The Splendid Table

Arts #26Food #5

The Splendid Table has always connected people through the common language of food and eating. Now with award-winning food journalist Francis Lam at the helm, we’re bringing forward even more fresh voices and surprising conversations at the intersection of food, people and culture – covering everything from the global appeal of sesame to the impact of Instagram on everyday eating. It’s a food show where everyone is welcome. Produced by American Public Media.

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Recent Reviews
  • scinti105
    The Wisdom of Choosing Francis !
    Just listened to 2hrs of Turkey Confidential the day after Thanksgiving… Francis Lam brings out the very best in each of his guests… I am an avid Lynn Rosetta Casper fan … Francis was & is the perfect person to continue the gift of The Splendid Table … Thank You so very much.
  • Niban #2dj
    Annoying giggle, too much sucking up. I understand he is trying to come out from Lynne’s shadow…problem is we miss Lynne and the show we loved and looked forward to so much. And stop the freakish giggle.
  • VoyageurSavant
    Needs Dynamic Revitalization
    At its height, this was a magazine show with both reliable segments (e.g., road food reports from Jane and Michael Stern, gear reviews from America’s Test Kitchen, and even a “Stump the Cook” game during the call-in portion) and a variety of interviews and correspondent reports on topics ranging from history to science to business to contemporary social and environmental concerns - all as they are related to food. As Lynne Rossetto Kasper edged toward retirement, however, the savory theme song changed to a guitar riff that was far less evocative of culinary resplendence, presaging the dissolution of the resplendence of the show itself as Frances Lam eased into the host seat. Today, the Splendid Table is more of an interview series that focuses on chefs and authors, often emphasizing either the challenges of demographic discrimination or the personal struggles of the interview subjects themselves, sacrificing opportunities to explore food from so many other angles. The result is now a boring show that marinades in the zeitgeist rather than introducing the audience to new ideas or concerns, and a show that sacrifices the potential for dynamic engagement by broadcasting repetitive interviews. Ultimately, I suspect this is the result of three factors: (1) indolence; (2) market pressure to focus on social trends; and (3) the decreasing budget of professional journalism. I am on the verge of ending my subscription, but I still hold out hope that Francis and the producers will find a way to return to the diverse range of topics and segments per episode that made this radio show so engaging to begin with.
  • Bnagrl
    Annoying host and guests
    This was, years ago, interesting. Now, it’s full of blasé conversation of self-absorbed host and guests full of fake praise and annoying chatter. It’s no longer a serious show.
  • Over70andstillrunning
    Francis’s soothing voice
    Love listening to The Splendid Table. Francis has such a kind comforting voice. I love the questions he asks, and how he interacts with his guests.
  • brentdsmith1
    Poor Francis
    He’s trying…however I have tried numerous times since he took over to understand where Minnesota Public Radio is going with this. Are your donations up? Has Francis increased listenership and enriched MPR? If he has, then you made the right decision and I’m just a 50 year old relic clinging to the past. If not, perhaps it’s time to admit your mistake and move on.
  • colliesrule
    I’ve really tried
    I’ve tried so hard to fall in love with this the way I loved Lynne. Not happening. This is really not a cooking show. It’s a show about chefs and culture, not a show for home cooks looking for ideas and solutions. I think I’m done.
  • Murderhornet1
    More homecooking, less restaurants
    This is supposed to be a show for avid home cooks but it is now constantly focused on chefs and restaurateurs. Can there please be more talk of actual recipes or ethnographic food stories rather than cooking professionals? I really liked the show on Persian cooking for example (the 3 dif POVs made it interesting!) Also it’s obvious Francis is uncomfortable giving advice on the fly to callers, maybe just cut the section or bring in a permanent cohost for that, cuz it’s painful for the listener. Milk Street radio and Good Food are now my preferred radio shows, but still hoping ST can step up its game. Edit: can npr give FL interview lessons? He constantly goes “uh huh, yeah, mhmm” and other stuff like that when the guest is talking, which is distracting. Maybe the editors can just cut it. He’s sooo bad at interviewing ppl he seems really flustered all the time.
  • Proffessional Homecook
    New episodes
    This show is getting boring. Are you ever going to do a new episode?
  • Kec009
    Francis Lam breathes new life
    If you haven’t listened since the days of LRC, it’s time to come home to the new Splendid Table. Francis is such a thoughtful, respectful, and curious host, and such a dear man. Perfect listen with your morning coffee.
  • Wubba
    Just found this podcast
    Clearly I’m late to this party…but this is a phenomenal listen.
  • Sophie 1936
    Amazing show!
    I love this show. Francis is such a kind, patient host. He asks great questions! The guests are always interesting and thoughtful. I’ve learned so much listening to this podcast and I recommend it to everyone I know.
  • molly lover
    Not good
    Not good
  • Lisa@1969
    June episode
    Enjoyed the interviews. Especially the Ronni Lundy one. I have Victuals. Love it!
  • Geeky Gourmand
    Tired & Downhill
    Can’t listen anymore. The show used to be interesting and have so much depth, now they repeat shows over and over, and when there is a new podcast, it’s typically with a chef who’s trying to hawk a book or restaurant.
  • zaza107
    Great when it is a new episode
    For the past couple of years this show really relies heavily on repeats - either whole shows or a cut and paste of old stories. A shame. The content is excellent
  • fuiluhfegfbyhjm
    Losing interest
    I have been hearing a lot of “repurposed” segments in the new format. It’s frustrating to get into a podcast on a commute only to realize that parts are reruns. And once again, a rerun. Cmon guys. Time to get a crew that can produce weekly content Another rerun today!!!!! I think I’m done. There are dozens of food podcasts and I’m going shopping.
  • alv2424222
    They only do the call in questions when it’s convenient or....
    ....Or they have less content for the week. I miss Lynn. It was more consistent.
  • anonymous reviewer _ 13
    It’s not what it used to be
    I understand the new host wanted to leave his mark, but now the show is more about social impacts and cultural roots. I miss the days when this was a show about food and cooking. Not a bad show, just not my cup of tea anymore.
  • Tannaaaaaa
    Always Reruns!
    How is every show a rerun?? At least, that’s what it feels like. I enjoy listening when it’s a new episode, but I feel that is rare.
  • Mmmmmhm!
    Great show
    Extremely informative and relaxing!!
  • oregonpeach
    I look forward to this show every week
    I always loved the show and I love it even more with Francis. I learn so much about the cultures of the world, and I am always inspired to cook something new or an old favorite.
  • Skeeter64
    Cannot wait for new episodes
    This is a great show. Food, sure. Getting to listen to some of my favorite people, yes. Learning about the relationship of food and culture, absolutely. And done brilliantly in a calm, sweetly personal way.
  • 🍒Vivian🍒(Who loves Tumble)
    Good. Of course, listening to this podcast without eating is impossible.
  • trillionshelper
    Tried your podcast and it is good....Until it came to people eating with loud crunching of food——gross. Does anyone actually enjoy listening to people eating loudly????? Not me. A shame as otherwise I would be a listener .
  • Cordy Hobbes
    Chinese takeout for dinner tonight!!
    Inspired by today’s episode with Grace Young to order takeout from our local Chinese restaurant. I have fond memories of visiting Chinatown in Los Angeles in the 1960s with, in San Francisco as a young adult on the 1980s and Washington, DC when I lived in Annapolis in the early 2000s. Looking forward to dinner tonight!
    My favorite shows!
    The Grace Young show was amazing and hilarious. I learned so much. This episode ranks up with the Dad episode (so good!) and another show Francis did with young Chinese chefs.
  • NanyaS
    If you listen to one food show, make it this one
    One of my favourite shows out there. Consistently informative, culturally sensitive, positive, and just really fun to listen to! Highly recommend for food nerds and non-nerds. Francis is such a joy to listen to and you’ll learn something new every single time.
  • lyzzardwyzzard
    This show
    It’s so naturally heartfelt, thoughtful, humble and informative. Total home run. Definitely a bright light in ‘20. Thank you, and Sean Brock episode ⚡️was perfect.
  • Jawwal40
    Sometimes good and interesting, often frustrating. Neither F.L. or Ina Garten can give a thoughtful answer how to use different oils, really??? How about at least suggesting to taste and think about what would go with or find out smoking point to see if it’s good for high heat cooking?
  • Emmagracestone
    an essentially different show
    I’ve been listening to splendid table for about ten years and have left my subscription all these years since Francis took over, but I’m officially past enjoying the new show. I really want to like it! I’m sorry! The content has been much less varied to me for some time, the whole variety show aspect when Lynn has regular contributors and a variety of topics to consider and discuss. The best part for me is the call in section and I can’t rely on that either. I learned much more when listening to Lynne and enjoyed listening. I’m afraid I don’t anymore. I listen to the archives often and they are still awesome all these years later. It seems like it’s also become the Francis/David Chang/Melissa Clark show, which for someone who is tired of seeing Melissa Clark’s recipes and voice all over the Nytimes doesn’t leave much room for appeal. I moved onto milk street 💔 for which I am grateful
  • jerzepi
    Francis won me over
    Die-hard Lynne fan here. I was heartbroken when she retired, and I was at once wanna-be-supportive of Francis and skeptical when he was announced as the new host. I have to say that Francis has made this show his own. As a parent of a young child, I especially love how he brings his own experiences as a parent into the show. I still miss Lynne and her marvelous laugh and warmth, but I love Francis’s flavor of Splendid Table just as much. The most recent “Welcoming the Holidays with Ina Garten” is perhaps my favorite episode so far. Francis’s candor and humanity is just what we need as we close out 2020.
  • eonc12345
    A new enthusiasm
    For the first year, Francis embraces Turkey Confidential! Love this year’s show and love Francis. I’m a faithful listener since Lynne started the show. Glad turkey confidential now has a level of enthusiasm similar to Lynne’s past shows and to Francis’ regular weekly shows. Thanks, Francis.
  • Food admirer
    Listen if you’re a foodie
    I learn so much every time I listen. Francis’ voice is so soothing. His laugh is infectious and uplifting. He seamlessly carries on conversations with his intriguing guests. I love the show and listening to Francis Lam. He’s a critical thinker, articulate, and a storyteller.
  • wileymcc
    Julia Award winners
    One of best episodes ever
    Soul food for the Californian!
    I just listened to the show about Chinese American food. Couldn’t put it down! Inspiring! Chinese American. And Cal Mex. the two cuisines that are soul food for the Californian. Along with of course Italian. Bless all our immigrant streams!
  • Esterdotter
    Great but help us connect
    Wonderful topics beyond the usual, great guests, but no links to find the guests on their blogs or Instagram accounts, sometimes not even their names. Links to the restaurants so we can go patronize them would be great. Organizations web sites so we can connect, and maybe donate. Some episodes do this, but others, like the American Chinese food, don’t.
  • TNsnoopy
    My kids and I all love listening to the splendid table! My 7 year old has many allergies and we have to cook everything for her. Even when she obviously can’t always eat what is being described on the show, it helps spike her interest in helping and learning in the kitchen! Thanks!
  • ArborMac
    Cooking for kids
    Your call in from Edith to close the episode was beautiful-thank you for a diverse and broadly talented guest list and for providing grounding in these times. The interview with Dave Chang and Chris Ying was like an excerpt from their Dads series. Go Blue!
  • LI, NY
    Fresh food, fresh voices
    So glad to hear Francis introduce me to new-to-me food and those who prepare it. He is an excellent teacher and guide. I M learning so much about our world through this podcast, and I am grateful.
  • peetswuppy
    Thank you
    This show has been a refuge during these turbulent times. Thank you for challenging us, sitting with us, and sharing with us.
  • chrantqbp
    Great information but most of it’s not relevant for Covid related dinner parties.
  • Rurumachine
    THANK GOD for more diversity in the types of cuisines America’s food ppl discuss. This show delves deep into SO MANY types of cuisines, and does it in a way that is respectful, informative, and entertaining. What a relief. It has revived my interest in exploring food.
  • cccccccccc😎
    Ok podcast
    Ok podcast but I prefer the sporkful
  • asdhjlvcfyuh
    The problem is not “working too much of the butter’s water into the flour”...the problem is working the flour too much, such that gluten develops.
  • nandin27
    Fan from Ulaanbaatar
    OMG!!! I was not expecting to hear Ulaanbaatar on my favourite podcast and when Francis said he wanted to visit Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia I almost cried!!! Please come visit 💖💖 Loooove this podcast!! The most exciting and calming podcast at the same time! Love 💓
  • linguinelover
    Very enlightening podcast
    I discovered this recently and really enjoy listening to it. It’s deep and broad and I learn so much. I appreciate how much research the host puts into each episode. I wasn’t familiar with the previous host, so I can’t compare, but honestly I have listened to a wide variety of podcasts, and Francis Lam to me was immediately engaging, respectful, and funny. He’s a great interviewer because he listens and he’s done his homework. All these haters who complain about his endearing giggle and his interest in the relation of food to identity, culture, politics — sounds like coded racist language to me. These kinds of comments are disappointing, heartbreaking. He’s a different person than Lynne, with his own unique personality and experiences. Why do you expect him to do exactly the same kind of show?
  • eswensk
    A favorite podcast
    Love this podcast so much. Have listened since Lynn was host, but Francis is a great host too. I've really appreciated how each episode goes deep into a specific topic. Definitely worth a listen!
  • EnigmaticManifesto
    Just listened to the interview with Padma Lakshmi
    So glad that we have come to a point in time that allowed this interview between these two people to happen. THESE are the conversations about food I have been yearning for. This episode in particular was so healing, reframing so many of my perspectives about food. And the part where Francis gasped when Padma said some linking statement about restaurants who cook rice? I gasped too. This episode reaffirmed my love and commitment for the show.
  • acarson211
    I loved the show with Lynne and I love the show with Francis.
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