If you’re a longtime fan of The Splendid Table, you probably know Pati Jinich is one of our favorites guests. Whether she’s teaching us about the diverse cultures of Mexican food, or about her own Jewish traditions, or just talking turkey on Turkey Confidential, she always brings the charisma that’s nabbed her three Emmy Award nominations. As inspirational as Pati is to us, we wanted to asked her who has been an inspiration to her. She was happy to tell Francis Lam about the influece that the cookbook author, journliast, and television host and producer Joan Nathan had on her own personal and professional life, and in dealing with her Mexican-Jewish background. Listen to their conversation and try Joan Nathan's recipe for the Persian dish Racha's Spinach Salad with Walnuts & Cilantro (Spanakit).

Francis Lam

Francis Lam is the host of The Splendid Table. He is the former Eat columnist for The New York Times Magazine and is Editor-at-Large at Clarkson Potter. He graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America and has written for numerous publications. Lam lives with his family in New York City.