My husband came home one day and told me, “You should listen to ‘The Splendid Table’. You’d really like it.” He signed me up for the podcasts and soon after I was listening to my first episode.
The host, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, drew me in immediately. Her widespread knowledge, her wit and delight in food, and her interesting conversations with guests on the show made it well worth listening to.
She interviews cookbook authors who share something worthwhile from their books (and a recipe from their book is shared on "The Splendid Table" website
). She interviews journalists who travel the world, tea specialists, and anyone else who has something worthwhile to say about food.
Her focus is not on “healthy” food, but instead the show’s subtitle is “the show for people who love to eat”. Yet, since so much of good food is good for you too, many of the recipes and tips fit squarely in the real food diet. Plus, the tips and knowledge that she shares about food make my own healthy eating and cooking endeavors that much more successful and delicious. So, whether you just like to eat, or if you are interested in a healthy diet, I think that you will find the show interesting and helpful.
A few highlights of show include:
Stump the Cook: In this part of the show, a caller calls in with five items from their pantry and refrigerator. Lynne has to come up with a dish using those random ingredients. A guest (past judges have included Mario Batali, Isaac Mixrahi and other celebrity judges) judges the results and the caller has to say they would actually make and eat such a dish for her to “win”. It is always an interesting part of the show, prone to the most outrageous dishes that somehow actually sound appealing. I don’t know if it is how Lynne describes these creations she comes up with (she does have a way with words), or the actual recipe ideas, but you would be surprised at how she combines unusual ingredients!
Caller questions: Another favorite part of the show for me is when someone calls in with a question about how to use lemon curd, oranges from their tree in the yard, or some exotic spice. Lynne spins off 15 different mouth-watering ideas within minutes. It is very inspiring and makes you want to jump right into the kitchen to cook one of her ideas that minute. I’ve also heard her give great advice on menu ideas for parties, baby showers and more.
And her regular guests, Jane and Michael Stern, are always a delight. They share where they have been eating on their seemingly endless road trips. While the restaurants they often share about are perhaps not the healthiest options in the cities they visit, the restaurants and customs and regional dishes they encounter are always entertaining.
This is the perfect show for a foodie to enjoy, whether they are driving to work, washing the dishes, or just having a cup of tea at home. I hope that they continue the show for a long while, as I am learning and being inspired by it every time I listen.
Photo of Lynne Rossetto Kasper courtesy of American Public Media