Episodes by year

This week we're off to a region of Italy only 20 minutes outside Venice—yet known and visited by few. The wonderful cuisine here could be called a fusion of "Northern Italian Soul" meets the Arabian Knights. The greatest varieties of wines in all of Italy come from the area, and the scenery is pretty good too. It's Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and our guide is none other than culinary explorer Fred Plotkin, author of the new book La Terra Fortunata. Fred shares a few undiscovered wine bargains from the region and a recipe for Polenta With Five Flavors, a dish containing most of the classic foods of central Friuli.

Jane and Michael Stern are across the pond as well, eating Couscous Royale at Relais des Six Boules, a French version of the truck stop. Who but the Sterns goes looking for road food in France? Beer expert Stephen Beaumont, author of Premium Beer Drinker's Guide, reports on Lambic, an eccentric style of commercially made beer. Movie critic Rex Reed reminisces about eating with Tennessee Williams. Lynne has a trivia question about baby food and cotton candy and leaves us with her recipe for Dark and Moist Gingerbread.

Saturday, November 10, 2001Saturday, December 28, 2002

This week it's talk of life, food, and Christmas dinner with television food star Nigella Lawson. Her show Nigella Bites (which also happens to be the title of her latest book,) is all about the sheer lustiness of food. Get ready to be a guest at your own party with holiday eats from Nigella. It's the perfect menu for entertaining, because everything is made in advance!

The Sterns suggest we spend New Year's Eve at a gospel supper in an Indiana cafeteria. Tickets are on sale now. Wine maverick Joshua Wesson expounds on the art of the toast, and reporter Scott Haas tells the story of how a kid from the projects became the star chef of Boston's Beacon Hill. Lynne haslast-minute gift ideas, and Francis Ford Coppola fills us in on Christmas at the vineyard.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

If a dinner party place setting with more than a knife and fork causes angst, this week's show brings relief. Judith Martin, the high priestess of etiquette known as Miss Manners, has tips for maneuvering smoothly through the minefield of dining and entertaining at this most social of seasons. Her new book, Star Spangled Manners, defends American etiquette and takes a look at what sets it apart.

Jane and Michael Stern call in from the road, where they've found a top-notch-but-different chili in the Northeast. And Lynne shares her recipe for another different chili: Lynne's Nearly New Mexican Chili.

Steve Beaumont wants us to try smoked beers, and tea merchant Bill Waddington stops by to talk about the year in tea. We have mail-order gifts from the forthcoming Slow Food Guide to New York City. And Lynne tells of the wonderful dried fruit she loves to give for holiday gifts. Finally, we have an interesting and probably controversial piece about the heritage animals at Kelmscott Farm in Maine.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Our guest this week is Kermit Lynch, a wine pioneer who's been bucking trends since he began importing wine from France in the 1970s. He's devoted his career to seeking out the small and unique in a world of big and uniform. His book, Adventures on the Wine Route, chronicles his life in wine.

Jane and Michael Stern are checking out the goods in Calgary, that eater's paradise up north. Steve Jenkins talks Cheddar, and David Rosengarten stops by to tell us about his three favorite books for cooks. Martha Holmberg of Fine Cooking magazine has tips for holiday cookie baking and a recipe for Lime Nut Buttons. And Lynne takes your calls and shares gift ideas for the book-lover on your list.

Saturday, December 7, 2002

Her father wanted her to be a diplomat. She had other ideas. We'll hear the story of how two passions came together to define the life of legendary cook and actress Madhur Jaffrey. You've seen her in Merchant-Ivory films as well as her own productions, and her books introduced Americans to authentic Indian food. Her latest work, Madhur Jaffrey's Step-By-Step Cooking, takes readers from India to Thailand, Indonesia to Malaysia, and has her recipe for Lamb Cooked in Dark Almond Sauce.

A sign at a LaGrange, Texas, gas station alerted Jane and Michael Stern to the top-notch kolachkes at Weikel's Store and Bakery. We'll stop by a four-star restaurant near "ground zero" in New York to find out how the workers are doing and get the recipe for Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Curried Couscous, a staff favorite from Chef David Waltuck's book Staff Meals from Chanterelle. Tea merchant Bill Waddington talks scented teas, Phil Silverstone has tips for finding good cheap wine, and Trish Telesco helps us prepare for Halloween with the recipe for Rose Geranium Punch from her book A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook.

Saturday, October 27, 2001Saturday, November 30, 2002

This year it's Thanksgiving big time with Judy Rodgers, one of America's most gifted chefs and author of The Zuni Café Cookbook. Judy's Thanksgiving Menu is modern but homey, and includes a turkey roasting technique designed to free up precious oven space and an interesting stuffing idea.

Jane and Michael Stern bring us soul food at its best from Ellen's Soul Food Restaurant in Memphis. Steve Beaumont thinks all that angst about selecting the perfect wine for turkey and trimmings can be eliminated by serving beer instead. He recommends a trio of beers for the Thanksgiving table, including one that could double for champagne.

Kevin Murphy, author of A Year at the Movies, tells what happened when he tried to smuggle Thanksgiving dinner into a theater. And reporter Scott Haas dines in the dark at Blindekuh (Blind Cow) in Zurich. Lynne takes your calls and has trivia about an over-the-top holiday entrée from medieval England.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

The kitchen of tomorrow is on scientists' drawing boards today at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, and we love what they're cooking up. Are you ready for a kitchen table that cleans itself and a coffeemaker in your car? We are! How about dial-a-smell that sends the tantalizing scent of tonight's dinner wafting over the telephone line to family and friends? It's the new kitchen science, and we've got the scoop.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating saltwater taffy and fairy food at Fralinger's on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and wine maven Joshua Wesson explains the fuss over old vine wines. Soybean Queen Dana Jacobi, author of Amazing Soy, talks edamame and shares her recipe for Brunswick Style Sweet Soybeans. Our hungry reporter Scott Haas takes us truffle hunting in Italy with a dog named Diana, and Lynne's recipe for Classic White Truffle Pasta celebrates this rare and expensive jewel from Italy's Piedmont region.

Saturday, October 13, 2001Saturday, November 16, 2002

This week it’s primal cooking at its most seductive—over an open fire. Our guest is William Rubel, author of The Magic of Fire. He leaves us with a recipe for Lamb Kabobs to get us started. The Sterns have found a beautiful woman who makes beautiful food at Café Poca Cosa in Tucson, Arizona.

Cheesemonger Steve Jenkins names the best cheese shops in the City of Lights. Sally Schneider, author of A New Way to Cook, tells us how to have our way with chestnuts. She leaves us with two recipes, one for Simple Roast Chestnuts, the other for Chicken Liver Pate with Golden Raisins. And we take a look at L.A.’s Ethnic Delis.

Saturday, November 9, 2002Saturday, December 27, 2003

This week we'll explore the often-confusing world of olive oil with Deborah Krasner. With extra-virgin oils going for $37 dollars a quart and higher, we want to know what the oil tastes like before shelling out such an outrageous sum. For her new book, The Flavors of Olive Oil: A Tasting Guide and Cookbook, Deborah taste tested 150 different oils. She'll tell us about three oils she keeps in her pantry, then leave us with a "Twelve-Minute Dinner Menu" that highlights these healthy oils.

Jane and Michael Stern discover a sausage known only in Washington, D.C., at Ben's Chili Bowl. David Rosengarten, that guy with the golden palate, talks Spanish hams and shares sources for buying these new imports. Christopher Kimball, editor of Cook's Illustrated magazine, has been taste-testing salts and finds they're not all alike. Winemaker Nan Bailey of Alexis Bailey Vineyards explains the odd process that makes Beaujolais Nouveau unique. And Lynne takes your calls.

Saturday, November 2, 2002Saturday, November 15, 2003

Rolling Stone magazine calls Jamie Oliver, known by Food Network devotees as The Naked Chef, a "hot foodie." But there's another side to this tousled British charmer that viewers rarely see, and it's related to his new mission in life. Tune in to hear Jamie give us the scoop, then try his outrageous recipe for the World's Best Baked Onions from his new book, Happy Days with the Naked Chef.

Jane and Michael Stern are in Memphis to check out Champion's Pharmacy, a peculiar and amazing mix of herbology, voodoo, and the unusual and unique in medicine. Food writer Sally Schneider returns to talk saffron, and shares some ideas for using this lovely aromatic and pungent spice that's the world's most expensive. A good place to start is Sally's recipe for Warm Citrus and Saffron Oil Vinaigrette. We'll have Cliff's Notes for the wine lover from Jay McInerney, author of Bacchus and Me; and Gourmet magazine restaurant critic Jonathan Gold takes on the Jewish delis controversy—are the best ones in New York or Los Angeles? Then Lynne has trivia about alligator pears, raves about The Elephant Walk Cookbook, shares two recent wine discoveries, and gives us her recipe forSweet Avocado-Green Chili Ice Cream.

Saturday, October 26, 2002Saturday, October 25, 2003

Award-winning journalist Russ Parsons, food editor of the Los Angeles Times, joins us to explain what goes into making a leading newspaper food section and shares three simple tips to make life in the kitchen easier. His new book, How to Read a French Fry, explores the science behind basic cooking techniques and includes recipes, such as his Seafood Rice Salad, that illustrate cooking principles.

Jane and Michael Stern have found licorice coal and chocolate hairdryers at Mootz's in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Wine wizard Josh Wesson suggests good sipping from unlikely places, chef Jerry Traunfeld talks bay leaves and gives us his recipe for Bay Leaf Crème Brûlée, and we'll hear the saga of six convicts and the bologna sandwich that was their undoing.

Saturday, September 22, 2001Saturday, October 19, 2002

It may occur in 1 in 200 people, it runs in families, women have it more than men, and those with it probably have a superior memory. It's synesthesia, and research neurologist Dr. Richard Cytowic will explain this fascinating peculiarity in the brain that results in the involuntary joining of two or more senses. If you think a slice of apple pie tastes like an octagon, tune in for some explanations.

Jane and Michael Stern taste the art of the soda jerk at Edgar's Soda Fountain in Elk Point, South Dakota. The folks at Cook's Illustrated magazine taste test tortilla chips, and reporter Scott Haas has a lesson in mixology from the bartender at the Hemingway Bar in the oh-so-chic Ritz Paris. Tea merchant Bill Waddington returns to talk flushes, the key to buying premium tea while saving money. We'll get the low-down on the first national standards for organic products. And Lynne shares her recipe for Chicken in Chile, Garlic and Vinegar Sauce, a make-ahead dish that's perfect for a fall supper.

Saturday, October 12, 2002Saturday, October 18, 2003

We're eating out in America with Ruth Reichl, editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. Ruth will talk about what's driving chefs these days, how our eating habits are changing, and where in the entire country she would eat if given only two choices and they couldn't be famous restaurants. Gourmet's October 2002 issue is all about restaurants—from big-city, upscale, and grand to local, down-home, and cozy.

Jane and Michael Stern find hidden treasure in Cranston, Rhode Island, and wine maverick Joshua Wesson accepted our challenge to come up with some very drinkable wines for $5.00 and less a bottle!

Cookbook author and teacher Rick Rodgers takes us to the coffeehouses of Vienna, where writers, artists, poets, and philosophers have gathered for centuries to debate the issues of the day and nibble glorious pastries. Rick leaves us with a recipe for Marble Gugelhupf from his latest book, Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. Finally, we'll get a new take on food and lust from Men's Health magazine. You can read the entire interview in the October 2002 issue.

Saturday, October 5, 2002

For some of us, a bit of fine, luxurious chocolate can soothe our stress or brighten a dreary day. But how many of us know that our Godiva bar started out as a goopy white substance from the insides of an ugly cacao pod? Maricel Presilla, author of The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao, shares some history and cultural lore about our antidote of choice and leaves us with two recipes: Kekehi Cacao-Chile Balls and Maya-Mediterranean Chocolate Rice Pudding.

Jane and Michael Stern are sampling smoked eel and other delicacies from The Eel Man of the Delaware Valley; and winemaker Randall Graham of Bonny Doon Vineyards talks "wine of the prostitute" and Strawberry Fizz. Cheese expert Steve Jenkins offers alternatives to Brie; and we'll go to New Orleans for the return of a Sunday classic.

We'll hear how an adult-ed class teamed up with salsa to change the lives of a group of Mexican women in California's Anderson Valley. The "salsa ladies" collectively wrote Secrets of Salsa: A Bilingual Cookbook to tell their inspiring story and share recipes like Potato and Carrot Salsa.

Saturday, September 28, 2002Saturday, September 27, 2003

This week Gina Gallo, a third-generation member and first female winemaker in the famed Gallo family, joins us with tales of Ernest and Julio and growing up in the family business.

Jane and Michael Stern are in Nashville eating "meat and three" at Rotier's. David Rosengarten sampled high-end chocolate candy bars for the September issue of The Rosengarten Report. He stops by to tell us if they're worth the sticker shock. From Secrets of the Tsil Café we have a tale of married chefs, a marital indiscretion, the meal of redemption as seen through the eyes of their teenage son, and an unusual recipe called Stuffed Prunes of Buen Appetito. Then it's Stuck at the Airport, the survival guide all of us need for those times when we have no alternative but to fly the unfriendly skies.

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Hints of fall are in the air, we want to get back into the kitchen and cook, and Sally Schneider, author of A New Way to Cook, is going with us. Sally's healthy, lusty food is what we want to eat right now, and her sensational Fall Menu for A Splendid Table is the best inspiration we know.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating loose meat sandwiches and onion chips at the Tastee Inn & Out in Sioux City, IA. Joshua Wesson talks low-alcohol wines and tells us if they're worth trying or merely forgettable. Kitty Morse, co-author of The Scent of Orange Blossoms, introduces us to Morocco's Sephardic cuisine and shares recipes for Aniseed Biscuits and Candied Grapefruit. We'll learn of an insidious new control in our lives from novelist Jim Crace; and you'll want to have Lynne's Brandied Fruit tucked away for the holidays that are closer than you think.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

This week we'll explore the practice of geophagy, the eating of substances like soil, chalk, and clay as a cultural custom or for dietary or subsistence reasons, with our guest Susan Allport, author of The Primal Feast: Food, Sex, Foraging and Love. Evidence of geophagy has been found at archaeological sites and still occurs in much of the world (including the United States) today. Listen in on a fascinating discussion.

Jane and Michael Stern have completed their dissertation on Philly cheese steak and report their findings. Anya Von Bremsen has returned from France with a recipe for Easy Bouillabaisse, that flavorful Mediterranean fish stew, along with a short list of the best places to eat bouillabaisse in Marseille.

Our gadget gal Dorie Greenspan suggests cooking in steamers for pure, fat-free flavor. She shares a recipe for Spiced Steamed Salmon with Chutney and Chard to get us started. Julia Alvarez, author of A Cafecito Story, tells a fable about how a cup of coffee changed a life, and Lynne takes your phone calls.

Saturday, September 7, 2002Saturday, November 29, 2003

This week we're looking at where our health and nutrition information comes from with Dr. Marion Nestle, professor and chair of New York University's Department of Nutrition and Food Studies. Dr. Nestle has served as nutrition advisor to the USDA and the FDA and is the author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. She suggests some Internet sites that offer help in determining who is funding the health and nutrition research we hear about in the news.

It's conch chowder and picadillo for Jane and Michael Stern at Dennis Pharmacy Luncheonette in Key West, Florida. Joshua Wesson reveals true lies behind those wine rules, and wants us to try low oak Chardonnays that pair well with a variety of foods.

Chef Jerry Traunfeld cooks with lavender and has a recipe for Potatoes with Lavender and Rosemary. Our always-hungry reporter Scott Haas lets his American teenagers loose at Paris' high altar of serious cuisine; we'll hear from the woman who initiated the ban on soda in Los Angeles schools; and Lynne shares her recipe for Tomato-Mozzarella Salad with Spiked Pine Nuts and Basil.

Saturday, August 31, 2002Saturday, August 23, 2003

"We journey to Vietnam this week with our guide Mai Pham, author of Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table. We'll hear about street life, street food, and home cooking as she tells of a country at peace for the first time in a century and of a cuisine that's perhaps the freshest and brightest in all of Southeast Asia. We can't wait to try Mai's recipe for Lemongrass Beef on Cool Noodles.

Back home, Jane and Michael Stern take us to Ralph 'N' Rich's in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where it's like being in an episode of The Sopranos. Travel writer Anya Von Bremzen may generate a bit of controversy when she names the place that has the best pizza in America, and Jon Kalish takes us into the Vermont woods for the Feast of Edacious Souls.

Saturday, August 25, 2001Saturday, August 24, 2002

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 we're taking a look at farmers' markets with award-winning author Deborah Madison, whose latest book is Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets. Deborah traveled America to determine if local markets can save the vanishing family farm and whether farmers can even make a living selling their harvest at these markets. She leaves us with a menu and recipes for a Late Summer Vegetarian Feast, just the thing right now to take advantage of summer's bounty.

Jane and Michael Stern report from Moomer's in Traverse City, Michigan, where they're eating good ice cream amidst happily grazing dairy cows. Our opinionated cheese guy Steve Jenkins talks sheep cheese, and that prince of the picky palate David Rosengarten, taste tests hot dogs. Also, we hear how Team USA took the gold at the World Pastry Competition; and commentator Julie Hauserman muses over the resemblance between Martha Stewart and a Tibetan monk.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

This week it's an antidote to the dog days of summer from Raghavan Iyer, a native of Bombay and author of The Turmeric Trail: Recipes and Memories from an Indian Childhood. Raghavan knows it's all about what you eat. He'll share a cooling menu that includes Corn with Roasted Chiles and Coconut Milk, Chaat, and Green Papaya Salad, all inspired by Bombay street food.

Jane and Michael Stern have a big night out at Archie's Waeside, a classic Midwest supper club in Le Mars, Iowa. Winemaker Randall Graham of Boony Doon Vineyards says riesling, long considered nerdy if not ignored altogether, is the wine to pair with nearly everything we're eating right now. Chef Jerry Traunfeld offers a simple recipe for Melon with Tarragon featuring that finicky prima donna of the herb world. We hear about a novel use for succulent ripe tomatoes from the famed French Laundry Restaurant, and the second half of the show is open to your phone calls.

Saturday, August 3, 2002Saturday, July 19, 2003

It's a real variety show this week with controversies over apes with Dr. Frans de Waal, one of the world's leading primatologists and author of The Ape and the Sushi Master. Dr. de Waal theorizes that apes are more like us than we think, and it's demonstrated in how they deal with food.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating breakfast old-California style at the Ramona Café. The outrageous Joe Queenan, author of Balsamic Dreams, tells a tale of yuppies, rat hunting, and balsamic vinegar. Jewish-food authority Matthew Goodman reports on Toronto Blueberry Buns, gadget guru Dorie Greenspan evaluates salad spinners, and Lynne has a recipe forGreek Parsley Potatoes.

Saturday, August 18, 2001Saturday, July 27, 2002

This week Jayne Hurley, co-author of Restaurant Confidential and senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, joins us for talk about the best and the worst fast-food picks. We'll learn why Burger King is out and Wendy's is in when it comes to healthy choices for eating on the run. And let's face it: Many of us occasionally do the drive-through.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating fast food at Hamburger Inn in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Beer aficionado Steven Beaumont wants us to try his favorite summer drink: spicy Belgian white beers. Kitchen designer and cook Deborah Krasner has great Web food finds; reporter Scott Haas is making Brazilian cocktails in Rio; and you'll learn why your cat is finicky, while your dog eats anything.

Lynne's Belgian Tartine is just the thing to pair with those white beers, and we have a refreshing summer wine cooler called World Cup Cup.

Saturday, July 20, 2002Saturday, July 12, 2003

Lynne talks with Dr. Andrew Weil, the maverick medical doctor who's become a renowned authority on integrated healing. He shares three simple things we can all do to be healthier, along with a recipe for Mexican Chicken Soup from his latest book, The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life and Spirit.

For balance, Jane and Michael Stern tuck into chicken fried steak and scones at Mom's Cafe in Salina, Utah.

Joshua Wesson talks wine cocktails and gives us recipes for Sangria and White Sangria, both perfect for summer sipping.

Gourmet magazine's John Willoughby introduces us to some new Latin vegetables, one of which is in his recipe for Hobo Pack of Yuca, Corn, and Tomatoes from his latest book, Let the Flames Begin.

We hear from the man who blended hot chiles with cold juices to come up with Loco Soda. And Lynne reviews her favorite bargain-priced olive oils and an outstanding premium oil from New Zealand.

For information on the glycemic index of foods, check these Web sites:

www.mendosa.com

www.diabetesnet.com

Saturday, July 13, 2002Saturday, June 14, 2003

Film director, novelist, and playwright Nora Ephron, whose latest book is Crazy Salad, is a woman who loves to cook and have friends in to eat. Everyone has a great time at her house and her dinner parties are legendary. She'll tell us how she stopped worrying, broke a bunch of rules, and learned to enjoy entertaining.

It's mini hot dogs, not lobster, for Jane and Michael Stern at Flo's on the coast of Maine.

Travel & Leisure magazine's Anya Von Bremzen has a connoisseur's guide to authentic paella and shares arecipe and tips from her forthcoming book. We have mail-order sources for specialty rice, the key ingredient in the classic Spanish dish. David Rosengarten picks the best ice creams in America, we'll hear from a Wisconsin man who's been making butter for over 40 years, and Lynne has a menu for summer entertaining.

Saturday, July 6, 2002Saturday, June 21, 2003

This week we're coming to you from the Food and Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen, Colorado—the annual extravaganza where food and wine lovers mingle with the culinary world's superstars and sample everything from outrageous champagnes to duck-liver lollipops.

Lynne is joined on the stage of the historic Wheeler Opera House by a lineup of luminaries: Dana Cowin, editor of Food and Wine magazine; star chef Mario Batali; food writer Patricia Wells; New York restaurateur Danny Meyer; and the father-daughter team of Jacques and Claudine Pepin.

There's no food and wine event quite like this one, so tune in for a special hour.

Saturday, June 29, 2002

The next time you open your refrigerator door, consider that, centuries ago, cold was a mystery—something seemingly without a source, often associated with danger and death, and altogether too fearsome to explore. Tom Shachtman, author of Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold, examines the subject that baffled ancient mankind before it brought conveniences like refrigeration and air conditioning that we take for granted today.

Jane and Michael Stern are in truck-stop heaven at one of their "Top 10 Favorites"—a tiny shack in Smyrna, Delaware, called Helen's Sausage House. The Food Network's David Rosengarten recently taste-tested mail-order barbecue ribs. He'll share his top picks and a recipe for the perfect side—Mustard Slaw. Reporter Scott Haas is on the Belgian beer beat, sorting out the Trappists from the Triples; grocery guru Al Sicherman is back for a supermarket salsa tasting, and Lynne has a recipe for Bellinis.

Saturday, July 7, 2001Saturday, June 22, 2002

Just a generation ago American wines were dismissed by Europeans as pedestrian and of little consequence. Thirty years later things changed, and the best French wines began falling behind American varietals in international competitions. Our guest Paul Lukacs, author of American Vintage, traces the rise of American wine and tells the story of the famous blind tasting that started the revolution. From teetotalers to bootleggers, Paul introduces an array of interesting characters who contributed to America becoming a formidable leader in the wine industry.

Jane and Michael Stern are in Mobile, Alabama, hometown of Jimmy Buffet and the Dew Drop Inn, the inspiration for Jimmy's song "Cheeseburger in Paradise." John Willoughby wants us to toss a little fruit on the grill along with the chops and gets us started with his recipe for Grilled Double-Thick Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches and Molasses-Rum Barbecue Sauce. Beer-obsessed Steve Beaumont has the word on pairing beer with spicy food, and seafood authority Jon Rowley introduces us to Mediterranean mussels—they've made their way to Seattle's Puget Sound, and they're prime summertime eating.

Friday, June 22, 2001Saturday, June 15, 2002

 

This week it's a saga of money, ecology and a struggle to survive on the South Dakota prairie. Dan O'Brien, author of the autobiographical Buffalo for the Broken Heart, is a cattle rancher who asked some difficult questions and found some unexpected answers. One led to the restoration of life to his Black Hills ranch.

Jane and Michael Stern recently returned from South Dakota where they found irresistible homemade potato chips. Savored right from the bag or crumbled atop a comforting Perfect Tuna Casserole, one is never enough.

Kitchen designer Deborah Krasner stops by to explain why she believes proper seating is the key to kitchen happiness.

From her book A Thousand Days in Venice, American journalist, chef and woman in love Marlena de Blasi tells the story of leaving her native Saint Louis to follow her Italian fiancé to Venice. There she prepared for her wedding and embarked on a romantic journey of discovery. Fresh Pasta with Roasted Walnut Sauce is a dish from her early days with the man who is now her husband.

 

Saturday, June 8, 2002Saturday, May 31, 2003

Polar explorer Ann Bancroft, who recently skied 1,700 miles across Antarctica with her partner Liv Arnesen, joins us this week with tales from her third expedition. She also tells of a lavishly outfitted Arctic expedition from 150 years ago and the food that doomed the members to starvation and insanity.

Our road food duo, Jane and Michael Stern, went searching for chocolate turtles and found anatomically correct ones at Turtle Alley in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Cheese expert Steve Jenkins is back with simple and delicious ideas for our kind of summer entertaining—pairing cheese with other easy foods for great eating with no cooking and little work. It's tricks with Asian ingredients from Seattle chef Tom Douglas, who shares recipes for Miso Vinaigrette and Hoisin Barbecue Sauce, and fruit authority David Karp reveals some luscious peach and nectarine discoveries.

Friday, June 8, 2001Saturday, June 1, 2002

"This week British writer Elizabeth Luard, author of Sacred Food: Cooking for Spiritual Nourishment, takes a look at the traditional foods different cultures serve at significant life events. We'll focus on food for a wedding celebration as Elizabeth explains why the French favor cream puffs hit with a hammer over cake cut with a knife, why the British avoid greens at a nuptial feast, and why higher is better when it comes to the cake. Her recipe for Soupe de Mariage is pot-au-feu for a wedding party or any time.

The Sterns report from the Pine Club, a quirky adult supper club in Dayton, Ohio. Go for the great aged steaks and bring lots of cash! Dorie Greenspan evaluates skillets, and T.R. Reid, author of The Chip, reports on hot London restaurants. Novelist-turned-wine-writer Jay McInerney has wacky wine and food combos, and Lynne takes your calls.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

This week it's an unusual take on botany and the issue of control—plants vs. humans—with our guest, journalist and gardener Michael Pollan. In his new book, The Botany of Desire, Michael claims that plants manipulate us by taking advantage of our basic desires. (Starts at 20:41.)

Jane and Michael Stern have found old-world Czech food in Omaha. Travel writer Anya Von Bremzen reports on exotica from one of the ancient food centers of the Middle East. Herb genius and chef Jerry Traunfeld talks sorrel and gives us the perfect recipe for a spring brunch: Smoked Salmon Benedict with Sorrel Sauce. Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl reads from her memoir, Comfort Me With Apples, and Lynne shares her recipe for Roasted Asparagus Potato Salad.

Saturday, May 19, 2001Saturday, May 18, 2002

Elizabeth Schneider, a woman who knows vegetables from the seed to the plate, joins us this week with simple ideas for good, healthy eating from her new book Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference. Elizabeth has given over the past decade to gathering every shred of information on produce—the best varieties to buy and the best ways to cook them. Her recipes for Baked Scented Beets and Greens and Herbed Carrot and Leek Chunks, Oven Steamed are inspired.

It's terrific Mexican food at Mariscos Chihuahua in Tucson, Arizona, for Jane and Michael Stern. Our very opinionated cheese guy Steve Jenkins talkschèvre, and Randall Graham, founder of Bonny Doon Vineyards, forecasts the next thing in wine bottling—screw tops. Writer Susana Trilling, author of Seasons of My Heart: A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, takes us to Mexico and into the kitchen of the woman who taught her to cook. Her recipe forMole Coloradito Oaxaqueño is extraordinary. We'll hear about mind games designed to get us to tip more (listen up, waiters and waitresses!), and Lynne takes phone calls.

Saturday, May 11, 2002Saturday, April 26, 2003

French chef-turned-barbecue expert Steven Raichlen is back with some off-the-wall grilling techniques from his new book Beer-Can Chicken. Whether it's in a leaf or in the coals, on a stick or under a brick, Steve inspires us to fire up the grill and start cooking. His recipe for Basic Beer-Can Chicken gets us started.

Jane and Michael Stern tell of the sublime hand-formed biscuits at Mamie's in Conyers, Georgia, and Lynne shares her favorite biscuit recipe—Shirley Corriher's Touch-of-Grace Biscuits. Beer expert Steve Beaumont wants us to try cask ale; and novelist Jim Crace has a tale of the psychology ofcrabapples. Lynne's trivia segment concerns a ship and rye crackers, and we'll check in with the folks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watchto learn what's on the "avoid" list.

Saturday, May 4, 2002Saturday, May 17, 2003

This week it's a look at Thai food traditions with Su-Mei Yu, chef/owner of Saffron Restaurant in San Diego and author of Cracking the Coconut: Classic Thai Home Cooking. Su Mei tells of the rather curious way she researched her heritage, and leaves us with etiquette tips for dining in Thai restaurants and a recipe for sticky rice.

Jane and Michael Stern report from Nick's Nest in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where they're eating wienies the way they were served in mid-century New England. Jewish-food authority Matthew Goodman wants us to try the spicy cuisine of Yemen. His recipe for Yemenite Fish in Tomato Sauce is a fine introduction. We'll hear how TV chef Sara Moulton juggles two jobs and a young family, and we'll meet a beekeeper who tends his hives on the rooftops of New York City.

Friday, May 4, 2001Saturday, April 27, 2002

Dr. Kelly Brownell, director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, joins us this week for a look at how TV commercials shape our eating habits. His take on how advertising may be affecting our health raises all sorts of questions. Should junk food be controlled like alcohol and tobacco ads?

On the opposite side of the health issue, Jane and Michael Stern are eating Butter Burgers at Solly's Grille in Milwaukee. Only in Wisconsin would they figure out how to add butter to a burger.

Joshua Wesson has great buys in Spring wines to go with Lynne's Spring Fling menu and recipes. Patty Volk, author of Stuffed, delivers a soliloquy on dieting, David Rosengarten evaluates pasta, and it's space food for the astronauts on the International Space Station.

Saturday, April 20, 2002Saturday, April 12, 2003

This week it's a private tour of Seattle's Pike Place Market, the gold standard among farmers markets. Our guide is none other than award-winning chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas, who was just named Best Chef in the Northwest by the James Beard Foundation. Tom reveals some of his favorite market vendors and shares his recipe for Sake-Steamed Sockeye Salmon with Sake Butter. His new book, Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen, is a celebration of the city's rich and diverse culinary heritage and wealth of fresh local ingredients.

Jane and Michael Stern are in the California desert chowing down among the dinosaurs at the Wheel Inn. They leave us with a recipe for Highway Patrol Succotash, a fresh take on this often maligned vegetable mix. Wine maverick Joshua Wesson returns with some excellent but overlooked bargain French white wines that deserve more respect. Calvin Trillin, author of The Tummy Trilogies, gives us his unique take on eating in Japan, and we'll talk with the farmer behind those packaged ready-to-eat salads. We wonder what keeps them fresh.

Friday, May 11, 2001Saturday, April 13, 2002

Donna Hay, Australia's diva of divine dining, is credited with rescuing a generation of young people from the clutches of take-out and fast-food. Her latest book, Off the Shelf: Cooking From the Pantry, offers tips and recipes for fresh, quick, stylish, and flavorful meals using what you have on hand. Her recipe for Chili Fish with Sweet Lemon Salad is a fine example.

For Jane and Michael Stern, it's warm cinnamon rolls and fresh pie at Gus Balon's Restaurant in Tucson, Arizona. John Willoughby takes on that vexing question of grilling—charcoal versus gas—and shares his recipe for Rosemary-Grilled New York Strip with Smoky Eggplant Relish. Let The Flames Begin, John's latest book with co-author Chris Schlesinger, will be published in June. Kitchen designer Deborah Krasner reveals what they never tell us about non-stick cookware. Reporter Scott Haas goes into the kitchen with TV's Iron Chef Morimoto, who has a new restaurant in Philadelphia called, appropriately, Morimoto. Finally, we'll hear how the Bread Bakers Guild Team USA 2002 prepares to defend their World Cup title.

Saturday, April 6, 2002

We're traveling and eating out all over the map this week. Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, authors of Chef's Night Out, reveal where America's top chefs eat when they have a night off. One goes looking for a hot dog with a "caviar crunch," another wants a better meal in a Chinese restaurant and knows how to get it. Tuck the chefs' "bests" list in your carry-on the next time you travel. From sushi to hamburgers and oysters to pizza, you'll be guaranteed good eating.

Jane and Michael Stern report from Milwaukee, where they've had a vanilla ecstasy experience at Kopp's Custard. For good old-fashioned soft-serve at home, give the Sterns' recipe for Abandon Ship Ice Cream a try. Food and travel writer Anya Von Bremsen, author of Please to the Table, takes us to Copenhagen, a city she says is now the hottest place in the world for design and some wonderfully innovative food, too. She'll tell us where to find it. Erika Warmbrunn, author of Where the Pavement Ends, rode a bicycle from Russia to Vietnam, a journey that took eight months. She'll share some things she learned about hospitality from the Mongolian nomads she met along the way. Dana Cowin, editor of Food & Wine, explains how the magazine picks its annual top ten new chefs, and Lynne's trivia question has something to do with her favorite classic Jewish delicatessen.

Saturday, April 14, 2001Saturday, March 30, 2002Saturday, August 30, 2003

When Americans first mixed spirits and poured them over ice, they took a path with alcohol that set them apart from the rest of the world. William Grimes, restaurant critic for The New York Times and author of Straight Up Or On the Rocks, joins us with the story of how the cocktail came to be and why it has a place alongside other Americana like animated cartoons, comic strips, and jazz. He shares recipes for a Vesper (the James Bond martini) and a Champagne Cocktail.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating shrimp boats in New Orleans, and wine maverick Joshua Wesson of Best Cellars recommends white Burgundies we can actually afford. Reporter Scott Haas is back from a cow pasture in Switzerland where he discovered what makes Swiss milk so special, and Joey Green, author of Clean Your Clothes with Cheez Whiz, gives us reasons to stock up on the stuff.

Saturday, March 23, 2002

This week it's a look at why we prefer some foods more than others with Dr. Julie Menella of the Monell Chemical Senses Center. Dr. Menella studies taste preferences in infants and explains why one kid won't eat broccoli and another hates carrots.

Jane and Michael Stern return to Keaton's, one of Jane's top five road food favorites, for the outrageous fried chicken and southern-style side dishes. When they're dining at home, the Sterns might whip up some Lemonade Fried Chicken from their book, Blue Plate Specials and Blue Ribbon Chefs.

David Rosengarten talks travel guides and reveals his new top pick. Culinary adventurer Naomi Duguid, co-author of Seductions of Rice, takes us along the rice trail into West Africa and has another citrus-based recipe: Lemon Chicken. We turn to Stephen Beaumont to fill us in on Imperial Stout, and we'll learn about Cloaca, one artist's take on human digestion currently installed at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City.

Saturday, March 16, 2002Saturday, March 22, 2003

We're eating Appalachian this week with food writers Ted and Matt Lee, two brothers who rented a pickup truck and headed for the back roads of Eastern Kentucky in search of the elusive pawpaw fruit. Along the way, they discovered that good food is more about human ingenuity than rich resources. Read more about their adventure in the article, "On the Appalachian Trail" in the March 2002 issue of Food & Wine magazine.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating "a little slice of heaven" at Carminuccio'sin Newton, Connecticut. We'll hear how Julia Child's Cambridge kitchenended up at the Smithsonian, take a peek inside her "junk drawer," and share recipes for Primal Soups from her book, Julia's Kitchen Wisdom. Patricia Volk, author of Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family, tells of the heartbreak of falling in love with a taste, and Joshua Wesson talks Cava - the bargain bubbly from Spain. Finally, we'll hear about a new and quite strange take on peanut butter.

Saturday, March 9, 2002Saturday, March 8, 2003

This week it's out with Chardonnay and Cabernet and in with lager and ale, as we look at pairing food with beer. From grilled chicken with ale to chocolate cake with stout, bold-tasting premium beers are what to drink now. Stephen Beaumont, author of Premium Beer Drinker's Guide, joins us with tips for matching these unusual beers with what you're having for dinner tonight.

Jane and Michael Stern are in the Texas hill country where they're eatinggood Texas barbecue for dinner. Herb genius Jerry Traunfeld is back and he's talking dandelions. With his recipe for Dandelion Petal Sorbet, you could be eating from your lawn this spring. Art and dining historian Carolin Young takes us back to 18th-century France and Marie Antoinette's pleasure dairy at Rambouillet. If you'll be in New York City next fall, attend Carolin's lecture series at Sotheby's Institute of Art. As always, Lynne will have a trivia question and take your calls.

Saturday, March 31, 2001Saturday, March 2, 2002

This week Lynne talks with Paul Draper, CEO of Ridge Vineyards, and the winemaker who elevated California Zinfandel to world-class status by shunning market-driven, high-tech methods in favor of ancient techniques. The resulting wines are simply the essence of refinement, intensity, and complexity.

Jane and Michael Stern are eating in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, at the Wolf Lodge Inn, and our hungry reporter Scott Haas is behind the kitchen door learning how to get good restaurant service. We'll hear from architectural historian Jim Heimann, author of California Crazy & Beyond, about those wacky restaurants shaped like walk-in donuts and giant burgers. And zoo archaeologist Deborah Rusilo reveals "the secrets of the bones." Dorie Greenspan, whose new book is Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme, evaluates rolling pins—an essential tool for making Lynne's Caramelized Almond Tart.

Saturday, February 23, 2002Saturday, February 15, 2003

Journalist Eric Schlosser, author of the New York Times best-seller Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, says the fast-food industry should be exposed to the same scrutiny given tobacco and drug companies. We'll take a look at what's become the All-American Meal — a take-out burger, fries and soda — and find out what's really in those "goodies" that will have us shelling out over $110 billion this year.

On a brighter note, Jane and Michael Stern are eating old-fashioned apple dumplings at Southern Kitchen in Charleston, West Virginia. Our cheese guy Steve Jenkins is back with advice on picking American Cheddars, Stephanie Curtis talks food in the movies, and Lynne has a TV-Tray Menu for Academy Awards night.

 

Saturday, March 17, 2001Saturday, February 16, 2002

If you've ever wondered who comes up with the messages printed on those little heart-shaped candies that appear every year at this time, tune in for the story behind a Valentine's Day classic from the New England Confectionary Company.

The always original Jane and Michael Stern are dining inside a longhorn skull in Amado, Arizona. Wine wizard Joshua Wesson has the scoop on Argentina's Malbec. Is this the next big red? We'll recall one of the great 1960s scenes with Jamie Bernstein Thomas, daughter of Leonard Bernstein and author of A West Side Storyin the February issue of Gourmet magazine.

John Willoughby talks watercress and shares a recipe for Watercress and Endive Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Orange-Beet Dressing from Lettuce in Your Kitchen. We'll visit College of the Atlantic, home of "America's best campus food," and Lynne gives us a menu and recipes (including her wickedly sensuous Panna Cotta) for a cozy Valentine's Day dinner at home.

Saturday, February 9, 2002

It's a look at the unusual, the unexpected, and the extraordinary aspects of food and food culture this week with Alan Ridenour, author of Offbeat Food: Adventures in an Omnivorous World. From how Betty Crocker has changed through the years to the dangers of Pez dispensers and a history of pie throwing, we promise an entertaining look at popular culture that we hope sparks a dinner table conversation or two.

Jane and Michael Stern got lost in Texas but found great New Mexican Soul Food. Wine Maverick Joshua Wesson wants us to try the unfamiliar but luscious Eiswein, and Chinese scholar Li Ping Wang gives our hungry reporter, Scott Haas, a lesson on celebrating Chinese New Year and a recipe for New Year's Feast Fish. New York Times columnist Amanda Hesser reports on restaurant surveillance, a new privacy issue that should give you the willies.

Saturday, January 20, 2001Saturday, February 2, 2002

Asian-food authority Nina Simonds joins us this week with remedies and relief for those of us suffering the miseries of a cold or flu. Nina, author of A Spoonful of Ginger and star of the public television special by the same name, tells us how the Chinese use food as medicine. Her recipe for Ginger-Scallion Root Tea is the elixir you'll want when sniffles and chills set in.

Jane and Michael Stern are feeling warm and fine and eating dates in the California desert. Our cheese guy, Steve Jenkins, has never led us astray when it comes to good eating but this time he's come up with a hard sell. He says sour milk leads to an array of good stuff. We're skeptical, but keeping an open mind. Reporter Carol Shapiro talks eating French and speaking English in Paris, and we'll check out what's happening with the Bubble Tea trend on the West Coast.

Friday, February 16, 2001Saturday, January 26, 2002

Coffee buyer and master roaster Kevin Knox, co-author of Coffee Basics, joins us with a guide to roasts and brewing methods, tells us what the pros are drinking now, and reveals a few surprises, too. To top it off, Lynne's decadent Espresso-Ricotta Cream with Chocolate Espresso Sauce is the perfect partner for a rich cup of joe.

Jane and Michael Stern muse about religion and barbecue at Harold's in Atlanta and share a recipe for Cracklin Cornbread Muffins from their book,Blue Plate Specials and Blue Ribbon Chefs. Master of Wine Mary Ewing Mulligan demystifies Sherry, Bill Waddington talks tea lore, and Jim Crace tells the tale of a grocer and his pygmy oranges.

Saturday, January 19, 2002Friday, March 28, 2003

This week we're off to the Spice Coast of southern India where the air is fragrant with cinnamon and pepper, the people are gracious, and the food is grand. It's the family home of our guest, Maya Kaimal, author of Savoring the Spice Coast of India, and hospitality is a way of life. Maya's recipe for Steamed Mussels in Coconut Milk is an example of the exotic fare you'll encounter here.

Jane and Michael Stern have stumbled upon a family feud at Manganaro's, one of their favorite places in New York City. Food expert John Willoughby is back with some good news about sea scallops, and sculptor Kiko Denzer says you can build your own wood-fired oven for little money by using mud! His book, Build Your Own Earth Oven tells us how. The idea has Lynne so excited we hear she's attempting to thaw the earth in her backyard and start construction. In the second half of the show, it's open lines for your calls, and Lynne tells us how to cook Effortless Polenta.

Saturday, January 27, 2001Saturday, January 12, 2002

We'll take a look at small-batch bourbons with Kentucky bourbon maker Frederick Booker Noe, the grandson of Jim Beam and one of the pioneers in this new take on American whiskey. Forget bourbon and soda—this is stuff you'll want to leisurely swirl and sniff before taking a sip. Some experts claim these whiskeys are right up there with the great brandies and single-malt scotches.

Texans take their pie very seriously, as Jane and Michael Stern discovered at the Blanco Bowling Club in Blanco, Texas, home of some of the best meringue anywhere. Anya Von Bremsen takes us to Spain, the country she says is the most exciting place on earth to eat. For tips, check out her article in Travel & Leisure magazine. Beer expert Stephen Beaumont has the scoop on India Pale Ale and the spicy foods that go with it (think curries). Poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman, author of Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden, muses over bread, and Lynne shares her recipe for Marble Cutter's Soup, just the thing for a cold winter night.

Saturday, January 5, 2002Saturday, January 25, 2003