5 of the best food podcasts of 2016

— Given our seemingly endless fascination with food as entertainment — highlighted by shows like “Top Chef” and personalities like Anthony Bourdain — it makes sense that there would be a great deal of interest in culinary podcasts.

Fortunately, there are newcomers and longtime broadcasters who are creating some really fine material about the world of food, focusing on recipes, cooking tips, trends and interviews with chefs and innovators.

Despite podcasting being an audio-only format, the medium lends itself to talking about food in ways that television can’t.

“I think there’s an intimacy available with podcasting that’s not as certain or as guaranteed right now in other mediums,” says Howie Kahn, Prince Street’s editor-in-chief. “[It’s] a good environment to draw out a long yarn and the kinds of truths that aren’t always available with a director asking for multiple takes.”

Foodies are lucky that 2016 saw no shortage of food podcasts, so we compiled a list of our top five and asked the hosts and producers a few questions about what makes them tick, as well as what the future might hold.

Prince Street

The Prince Street podcast is named after the location of Manhattan’s Dean & DeLuca store in SoHo. It’s a food variety show with episodes organized around particular themes like risk, craving and anxiety. Howie Kahn, a James Beard Award winning writer, is the host and editor-in-chief of Prince Street. Bourdain was a recent guest for an episode focusing on the holidays, and correspondents such as the actor and director Griffin Dunne often contribute to the show.

Your podcast in three words: Deep, delicious, surprising.

Other podcasts you listen to (not food related): Like everybody else, Serial. Anything Max Linsky and Jenna Weiss-Berman are doing at Pineapple Street Media. I like Alec Baldwin’s show, Here’s The Thing. And Heavyweight. Keepin’ it 1600 and Bill Simmons is always great, too. You Must Remember This is terrific.

Best guests: My favorite guests are the ones who allow themselves to get vulnerable and tell stories that are emotional and resonant. John Malkovich was terrific in this regard. A woman named Hawa Hassan, too. She grew up in Somalia and spent time in a refugee camp there before starting on a whirlwind journey that culminated in reconnecting with her estranged mother and launching a line of Somalian sauces. I loved having Francis Ford Coppola on the show, too. Alex Guarnaschelli is an excellent guest. Anthony Bourdain, Stephanie Danler. There’s so many.

Dream guest (dead or alive): Queen Elizabeth in a no-holds-barred interview. She’d never talk about food with any real depth in public, but if she did, I’d love to hear what that would sound like — 90 years of royal feasts. I’d be into that. An exit interview with the Obamas would be terrific. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on how they’ve modified their diets over the years. In the dead people category — Einstein? He’d have to have something good to say. In more personal terms, I’d be curious to know what my own ancestors ate for the last couple hundred years.

Favorite food city/restaurant meal: My favorite food city, and country, is Singapore for the way in which eating, and preparing food there, is treated with such pride and devotion, whether it’s a world-class restaurant meal or a bowl of $2 soup from a hawker center. Integrity and deliciousness seem like universal rights there.

Food pet peeve: Preparations that smack of laziness. Lack of empathy in a dining room.

Goals for 2017: A show with even more compelling stories, provocative interviews, real feeling and much-needed humor. I want Prince Street to be essential listening for anybody who cares about food and, really, humans.

Cooking With Archaeologists

Cooking With Archaeologists is truly a unique food podcast, focusing on recipes from field archaeologists. These are the people whose job it is to excavate and explore what makes up the history of humanity, literally getting their hands dirty in the process. They often lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle, traveling from one location to another, so mealtime, especially in the evening, becomes very important. Field archaeologists Dr. Colin Amundsen and Cris B. Santisteban produce the show, which is hosted by Colin.

Your podcast in three words: Universal, energizing, gregarious.

Other podcasts you listen to (not food related): Joe Rogan Experience (Colin) and Bill Burr Monday Morning podcast (Colin). Cris listens to Catalan radio and football matches (Barcelona, of course).

Best guest: The best guest is the diversity of the show. All of our guests are unique and bring something different to each interview through their personal experience and perspective regarding archaeology and food.

Dream guest (dead or alive): Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was an English woman who wore many hats, one being an archaeologist in the Middle East. Ms. Bell probably personifies why a lot of people become archaeologists — seeking adventure!

Favorite food city/restaurant meal: Galician style octopus in Barcelona! (Cris) and the 7-napkin burger from the Owl’s Head General Store in Maine (Colin).

Food pet peeve: Ketchup on hotdogs — I really don’t see the need or understand the combination (Colin). A hair or a fly in my food and too much coriander (Cris).

Goals for 2017: To continue to bring the public a diverse perspective on archaeology and food through the people who dedicate their lives to uncovering our shared past. And to promote the fantastic work and culinary skills of our talented colleagues.

Milk Street Radio

Milk Street Radio, which premiered in October, is Christopher Kimball’s latest media venture. Kimball is the founder of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and America’s Test Kitchen, but he parted ways with those ventures in 2015. His new show finds Kimball and several correspondents covering the world of food in interesting and unexpected ways. Recent episodes include a chat with author Michael Pollan and a primer on Persian cooking.

Your podcast in three words: The world cooks.

Other podcasts you listen to (not food related): Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Friday Night News Quiz (BBC), In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (BBC)

Best guests: Nigella Lawson and Ziggy Marley.

Dream guest (dead or alive): Taillevent (medieval chef) or Genghis Khan (for no particular culinary reason).

Favorite food city/restaurant meal: Best meal of my life was at Fredy Girardet’s restaurant in Crissier, Switzerland in the 1980s.

Food pet peeve: Anything labeled as “comfort” food (all food is comfort food) and the whole fermented/umami craze.

Goals for 2017: Making it to January 1, 2018? Traveling to Senegal for a cooking lesson? Putting fried eggs on almost everything?

The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table has been on the air since the mid-’90s. Host and food writer Lynne Rossetto Kasper created the show with the idea of exploring the culture, science and history of food, as well as food policies and issues. In addition to the podcast, the show airs on over 400 public radio stations around the country and has won two James Beard Foundation Awards.

Your podcast in three words: Exploring life’s appetites.

Other podcasts you listen to (not food related): We can start on home turf with a few of our fellow APM Podcasts we are currently addicted to: In the Dark, The Hilarious World of Depression, Historically Black, Brain’s On and Terrible, Thanks for Asking.

Best guests: This is like picking favorite children! Norah Ephron, Isaac Mizrahi, Julia Child, Maya Angelou, Col. Chris Hadfield, Michael Pollan, Vikas Khanna and Amy Sedaris (because no guest has made us laugh harder!).

Dream guest (dead or alive): Catherine de’ Medici, Charles Darwin, Michelle Obama or Oscar Wilde, Peggy Guggenheim, Michael Kinsley, Steve Martin.

Favorite food city/restaurant meal: Minneapolis/St. Paul (homebase) or San Francisco.

Food pet peeve: Food waste.

Goals for 2017: Have fun and try new things!


Bite is a Mother Jones food podcast hosted by food blogger Tom Philpott and editors Kiera Butler and Maddie Oatman. The show covers food politics, science and culture with the help of guest writers, farmers and chefs. Recent topics include tricking your brain into eating healthy, the recent wave of restaurants getting rid of tipping and the truth about how much protein we need in our diet.

Your podcast in three words: Food. Politics. Fun!

Other podcasts you listen to (not food related): Death, Sex & Money, The Longest Shortest Time, Call Your Girlfriend, The Specialist, Dear Sugar Radio, Slate’s Political Gabfest.

Best guests: Nicky Beyries, the San Francisco bartender who created election night cocktails especially for Bite: the Nasty Woman and the Bad Hombre. And having Michael Pollan on the show to talk about psychedelics was pretty cool.

Dream guest (dead or alive): Marco Polo.

Favorite food city/restaurant meal: Anything involving tortillas in Mexico City.

Food pet peeve: The over-use of truffle oil.

Goals for 2017: Interviewing actor Peter Dinklage, a real-life vegetarian whose character gnaws on roasted meat legs in “Game of Thrones.” (Can anyone put us in touch with Peter?)

Alabama’s defense dominates to win Peach Bowl against Washington

— This season’s College Football Playoff centers on one simple question: Can anyone stop Alabama?

Because if it’s not clear by now, it should be: The national championship is the Crimson Tide’s to lose.

No. 1 Alabama’s defense reinforced that it’s the nation’s best, stuffing No. 4 Washington’s high-octane offense and scoring a defensive touchdown off an interception, winning the Peach Bowl semifinal 24-7 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The Crimson Tide’s next opponent will be either No. 2 Clemson (12-1) or No. 3 Ohio State (11-1), which square off in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, later Saturday.

The national championship is January 9 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The defending national champion, Alabama (14-0) has won four of the past seven titles and is favored again.

Washington, in the College Football Playoff for the first time, ends its season at 12-2.

Alabama defense the greatest ever?

Alabama’s dominance this season starts with defense, and the Crimson Tide boast the nation’s best, coming into the Peach Bowl leading the country in total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense and defensive touchdowns.

In fact, the Tide’s defense has scored almost as many touchdowns this season (11) as it has allowed (15).

One of those defensive scores came Saturday, when Alabama senior linebacker Ryan Anderson picked off Washington sophomore quarterback Jake Browning and took it back 26 yards for the score to make it a 17-7 Crimson Tide lead with 1:13 left in the second quarter.

Additionally, a forced fumble late in the first quarter by Alabama junior defensive back Anthony Averett led to a 41-yard field goal for Adam Griffith.

The Pac-12-champion Huskies entered the Peach Bowl fourth in the nation in scoring offense with 44.5 points per game. But aside from a 16-yard touchdown pass from Browning to junior wide receiver Dante Pettis with 8:01 left in the first quarter, which gave the Huskies at 7-0 lead, Washington couldn’t muster much.

And it was a short-lived lead. Alabama answered Washington’s score on the following drive with an 18-yard touchdown rush from sophomore running back Bo Scarbrough with 5:01 left in the opening period.

Scarbrough also scored on a 68-yard run with 11:56 left in the fourth quarter, putting the game firmly out of reach.

Alabama, which has been ranked No. 1 since the beginning of the season, is making the case for being the greatest team of all time, and now it needs to win just one more game to cap off a perfect season.

Since September 2015, Alabama has won 26 consecutive games. It also has won the past three Southeastern Conference championships.

Fiesta Bowl: No. 3 Ohio State vs No. 2 Clemson

Meanwhile, heading into the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State — which won the inaugural College Football Playoff in the 2014-2015 season — is a narrow favorite.

The Buckeyes — whose lone loss came to eventual Big Ten Conference champion Penn State — haven’t played since November 26, when they defeated then-No. 3 Michigan 30-27 in double overtime. Ohio State is the first team to reach the playoff without winning a conference championship.

“It’s the third playoff,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Monday. “This is our second time in three years, and we’re honored to be part of it.”

Clemson, Atlantic Coast Conference champions for the second year in a row, will try to reach the national championship game in back-to-back seasons. The Tigers lost to Alabama 45-40 in the title game last season.

“We certainly had a chance to win it all,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said Monday. “And we didn’t quite finish like we needed to. And give Alabama the credit for that. They earned it.

“But this is a new team, a new season, and it’s a new opportunity. So as I always say, last year’s success doesn’t get it done this year. You’ve got to earn it all over again.”

First Ever Real Bank Opens on High School Campus to Teach Students Financial Literacy

Managing finances is not a course that is taught on many campuses, but it’s important for all students to learn. Once students graduate from college, they need to make smart choices about their money if they want to become financially secure. One school in Durham, North Carolina decided that the best way for students to learn about finances is to open a bank on campus.

A bank on campus?

Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina, recently opened a real, functioning bank branch on the school campus. Working with Woodforest National Bank, the school wanted to reach students while they were still in high school and teach them important skills in financing. It’s a real bank that students, staff, and families can use to open accounts, make deposits, and take care of their banking needs.

In addition to a manager and a sales representative, the bank hires students an interns and as bank staff employees. Hillside’s Business and Finance Academy offers finance classes that teaches students good money management skills. The student-run bank training center offers an even greater opportunity for students to increase their financial literacy by putting their finance knowledge into practice.

Bank opening well received

This is the first branch that the bank has opened at a high school, according to the bank’s senior vice president, Jessica Valentine. The initiative was supported and applauded by State Treasurer Janet Cowell, who stated, “I’m looking forward to traveling the state to emphasize the importance of building better money management life skills and saving practices that will benefit North Carolinians from early childhood through retirement.”

For more details about the program, visit:


Hall of Famer Porcher Had to Tackle Grades First

Former South Carolina State University defensive end Robert Porcher’s only objective when he went off to college was to get out of his parents’ house “because they had too many rules.’’

One of their strictest rules was that if his grades weren’t up to par he couldn’t play football, and they weren’t up to par for most of Porcher’s high school career. That meant Porcher only played one year of high school football.

“The second semester of my junior year I realized they weren’t playing,’’ Porcher said. “After I realized they were serious, I buckled down.’’

The tough love that Robert Porcher Jr. and Dr. Marilyn M. Porcher showed the oldest of their three children was the foundation for a stellar career that has earned Porcher induction into the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Hall of Fame. He will be enshrined during an awards brunch on March 9 at the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Va.

The 2017 Hall of Fame class, which also includes former Bethune-Cookman softball standout Amber Jackson; Rashean Mathis, a three-time All-MEAC performer in football at Bethune-Cookmnan; Francena McCorory, a three-time NCAA champion in track at Hampton, and Tracy White, a football All-American at Howard, will also be recognized before the 6 p.m. men’s basketball game, during the 2017 MEAC Basketball Tournament on March 9, at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

“My whole career I always gave thanks to my parents,’’ Porcher said. “They were the first in their families to go to college and graduate. I was blessed to have parents who came to all my games. I always wanted to make my family proud.’’

Porcher did made his parents proud with his play during his two seasons at South Carolina State, after transferring from Tennessee State. As a senior in 1991, he was voted MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, the NFL Draft Report named him its 1991 NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) Defensive Player of the Year, and the Detroit Lions selected him in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft, making him the first South Carolina State player ever chosen in the first round. He retired as the Lions’ career sack leader after a 13-year career.

Porcher’s hall of fame career began with zero fanfare because of his poor high school academic record. Only Tennessee State and South Carolina State offered him a scholarship. Porcher was set to sign with South Carolina State, which is about an hour drive from his hometown of Mount Pleasant, S.C. However, his father insisted that he visit Tennessee State.

When Porcher saw the Tigers’ history of producing NFL defensive linemen – Claude Humphrey, Richard Dent, Ed “Too Tall’’ Jones and Joe “Turkey’’ Jones among them – Porcher said “I felt I had to go there.’’ However, he was academically ineligible to play his first season.

Porcher became the starting left defensive end in the third game of his second season at Tennessee State and played well. But the Tigers made a coaching change at the end of the season, firing Bill Thomas and hiring Joe Gilliam Sr. Porcher decided it was a good time for him to transfer to South Carolina State, his first choice originally, so he could be closer to home.

The move coincided with Willie Jeffries’ return to South Carolina State for his second stint as head coach.

“I became a player under Coach Jeffries,’’ Porcher said, adding that playing for Jeffries helped him make a smooth transition into the NFL, on and off the field. “What really helped me was Coach Jeffries and how he ran his program, how he interacted with us and treated us as young men, and how he interacted with the student body. That helped me stay humble when I went to Detroit.’’

Initially, Porcher second-guessed his decision to transfer to South Carolina State. NCAA rules mandated that he sit out a season after changing schools. He also found life in Orangeburg, S.C. much slower than what he had grown accustomed to during his two years in Nashville, Tenn. Things picked up for him when he became eligible to play his junior season.

Up until that point, playing in the NFL was a mere pipe dream for Porcher. But that changed during the spring following his junior season when two his former Tennessee State teammates, safety Tony Stargell and defensive end Anthony Pleasant, were chosen in the third round of the NFL draft. They were the first athletes that he knew personally ever drafted. What’s more, in his heart he believed he was better than both.

That summer Porcher dedicated himself to a non-stop conditioning program and was in the best shape of his life when he reported for preseason practice.

“I took it serious,’’ Porcher said, who only took off on Saturdays and Sundays.

In the meantime, Stargell was in training camp with the New York Jets, who were scheduled to play a preseason game against the Washington Redskins in Columbia, S.C. Stargell got a pair of tickets for Porcher, who got permission from Jeffries to attend the game.

When the game ended, Stargell and Porcher talked, and Stargell said to him, “If you don’t play on Sundays it will be a disgrace.’’

“After I left that night, I was totally different,’’ Porcher said. “I was already focused, but hearing that changed my whole trajectory.’’

With Stargell’s words ringing in his ears, Porcher had a breakout season. He registered 88 tackles, including a conference-best 15.5 sacks.

“I knew that was my last opportunity (to impress NFL scouts),’’ he said. “I had shown flashes that I could possibly play on Sunday. I knew if I was going to play on Sunday, I had to get it done during the season. I knew if I wanted to play on Sundays, which I did, I had to do it day in and day out not only in games but in practice, how you conduct yourself around school. Everything had to be on a professional level.’’

By mid-season, all eyes were on Porcher as NFL scouts flocked to Orangeburg to see him play and opposing teams schemed to control him.

A highlight of the season came when South Carolina State played Florida A&M in the Palmetto Classic at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. He returned an interception for the only touchdown of his college career.

Porcher will celebrate his glorious career on March 9 as he will be inducted with four other former student-athletes into the 2017 MEAC Hall of Fame.