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The Splendid Table

Wednesdays 11 a.m. - 12 Noon
  • Hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Francis Lam

More than just a place to share great recipes, acclaimed food writer and cooking teacher Lynne Rossetto Kasper 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.

Recipes and much more

Edna Lewis was called the Grande Dame of Southern Cooking so many times, the words are literally etched into her gravestone. No one disputes that honor, but it did make us think: Miss Lewis grew up with such a particular version of Southern cuisine in central Virginia; we wanted to know more about that region. Francis Lam called on the culinary historian Jessica B. Harris to tell us more about it.

Toni Tipton-Martin is an acclaimed food writer and the author of The Jemima Code, a book that presents the history of African-American cooking told through 200 years of black cookbooks. It paints a picture of a cuisine that’s more diverse, technical, and sophisticated than the stereotypes of black food.

Cecile Richards is one of the most powerful, accomplished, activist leaders of her generation. She helped her mother, Ann, get elected governor of Texas, she was a labor organizer for migrant women, and she was the president of Planned Parenthood for over a decade. She’s also a serious cook and baker with an intense passion for pies and Southern food. Richards talked with Francis Lam about the ways in which food bridges the divide we often feel in politics, and passed down to Francis three essential skills in cooking.

Jacques Pépin is a legendary chef well-known for his television shows, cookbooks, and iconic celebrity status. However, he'll tell that when he began is life of cooking at the young age of 13 in the kitchens of France, chefs were on the bottom rung of the social ladder. He learned countless lessons by fire - literally - and over the years he ended up working in some of the most unique kitchens in the world. Through cookbooks and television program, Jacques opened new doors for home cooks as he taught many of us new ways of looking at recipes and cooking techniques.

The Splendid Table's Jacques Pépin Collection

Sep 7, 2018

Above: Francis Lam and Managing Producer Sally Swift with Jacques Pépin at his home-studio kitchen.

Jacques Pépin has long been a friend of The Splendid Table. As part of our recent episode in which Francis Lam visited the legendary chef in his own home, we gathered a collection of episodes, stories and recipes that Jacques has been a part of or shared with us over the years.

Episodes:

Imagine spending a day with a living legend at his home and being lucky enough to join him in the kitchen for a one-on-one cooking lesson. That's what happened when Francis Lam visited Jacques Pépin for an in-depth conversation about his years and experiences working in kitchens around the world. After their conversation, the two went to Pépin's kitchen to make a wonderful dish of gravlax.

As we near the end of summertime, we have two things on our mind: watermelon and tomatoes. Thankfully, Vivian Howard is right there with us. Vivian is a terrific chef, author of a best-selling cookbook Deep Run Roots, and the star of the PBS show A Chef’s Life. But most importantly, she’s a Southern cook with a lot of ideas for cooking with these summer beauties.

It may not seem obvious at first, but the pollination prowess of bees affects much of what, how and why we eat. And it goes far beyond honey served from a jar. Thor Hanson is a biologist and author of the book Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees. Francis Lam talked with Hanson about the importance of bees and honey to not only our food supply, but their greater connection to the evolution of both plants and humans.

When we started thinking about big cooking projects for our Project Cooking episode, one of the first people that came to mind was Rodney Scott, the pitmaster and owner of Rodney Scott's Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina. Scott's specialty is whole hog barbecue.

It’s funny to think that many of the things we take for granted are relatively new concepts, like having your own oven in your own kitchen. In some societies, even today, whole villages might share a single oven that someone fires up, and everyone brings their bread to bake or their stews to braise. The idea of community ovens has also taken hold in towns across America. Artist and school librarian Jennifer Burton wanted to see what having a communal oven might do for her town of Johnson, Vermont. So, last year she helped build one in a public square.

Enter to win Slow Fires by Justin Smillie

Aug 1, 2018

August 2018 Giveaway

Let’s be honest, not all of us are breakfast people. On one end of the spectrum you have dull, bland cereals or oatmeal. On the other end you have sweet pastries, fruit or juices. No, thanks! Maybe our breakfast needs some influence from lunch and dinner. Alison Roman is a cook, writer and the author of Dining In, a book in which she promotes the idea of making more savory breakfasts. She talks with contributor Shauna Sever about the steps to this more satisfying breakfast experience.

Considering that Mexico is one of the spiritual homelands for high-quality chili peppers, it’s unfortunate to see that in Mexican restaurants in the U.S. chiles rellenos, the dish where the pepper is the star, is often underappreciated and poorly executed. Bricia Lopez wants to change that. She and her family own Guelaguetza in Los Angeles, which has been called the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country. Host Francis Lam says they make the greatest chiles rellenos he’s ever had.

Photo: Chili peppers growing on a farm in rural Thailand.

Playing with fire: new barbecue recipes from Michael Symon

Jul 2, 2018

Michael Symon is a renowned chef, especially notable in the world of grilling and smoked meats for his boldly flavored recipes. In his new book Michael Symon's Playing with Fire, Symon combines a lifetime of barbecue obsession with his experience running a barbecue kitchen to improve and inspire your home smoking.

Photo: Cristina Martinez and Francis Lam with the full spread
of barbacoa, salsa, and accompaniments at El Compadre.

The Andes hold the heart of Peruvian food

Jun 15, 2018

Photo: Fruit market in the streets of Cusco, a town in the Peruvian Andes.

Anthony Bourdain remembered in his own words

Jun 8, 2018

The Splendid Table was saddened to learn this morning that Anthony Bourdain, a dear friend of the show and an inspiration to adventurous food lovers around the world, had passed away. It’s no secret that Tony was one of retired host Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s favorite guests; she welcomed a conversation with him any time schedules aligned. They chatted multiple times over the years, tracing Tony’s progression from bad boy chef to author to television star.

Cucumbers are a key flavor and ingredient for summertime cooking. While we generally think of them sliced or diced, the folks at America's Test Kitchen have a new strategy: smash them! Managing Producer Sally Swift talks with Elle Simone, food stylist and on-screen test cook for America's Test Kitchen, about this new -- dare we say fun -- method. Try your hand at smashing cukes with this America's Test Kitchen recipe for Smashed Cucumbers.

Summertime grilling guide from The Splendid Table

May 24, 2018

The summer grilling season is upon us. It's that wonderful time of year when our grills are filled with the sound of fires crackling and the aromas of cooked meat and vegetables. We've collected some of our favorite recipes from A Summertime Grilling Guide from The Splendid Table to inspire your backyard barbecues. They include meats, veggies, sauces, sides, beverages and desserts - everything you need for grilling fun in the summer sun.

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