Welcome to The Dinner Party Download – a fast and funny hour of culture, food and conversation designed to help you “win” your weekend dinner parties. In every episode you’ll learn a joke… bone up on an odd bit of history and then wash it down with a themed cocktail recipe… meet an artist of note (say, Spike Lee or Willie Nelson)… have your burning etiquette questions answered by the likes of Dick Cavett or Henry Rollins… savor an emerging food trend… and hear your new favorite song. Plus, unconventional wisdom from hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam.
Where to Find Us
The Dinner Party Download airs weekly on more than 125 public radio stations (see all) across the USA, including Southern California, Philadelphia, Seattle, Houston, Detroit and The Twin Cities. The podcast is consistently ranked as one of the top culture shows on iTunes. The show is produced by American Public Media, the company behind A Prairie Home Companion. Millions of other folks know Brendan and Rico from their work on the popular public radio shows Marketplace and Take Two, where they dish out dinner party talking points. They’ve also appeared on the The Splendid Table, public radio’s top food show; on TV shows like Top Chef: Masters, Last Call With Carson Daly and Rocco’s Dinner Party; in The Los Angeles Times; and in the design magazine Dwell. Listen here:
Your Hosts and Party Planners
RICO GAGLIANO has worked in public radio for over a decade. His pieces have been heard on All Things Considered, Weekend America, The Savvy Traveler and other series, but he’s best known as a reporter on Marketplace, for which he filed stories from England, Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, India, South Korea and across the good ol’ USA. He also penned and performed many of the show’s “Marketplace Players” comedy sketches. Prior to radio, Rico worked as a TV writer on shows for MTV, ABC, Fox Family and The Cartoon Network… and as a freelance print reporter for LA Weekly, the Village Voice, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and others. Rico holds an MFA from the American Film Institute. He’s been a fan of dinner parties since childhood, when it meant he got to eat in his parents’ bedroom and watch TV all night while the grownups sat around in the dining room getting wine-tipsy.
BRENDAN NEWNAM, a native of Philadelphia, PA, now anchors the New York end of our transcontinental party. Before working for the national public radio programs Marketplace, Marketplace Money and Weekend America, he was a freelance radio reporter and he freelanced domestically and abroad for various publications. He worked for three years as an associate producer for a local arts program at WRTI in Philadelphia and prior to that he was the staff researcher at the national public radio program Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Newnam holds a B.A. in English Literature from Rutgers University, where he graduated with high honors and he holds (and still pays for) a J.D. from Temple Law School where he was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. He enjoys eating decadently, engaging in spirited debate and writing pop songs.
JACKSON MUSKER wears many party hats. He calligraphs and hand-delivers invitations to our Guests of Honor. He folds napkins into endangered species for our Main Courses (to raise awareness). And he serves as the test subject for every cocktail, which is an issue on Deadline Friday. Jackson landed his associate producer position after reporting/producing stories for L.A.’s beloved arts & culture show Off-Ramp. Prior to his radio gigs, he studied English at Duke University, and double-minored in History and North Carolina-style BBQ. Jackson enjoys writing fiction, teaching kids, critiquing movies, butchering other languages, and bemoaning the Dodgers’ annual collapse. He has contributed to NPR’s Morning Edition, The California Report, the San Francisco Bay Citizen, and Cyberfrequencies.com.
MICHELLE PHILIPPE loves bite-sized dinner party food and doesn’t talk with her mouth full. Which is really important when she’s narrating our “History Lesson with Booze” segment. In addition to telling you what happened this week in history for DPD, she tells you what’s coming up tomorrow in the “Marketplace Datebook.” Michelle, herself, tries to live in the moment. She does that as an actor. And until she lands her dream job playing an evil alien space queen, she considers herself lucky to have a pretty cool job at Marketplace. Though she doesn’t have the proper wardrobe for it, Michelle is also an amateur gardener. She grows tomatoes which she loves to eat and which her husband loves to compost.
Here’s a small sample of what bloggers and tastemakers around the world are saying about The Dinner Party Download:
“One of the top 40 reasons to live in America.” (Wallpaper magazine)
“This podcast has become our secret weapon at parties and events where we know there will be a lot of mingling. In fact, we weren’t sure we wanted to share it with you because then you’d know where we’ve been getting all our jokes and clever stories! But no, this podcast is too good to keep to ourselves. (Apartment Therapy)
Rico and Brendan named one of 2011′s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under” (Food and Wine Magazine)
“After the first 20 seconds, I was hooked. Literally 20 seconds… The show is a highly produced and brilliantly fast-paced … Dinner Party Download, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” (Public Radio Redux)
“…Could be considered the icebreaker that helped public radio loosen up.” (The Los Angeles Times)
“This is possibly our current #1 favorite podcast…full of fascinating short factual segments plus an impressive interview lineup with cool musicians, authors, actors, directors, etc.” (Goop)
“These guys are good.” (Dick Cavett)
“Even more tips for all those kuntoilijoille cuisine, of which the home computer seems to exiting too painful: The Dinner Party Download the joy of serving illallispöytään. Housewife or the landlord needs only to cook, as this amusing podcast handle jokes, topics, and drinkkireseptit for you.” (Someone in Finland – translated by Firefox browser)