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

Of all the questions you ask yourself when packing up your life to move across the country, "What are we going to do about the tree?" isn't likely one of them. But, that's exactly the situation food writer Hugh Merwin found himself in when his partner, Tejal Rao, learned that she'd gotten a job as on the other side of the country, in California. The tree in question was a curry tree, whose leaves are often used in South Asian cooking. (Curry leaves are nothing like curry powder.

Joe Gitter is a senior editor and test cook at America's Test Kitchen, where they're all about methodical, scientific process in developing their recipes. And they make a ton of books, magazines, and videos, so they run a super tight ship. But Joe got something into his head and couldn't let it go, even though his team told him to back off. It was a recipe with a single ingredient recipe -- water.  He told Sally Swift all about it. 

Photo: Chef Dan Felder in the Pilot R&D test kitchen.

Dan Felder
Photo: Ali Bouzari

Melanie Dunea during her trip to the Middle East in 2015. 

Enter to win I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Jan 6, 2020

January 2020 Giveaway

Every month, The Splendid Table helps listeners equip their kitchens, stock their pantries, and fill their bookshelves. This month, one winner will receive one copy of I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The retail value of the book is $29.99. Enter before January 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, by submitting the form below.

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Raquel Pelzel has long been a terrific recipe developer in her own right. Now, she has a new book called Umami Bomb, a mostly vegetarian cookbook that, I swear, my daughter picked up and asked me to read to her at bed time last night. But for you, Raquel’s got more than bedtime stories; she’s got great ideas for how to set a holiday table that works for carnivores, vegans, and everyone in-between. She joined me in the studio with some very fragrant samples.

A Holiday Jubilee

Dec 20, 2019

We're getting ready for the holidays with Toni Tipton-Martin, author of Jubilee: Recipes from Two Generations of African American Cooking; she talks about the historical and religious importance of African American foodways in the U.S.

Questlove is not only a well-known musician and dee-jay, he is also an epic foodie and gracious host of Food Salon events at his home. As a writer and thinker of food, he also knows a lot of people -- chefs, artists, actors, musicians -- who love to cook, eat and share stories about feeding people. Questlove's new book, Mixtape Potluck, includes many recipes from these friends.

We're happy to share this holiday menu from one of the year’s best books, 365: A Year of Everyday Cooking and Baking by Meike Peters. Her first book, Eat in My Kitchen, was awarded the 2017 James Beard General Cookbook of the Year. In 365, she presents a plan for a year of home cooking, with a recipe for every day of the year.

Power breakfasts to fuel your holiday shopping spree

Dec 13, 2019

The month of December is filled with hectic shopping days: people rushing around from store to store, possibly braving the cold weather and most likely standing in long lines. If you're going out into that, you need something substantial for breakfast to keep you going all day. These dishes bring just that. No humdrum oatmeal or cereal here, rather recipes that take breakfast up a notch and provide enough energy for you to cross everyone off your Nice List. Eat well and be safe out there!

Cold Weather Cooking

Dec 6, 2019

This episode, we're all about what to cook when the cold strikes. We talk to Alissa Timoshkina, author of Salt & Time, about the surprisingly delicious food of Siberia. The charming YouTube cooking star Maangchi (Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking) tells us how to make Korean bone broth.

Enter to win Mixtape Potluck by Questlove

Dec 2, 2019

December 2019 Giveaway

Every month, The Splendid Table helps listeners equip their kitchens, stock their pantries, and fill their bookshelves. This month, one winner will receive one copy of Mixtape Potluck by Questlove. The retail value of the book is $29.99. Enter before December 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, by submitting the form below.

Turkey Confidential 2019

Nov 28, 2019

Francis Lam hosts the 2019 edition of our popular Thanksgiving call-in show. He fields two hours of calls from listeners and is joined by guests Melissa Clark, Kwame Onwuachi, Samin Nosrat and Shauna Sever. Looking for something specific you heard on the show? See this page for a full rundown of questions and topics from this year's phone calls.

Everyone thinks of Thanksgiving as Turkey Day, but look, the day is really more about sweetness and starch than anything else, right? I mean half the sides are sweet - sweet potatoes, that weird jiggly cranberry jello we for some reason call sauce, and what really matters is what pies people brought this year. So, imagine having Thanksgiving in the home of Miro Uskokovic; he’s the pastry chef of the timeless New York restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, and his wife, Shilpa is also a pastry chef. He’s from Serbia, she’s from India, and I just cannot even imagine what glories grace their table.

We began this year's Thanksgiving evening, Discovering Thanksgiving with Four American Chefs, with Ann Kim, the chef-owner of Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza in Minneapolis. I mean, if a Korean immigrant becoming a James Beard award-winning pizza chef in the midwest isn’t an American story, you tell me what is. I sat down with Ann to talk about her first Thanksgiving after coming to America and how the sacrifices of her family has shaped the chef she's become.

It probably goes without saying that Houston is one of the great capitals of Mexican cooking in the U.S., and one of the finest Mexican chefs in Houston is Hugo Ortega. An immigrant from Mexico, he started his career as a dishwasher and has come to be a James Beard award-winning chef. Every time I’ve eaten at one of his restaurants, which he owns with wife Tracy Vaught, I’ve been blown away by the thoughtfulness of the cooking, and the depth of his flavors.

For years, the Indian-born chef Maneet Chauhan ran the kitchen of an absolutely delicious restaurant in New York called Vermilion. It eventually closed, I missed her food, and for years I watched her as a judge on the show Chopped, and I figured she might have left restaurants for a life in media. And then I learned that she’d actually moved to Nashville, and built a whole collection of restaurants there, marrying flavors from India and inspiration from the South and around the world.

Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark: Instant Pot Mommy Food

Nov 13, 2019

Listen and Subscribe to Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark Podcast: 

A delectable vegan Thanksgiving menu from Leon Fast Vegan

Nov 11, 2019

Every year, we enjoy sharing a wide array of recipe options for the Thanksgiving holiday. As such, we wanted to provide a menu of vegan dishes that bring a lot of flavor to the table. The folks at the healthy fast food chain LEON were happy to help, and they know what it takes to fix a feast inspired by flavors from around the world. This menu includes two sides, two main dishes, and a dessert from their book LEON Fast Vegan.

Thanksgiving made easier with make-ahead dishes

Nov 11, 2019

Take a bit of the stress out of your Thanksgiving feast by making some dishes ahead of time and then finishing them in the oven (or serve at room temperature) on Thanksgiving Day.

Fresh Basil-Orange Roast Turkey
Do seasoning blend two days ahead.

There's nothing better than the smell of roasted fall vegetables coming from the kitchen during the holidays. It warms the home, it warms the senses, and soon these dishes will warm your plate. In our unending quest for new side dish recipes, we asked our dear friend Diana Henry to suggest a few recipes that would work especially well for Thanksgiving feasts, falltime meals or holiday parties.

Sean Brock is Still Learning About Southern Food

Nov 1, 2019

We spend an hour with one of the great champions of Southern foodways, award-winning chef Sean Brock. Raised in rural Virginia, Sean has spent 20 years highlighting the unique culinary characteristics of the South. He is author of the best selling book, Heritage, and the newly published, South.

November 2019 Giveaway

Turkey Confidential 2019

Oct 24, 2019

Listen to Turkey Confidential 2019 on your
local public radio station or listen live online here.

Japanese Home Cooking

Oct 18, 2019

We are talking about Japanese home cooking this week, and not ramen or sushi! Think curry, omelets, and quick fried noodles. Tomoko Imade Dyen, culinary director of Japan House in Los Angeles, shares the everyday foods enjoyed by Japanese families. Sonoko Sakai, author of Japanese Home Cooking, tells us about the origins of the Japanese curry everyone makes at home.

Diana Henry on Oven Cooking

Oct 8, 2019

As we move into fall, our pull to the oven grows stronger. Cooking in the oven is not only soul-warming, but it happens to be a real time-saver. Food writer Diana Henry has spent nearly two decades traveling across the globe for culinary inspiration. However, inspiration for the recipes for her latest book, From the Oven to the Tablebegan much closer to home -- with her oven.

Favorite Fall Cookbooks

Oct 4, 2019

This week we’re all about the new fall cookbook releases and we talk to some of our favorite authors who wrote them: Danny Mena (Made in Mexico), Evan Funke (American Sfoglino); Joanne Chang (Pastry Love

Enter to win Made in Mexico cookbook by Danny Mena

Oct 1, 2019

October 2019 Giveaway

Whoopi Goldberg: The Unqualified Hostess

Sep 24, 2019

When you think about Whoopi Goldberg, you likely think of her as an actor, entertainer and television host. But what you probably don’t know about Whoopi is that she is a passionate hostess who takes the art of setting the table and entertaining very serious. Her new book, Whoopi Goldberg: The Unqualified Hostess, is full of creative tablescapes and suggestions for making people feel welcome in your home.