Splendid Table

Saturdays 2-3 p.m.
  • Hosted by Francis Lam

More than just talking about recipes, Splendid Table explores everything about food: the culture, the science, the history, the back stories and the deeper meanings that come together every time people sit down to enjoy a meal.


Ways to Connect

Melissa comes home to an empty refrigerator save for eggs, scallions and some sad sage and ends up showing us an amazing recipe and technique for Olive Oil Fried Eggs with Scallions, Sage and Turkish Red Pepper.

Invigorating Israeli Cooking

Sep 10, 2019

Adeena Sussman is one of those food writers who immerses themselves into a subject. To say she is enamored of Middle Eastern food, flavors and culture may be an understatement. An American who visited Israel regularly throughout her life, Adeena decided to make Tel Aviv her home in 2015. She has a great gift for teaching others how to embrace the flavors of Israeli cuisine by using border-crossing kitchen staples like tahini, sumac, silan, harissa and za’ater. Her newest cookbook, Sababa: Fresh Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen, focus solely on Israeli food.

Caterers - The Unsung Heroes of Cooking

Sep 6, 2019

We dive into the wild world and chaotic career of catering! Matt and Ted Lee share tales from inside the food world’s riskiest business. Food historian Michael Twitty tells us about the underappreciated role of caterers in Black food history. Francis swaps catering horror stories with Beard Award-winning chef Kwame Onwuachi (2019 Rising Star Chef award). And, America’s Test Kitchen brings us the tools and recipes we need to cook for a crowd at home; check out the recipes below.


In this episode, Melissa explains why the sheet pan is a game-changer for home cooks. Sheet pan dinners are the crispy-lover’s version of one-pot cooking. Melissa brings us her delicious and simple recipe for Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes & Yogurt, plus a magic sauce that can be used on virtually anything and tells us about her very favorite tool.

Suggested Equipment and Ingredients

If we were to walk around and ask random people, "Who's your cooking hero?" we bet we wouldn't have to go far before someone said, Melissa Clark. A star on The New York Times food page for years, author of dozens of cookbooks, and soon to be your new favorite podcaster -- more on that below -- she is a master of knowing exactly what you want to eat before you know you want to eat it. We thought it would be great to talk to her about the recipes she is a superfan of; turns out she is quite fond of the legendary Marcella Hazan and her essential recipes for Italian food.

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.

Our contributor Shauna Sever is a fantastic baker who didn’t have to think for even a second when we recently asked her who she's a super fan of. Her answer: Maida Heatter. Heatter's cookbooks have inspired countless home bakers and pastry chefs. She was over 100 years old at the time we recorded this interview with Shauna, and sadly, Maida passed away a few weeks later. But Shauna's love for her lives on! She talks with Francis Lam about why she was drawn to Maida's work and her recipes, and about the meandering path Maida took to baking excellence.

In our episode Confessions of Culinary Superfans, we asked some of our favorite food people who they're fans of, and how they inspired them to cook or eat or just be themselves. Preston Clark is the executive chef of Lure Fish Bar in New York and Miami. He's a chef's chef, someone known for doing his thing not for glory or attention, but just for the love of great cooking. And he didnt have to look far for his hero, his own famous father, the late chef Patrick Clark.

In the world of winemaking, there is a seemingly new trend that is all about ‘natural wine.’ But it's actually not that new at all because it can be seen as a throwback to the way wines were made pre-1980’s, before wine additives were a thing. Alice Feiring is considered an expert in natural wines; she has written seven books including her latest, Natural Wine for the People.

Alice Feiring's top natural wine recommendations

Aug 27, 2019

In our Splendid Table Selects episode Natural Wine for the People, we spoke with wine expert Alice Feiring about the new trend towards producing natural wines, wines that are made without any additives. We also asked her to share a list of her ten favorite natural wines. Freiring replied, "Given how difficult it is to nail down specific wines, I tend to say which producers you should look for instead of specific bottles.

The summer is flying by. And while we can’t slow down time, we can take full advantage of summer vegetables in their full glory. Hetty McKinnon is an Australian cook and food writer with a passion for vegetables. She’s written a new book on the subject; it’s called Family: New Vegetarian Comfort Food to Nourish Every Day.

Photo: Angie Vargas and Francis Lam prep Vargas's kitchen work area for a lesson in making chile rellanos.

The kitchen incubator group, La Cocina, has helped many immigrants realize their dreams in the Bay Area of California. The group helps people with everything from a business plan and legal issues to branding and menu design. Two newcomers to the group are Wafa and Mounir Bahloul. Their business concept, Kayma, has been picked to be part of La Cocina’s food hall, opening in 2020. Francis Lam visited the couple in their home to talk about what's like to be newly arrived in the U.S. and searching for not only work but a way to bring your passion to life.

Lamees Dahbour is one of many immigrant women cooks who are finding a voice and space of their own through the wonderful non-profit kitchen incubator organization, La Cocina, in San Francisco. Lamees worked for many years with the United National Relief and Works Agency, as well as the embassy of Yemen at the consulate in San Francisco, before deciding to follow her life's passion of cooking. Francis Lam recently spoke with her in the kitchen of La Cocina to learn more about the hardships she overcame to build a business that nurtures her ambitions.

Fernay McPherson is a lifelong resident of the Fillmore neighborhood of San Francisco, a once predominanty African American neighborhood that has gone through a lot of changes since she was growing up there. To keep some of the area's food memories and traditions alive and strong, Fernay started a food truck called Minnie Bell's Soul Movement. From a food truck to a vendor spot at Public Market Emeryville, and now into a more permanent restaurant spot at the market, Fernay has made a name for herself and her food all around the Bay Area.

S'mored out? Bring some sizzle to your campfire cooking

Aug 7, 2019

This digital piece was produced in collaboration with member station KNOW | Minnesota Public Radio News in Saint Paul, MN. Enjoy more food coverage at their Appetites section.

Enter to win Happiness is Baking by Maida Heatter

Aug 1, 2019

August 2019 Giveaway

Every month, The Splendid Table helps listeners equip their kitchens, stock their pantries, and fill their bookshelves. This month, three winners will receive one (1) copy of Happiness is Baking by Maida Heatter. The retail value of the book is $27.00 Enter before August 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, by submitting the form below.

Here at The Splendid Table we enjoy taking a deeper look at the ingredients that change the way we cook. One ingredient that has been fascinating to us recently is miso, the fermented bean paste that packs a major umami punch. A lot of us think of miso as an ingredient that makes a soup base, but it’s so much more interesting and complex than that. Did you know you could pickle with it?! Kristen Shockey teaches the art of fermentation and, along with her husband, Christopher, has co-authored a number of books on the subject including Miso, Tempeh, Natto and Other Tasty Ferments.

Let's make miso: a step-by-step guide to making miso at home

Jul 29, 2019

Let’s Make Miso!

Excerpted from Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fermenting Grains and Beans by Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey. Copyright 2019 Storey Publishing. Photos by Dina Avila

Francis Lam: The food writer Khushbu Shah has been reporting on the restaurant scene all over the country for years. I was in Chicago with her once and we made plans to have breakfast, which meant a couple of tacos, then walking to a Mexican bakery she wanted to check out before going to an ice cream place, and – I mentioned this was just breakfast, right? As you see, she puts in the work, and is a great source for what’s killer in restaurants these days and where you should book a trip just to eat. Khushbu, great to have you here.

As a popular food writer and author of more than 30 cookbooks, Melissa Clark has developed hundreds of recipes. Many of her favorites were inspired by her travels abroad, trips on which she embarked as early as her childhood. She talked with Francis Lam about the culinary inspiration she gains from international travel.

Introducing Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark

Jul 24, 2019

We are excited to share a new podcast that we're working on with our dear friend, the cookbook author and New York Times food writer Melissa Clark.

Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark takes on one of the biggest dilemmas of busy people: what are we going to eat? In each episode, you’ll join Melissa in her own home kitchen, working through one of her favorite recipes and offering helpful advice for both beginners and seasoned cooks. It’s a practical guide for weeknight eating, from the makers of The Splendid Table.

Photo: Istanbul, Turkey, as seen from across the Bosphorus,
a natural strait that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara


Introducing Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark

Jul 24, 2019

We are excited to share this trailer for a new podcast that we're working on with our dear friend, cookbook author and New York Times food writer Melissa Clark. Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark takes on one of the biggest dilemmas of busy people: what are we going to eat? In each episode, you’ll join Melissa in her own home kitchen, working through one of her favorite recipes and offering helpful advice for both beginners and seasoned cooks. It’s a practical guide for weeknight eating, from the makers of The Splendid Table.

Andy Ricker, the chef-owner of Pok Pok in Portland, has spent over thirty years traveling and cooking in Thailand, and the last 15 years or so sharing what he’s learned to cook there with the rest of the world.  He's got a new book out on the culture of Thai noodles; it's called Pok Pok Noodles. Our Managing Producer Sally Swift caught up with him to talk about carbs, yes, but also about the traveling life in Thailand.

Chef Sarah Kirnon leads the kitchen of the popular Caribbean restaurant Miss Ollie's in Oakland. She is from London and her family is from Barbados. But lately, she’s felt more and more at home in her travels to Haiti, a place she says is seriously misunderstood in the U.S. because most American media only discusses the nation as a disaster site, or for its poverty, or as some fantasy horror movie come to life. To the contrary, Sarah says Haiti is a place where she found a deep family connection to food and spirituality.

Photo: Pastry rockstar Nicole Rucker with her Fruit Soup (left) and Strawberry Galettes (right).

As the author of Dining In and the soon-to-be-published Nothing Fancy, Alison Roman is the queen of recipes that are both delicious and designed for maximum ease with fewer steps than you think, a philosophy that applies to all four seasons.

Homemade ice cream sandwiches are a cool summer treat

Jul 12, 2019

Making a homemade ice cream sandwich sounds easy, right? What could be so difficult about putting a scoop of ice cream between two cookies and smashing them into the form of a sandwich? Turns out there's a lot of small things to consider in order to get the perfect firmness of ice cream with the toothsome texture of cookie (read: not rock solid). Luckily for us, Cook's Illustrated Senior Editor Lan Lam spent a lot of time in the test kitchen at America's Test Kitchen perfecting a cookie recipe that lays the foundation for the most wonderful homemade ice cream sandwich.

Maura Judkis Photo: The Washington Post