Podcasts We’re Diggin’: The Splendid Table

Calling all foodies…this week’s pick is especially for you.

The Splendid Table“, is a podcast series that covers “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.” It all started back in 1994 when Lynne Rossetto Kasper released her wildly popular book, The Splendid Table, which was the recipient of the prestigious James Beard award and the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year award, an unprecedented accomplishment in the publishing world. It was then that Kasper and a fellow foodie, Sally Swift, decided to develop a live call-in radio show to discuss anything and everything regarding food.

While Kasper has since retired from her position as the host of “The Splendid Table”, the podcast continues to grow in popularity. “The Splendid Table” is a pinnacle in the culinary world “thanks largely to the amazing passion and culinary contributions of Lynne [Roseetto Kasper].” Tune in every Friday [and sometimes Tuesday] for new episodes.

Meet The [NEW] Host

Photo credit: Public Radio Tulsa

In 2018, Francis Lam was named the new host of “The Splendid Table” podcast series. Lam has big shoes to fill, but he seems to be more than prepared. Lam is a former restaurant cook and culinary school graduate as well as an award-winning food writer. He’s even one of the highly respected judges on Bravo’s hit show Top Chef Masters

According to the podcast’s website, Lam plans to utilize “The Splendid Table” to bring listeners a “modern, multicultural weekly snapshot of the food world”. Lam sees the value in incorporating the stories behind the food we love, since it says a lot about who we really are.

Food is a catalyst for conversation and experiences.

Featured Episode: Landing [and Cooking] the Perfect Fish

Sprinkled into the standard series schedule are episodes called Splendid Table Selects. These episodes highlight the “top hits” interviews that “The Splendid Table” team wants to revisit being that they are too good to only feature once. Russ Parsons, a Splendid Table contributor, guest hosts this week’s Splendid Table Selects interview featuring Michael Cimarusti. Cimarusti is co-owner and chef for the prestigious LA restaurant Providence as well as the “king of Southern California seafood”. His advice on “chefing” up a fish dish and clam chowder is some the best you’ll ever receive.

In addition to giving a crash course in the art of cooking a fabulous seafood meal, Michael Cimarusti talks about the strategy behind achieving that “bon appetite” moment. Cimarusti is extremely particular about the type of fish they choose so he provides some helpful resources on how the listener can also obtain the perfect catch. It’ll make you think twice before recklessly purchasing fish from the regular grocery store!

Why You Should Listen

Food is more than just something to eat. Sharing special moments with others and enjoying the flavors of good food are some of the happiest times we have in life. Whether it’s a five course meal with a wine pairing or simply takeout Chinese, food is a catalyst for conversation and experiences. Food also a window into history and culture, which is why “The Splendid Table” brings something unique to the podcast world. The stories behind why street food all started or how restaurant communities are built, for example, bring light to how food is so influential in society. Food will stand the test of time, and “The Splendid Table” praises this fact through its compelling interviews and storytelling.

How To Find It

Visit The Splendid Table website for recipes, stories, and the full archive of podcast episodes!

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Sam Schafer

Storyteller - Spotify peruser - Traveler Instagram: @sam_schafer27