Cooking and Cuisine

For many of us, each and every year, Holiday Time equals Wine Time --- it's a part of all the celebrating, it tends to make a good gift, and it goes nicely with all that rich food. Our guest on ST today is Melanie Wagner, a certified sommelier and wine consultant who lives and works in Chicago. She is also the author of "Hello, Wine: The Most Essential Things You Need to Know About Wine," which is newly available from Chronicle Books.

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the writer Kate Christensen, whose six novels include "The Great Man," which won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award. Her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Elle, and elsewhere --- and her popular blog can be accessed here. Her latest book is "Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites," an acclaimed memoir, which she discusses with us on today's ST.

(Note: This program originally aired earlier this year.) Food, glorious food --- it's more, of course, than what we eat. Food is memory, family, love, culture, and community.

Our guest is the writer Kate Christensen, whose six novels include "The Great Man," which won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award. Her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Elle, and elsewhere --- and her popular blog can be accessed here. Her latest book is "Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites," an acclaimed memoir, which she discusses with us on today's ST.

Food, glorious food --- it's so much more, of course, than what we eat. Food is memory, food is family, food is love, food is culture, and food is community.

(Please note: This interview originally aired in November of last year.) On this installment of ST, a fascinating book about culture, cuisine, customs, cutlery, crockery, and civilization itself.

Marcel Proust has his little madeleine cakes. Calvin Trillin has Arthur Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City. And Tulsa-based writer and editor Mark Brown has, well, his mother's bygone fried chicken. Food, for so many of us, is about much more than taste and sustenance, much more than flavors and rations. It's about culture, society, tradition, and practically everything else --- about the past, the seasons, our memories, our loved ones. Food is as basic to the human species as are celebrations, rituals, fingerprints, or dreams.

On this installment of ST, a fascinating book about culture, cuisine, customs, cutlery, crockery, and civilization itself.

"It's always five o'clock somewhere," as the old saying goes. And this expression, of course, was as true in the 1770s or 1860s or 1930s as it is today --- and maybe it's all the more fitting right this instant, as we approach the holiday season. On today's show, therefore, we are discussing the histories, traditions, origins, myths, and/or recipes related to various cocktails.

On this edition of ST, we speak with celebrity chef John Besh about his latest book, "My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking." It's a volume aimed not at great cooks per se but, rather, at everyone who recognizes that there are obvious and immediate (and delicious) benefits to making more of one's meals at home.

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