Episode 229: The 2013 All-Food Episode

circa 1955: Piping cassoulet served with a platter of salad, bread, butter, cheese and cherry sorbet for dessert. (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)

Thanksgiving is kind of a national dinner party, so we wanted to bring our contribution: an ALL-FOOD EPISODE of the show. We know it comes a day late, but everybody loves leftovers, right?  Lidia Bastianich on freedom food… Michael Pollan’s kosher barbecue … The Arctic Monkeys play a little dinner music … Eddie Huang vs. mac and cheese …  dining like a “Mad Men” man… hunting the planet’s rarest fruits … musician Todd Snider with a taste(ful) joke … the Presidential Suite of cheeses … and we breathe in the fresh salt air – of Manhattan.


A Taste(ful) Folk Joke


Singer-songwriter Todd Snider kicks the night off with a joke.

The Mother of All Appetizers

Small Talk

This week's small talk is about some big food. Our friend Richard Lawson - currently with Atlantic Wire, just named the new Hollywood columnist for Vanity Fair - pops in to talk about a new mutant food.

The Mammoth Cheese and The Berkshire Localmotive

A History Lesson With Booze ®

Back in 1801, the Baptists of Cheshire, MA celebrated Thomas Jefferson's Presidency by making him a very special gift of congratulations: a 1,200 pound wheel of cheese.

Retro Restaurants to Remember

Main Course

Author and nightlife historian Peter Moruzzi toured America’s remaining examples of old school, wood-paneld fine dining to write his new book “Classic Dining: Discovering Mid-Century Restaurants.”

Lidia Bastianich's Etiquette Answers Save You From Dining Sins


Lidia Bastianich is an Italian-American food star whose new PBS special, “Lidia Celebrates America: Freedom & Independence” debuts on June 28th. The special sees her taking a special road trip across the country, with stops in the kitchens of folks from a multitude of cultures. She talks with us about border-crossing cuisine, expanding palates, and cutting a cake with the Holy Father.

Eddie Huang Learns to Eat, American-Style


Eddie Huang is the restaurateur behind New York's popular bun shop BaoHaus. He also hosts the Vice TV series "Fresh Off the Boat," an irreverent take on food and assimilation which shares a title with his recent memoir. In the excerpt from his book he shared with us, Eddie takes us back to his first ‘All-American’ dinner.

Urban Salt Mines in the Sky

Main Course

When Sarah Sproule realized that much of New York City's sea salt was shipped in from hundreds of miles away, she decided to make her own - locally - on the roof of a building in Midtown Manhattan.

Filmmaker Yung Chang peels back the layers of 'fruit hunting'

Chattering Class

Fruit hunters are people who love fruit. And by love we mean they are completely obsessed. Yung Chang directed the documentary Fruit Hunters, and he knows first hand the love of a diverse 'magical' berry or a stinky, spiky fruit.

Michael Pollan's Elementary Approach to Cooking

Main Course

The famed food writer talks about baking anxiety, the dark side of cheese, and crackerjacks - and why we are because we cook.

Arctic Monkeys Serve up a Hot Soundtrack, Cool Pudding


Britrock superstars Acrtic Monkeys cook up a multi-course dinner party playlist, complete with dessert recipe.