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Splendid Table-NPR

I have listened to this programs for years, mainly because it comes on during times that I am on my way to here or there. Today I was driving around and listening to Lynn Rostteo Casper talk to the author of United States of Arugula, to the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand, and to the Sterns. I am thinking, holy cow, this is a pretty broad swath of people! The amazing part to me was how well she was able to paint a picture with her own words and the way she coaxes words out of her guests, especially impressive since its radio, nothing visual involved except in our minds. She is able to feed that fertile source of imagery by her words, not an easy task. Just thought I'd mention that since I rarely see any comments on her and her program and I am sick of bashing FN. Its fuutile, but it does make me feel better after I do it.

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  1. Thanks for that - reminds to see if she is on the air in the NYC area - I keep thinking she must be, but never seem to catch the show.

    Edit - well, I'm not crazy - she's not on in the Manhattan area, unfortunately:


    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      You can always podcast the show.

      1. re: KTinNYC

        or stream it online, I believe.

        I agree with the OP. Lynne Rossetto Kasper really has a wonderful way with words. Her two books, "The Splendid Table," and The Italian Country Table," are among the most food-spotted in my collection.

        1. re: ChefJune

          And if you've never read "The Italian Country Table", bring a hankie to her introduction, about going to her cousin's farm in Italy for the wine grape harvest. Quite simply, it is one of the finest pieces of storytelling I've ever seen. That's what makes Kasper's stuff good, on radio and on the page. She is an outstanding storyteller. We love the show, and the weekly "Weeknight Kitchen" newsletter available by email.

    2. Thanks to a writeup here, I've subscribed to her podcast (you can burn a CD if you don't have a player, or listen online). Excellent show.

      1. I caught her today, and try to whenever my Sunday afternoons allow. My gosh was her description of that polenta amazing or what?! I've always wondered how the call-in segment works though. Does she have all those amazing ideas completely off the cuff or does she have a heads up and is able to come up with answers/ ideas before addressing the caller live on air?

        6 Replies
        1. re: enbell

          we heard that polenta description too! I was wishing we had a pen in the car to right it all down...sounded delicious and now I'll be craving polenta all week!

          We enjoy her show a lot....and try to listen every week.

          1. re: enbell

            I believe that if you call the Splendid Table phone #, you're asked to leave a message outlining your question, and if the staff likes it you'll get a return call from a producer so you can amplify your request, arrange to be available to have your call recorded for the broadcast, etc. The producers and Lynne are then able to work up notes for her answer before she actually speaks to you. Car Talk uses the same method (hope this doesn't disillusion any Click & Clack fans).

            I often see Lynne shopping at my local food co-op. I've been known to trail her at a discreet distance and buy the same seasonal produce that goes into her basket. I figure she knows what's at its peak. <grin>

            1. re: mcgeary

              Thank you for the insight, it makes sense - especially with mechanical issues (now if only I could figure out those puzzlers!) Oh my gosh I would totally try and stalk her if she were in our co-op, but there's no way I'd manage to be as tactiful as you :)

              1. re: mcgeary

                Why don't you just speak to her? LIke Julia was, she is very approachable.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Garrison Keillor also lives in this neighborhood, so we are all well trained not to make eye contact with local celebrities. tee hee! No, actually, if I found myself checking out the kale with her I'd likely say something small-talky, just as I would to any other fellow shopper, but my natural inclination as an introvert is to leave the woman alone to get her shopping done.

                2. re: mcgeary

                  i've also seen her at farmer's markets locally.

              2. Great post. I just adore, Lynn Rosetto Casper. Not many people could pull of a cooking show on the radio and make it so wonderfully interesting.

                For those hounds that don't know, you can listen to many of her shows as they are available to stream from her website.

                1. ...and you can sign up for newsletters as well. I get one once a week with a lovely idea/recipe for a midweek meal.

                  1. I try to listen to her also, in the twin cities she is on Sunday at 6:00 am and for some reason I rarely sleep that late so I will lie in bed and listen. If I do sleep through it I listen to her podcast. I love her weekly guests the Sterns, what a great job they have! I also like when she has Christopher Kimball on since he is also one of my favorites. I get her weekly email and have tried several of her recipes and liked them.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: russban

                      Sunday at 6 am? Hardly prime time. For some reason I thought she was based in MSP. She truly is a gem. I love her voice, love her guests, love her topics.

                      1. re: southernitalian

                        She's on twice in MSP: Saturday at 2:00p and Sunday at 6:00a.

                        My favorite is that she also does a special show on Thanksgiving day called Turkey Confidential. The Sterns, Christopher Kimball, Mario Batali, and a famous wine guy I should remember the name of but can't, were the guests this year. But the best part are the regular folks calling in because the turkey fell off the grill and rolled down a hill or some such other disaster (runny pecan pie) and need help NOW! It's a lot of fun and to me it wouldn't be Thanksgiving if I wasn't doing the cooking with Lynne on the radio. It usually airs on numerous public radio stations around the country.

                        1. re: AmandaAnn

                          Josh Wesson is her wine expert. He has a great voice too. I also love her cheese guy.

                      2. Oh, and don't forget that you can listen to the live streaming of other public radio stations if they air Splendid Table at a more convenient time for you. Sometimes I do this anyway because I like hearing the weather report this time of year for, you know, Miami, instead of Minnesota.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AmandaAnn

                          Gads. How did I miss this post? LRC/Splendid Table is the reason I am awake at 6 am on a Sunday (yeah - Sat. afternoons are just waaaay too nuts for the first broadcast). Great show. Nice lineup of guests. Nice(!!) bumper music, even. Sheesh - food talk while I'm sprawling in bed, warm and relaxed? What's not to like? We often plan our Sunday eats around the discussion.

                          If you don't get this show in your market, do try the podcast from the link soupkitten posted above.

                          Our favorite is still Stump The Cook with Chris Kimball - hilariousness.

                          Proud to be an MPR person,

                        2. I'm not in Minnesota, though I get to travel to Minneapolis for a coffee conference in May (will be looking for recs on the Midwest board soon)....but I LOVE Lynne Rosetto Kasper and The Splendid Table. On Jan 24's show, a caller asked Lynne what her last meal would be and she went on for about 5-10 full minutes describing every course so luxuriously (from simple tomatoes to more complex dishes) that I was practically on the floor with hunger when she finished.

                          I try to reserve my Sunday evenings at 6:30 just for the show, but I'm newly addicted to the free podcast on iTunes where I can download and listen to her shows whenever the mood (or free time) strikes.

                          Glad to see her show discussed here!!

                          1. for those in the msp area, there will be a live splendid table broadcast at the fitzgerald theater on april 3rd:

                            from the mpr website
                            Minnesota Public Radio presents the release of The Splendid Table’s new book “How to Eat Supper” at The Fitzgerald Theater on Thursday, April 3rd at 7:00 p.m. Lynne Rossetto-Kasper, host of American Public Media's "The Splendid Table®" radio show, celebrates the publication of "How to Eat Supper," co-written by Rossetto-Kasper and Sally Swift of the Splendid Table team. A favorite of foodies everywhere, Kasper will nourish the mind as well as the stomach — there will be food and drink, as is only appropriate.

                            Just when you thought the last thing the world needed was another book on weeknight cooking, along comes an entirely fresh take on the subject. As they do on their weekly show, host Lynne Rossetto Kasper and producer Sally Swift approach their topic with attitude and originality, making The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper one of the most engaging cookbooks of this or any other year.

                            For more than twenty years, James Beard Award winner Lynne Rossetto Kasper has been recognized as one of America’s leading food authorities, commentators, and cultural historians. Her column, Ask the Splendid Table, is distributed to more than four hundred newspapers across the nation. Her first cookbook, The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food, was named Book of the Year by both the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. This is her third cookbook. Sally Swift is a twenty-year veteran of television and radio, and is co-creator and managing producer of The Splendid Table. This is her first cookbook.

                            All tickets are $15.00. Minnesota Public Radio members receive a discount.

                            it's a ticketmaster joint, or get your tix from "the fitz" as they say on mpr :)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: soupkitten

                              I heard about this the other day on MPR and it sounds like a lot of fun! If you have never been to "The Fitz", it's a neat place to go and see a performance. I've had the pleasure of seeing Prairie Home Companion there several times and The Splendid Table should be great there also. I am also really looking forward to the release of her new cookbook. I have been getting her weekly Weeknight Kitchen email for some time now and have used several of her recipes successfully so I expect to find a lot of ideas from the book. Last year before the super bowl she had a recipe for super bowl wings that are so great my kids have never let me even try another recipe for wings since.

                            2. I love her radio program, although I rarely catch it since it's on in the early Sunday afternoon. I saw her new cookbook in the store and bought it, but I have to say that I am very disappointed - most of the recipes sound awful. Has anyone else bought the book? Tried any of the recipes?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: akq

                                I subscribe to the podcast, usually burn a CD to play in the car. Works any time!

                                1. re: akq

                                  I have the book and have made about 5 of the recipes and haven't found a bad one yet. While I really enjoy her radio show, sometimes I feel is a bit too "gourmet" for my tastes in food, but I enjoy listening to her storytelling skills as well as her very interesting guests. Her new book really seems to bring a new vigor and interest to my cooking, giving me ideas on how to cook interesting and flavorful food for weeknight suppers, which frankly have been way too busy and have killed some of my love for cooking. It is the only "cookbook" that I have ever read from cover to cover.

                                2. One thing I love about the radio show: When she has somebody in with samples of the food they make / grow / other. You can almost taste the food with the little satisfactory noises she makes!

                                  1. We don't get her here in Chicago, but I plan to listen in over the net. Sounds like a show I would enjoy and as a longtime NPR member, I will bug WBEZ to add it. I mean, Chicago is a food town, and it would be a hit here. I saw her book, Splendid Table, and I thought it was interesting and amusing. Sunday afternoon here has a gaping void; she should fill it.

                                    1. Well this reminder is a little last minute, but don't forget to listen to the Splendid Table's Thanksgiving show tomorrow, Turkey Confidential: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: AmandaAnn

                                        I absolutely love her show. I download it and listen on my Ipod. But I think I'll try burning a cd for my car. That's a great idea!

                                      2. Might as well revive an old thread for this...

                                        Did anybody listen to The Splendid Table this weekend (http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/...)? I always enjoy the program but was a little surprised by the review of a Mexican restaurant, as if today in America it is difficult to find a small, authentic, Mexican dive. Do people in the suburbs not know that there are delicious Mexican / Salvadoran places everywhere now?

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                                          I haven't yet listened to the most recent episode of Splendid Table. That is, by far, my favorite food-related show in ANY medium. I put the episodes on my iPod and listen to them while I'm driving. No, I should say I SAVOR them. I only listen when I'm alone, so I won't be disturbed by passengers, and when I'm driving a distance that will allow me to hear the entire program. I have two rationed episodes waiting to be played; it's not unlike eagerly anticipating a yummy meal at my favorite restaurant.

                                          As for small, authentic Mexican restaurants -- I can't speak to how plentiful they are in other places, but here in southeastern PA, some of the greatest finds are in the small, nondescript taquerias that dot the landscape in and around Kennett Square. Not only are the restaurants great -- so are the small Mexican grocery stores.

                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                            The original idea behind Road Food (I used their book in the late 1980s) was to find the best of regional foods, not necessarily places that are unique. There is a road foods website with reviews and a forum. A lot of the forum discussions resemble regional discussions here.

                                            I made on trip into Appalachia with the RF book in hand. At one place in Virginia the waitress knew right off that we were guided by this book - from the things we ordered.

                                          2. re: GraydonCarter

                                            The review was part of the Road Food segment on every week. The couple recommends places to eat regional specialities. Some places they review are more unique/interesting than others, but I quite enjoy the segment.
                                            I live in Toronto, it is not the US, delicious Mexican/Salvadorian food isn't everywhere. These places need be sought out.

                                            1. re: cookiebaker

                                              Okay, I'll grant that Canadians are excluded. Even Toronto, as multicultural as it is, has a low Mexicano Canadienses population.

                                          3. Phaedrus, have you seen the movie "Tower Heist" yet? There is a nice inclusion of Splendid Table in it. I think you'd be tickled.

                                            1 Reply