The Big Listen ended production in May 2018. While this site is no longer updated, all the content remains available for archive purposes.
When food writer and former “Top Chef Masters” judge Francis Lam was a teenager, he poo-pooed lots of things. But never food. For as long as he can remember, Lam was obsessed with eating, whether it was fried noodles made by his Chinese immigrant parents or sloppy joes in the high school cafeteria.
So it made sense that Lam would make food his profession. He graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America and went on to have a successful career as a food writer, notably penning the Eat column for the The New York Times Magazine.
But recently, Lam changed direction slightly when he slipped into some big oven mitts belonging to Lynne Rossetto Kasper, the host of public radio’s long-running cooking show, The Splendid Table. When Rossetto Kasper announced her retirement, Lam was tapped as her replacement.
The Splendid Table is one of the most iconic public radio shows on the air. It is so famous that it inspired a “Saturday Night Live” spoof called The Delicious Dish, which you should really revisit if you’re a fan of public radio. And now the flambé torch has been passed to a new generation. So hold onto your tongs, kids — there’s a new cook in the kitchen.
What Else Is On This Week’s Show?
- The Slow Melt — Journalist Simran Sethi has traveled the globe reporting on chocolate. Yes, that’s a job. And lucky for cocoa lovers, she’s put her findings into a podcast all about the world of craft chocolate. From single origin to fair trade to inclusions (nuts and spices and other things added to chocolate), Sethi uncovers the hidden world of one of our favorite foods.
- Brunch Is Hell: How To Save The World By Throwing A Dinner Party — Over the years, The Dinner Party Download hosts Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano have become very well-versed in the art of entertaining. So much so that they recently wrote a book about it. And one thing they know for certain — brunch is the pits. In their book, the pair argues that we would be better humans if we all just threw dinner parties and ditched brunch altogether. If you agree, give their new read a looksie.
- James Beard Award-winning New York Times national food correspondent Kim Severson has loved television cooking shows since she was a kid — ”The Frugal Gourmet,” “The Galloping Gourmet” and any show featuring the legendary Julia Child. But recently she’s gotten a taste for food audio. Her favorite shows include The Splendid Table, Milk Street Radio, I Love You So Much and The Kitchen Sisters’ Hidden Kitchens series. For funsies, we asked Severson to review the International Worldwide Global Biscuit Review, a semi-serious podcast about cookies, which she found to be delectable.
- Very attractive listener recommendations: Mormon Stories and Blue Dawn
Do you have a podcast recommendation you’d like to share with us? We want to hear it! Give us a jingle on the Pod Line at 202-885-POD1 and leave a message. Then we’ll put you on the radio and you’ll be famous.
Thanks for listening, pals! ‘Til next time…keep listening, America.
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