their website for more information.

Faygo Beverages, Inc.
3579 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, MI 48207
313-925-1600
www.faygo.com

Produce That Should Not Be Refrigerated

Dec 8, 2017

Russ Parsons, food and wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times and author of How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), says never refrigerate these fruits and vegetables:

If there is one thing that our friends at America's Test Kitchen know is true, it's that you can roast almost anything. In fact, they are putting the finishing touches on a cookbook focused solely on roasting. Their many hours spent in the test kitchen included roasting not only classic large cuts of meat, but foods like fish and vegetables. Managing Producer Sally Swift talked with Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster, hosts of America’s Test Kitchen. They talked about how they love roasting for both convenience and flavor.

Lynne looks back at 20 years of The Splendid Table

Nov 30, 2017

After 22 years at the helm of The Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper is retiring from the show at the end of 2017. In this video, Lynne looks back at the show's humble beginnings, how the food world has changed during those decades, and some of her favorite guests along the way.

We're just a few days away from Thanksgiving and our annual Turkey Confidential live call-in show. This year's show will be very special to us because it's the last year Lynne Rossetto Kasper will be in the host seat for the event. After more than 20 years of hosting The Splendid Table -- including many years of soothing panicked nerves in Thanksgiving kitchens across the country -- Lynne is set to retire at the end of 2017.

Simple steps for making hard cider at home

Nov 17, 2017

In recent years, hard ciders have become easy to find with more brands making their way to the shelves of bottle shops and liquor stores. As it turns out, fermenting cider at home is a fairly easy process. Once you learn the basics, you can create all sorts of variations that include spices, fruits and other juices. Contributor Melissa Clark talked with Emma Christensen, author of the new book, Modern Cider.

Spicing up Thanksgiving with Indian-inspired dishes

Nov 17, 2017

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite food holidays, but we also know it can be rather bland. A lot of starches, thick gravies, and dishes that can be either too sweet or over-the-top savory – not a whole lot of spice going on. For some thoughts on adding a touch of heat, Francis Lam talked about and tasted Indian-spiced dishes with Chef Vikram Sunderam and David Hagedorn. Sunderam is the James Beard Award-winning chef at the world-famous Indian Rasika restaurant in Washington, DC.

Celebrating San Giving with The Mash-Up Americans

Nov 16, 2017

Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude for all Americans, regardless of heritage or ethnicity. For families with diverse cultural backgrounds, what’s on the dinner table may be very different from what is consider the traditional Thanksgiving Day fare. Francis Lam talked with two women that live to discuss the many ways in which cultures intersect in the United States. Amy S. Choi and Rebecca Lehrer are cofounders of The Mash-Up Americans and cohosts of its podcast by the same name.

From the pages of a family heirloom cookbook comes a unique twist on a classic comfort food. Francis Lam talked with his friend and cookbook author John “Doc” Willoughby about the unexpected ingredients in Doc’s grandmother’s recipe for Lazy Sunday Pot Roast.

Not everyone loves pumpkin pie for dessert at Thanksgiving. So our friends at America's Test Kitchen came to the rescue with an amazing recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Pie. Managing Producer Sally Swift talked with Tucker Shaw, editor-in-chief for Cook's Country, about the ingredients used to make this seasonal treat: apples, steusel topping, and -- most importantly -- melted vanilla ice cream. Yes, you heard that right - melted ice cream!

Chef Sean Sherman - who also goes by the name The Sioux Chef - has made a name for himself in the Upper Midwest by sourcing and cooking with ingredients originally used by Native American groups across the region. The result is an eye-opening and healthy take on modern cuisine. However, his interests are not limited to the native peoples of the Midwest.

How many times have you heard a mushroom described as “meaty?” It's true that mushrooms, such as portobellos, are juicy, have a bit of chew, and reveal a world of umami. But Liz O'Keefe wants us to think beyond the meatiness of mushrooms, and to consider their many other flavors and aroma attributes. She says they can be naturally fruity like apricots, taste similar to coconut, or give off the scent of cinnamon when seared.

Dorie Greenspan's lifelong love affair with butter

Nov 3, 2017

Dorie Greenspan loves butter and how it tastes in the food that we cook and bake with it. She shares her expertise on the topic in the new Short Stack Editions Vol. 30: Butter. She talked with contributor Shauna Sever about how different varieties of butter can be used to achieve specific flavors and textures.

America's Test Kitchen: In defense of pumpkin pie spice

Nov 3, 2017

Fall is the season for pumpkin pie spice versions of just about everything - coffee, cereal, candy. In home kitchens, store-bought spice blends are used in desserts, pies, and pastries.

After years of suffering from a bad reputation, Brussels sprouts have managed to become the new rock star of the veggie world. It seems you can't open a menu at a restaurant without finding them featured as a side or a full main dish. And most of the time, they are delicious. Managing Producer Sally Swift wanted to learn how to make crisp-tender restaurant-style Brussels sprouts at home. So, she turned to Dan Souza, the friendly on-screen test cook and science expert from America's Test Kitchen. He shared his secrets to making perfect Brussels sprouts in just 10 minutes.

The Key 3: Gail Simmons

Oct 20, 2017

For more than 10 years, Gail Simmons has decided the fate of hopeful chefs from all over the country as a judge on the show, Top Chef. She's also the author of the new cookbook, Bringing It Home. We asked Simmons to be part of our Key 3 series, in which we ask chefs, food writers, and celebrities to tell us about their three most go-to dishes. She told us about two of her favorites, chicken wings and butterscotch pudding.

Pages