Episodes by year

Like everyone, we know it's diet-resolution time again. But we like to avoid the expected and the ordinary here at the Splendid Table. Besides, everyone is too serious these days with Y2K worries and all. So cheer up and tune in—we're bringing you a show on the delights of excess! Our guest is Nan Lyons, author of Gluttony: More Is More, one of a series of books on the seven deadly sins. There's little that Nan takes seriously and only regrets that she wasn't asked to write about lust. Whip up her chocolate peanut-butter soul pie for a final blast of bliss if you simply must start counting carbohydrate and fat grams on January 1.

We knew we could count on Jane and Michael Stern to come up with something excessive and they did—a steak nearly the size of Texas. Grace Young has advice from the Chinese on how to usher in the new year properly and a recipe for salt-roasted chicken. Mark Bittman thinks we should be using a little more butter and guides us through the basics of reduction sauces, and Bill Waddington introduces us to rare and luxurious Puer tea.


Saturday, January 1, 2000Saturday, December 30, 2000

For this year's holiday show, we'll hear how a chef celebrates at home with his family. Our guest is Alfred Portale, chef and co-owner of New York City's Gotham Bar and Brill. Chef Portale loves Christmas but, like all of us, his life is crammed with work, family, and travel. He tells us how he's rethought the Christmas feast he prepares for his wife and daughters, and shares his recipe for Roast Cod with Savoy Cabbage, White Beans, and Black Trufflefrom his new book, Alfred Portale's 12 Seasons Cookbook.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating a Danish pastry unknown in Denmark and unique to Racine, Wisconsin. The gadget-obsessed Dorie Greenspan reports on kitchen scales, the perfect last-minute gift for the serious cook. The one and only Julia Child, whose latest book is Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, joins us by phone with her top picks from this year's crop of new cookbooks. You'll want to try Julia's recipe for Savory Cheese Soufflé. We think it would make a splendid dish for a holiday brunch. In the second half of the show, Lynne takes your calls, reveals her Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese sources, and leaves us with a recipe for Charles Dickens Hot Punch.

Saturday, December 23, 2000

Jay McInerney, the acerbically witty author of that blockbuster novel of sin and debauchery, Bright Lights, Big City, has turned his considerable talents to the subject of wine. An unabashed oenophile who calls himself a "grape nut," Jay's irreverent wine columns for House & Garden magazine have been culled for his latest book, Bacchus & Me. Fasten your seat belts and tune in for a serendipitous and highly-informed romp through the world of wine.

Jane and Michael Stern are hanging out at the Shortstop Diner at Exit 148 off the Garden State Parkway. John Willoughby, whose latest book with co-author Chris Schlesinger is How to Cook Meat, wants us to think beyond turkey when we're serving a crowd. Their recipe for Crown Roast of Lamb with Saffron Rice and Apricot-Mint Sauce should do the trick. Nach Waxman of New York City's Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore stops by with a list offood and wine reference books just in time for holiday gifting. Lynne recently returned from Salt Lake City, and tells of a delightful bed and breakfast find and "the best fish taco I've ever had!" And, finally, she reveals her sources for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, her favorite gift to give at the holidays.

Saturday, December 16, 2000Saturday, December 22, 2001

We're traveling and eating in Spain this week with journalist Anya Von Bremzen. Anya says Spain is the most exciting place in Europe to eat these days. The chefs there are rethinking the very foundations of food and a culinary revolution is happening. Along the way we'll stop off in Bilbao to visit the new Guggenheim Museum, the site of an architectural revolution.

Jane and Michael Stern are in the California desert eating apple pies at theJulian Pie Company. Jewish-food authority and writer Matthew Goodman is back to tell us of the surprising origins of fish and chips and leaves us with the recipe for Fish & Chips from London's Upper Street Fish Shop.

Still have that old fondue pot from the 1970s lurking in the attic? Dust it off and get ready for a fondue lesson from Switzerland with our hungry reporter Scott Haas. We'll meet food sculptor Peter Anton, a man with a different take on the hungry artist theme, and the phone lines will be open for your calls.

Saturday, December 9, 2000Saturday, October 20, 2001

Journalist Michael Ruhlman, author of The Soul of a Chef, takes us behind the scenes of the Culinary Institute of America's grueling Certified Master Chef exam. It's the Iron Man challenge of the food world and not for the faint of heart.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating artisan breads at the Red Hen Bakery in Chicago, and we'll hear from a scientist who has the lowdown on white salmon, the twenty-dollars-a-pound fish chefs fight over. Remember the Smothers Brothers? Jon Kalish pays a visit to the Smothers' Winery where Tommy has been making some highly regarded boutique wines for nearly as long as the brothers have been making people laugh. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse is back to tell us about her dream for the White House. If we ever get out of the election mess, her idea promises help with great spin potential for the new president.

In the second half of the show the phone lines are open for your calls and Lynne has some trivia about a runcible spoon she might use to serve her Oven-Roasted Canned Tomatoes.

Saturday, December 2, 2000Saturday, December 29, 2001

Diana Kennedy, the British woman who introduced America to authentic Mexican cooking and started our love affair with the chile pepper, joins us this week to share the Mexico she knows so well. Diana's latest book,The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, is a treasure. So is her recipe for tortillas filled with mushrooms Empanadas De Hongos.

The always original Jane and Michael Stern are in Charleston, South Carolina, eating at The Wreck, a restaurant that's hard to find because it's housed in an old bait locker and has no sign. Joshua Wesson, wine maverick and seeker of the unexpected, has been tasting wines from Canada and stops by with a report. Our favorite "slightly neurotic" foodie, Scott Haas, recently traveled to New York City to dine at Restaurant Daniel where deep pockets are de rigeur. He tells us if it was worth the trip.

When we heard of a new spa at the Hotel Hershey where they use chocolate in the treatments Lynne rushed to the phone to get the details. She was intrigued by the chocolate fondue body wrap. We'll listen in on her conversation with spa director Jennifer Whaland Smith.

Saturday, November 25, 2000Saturday, November 24, 2001

This week we'll meet the family responsible for the modern-day espresso machine. Dr. Ernesto Illy, head of the family's coffee dynasty in Italy, explains Italy's coffee culture and tells us what a really fine cup of espresso should taste like.

Jane and Michael Stern are in Milwaukee eating soul food at Mr. Perkin's Family Restaurant where the turnip bottoms are "better than any vegetable should be." To help us determine what kind of turkey to buy for the holidays Christopher Kimball, editor of Cook's Illustrated, stops by to report on the results of the magazine'sturkey taste test. We'll go to Ketchum, Idaho, for a Basque sheep festival, and from Appalachia we have a story of cornbread and biscuits. In the second half of the show Lynne takes your calls and gives us her recipes for Three-Generation Thanksgiving Turkey and Herman's Cornbread Stuffing.

Saturday, November 18, 2000Saturday, November 3, 2001

It's our annual entertaining show and we've got tips from the experts for when you have little time and energy but want to entertain with style, simplicity and fun. Caterer Ina Garten, proprietor of the Barefoot Contessa specialty food store in the ultra chic Hamptons, creates take-out and party food for the likes of Steven Spielberg and Martha Stewart. And she has plenty of down-to-earth advice for catering your own parties with maximum style and minimum cooking. Her recipe for Virginia baked ham makes an easy, delicious and spectacular presentation.

Minimalist cook Mark Bittman drops by with more streamlining tricks and the easiest appetizer everrosemary-lemon bean puree. Jane and Michael Stern say why bother cooking at all. They're eating out and on the cheap at Hodad's on the beach in California. Equipment guru Dorie Greenspan has been checking outroasting pans, and we'll learn about sake bar etiquette from a pro.

Saturday, November 11, 2000

We're off for a look at New Orleans bars this week with resident historian and photographer Kerri McCaffety, author of Obituary Cocktail: The Great Saloons of New Orleans. The Big Easy has more bars per capita than anywhere else in the country and each of these architectural and cultural treasures harbors true stories more fascinating than folklore. Try the recipes for a Sazerac, the brandy concoction that was the Exchange Alley rage in 1853 or an Obituary Cocktail, a version of the martini with a splash of absinthe.

It's another Memphis BBQ find from Jane and Michael Stern, David Karp talks quince, we'll hear about Etiquette Soup and naked chefs, and the phone lines will be open for your calls.

Saturday, January 8, 2000Saturday, November 4, 2000

According to history professor Rebecca Spang, author of The Invention of the Restaurant, it used to be that going out to eat was not something anyone did by choice, and in 18th Century Paris restaurants weren't about eating at all. It's an intriguing bit of history that Ms. Spang will share.

Jane and Michael Stern report from Fairfield, Connecticut where they're eating Super Duper Weenies from what used to be a truck. Bruce Cost, author of Asian Ingredients, joins us with tips for buying fish sauce and shares a recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce. We'll have a tasting of Italian liquors that are meant to bite your tongue and kiss your tummy, and a North Carolina native reports on the North Carolina BBQ wars.

Saturday, October 28, 2000

This week Faith Popcorn, consumer trends forecaster to the Fortune 500 and co-author of EVEolution: The Eight Truths of Marketing to Women, gives us a look at how food will be marketed in the future. Ms. Popcorn has always been ahead of the curve with trends like "cocooning" and "the pleasure revenge." Now she brings us EVEolution, and it's all about a new power base in consumerism. She claims the food companies are clueless.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating po boy sandwiches at Domilise Sandwich Shop in New Orleans. Master of Wine Mary Ewing Mulligan stops by with the scoop on sulfites in wine. Are they harmless or should we be worried? Apple expert Frank Browning explains some of the pleasures and puzzles of apple cider and gives us a recipe for Appalachian Cider-Baked Beans. Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, suggests some beer and food pairings for your Oktoberfest celebration, and the phone lines will be open for your calls.

Saturday, October 21, 2000

We're off on an adventure this week to places you may not get to on your own. John Willoughby sweeps us away to Istanbul for Turkish food and a stay at the charming Empress Zoe Hotel, then world traveler and tea purveyor Sebastian Beckwith takes us trekking into the backcountry of Laos in search of the birthplace of tea.

Jane and Michael Stern are raving about the impeccably fresh and lush seafood at San Francisco's Swan Oyster Depot, and gadget guru Dorie Greenspan is back with a report on stockpots just in time for soup season. Finally, Sandra Mizumoto Posey, author of Café Nation, talks coffee and magic and leaves us with a "recipe" for Simple Coffee Klatsch Divination. As always, Lynne will take your calls.

Saturday, October 14, 2000

We're taking you from the cosmos right down to your coffee cup this week with Sidney Perkowitz, professor of physics at Emory University and author of Universal Foam. Professor Perkowitz will explain how foam is the link between your cappuccino and the cup you drink it from to the chair you sit in and the stars in the night sky. It's quite a trip.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating Five-Way Chili at Camp Washington in Cincinnati. Jewish-food and culture writer Matthew Goodman reports on the origin of the Sabbath bread, challah, and shares a favorite recipe forChallah French Toast à la Peter Pan. Euan Kerr, Senior Editor at Minnesota Public Radio, drops by to enlighten us about the finer points of Marmite, we'll go to a rave with the Wine Brats, and Lynne, just back from San Diego, shares a nouvelle Japanese restaurant find.

Saturday, October 7, 2000

They've been linked to some pretty serious temptation and trouble—they did, after all, play a key role in that messy Garden of Eden business—but the illustrious apple still came out on top as the world's most popular fruit according to our guest Frank Browning. As the author of Apples and co-author of the cookbook, An Apple Harvest: Recipes and Orchard Lore, Frank has studied nearly every dimension of the fruit, from myth to science. He'll share a bit of the apple's uncommon and surprising history and give us a recipe for Braised Chicken, Norman Style.

Who but Jane and Michael Stern would report on chocolate hair brushes and angel food in Manitowoc, Wisconsin? Kitchen designer Deborah Krasner has been checking out food sites on the Web and stops by with some fabulous finds. Al Sicherman and Lynne taste drive-through hamburgers with an 11-year-old boy named Sam, and we check in with Philip Yi, director of America's first Sushi Academy. And, as always, Lynne will take your calls.

Saturday, September 30, 2000

Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, is considered one of the top restaurants in the world, and today we've a conversation with its creator Alice Waters about how she runs a dream restaurant. Naturalist Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses, talks truffles, wine wit Joshua Wesson is back with his wine bargains, and Michael Ruhlman, author of The Making of a Chef, tells us what he learned went he went undercover in the CIA (Culinary Institute of America!).

Saturday, September 18, 1999Saturday, September 23, 2000

A culinary revolution is happening in Ireland these days due, in part, to a thriving economy, a new confidence among the Irish people, and the availability of superb local ingredients. Anya von Bremzen, Contributing Editor for Travel & Leisure magazine, stops by to tell us about some of therestaurants, inns and pubs she recently discovered on a trip into the Irish countryside. You'll want to pack your bags and take off.

Jane and Michael Stern are always traveling, of course, and this week they're in Oklahoma eating onion burgers at Johnnie's Grill in El Reno. Minimalist cook Mark Bittman is back with some thoughts on streamlining recipes for crispy fish cakes, including his Broiled Fish Cakes with Ginger and Cilantro and Crabby Crabcakes. Tea merchant Bill Waddington tells us how to evaluate teapots, we'll hear about this season's grape crush from California winemaker Steve Beckman, and Lynne takes your calls.

Saturday, September 16, 2000

Americans are crazy for olive oil. It's had a major impact on our cooking, but buying and enjoying it can be complex and confusing. Why does one bottle cost $6 while another costs $60? Peggy Knickerbocker, author of Olive Oil: From Tree to Table, has traveled the Mediterranean researching how olive oil is made and what makes a quality oil. She answers that question and more, names her favorite California oils, and gives us her recipe for Tattooed Potatoes With Rosemary.

Jane and Michael Stern tell us where they found "turkey sandwich perfection" in Seattle. Cheesemonger Steve Jenkins explains the art of the affineur and has a trick or two up his sleeve that we can use at home to improve our own cheeses. Pickling season is here, so John Willoughby shares his delicious recipes for Easy Cucumber Pickles and Sweet and Hot Curried Zucchini Pickles. Finally, we ll learn secrets to shopping for East Indian foods with Linda Bladholm, author of The Indian Grocery Store Demystified.

Saturday, September 9, 2000Saturday, June 30, 2001

We're visiting the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to hear about the kitchen of the future coming from the scientists working on the Counter Intelligence Project. Are you ready for talking oven mitts that tell you when the roast is done, a kitchen counter that keeps track of your favorite recipes, or a coffee maker that knows you like extra milk in your latte?

Gray's Ice Cream in Tiverton, Rhode Island has been voted best homemade ice cream in the state for 11 years running. Jane and Michael Stern went to investigate and have a report. Master of Wine Mary Ewing Mulligan is just back from Portugal where she discovered delicious and undervalued Portuguese red wines. We'll find out what it's like to have the editor of Gourmet magazine over for dinner, and we'll learn about the chiltepin, America's first protected chile pepper.

Saturday, September 2, 2000Saturday, June 16, 2001

We're taking a look at olives this week with Ari Weinzweig, founder of Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ari will go anywhere to find high-quality, handmade foods and he knows all when it comes to superb olives. He has the scoop on some luscious and exotic varieties that bear little resemblance to those pitted black ones that appear on most Thanksgiving tables.

Jane and Michael Stern are at Zaharako's, a century-old soda fountain in Columbus, Indiana where Michael loves the Cheese-br-gr and Black Cow. Minimalist cook Mark Bittman, author of The Minimalist Cooks at Home, drops by to share a quick and easy recipe for Monkfish with Meat Sauce. We'll meet up with singer and zydeco band leader Queen Ida, who tells us about growing up in Bayou country. When she's not on the road with the band, Queen Ida cooks Creole and writes books like Cookin' with Queen Ida. Lynne shares her recipe for Siracusa Market Pasta and, finally, we'll talk sake with Grif Frost, founder and CEO of SakeOne, the only American-owned sake brewery in the world, and co-author of Sake Pure & Simple.

Saturday, August 26, 2000

It's a bargain hunter's guide to the Napa Valley wine country this week with valley insider Antonia Allegra, author of Napa Valley: The Ultimate Winery Guide. Antonia assures us we don't have to cash in the IRA and take out a bank loan to visit this pricey destination. She takes us where the locals go for superb budget dining, to a winery offering free classes, and shares her sources for good wines at reasonable prices. Would you believe bottles for less than $7? Tune in and we'll tell you where to find them.

Jane and Michael Stern are relishing Big Butts in Robertsdale, Alabama. Herb genius Jerry Traunfeld is back talking mint and sharing his recipe for Zucchini Strands with Mint. We'll find out how to banish house and garden pests with Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles, and the phone lines will be open for your calls.

Saturday, August 19, 2000Saturday, August 11, 2001

It's that time again. The tomatoes are ripening and Lynne has been observed making unusually frequent stops at the farmers' markets, gathering up the beloved and luscious heirloom varieties that inspire her to rush into the kitchen and cook. Her recipe for the puglia streetwalker came from a similar tomato frenzy a few years ago and its uncooked sauce is just right for these hot summer days. Tomato historian Andrew Smith, author of The Tomato in America, stops by with the real story of how the tomato began its rise to culinary stardom and debunks a few myths along the way. It's quite a tale. Jane and Michael Stern report from Wyoming about an old-time rodeo and great brisket. We head to Charleston, South Carolina where Hoppin' John Martin Taylor tells of the great southern tradition of preserving summer's largess and shares his wonderful recipe for golden pear chutney. Grocery guru Al Sicherman does a vanilla ice cream tasting and Lynne's pick is quite surprising! Of course, the phone lines will be open for your calls.

Saturday, August 7, 1999Saturday, August 12, 2000

We're off to France and one of Europe's great cooking schools to hear about life and learning in the beautiful Burgundy region. Anne Willan, owner of École de Cuisine La Varenne and author of From My Château Kitchen, takes us behind the scenes of her famous school and shares travel tips and tales of life in a rambling old chateau in the French countryside. This week's recipe for Patrick Gautier's Soft-Centered Warm Chocolate Cake comes from one of Anne's favorite pastry chefs.

Jane and Michael Stern are at Al the Wop's in Walnut Grove, California where the Italian owner serves burgers and steak sandwiches in a former Chinese restaurant and there's peanut butter and marmalade on every table. Wine wit Joshua Wesson tells us rosé isn't for sissies any more so we asked him for some good picks around $10 a bottle. Our kitchen designer Deborah Krasner talks antique kitchen tools that still work today, including the mehu-liisa that she loves, and we have a seafood alert from California's Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Saturday, August 5, 2000

We're talking American cheeses this week but we won't be including those ubiquitous, shrink-wrapped, orange blocks seen in every supermarket dairy case.

There's a new breed of artisan cheesemakers now turning out luscious, award-winning, handmade varieties and Laura Werlin, author of The New American Cheese , introduces us to the folks who started this renaissance. Think California Teleme so ripe and creamy you eat it with a spoon and you've got the picture. Jane and Michael Stern are in South Carolina scarfing up Pig-a-Plenty Platters at the Beacon Drive-In. Herb genius Jerry Traunfeld offers some thoughts on the often overlooked marjoram, and tea expert Bill Waddington introduces Lynne to a new realm of tea, the lovely display teas of China. Will she be sipping or looking? Our trivia question inspires us to reconsider portion sizes, and this week's recipes are pure summer:Grilled Marjoram-Scented Corn and Herbed Sugar Snap Peas with Goat Cheese.

Saturday, July 29, 2000

Remember that adage "tell me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are?" According to neurologist Alan Hirsch, M.D., Director of the Smell & Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago and author of Dr. Hirsch's Guide to Scentsational Weight Loss, the notion might not be so far fetched. In his research on snack food, Dr. Hirsch discovered there are physiological reasons why our food preferences reveal our personality, so be discreet the next time you reach for a potato chip instead of a cheese curl. Someone could be watching.

We'll visit California's wine country where Jane and Michael Stern are having breakfast at the Diner in Yountville. On down the road, we stop in at the French Laundry Restaurant, which has been called the most exciting place to eat in America, to meet legendary chef Thomas Keller. This week's recipe, "Clam Chowder" Sautéed Cod with Cod Cakes and Parsley Oil, comes from Chef Keller's French Laundry Cookbook, which recently won the IACP Cookbook of the Year award.

We'll take a cheese discovery vacation to France with Steve Jenkins, and Master of Wine Mary Ewing Mullingan drops by to talk Chilean wines. Lynne's found a good mail-order source for organic peaches and nectarines so we suspect she's whipping up Bellinis these days. It's the season, after all.

Saturday, July 22, 2000Saturday, April 7, 2001

We say, forget martinis—what we want now is a summery American vermouth, perfectly chilled, straight up and just right for lazy-day sipping. California winemaker Andrew Quady, one of the country's vermouth pioneers, introduces us to Vya Extra-Dry Vermouth, a fresh and vibrant wine, delicious solo or paired with spicy-sweet foods.

Jane and Michael Stern tell of a former Pittsburgh "techy" turned biscotti maker, John Willoughby is back with the word on some extraordinary dried red peppers, and herb maven Jerry Traunfeld gives us his recipe for Scented Geranium Lemonade. We've another installment in the saga of life behind the restaurant kitchen door and Lynne will take your calls.

Saturday, July 15, 2000Saturday, September 1, 2001

We're going way beyond burgers and brats on the barbie this week with grilling guru Steven Raichlen, author of Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades, Bastes, Butters & Glazes. Steve roamed five continents to bring a global perspective to the flavor boosting recipes in his latest work. His Korean Barbecue Sauce is just one tasty example.

Jane and Michael Stern are in Kentucky "fried-chicken heaven" at the Bon Ton Mini Mart. Gadget queen Dorie Greenspan talks cheese graters, our Parisian correspondent tells of the latest food trend in the City of Light, and we'll hear how top chefs in France and America are opening their kitchens to amateur cooks atl'École des Chefs. We have Lynne's recipe for Portobello "Steaks" with Holy Oil and she'll be taking your calls.

Saturday, July 8, 2000Saturday, June 2, 2001

We're dropping in at diverse locales this week as we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July. Southern food historian John Martin Taylor, author of the newly reissued Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking, takes us to South Carolina's coastal plain for boiled peanuts, Pimiento Cheese and Frogmore Stew.

We'll go down east with Jane and Michael Stern for that epitome of summer, boiled Maine lobster right on the beach, then we head west to discover the birthplace of the hamburger. Josh Wesson reports on a delicious, summery, bargain white wine; Al Sicherman and Lynne taste canned baked beans; and our producers have cooked up a surprise or two.

Saturday, July 1, 2000

If you tune in regularly to The Splendid Table you know that tofu doesn't appear on Lynne's table often. In fact, it never appears. But Deborah Madison's new book, This Can't Be Tofu, inspired us to take another shot at making Lynne a fan of this latest wonder food. Will we succeed? Stay tuned. In the meantime, try Deborah's tantalizing recipe for Lacquered Tofu Triangles with Green Beans and Cashews.

Jane and Michael Stern are in Chicago sampling some "strangely provincial dishes" unique to the Windy City. Plus, gadget queen Dorie Greenspan checks out garlic gear, we'll hear about one of Baltimore's last arabbers, and visit a Boston hospital where patients eagerly anticipate their meal tray.

Saturday, June 24, 2000

The hot chef of the moment, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, tells us how he got there, while Chef Anthony Bourdain has tales of horrors in the restaurant kitchen (DON'T ORDER FISH ON MONDAYS!). The Sterns are tracking down stuffed quahogs, tea merchant Bill Waddington talks iced tea, and cheesemonger Steve Jenkins takes us back to France for one of his all-time favorites—gaparon.

Saturday, July 10, 1999Saturday, June 17, 2000Saturday, July 21, 2001

Best-selling author Diane Ackerman, of A Natural History of the Senses fame, joins us to talk about our sense of taste; the Sterns take us to Chicago for great steak; tea merchant Bill Waddington discusses the merits of bag vs. loose teas; minimalist cook Mark Bittman introduces us to the easiest of sauces, roasted red pepper puree; and John Willoughby, coauthor of License to Grill, has an eater's guide to Hong Kong.

Saturday, June 12, 1999Saturday, June 10, 2000

Mexican food authority and TV chef Rick Bayless, author of Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen, is back this week and he's talking salsa. It's the new ketchup these days and we're putting it on everything from tacos to take-out. With summer's bounty just around the corner, we asked Rick to explain a bit of salsa culture and give us some tips for making fresh and fabulous salsas at home. It's a snap, and Rick's recipe for Essential Roasted Tomatillo-Serrano Salsa will get you going.

Jane and Michael Stern are back from the Appalachian region with an unusual find in Cumberland, Maryland. Kitchen designer Deborah Krasner tells us what to consider when shopping for a dishwasher. We'll hit the open road when Biker Billy roars through on his Harley. He's fanned the culinary flames in his latest work, Biker Billy's Freeway-A-Fire Cookbook, a collection of sizzling vegetarian recipes. Sara Baer-Sinnot of the Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust tells us what's behind the rumor that we may have to start stockpiling Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the phone lines will be open for your calls.

Saturday, June 3, 2000Saturday, April 28, 2001

If you know the food scene in Washington State, you know about the wildly popular Herbfarm Restaurant. You also know that getting a reservation there is all about the luck of the draw. They open their phone lines only twice a year for bookings and within hours every space for the next six months is filled! The reason is executive chef Jerry Traunfeld's cooking. Chef Traunfeld, author of The Herbfarm Cookbook, unveils some new tricks for getting maximum flavor from herbs and flowers, some of which you've probably never heard of. His recipe for Lemon Verbena Sorbet showcases the herbal spin this talented chef gives his food.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating stellar Italian sausages in West Virginia, of all places. Grilling guru John Willoughby (of License to Grill fame) is back with a recipe for Asian Spice Rub that supports his claim that sometimes it's better to rub than soak. Our food scientist Shirley Corriher, author of Cookwise, has the final word on flavored oils. Are they safe? We'll find out. We'll learn how a Cherokee farmer is bringing her people back to their food traditions, Lynne finds a great place to eat in New York, and she'll also take your calls.

Saturday, May 27, 2000Saturday, August 4, 2001

New York Times restaurant reviewer Ruth Reichl joins us with a conversation about her hilarious new memoir, Tender at the Bone, Growing Up at the Table. Jane and Michael Stern take us to Tea, South Dakota, cheesemonger Steve Jenkins shares his list of the great stinky cheeses,and, Lynne samples jam with grocery guru Al Sicherman in their monthly tasting.

Saturday, April 3, 1999Saturday, May 20, 2000

We're traveling this week and food, of course, is the highlight. Richard Sterling, author of the Vietnam and Spain guides for the new Lonely Planet World Food series, stops by with tales from a Saigon restaurant and advice on choosing a guidebook.

Jane and Michael Stern report from the Akron Restaurant in Pennsylvania Dutch country where they're eating stuffed pig stomach! Fish expert Jon Rowley takes us to Alaska for Copper River salmon. To celebrate this luscious fish, Lynne concocted a recipe for simple pan-roasted salmon. Then we'll go to Japan with chef Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and a man with a mission ­ an American opening a French bistro in Tokyo. Finally, we're off to Los Angeles with Marcia Reed, curator of rare books at the Getty Research Institute, for a peek at The Edible Monument exhibition at the Getty Center.

Saturday, May 13, 2000Saturday, May 26, 2001

We're taking a look at the cultural history of alcoholic beverages in the United States with Andrew Barr, author of Drink: A Social History of America. Jane and Michael Stern take us to Duarte's in the heart of California artichoke country, wine maverick Joshua Wesson advises us on wines to grill by, cheesemonger Steve Jenkins talks cheeses from Auvergne, and legendary cooking teacher, Marion Cunningham is back with another lesson for absolute beginners—this time it's biscuits.

Saturday, June 5, 1999Saturday, May 6, 2000

Food and travel writer Anya von Bremzen takes us to Shanghai with an eater's guide to China's born-again boomtown. The city is reinventing itself these days and a cosmopolitan restaurant scene is emerging.

Jane and Michael Stern are bound to stir up debate and controversy with what they say is the best fried chicken on earth. Gadget goddess Dorie Greenspan has the word on hand-held blenders, those magic wands among kitchen toys. We'll eavesdrop as John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger test recipes. The delicious Molasses-Glazed Pork Tenderloin resulted from one of their kitchen sessions.We like to explore all manner of dining venues (the car counts nowadays), so we called upon Bob Markovich of Consumer Reports to give us an evaluation of car cup holders. As always, the phone lines will be open for your calls."

Saturday, April 29, 2000Saturday, March 24, 2001

Did you know that graham crackers were named for a preacher and that lobster newburg got its name as the result of a drunken brawl? We've a look at how foods got their names with Martha Barnett, author of Ladyfingers and Nun's Tummies . The Sterns talk gooey butter cake, minimalist cook Mark Bittman has the last word on sun-dried tomatoes, Joshua Wesson is back with wines to drink with the "problem children" of spring—things like asparagus, morels and artichokes – that can be tricky when pairing with wine. Tea authority Bill Waddington and Lynne taste Oolongs.

Saturday, April 17, 1999Saturday, April 22, 2000

This week we're talking with maverick winemaker Randall Graham of California's Bonny Doon Vineyard. Forget the usual Cabernet and Chardonnay ­ Randall says they aren't even compatible with California's climate. Instead, he grows grapes from France's Rhone River Valley to produce his award-winning wines with zany names like "Il Fiasco," "Old Telegram," and "Wine of the Ice Box."

Jane and Michael Stern are eating Frito Pie at the Golden Light Café. New York Times garden columnist Ann Raver tells us what's new in culinary seedsthis season, Matthew Goodman is back to celebrate the Passover macaroon, and the Wild Mushroom Man takes us foraging in Santa Cruz.


Saturday, April 15, 2000

World tours, glitz and glamour, a new city every night. At first glance, the life of a rock star seems exciting, but behind the scenes it's about greasy spoon food and months living on cramped tour busses. For singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, healthy, delicious food is as important as her music so she enlisted Chef Jaime Laurita to cook for her band and crew. Jaime has catered for musicians from the Rolling Stones to Placido Domingo and is a genius at producing gourmet delights from sparse resources, often in the middle of nowhere. Together he and Sarah wrote Plenty, a collection of Sarah's favorite recipes. Try their recipe for Sundried Tomato and Pecan Pesto with Prawns .

Our dining duo Jane and Michael Stern take us to Mother's for New Orleans soul food, Mary Ewing-Mulligan wants us to try Washington State wines, we'll go to Boston for Chinese food with Nina Simonds, and James Labe, thought to be the only tea sommelier in the world, talks pairing tea with food. Lynne is thinking tomatoes (yes, again) and shares her fabulous Tomato Sauce IV recipe.

Saturday, April 8, 2000

We're talking kitchen equipment this week, so we called upon the pros for advice. Food Writer John Willoughby, Master of Wine Mary Ewing-Mulligan, Kitchen Designer Deborah Krasner, and Jane and Michael Stern tell us what they can't live without in their kitchens.

Wine Maverick Joshua Wesson reports on value-priced Rhone Rangers, we'll hear about a New York City doughnut plant, and John Willoughby's recipe for almond-crusted grilled salmon with garlic sauce is to die for! Lynne, of course, will have another trivia question and take your phone calls.

Saturday, April 1, 2000

With the possible exception of novelty items like chocolate covered ants, the average American doesn't think of bugs as edible. But the truth is, cultures all over the world are entomophagous, (feeding mainly on insects)! The authors of Man Eating Bugs, Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel take us on a bug tasting trek all over the globe. Jane and Michael Stern track down stellar chicken in a pot in NYC, Chef Rozanne Gold explains the 5th taste—Umami, and Lynne and Al Sicherman taste canned chicken stock in their monthly tasting.

Saturday, March 6, 1999Saturday, March 25, 2000

This special live show with guest cohost Katherine Lanpher featured winemakers Michael and Elaine Honig, a conversation with minimalist chef Mark Bittman, and restaurant critic Sue Zelickson discussing Twin Cities restaurants.

Saturday, March 25, 2000

Love it or hate it, "fast food" is a significant part of the average American diet these days. Our guest, Professor John Jakle, gives us a scholar's view on how it began, why it's taken over the way it has, and where it's headed. Professor Jakle coauthored Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age.

Our road-food experts, Jane and Michael Stern, are eating quintessential fast food at the Red Rooster Drive-In in Brewster, New York. Master of Wine Mary Ewing Mulligan explains the art of decanting wine, and we'll hear how award-winning artisan cheesemaker Mary Falk of Love Tree Farmstead Cheese divides her time between milking her sheep and fighting off wolves. This week's recipe is Lynne's Ancho Chile and Orange Marinade.

Saturday, March 18, 2000

Reporter, author, and humorist Calvin Trillin gives us his unique take on European travel with kids and the state of eating in America. Trillin's beloved book Travels With Alice is the very funny account of his family's journeys abroad. Jane and Michael Stern flunked bull-riding school but did manage to file a report from the Hitching Post in California cowboy country, and minimalist cook Mark Bittman is back to talk dipping sauces.

Chicken reaches new heights with Mark's recipe for Steamed Chicken with Scallion-Ginger Sauce. We'll join writer and restaurateur George Lang, author of Nobody Knows the Truffles I've Seen, at his legendary restaurant, Gundel, in Budapest for a ball in honor of Elizabeth Day. Gundel's has lured everyone from the Pope to Madonna and it's considered one of the best restaurants in the world. Tea merchant Bill Waddington tells of his recent trip to China, and the phone lines will be open for your calls.

Saturday, March 11, 2000Saturday, March 10, 2001

Mexican food authority Rick Bayless, who latest book is Salsas That Cook, is with us this week and we're talking tequila. It's not just for margaritas anymore. In fact, Rick says lose the lime and salt and move on to a different tequila experience. He means those types (especially artisan-made ones) so classy and smooth you'll want to sip them neat. In a nod to tradition, though, Rick shares his recipe for Honest-to-Goodness Margaritas for a Crowd. These are the real thing ­ pure, fresh, and tasting of good tequila.

Jane and Michael Stern are in layer-cake heaven at the Pie Kitchen in Louisville. John Willoughby talks single-flower honeys, Joel Rose takes us to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and King Cakes, and Ishan Gurdal has a report on the cheese cave at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. Our grocery guru Al Sicherman sets Lynne up for a bottled water tasting, and we'll open the phone lines for your calls.

Saturday, March 4, 2000Saturday, February 3, 2001

It's time for a midwinter break here at the Splendid Table, so we're off to the Caribbean for some sun, white sand beaches, and warm breezes. It's high season there and we've enlisted the help of veteran travel writer Douglas Cooper, who has the word on finding great local food, hotels, and restaurants worth a splurge, plus an insider's tip on the guest-house bargain of the islands.

It's a Rhode Island "wiener up the arm" experience for Jane and Michael Stern, kitchen designer Deborah Krasner talks "seduction" gear, and our favorite food scientist Shirley Corriher gives us the definitive method for perfect hard-boiled eggs. Shirley's recipe for Deviled Eggs with Caviar is a more sophisticated take on this Southern classic. Lynne has her usual trivia question and talks with a caller from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

Saturday, February 26, 2000

First it was the Dahlia Lounge. Etta's Seafood followed. By the time the Palace Kitchen opened in 1996, legendary Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas had won acclaim both regionally and internationally for his unique cooking style and his role in defining "Pacific Rim Cuisine." Along the way, Tom formulated some unusual thoughts on running a business. He stops by to share secrets of his success and his picks of Seattle's best restaurants.

Jane and Michael Stern are dining under the hanging cage of beef tenderloin on the patio at Tucson's El Charro. Wine wit Joshua Wesson teaches us how to talk our way through a wine tasting, and we'll learn how to cook in a fireplace with Katherine Kagel, Executive Chef/Owner of Santa Fe's notable Café Pasqual. Give the method a try with Katherine's recipe for Spiedini of Turkey. Dorie Greenspan, author of the "Tools of the Trade" column in Bon Appetit magazine reviews pepper mills, and Lynne takes your phone calls.

Saturday, February 19, 2000

We're talking with scholar, explorer, and beer anthropologist Alan Eames, author of The Secret Life of Beer. Alan has tracked down beers in Amazon jungles and Egyptian temples, and survived being held at gunpoint by guerrillas in his quest to discover beer's origins. He believes it's at the heart of nearly every culture and he claims beer is, and always was, about women! Jane and Michael Stern have found cheeseburger heaven in upstate Connecticut. Minimalist cook Mark Bittman has had a life-changing experience with chickpeas. He stops by to tell all and give us his recipe for Chickpea Soup with Sausage.

Reporter Jon Kalish takes us into the food world of mystery writer Kinky Friedman, where we'll hear from one of his Village Irregulars, Mike McGovern, who shares the recipe for Steve Rambam's Jailhouse Chili. Mike is the author of Eat, Drink, and Be Kinky, a delicious companion to Friedman's latest novel, Spanking Watson. Plus, Lynne has a recipe for Brussels Pork Carbonnades, a classic Belgian stew.

Saturday, February 12, 2000Saturday, July 28, 2001Saturday, August 17, 2002

This week it's high drama and intrigue from the candy aisle as our guest, Joel Glenn Brenner, former Washington Post reporter and author of The Emperors of Chocolate, takes us into the highly secretive and cutthroat world of America's corporate candy giants, Mars, Inc. and Hershey Foods. It's a revealing expose that may leave you looking at Kit-Kat's and M & M's in a different light.

Jane and Michael Stern have been eating tacos at pharmacies in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Matthew Goodman tells of a new wave in the world of Jewish food introduced to the United States by Bukharan immigrants. Lex Gillespie has a report on the wonderful Vietnamese soup called pho, and Lynne gives us the recipe for her outrageous Double Dark Chocolate Excess.

Saturday, February 5, 2000Friday, September 28, 2001

We're wandering the culinary map this week with a look at curry, posole, fish terminology, bacon-of-the-month, and saltines! Our guest Nancie McDermott, author of The Curry Book, shares her infatuation with curries that began during a stint with the Peace Corps in Thailand. Her recipe for Mussamun Curry is a classic Thai dish often served at celebration feasts.

Jane and Michael Stern indulge in a real Southern Sunday Supper at the Branch Ranch in Florida. Minimalist cook Mark Bittman decodes fish terminology and shares his recipe for Salmon Roasted in Butter; Kent Patterson reports on posole, the Mexican version of "TGIF"; we'll tell you where to find superb mail-order bacon, and Lynne does a saltine tasting.

Saturday, January 29, 2000

Do you ever wonder whom Lynne, Julia Child, and other pros in the food business turn to when they're stumped with a culinary question? They call our guest, food scientist Shirley Corriher, author of CookWise. Shirley's unique ability to translate complex food chemistry into simple language, combined with her natural warmth and sense of humor, make her a favorite with our listeners. Try her wonderful recipe for Mixed Greens with Walnuts—it's no ordinary salad.

Jane and Michael Stern have the scoop on a great breaded steak sandwich, cheese maven Steve Jenkins talks great "melters," and kitchen designer Deborah Krasner opens her online address book to share sources for kitchen equipment on the Web.

Saturday, January 22, 2000Saturday, July 14, 2001Saturday, September 15, 2001

Did you know that most of us are eating genetically engineered foods at one time or another? Are these foods a miracle for farmers and consumers or an uncontrollable monster? Should we be concerned? We'll learn some basic facts about this complicated and controversial subject from Kim Klemon of Consumer Reports magazine. They researched an impressive overview of the subject and published the findings in the September 1999 issue.

Jane and Michael Stern have some thoughts on Zen and the art of the perfect corned beef hash, Master of Wine Mary Ewing Mulligan has lined up some great bargain Burgundies, and we'll drop in on the life of an Asian-American teen for whom food is a bridge between two worlds. Lynne gives us the recipes for her fabulous Vertically Roasted Chicken and Romagna Roast Potatoes, and the phone lines will be open for your calls. Featured clip: Bargain Burgundies

Saturday, January 15, 2000

We're off for a look at New Orleans bars this week with resident historian and photographer Kerri McCaffety, author of Obituary Cocktail: The Great Saloons of New Orleans. The Big Easy has more bars per capita than anywhere else in the country and each of these architectural and cultural treasures harbors true stories more fascinating than folklore. Try the recipes for a Sazerac, the brandy concoction that was the Exchange Alley rage in 1853 or an Obituary Cocktail, a version of the martini with a splash of absinthe.

It's another Memphis BBQ find from Jane and Michael Stern, David Karp talks quince, we'll hear about Etiquette Soup and naked chefs, and the phone lines will be open for your calls.

Saturday, January 8, 2000Saturday, November 4, 2000

Like everyone, we know it's diet-resolution time again. But we like to avoid the expected and the ordinary here at the Splendid Table. Besides, everyone is too serious these days with Y2K worries and all. So cheer up and tune in—we're bringing you a show on the delights of excess! Our guest is Nan Lyons, author of Gluttony: More Is More, one of a series of books on the seven deadly sins. There's little that Nan takes seriously and only regrets that she wasn't asked to write about lust. Whip up her chocolate peanut-butter soul pie for a final blast of bliss if you simply must start counting carbohydrate and fat grams on January 1.

We knew we could count on Jane and Michael Stern to come up with something excessive and they did—a steak nearly the size of Texas. Grace Young has advice from the Chinese on how to usher in the new year properly and a recipe for salt-roasted chicken. Mark Bittman thinks we should be using a little more butter and guides us through the basics of reduction sauces, and Bill Waddington introduces us to rare and luxurious Puer tea.


Saturday, January 1, 2000Saturday, December 30, 2000