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/

People who live in Philadelphia have known for a long time how amazing their city is when it comes to food. It’s only lately though that people outside of Philly have started to see it as a home of great chef talent. One of those amazing talents is Mike Solomonov, the Israeli-American chef-owner of Zahav, Federal Donuts, Rooster Soup Company, Goldies, Dizengoff, and Abe Fisher. Solomonov is also four-time James Beard Award winner, including Outstanding Chef in 2017 and Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic in 2011.

Philadelphia is a city that loves its sandwiches. While the Philly Cheesesteak may get all the glory and attention from tourists, locals know it’s not the official sandwich of Philadelphia. That honor goes to the Philadelphia Roast Pork Sandwich, a fresh-baked Italian roll overflowing with savory slices or chunks of pork and topped with all sorts of ingredients that differ from spot to spot. Bryan Roof is executive food editor for Cook's Country magazine and on-screen test cook for Cook's Country from America’s Test Kitchen.

Chef Eli Kulp reimagines his culinary life

May 4, 2018

Chef Eli Kulp was new to Philadelphia when his career really took off. Within two years, he was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine, Bon Appétit called his High Street on Market the second hottest restaurant in the country, he and was ready to open a new place, two hours away in New York. But commuting home one night, the Amtrak train he was on took a sharp turn at 100 miles an hour. After that accident, Eli travels in a wheelchair and works to reinvent himself as a chef who no longer cooks in the kitchen.

Enter to win At My Table by Nigella Lawson

May 1, 2018

May 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 At My Table by Nigella Lawson. The book has a retail value of $35.00. Enter before May 31, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, by submitting the form below.

A few shows back we visited the taco historian Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. He basically came to defend the honor of the flour tortilla. That conversation made us so hungry for authentic flour tortillas that we invited Gustavo back for a follow-up conversation.

Photo, left to right: Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Henry Bain Sauce,
Our Signature Mint Julep, Derby Shrimp and Grits with Tasso Gravy, Kentucky Mule

When food lovers travel it's often to find and enjoy a very specific food, dine at a well-known restaurant, shop at a popular market, or discover the origin point for a certain cuisine. But have you ever wondered about the lasting effect that our food-centric travels have on the people and economy of the places we visit? Dr. Lucy Long not only thinks about, she researches the results as part of her work with Bowling Green State University and the Center for Food and Culture (CFC).

Recently, we had a guest named Jorge Gaviria, who is a corn tortilla evangelist. Francis Lam talked with him about corn tortillas, and it got us more excited about corn tortillas than we'd ever felt before. Since then, we realized that flour tortillas have lost a lot of love. So, we wanted to give them equal time in the Great Tortilla Debate.

America's Test Kitchen discovers Wisconsin spicy cheese bread

Apr 19, 2018

Wisconsin is a state that prides itself on cheese, cheese production, and cheese loving. So, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that a fan favorite snack at a famous famers market in Madison, Wisconsin is bread baked with chunks of cheese inside. Managing Producer Sally Swift talks with Tucker Shaw, from America’s Test Kitchen, about the spicy, cheesy treat and how to make it at home. You can bake the Cook’s Country recipe for Spicy Cheese Bread.

Mourad Lahlou came to America from Morocco, not to work in restaurants, but to study economics, until he missed the taste of his food so much that he decided to become a chef. And in his restaurants, he makes beautiful versions of Moroccan food – like traditional hand-rolled couscous and modern, jet-black aerated smoked eggplant purees. Now, he and his chef Louis Maldonado are opening a new restaurant called Amara, where the food is a mix of Moroccan and Mexican flavors – two cuisines with more in common that you might think.

Hurricane Maria raked nearly all of Puerto Rico's agriculture off the island when the storm pummeled the country in September 2017. Farmland was destroyed, home gardens were devastated, trees lost all of their leaves - even their bark. The people there are now working to rebuild not only their cities, but their food supply. As field producer and contributor Daniella Cheslow reports, some agronomists hope a donation of half a million dollars in seeds will cultivate local gardening and farming. Listen on audio player above.

PHOTO GALLERY

The unfortunate reality about seeds is that most are not bred and selected for flavor. Rather, they are chosen specifically for the yield, uniformity and shelf stability of their fruit or vegetable. Chef Dan Barber wants to change that. The chef-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns wants to help create seeds that bring forth new foods with unexpected and unique flavors. Which is why he - along with seedsman Matthew Goldfarb and seed breeder Michael Mazourek - cofounded of a new seed company called Row 7.

Nothing says "fresh" like the flavor of spring vegetables that we're starting to see pop up now in markets and stores: asparagus, radishes, avocado, artichokes and spring greens. For many people, the go-to cooking method for these veggies is to steam or sauté them. But how about braising or roasting them? Ashley Moore is Senior Editor for Cook’s Country magazine and test cook for the Cook's Country television show. She says the idea of cooking the vegetables either low and slow or by blasting them with high heat may seem shocking, but the result is magnificent.

Above, left to right: Passport to Chile, Sidecar Called Desire.
Cocktails from The One-Bottle Cocktail | Photos: Kelly Puleio

America's Test Kitchen explores three classic Asian sauces

Apr 3, 2018

Asian cuisine has many standout sauces. They come all in all forms: sweet, savory, smoky and spicy. Dan Souza, Editor-in-Chief of Cook's Illustrated for America's Test Kitchen, talks with our Managing Producer Sally Swift about the importance of three sauces that are essential to Asian cooking: oyster sauce, fish sauce, and hoisin sauce. They discuss how the sauces are made and used in the kitchen, and the winner of each sauce category in a recent taste test.

Oyster stout unites classic pair in emerging craft beer style

Mar 23, 2018

It’s no secret that beer and seafood make excellent companions. One classic pairing is oysters and dark beer such as stout or porter. It’s been that way since 1800s London when oysters were pulled right out of the River Thames, shucked, then slurped down with a majestic glass of dark beer. Just imagine a lovely platter of raw oysters on ice with lemon wedges sitting next to a tall pint glass of dark, rich stout. The bivalves’ briny and mineral-y flavors complementing the roasted, chocolate and coffee characteristics of the beer. 

Shucking oysters with Thomas "Uptown T" Stewart

Mar 16, 2018

When it comes to shucking oysters, no one does it with more style and swagger than Thomas "Uptown T" Stewart. The long-time shucker is popular with New Orleans locals and visitors alike after his many years working at Pascal's Manale, a New Orleans mainstay famous for its raw oyster bar. Learn how to shuck like a seasoned pro with Uptown T in this video produced by GoNOLA.com. Then get some oysters and let the good times roll!

An oyster primer from America's Test Kitchen

Mar 14, 2018

Oysters are both intriguing and intimidating to many people; they just aren't sure quite how to approach them. But, learning how to buy and prepare them can lead to very delicious results. Dan Souza is editor-in-chief of Cook's Illustrated for America's Test Kitchen. Managing Producer Sally Swift talked with him and got his expert advice for selecting, opening, cooking and eating oysters.

Chef Brandon Jew takes handmade oyster sauce very seriously

Mar 14, 2018

No shortcuts: That's Chef Brandon Jew's philosophy when it comes to creating a sweet, savory, and wonderfully balanced oyster sauce. The owner and executive chef of San Francisco's Mister Jiu's shared his lengthy labor-of-love process with Francis Lam.

Francis Lam: I love oyster sauce, and you love oyster sauce. Anyone who’s ever had beef and broccoli loves oyster sauce – whether they know it or not.

Brandon Jew: It’s true.

Oysters are often seen as a luxury food now, but throughout much of early American history they were so abundant that people from all classes regularly ate them. In coastal cities, you could have them on the street or in dingy bars for practically nothing. In late 1800s New York, a man named Thomas Downing built an empire out of an oyster bar. But here's the thing: he was a black man doing this during the era of slavery.

Ryan and Travis Croxton are cousins and fourth-generation oystermen in the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia, only they weren't meant to be. They inherited the family oyster business, but had no idea what they were doing. Through their research of oyster farming, they created a more sustainable way to farm oysters. The growing and harvesting techniques of their Rappahannock Oyster Company have reinvigorated the industry. Francis Lam talked to them about innovations and improvements in bivalve aquaculture.

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On grief and oysters: a reading by Alicia Kennedy

Mar 13, 2018

Writer Alicia Kennedy was a die-hard vegan until, as a result of a family tragedy, she found solace and comfort in a half shell. She shared her story with The Splendid Table.

I’ve been eating oysters. Now, this wouldn’t be news, but I’ve been vegan for five years. I’m a vegan food writer, and I depend on my nut-cheese diet. And I’ve abandoned it for mid-day lunches that I can’t share on Instagram.

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.

The beets go on: America's Test Kitchen reimagines beet salad

Feb 28, 2018

Beets just may be the king of vegetable world. No other vegetable gives you the same mix of sweetness and delicious earthiness as a good beet. But no matter how good they are, there is a limit to how many formulaic beet and goat cheese salads one can enjoy in life, right? To that effect, Managing Producer Sally Swift talked with Molly Birnbaum from America’s Test Kitchen about their great new take on the beet salad - Charred Beet Salad.

Throughout the history of movies and television, food has often been a central character and theme. Who could forget the escargots in Pretty Woman, Goodfellas’s prison dinner party meal of pasta and meatballs, the pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen during “that scene” in When Harry Met Sally, or Buddy the Elf’s insane breakfast dessert pasta? Bringing those famous film dishes to your home dinner table has become an obsession for Andrea Rea.

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.

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