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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.