Episodes
TikTok is the wild west of the food media world. It’s less professionalized than Instagram and YouTube, and it holds the promise of virality from the very first time you post. So we wondered: What actually makes a food TikTok go viral? To find out, we consult Bettina Makalintal, a food journalist and culture critic, and Professor Emily Contois, who studies food on Instagram. Then we get advice from a TikTok star: Joanne Lee Molinaro, aka The Korean Vegan. Armed with tips and tricks from the...
Published 11/29/21
TikTok is the wild west of the food media world. It’s less professionalized than Instagram and YouTube, and it holds the promise of virality from the very first time you post. So we wondered: What actually makes a food TikTok go viral?
Published 11/29/21
The Library of Congress is the biggest library in the world. It has 500,000 food books alone. A  library with that many books has a lot of librarians, with expertise in just about every region, culture, and period of history you can think of. Since 1949, the library’s cooking club has drawn on that diversity of knowledge to bring together foods from all over the world. But by the 2000s, the club had lost steam and was nearly defunct. Could librarian LaVerne Page and database specialist...
Published 11/22/21
The Library of Congress is the biggest library in the world. It has 500,000 food books alone. A library with that many books has a lot of librarians, with expertise in just about every region, culture, and period of history you can think of.
Published 11/22/21
“So often when we talk about veganism, we don't imagine Black people,” says Bryant Terry, the James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, chef, and educator. But Bryant sees veganism as deeply rooted in Black communities and traditions. And, he points out, veganism is growing faster among Black Americans than among any other group. After publishing another popular vegan cookbook last year, Bryant just released a new book that he edited: Black Food, which includes recipes, playlists, art,...
Published 11/15/21
“So often when we talk about veganism, we don't imagine Black people,” says Bryant Terry, the James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, chef, and educator. But Bryant sees veganism as deeply rooted in Black communities and traditions. And, he points out, veganism is growing faster among Black Americans than among any other group.
Published 11/15/21
We’re back with the latest on cascatelli, the new pasta shape that Dan invented. Now that the chaos around cascatelli’s launch has died down, Dan has to make some big decisions about what to do next — with help from his cousin Carrie and die maker Chris Maldari. Then while Sfoglini upgrades their factory and tries to get the pasta into stores and restaurants, Dan explores other opportunities. Can he land the kind of deal he’s hoping for? Plus: Dan puts his mom to work developing recipes for...
Published 11/08/21
We’re back with the latest on Cascatelli, the new pasta shape that Dan invented. Now that the chaos around Cascatelli’s launch has died down, Dan has to make some big decisions about what to do next — with help from his cousin Carrie and die maker Chris Maldari.
Published 11/08/21
Patti LaBelle is not just a music icon, she’s also a food icon. She’s written best-selling cookbooks, hosted a food TV show, and even cooked for Elton John, The Rolling Stones, and Prince. Back in July, she released the 20th anniversary edition of her first cookbook, LaBelle Cuisine. She talks with Dan about touring the segregated South in the ‘60s, the viral video that made her sweet potato pie a Walmart sensation, and the one recipe in her cookbook that’s perfect for women going through...
Published 11/01/21
Published 11/01/21
Pati Jinich has always had to move between worlds — as a Jew growing up in Mexico, and as a Mexican immigrant to the US, where she first worked as a policy analyst. “It wasn’t until I switched to cooking,” she tells us this week, “that I was finally able to make sense of all the pieces of myself.” Since that transition she’s spent a decade documenting Mexico’s vast and varied food cultures in her cookbooks, and on her PBS show Pati’s Mexican Table, which is watched by more than 65 million...
Published 10/25/21
A few months back, we got an email that set us off on an adventure. It came from Sara Bir, an author and recipe developer who’s obsessed with pawpaws, the largest fruit native to North America. “Pawpaws are tricky in the kitchen,” Sara wrote. “You can't buy them in stores. Occasionally they cause people to vomit. But pawpaws are truly beguiling, reminiscent of tropical fruit like mangoes and bananas.” With the help of her connections in the pawpaw dark web, Sara had identified one of the few...
Published 10/18/21
Stanley Tucci nearly broke the internet last year when he made a Negroni on Instagram. But long before that, the award-winning actor built his career around his love of food. He created the iconic food film Big Night, he’s written best-selling cookbooks, and he eats his way through Italy in a new CNN series. Now he’s released a memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food, which includes the revelation that a few years ago he battled oral cancer, which changed his relationship with food forever. He...
Published 10/11/21
In the last 15 years, Nashville hot chicken has become a hot trend. But for decades before that, hot chicken was well known among Nashville’s Black community. For generations, you could only get it at the place where it was invented: Prince’s Hot Chicken. Now with attention from the likes of Beyoncé and Guy Fieri, Prince’s has gone from being a neighborhood institution to a Nashville landmark — and many imitators have come along. Dan travels to Nashville and speaks with André Prince Jeffries,...
Published 10/04/21
Chef Joe Flamm grew up in a big Italian family, where there was always sauce bubbling on the stove. The rule of the house was: if you walked in the kitchen, you stirred the sauce. Since then Joe has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, won Season 15 of Top Chef, and now opened his first restaurant in Chicago, Rose Mary. It’s named after his two grandmothers and inspired by his Italian heritage. Like Dan, Joe has strong opinions about pasta, but he takes sauce just as seriously. Joe tells...
Published 09/30/21
Since we first had Padma Lakshmi on The Sporkful in 2016, a lot has changed — in the world, and for her. She’s become a vocal activist, speaking out on immigration and women’s rights, and sharing more of her own personal experience in the process. She created and hosts a food travel show, Taste the Nation, that looks at the immigrant experience through the lens of food. She’s also just published her first children’s book, Tomatoes for Neela, all while continuing to host Top Chef. This week...
Published 09/27/21
For two decades, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has been one of the most popular snacks in America. In recent years its legend has grown, as word spread that they were invented by Richard Montañez, a Mexican-American janitor at Frito-Lay who went on to become a company executive. The story made Montañez something of a Latino icon, with two memoirs and a soon-to-be-released biopic based on his life. But when a journalist at the L.A. Times started looking into this feel-good story, he found a very...
Published 09/20/21
Antoni Porowski wasn’t the obvious choice to be the food expert on Queer Eye — he’s not a chef and he has no formal culinary training. When the show debuted in 2018, many people asked, “Can this guy actually cook?” Not the most reassuring reaction for a person who already struggled with impostor syndrome. In the years since, he’s alternated between trying to prove his haters wrong, and trying to stop worrying about what others think. On the eve of his second cookbook coming out, where is he...
Published 09/13/21
Lindy West is a leading voice of the fat acceptance movement, a position that's earned her a lot of devoted fans — and a lot of enemies. Dan sits down with Lindy, author of the best seller Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, at a New York City diner, where they get into the issues that fat people face when eating in public. Lindy explains why she still feels the need to buy carrots at the grocery store when she’s picking up a cake, and discusses the assumptions strangers make when they see her...
Published 09/06/21
Jake Cohen didn’t care much about Jewish food when he went to culinary school and worked in high end restaurants. But when he met his future husband, Jake was introduced to the Middle Eastern Jewish recipes of his in-laws, like tahdig and kubbeh. Soon, he was mining his own family’s Eastern European Jewish recipes, and putting his spin on matzo ball soup and kasha varnishkes. Earlier this year Jake published his first cookbook, Jew-ish: Reinvented Recipes From A Modern Mensch, and he’s become...
Published 08/30/21
“Literally all pasta shapes are wonderful except bucatini. Bucatini can go get effed.” Francis Lam’s strongly-worded tweet inspired Dan to organize a live event in 2018, where he, Francis (host of The Splendid Table), and Evan Kleiman (host of Good Food) could debate the merits of various pasta shapes. It was called “The Bucatini Dialogues” — and yes, it was the night when Dan first announced his intention to invent a new pasta shape. But now, for the first time, we’re airing the rest of that...
Published 08/23/21
For the first 40 years of her life, Amy Pearl was a card-carrying member of the meat club; she literally had a credit card from the famous Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger. Then one day she ate a porterhouse steak, and nearly died. This week we join forces with our friends at Radiolab to tell the story of how Amy's mysterious allergy was identified by scientists. Plus, she tells us how the allergy has changed her relationship to food — and we find out if it’ll ever go away. // Get 500+ more...
Published 08/16/21
Does Ratatouille accurately portray restaurant critics? What’s the lamest food trope in cinema? And what’s Dan’s favorite eating scene from The Godfather? We’re talking food in movies this week, with Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman, hosts of the podcast Movie Therapy (Kristen also co-hosts the podcast By The Book). Plus we hear from listeners looking for food-related movie recommendations, and life advice. Like Katrina in Denmark, who’s considering giving up a career in healthcare to...
Published 08/09/21
Over the course of fifty years and a dozen books, Dr. Jessica B. Harris has uncovered the ways that West African food, and African American people, have fundamentally shaped American cuisine. In 2011, when she published her book High on the Hog, this idea had received little attention. Today it’s getting more recognition, including with a new Netflix series inspired by Dr. Harris’s book. We talk with her about her own journey in making these connections between West Africa and America, and...
Published 08/02/21
Comedian Nicole Byer hosts the cooking competition show Nailed It! on Netflix. It’s family-friendly, but that doesn’t stop her from deploying her raunchy humor with her co-host, the chocolatier Jacques Torres, when the cameras are off. Nicole talks with Dan about the parallels between a restaurant kitchen and comedy club, and why she makes her own favorite cake for her late mom’s birthday. And you’ll definitely want to be listening when Nicole sees a whole shrimp for the first time. // Get...
Published 07/26/21