16 Food Podcasts You Should Be Listening To In 2022

These days, the world's news seems distilled into a never-ending cascade of soundbites. However, for those looking to engage with deep-dive audio stories, podcasts are increasingly popular: Forbes reported that in 2020, 37% of Americans listened to one episode or more each month. Listening to podcasts is a way to enrich our lives during the more mundane tasks like chores or commuting to work. According to Earth Web, global listeners can choose from a pool of over 2 million podcasts worldwide. Look up food podcasts on iTunes and you'll end up with 240 different possibilities to choose from in the U.S. alone. 

While we're spoiled for choice when it comes to the who, what, and where as it pertains to the foods and places we want to hear about, it can be hard to discern the treasures from the trash. Though it is subjective, of course, we've compiled 16 suggestions for engaging and original food podcasts. Many of these shows explore stories or subjects from underrepresented communities across the globe, helping to showcase how incredibly diverse, yet universal, food can be. These podcasts feel just as transportive as they are informative, taking listeners to far away places, kitchens, and tables across the globe. Time to charge those ear buds and tune in!  

The Sporkful

Dan Pashman is a bit of an enigma, somehow making it possible to be whimsical, warm, and casual, while also tackling sensitive subjects. "The Sporkful," Pashman's long-running podcast, has its finger on the pulse of the U.S. food industry. The show tackles topics around racism and sexism, as well as playful aspects like visiting the writers room of "The Simpsons" during lunchtime. Quick to laugh (and by laugh it's more of a guffaw) and careful not to put words into the mouths of his guests, Pashman certainly has range. 

Listeners are brought along for the ride on all his adventures, such as creating a new pasta shape called cascatelli, checking out the SPAM museum, and visiting a historically Black-owned McDonalds to learn about the role the franchise has played within Black entrepreneurship in America. Pashman helps uncover the threads connecting food to everything else. 

"The Sporkful" started in 2010, after Pashman had been laid off from his sixth radio show job in almost as many years. He has since gone onto collect numerous awards, including a James Beard and a Webby. Pashman is backed by a team of food-focused experts, who clearly have made the show a consistent frontrunner within the food podcasting world for over 10 years running.

Gastropod

Want to learn about the science of smoky barbecue or the history of Thai food in Los Angeles? Interested in hearing how the American school lunch program was started as a way to use surplus produce? Then, you might want to tune into "Gastropod." The show was named as an unintentional nod to the term for the snail family by combining the words gastronomy and podcast. The name and its reference are totally in line with the show's science-y vibe. 

One listen to "Gastropod" and it becomes clear that the award-winning hosts, journalists, and friends Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley are basically just food loving research nerds at heart — in the best kind of way. The pair originally met at UC Berkley as food and farming journalism fellows and have spoken just about every single workday since, despite living on opposite sides of the country. 

Between the interviews, environmental and historical sound recordings, research, and undertone of slightly sarcastic and self-deprecating wit (Twilley is British, after all), "Gastropod" is a must-listen. This podcast is as unique in its focus as its approach.

Setting the Table

For a taste of history-meets-hunger inducing dialogue, we turn to "Setting the Table." The podcast is hosted by Deb Freeman, a food historian and journalist whose work focuses on the African American experience and Black and Southern foodways. Through out each episode Freeman works to connect the threads between cuisines from a variety of African American communities within the US and their foundational role in what we consider to be modern American cuisine. 

In the writer's first podcast series, produced by the team behind Whetstone Radio Collective, Freeman travels across the U.S. to speak with award-winning pit masters, historians, and cooks about everything from the history and significance of yellow cake, the role of food for Black women participating in social movements, and the surprising culture of barbecue within the Los Angeles food scene. Throughout each episode, Freeman links how modern-day practices and trends in American cuisine are shaped by African American culinary traditions and foodways. She also stokes a serious craving for barbecue from anyone who listens. 

This new podcast is just getting started, with "Setting the Table" Season one released in the spring of 2022, yet, we would consider it essential listening for anyone who loves American cuisine to understand some of its origins and history.

Toasted Sister

In 2016, journalist, host, and producer, Andi Murphy first set off to use her podcast, "Toasted Sister," as a means of self-exploration into her own Diné or Navajo background and other Native American foods, customs, and traditions (via New York Times). "Toasted Sister" is one of only a handful of Indigenous-focused and run podcasts, and part of an even smaller list of podcasts specifically exploring Indigenous and Native American foods. 

Murphy is out to showcase that not only are Indigenous foods the culinary backbone of so many cuisines, as detailed by XYU and Beyond, but learning about Indigenous flavors, ingredients, and foodways can be just as educational as it is entertaining! The show covers everything from community health to Pueblo bread to food poetry. Murphy speaks candidly with Native American and Indigenous chefs, business owners, and artists across the Americas and beyond. 

For those who are interested in understanding more about the Indigenous food sovereignty movement taking place in the U.S., this podcast is a great way to understand the history and significance of Native American foods, showcased with Murphy's dry sense of humor and curious mind.

Spilled Milk

"Spilled Milk" is an old timer in the world of food podcasts, up and running since 2003. Hosted by writers and food-based comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton, "Spilled Milk" has covered it all in the nearly 20 years it's been running by deep diving into one particular subject each episode. Episodes range in length from a quick 20-minute chat to some lasting for over one hour; it all depends on the topic at hand! 

Sometimes Wizenberg and Amster-Burton narrow their discussion to one ingredient, with comedic banter and anecdotes on mangoes, M&M's, or bay leaves. Other times it's cookware, including salad spinners or colanders. The pair is also known for discussing routines around food, morning beverages, snacks, even their relationship with the humble food court. 

Casual, funny, and conversational, the hosts are nothing short of charming. Their friendship and banter will remind you of your most comfortable relationship with a friend or sibling, and just might leave you feeling snack-y as they nibble their way through the conversations. "Spilled Milk" is a welcome palate cleanser in a world that can too often be filled with heavy, hard-to-swallow news — guaranteed to make you smile.

Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Radio

One part travel guide and one part cooking class, "Milk Street Radio" is a weekly hour-long podcast recorded out of 177 Milk Street in Boston. Each episode covers all things food-related from around the world. Available both as a broadcast radio show and as a podcast, "Milk Street Radio" has been entertaining a growing audience of listeners since 2016. Hosted and founded by chef, editor, and publisher Christopher Kimall, with an all-star list of contributors and experts within their fields, the show is rooted in what it calls "the new home cooking," drawing inspiration and understanding from a wide variety of techniques and ingredients to help home cooks everywhere. 

Each episode includes interviews and tips from experts and storytellers alongside a call show, answering a few listeners food-related questions each week. The structure and format feels reminiscent of the narrative journalism culture created and nurtured by Ira Glass for "This American Life" mixed alongside one of the key elements of broadcast and public radio, creating a connection between host and listener through a call-in segment. It's chatty but at a distinctly slower pace than other chat shows, leaving lots of time to absorb the volumes of information communicated within each segment. The show is just part of the brand's offerings, including a magazine, online recipe catalogue, video tutorials, and community chat forums.

Radio Cherry Bombe

Chances are if there's a woman you idolize within the U.S. food industry, they've likely been interviewed by host, editor, and founder Kerry Diamond for "Radio Cherry Bombe." Everyone from the co-creator of the hit show "Waffles and Mochi" to the rockstar fair-trade spice entrepreneur Sana Javeri Kadri to the iconic Ina Garten has been interviewed. Cherry Bombe was originally founded by host Diamond in 2013 as a print magazine, as were the trends of the time. It has since expanded to include events, such as an annual female-focused networking conference, and a membership community. 

Despite the expansion, the company still keeps the original mission — to elevate and celebrate women within the food industry — at the heart of all that they do. Each week Diamond speaks to industry thought leaders who, as she puts it at the top of the show, are "shaping or shaking up the industry." Diamond comes to each episode with a sense of compassion and humor, as well as vats of well-researched questions to help highlight the attributes, contributions, and personalities of each one of her guests. A masterclass in interview style and heaps of inspiration around brazen women in restaurants (and some men) making waves within the food industry.

Lecker

This is about as close can you get to feeling like you are being welcomed into someone's home, tasting their food and smelling what's cooking, all without having to leave your sofa. Inspired by the narrative journalism taking place in the U.S., the London-based host and producer Lucy Dearlove started "Lecker" in 2016. By voicing her own work and pursuing interests that lie outside of traditional radio or podcast forms, "Lecker" established itself as uniquely recognizable within the U.K.'s food podcasting scene. 

"Lecker" has been reviewed and praised by national and independent press in the U.K.. Episodes remain atmospheric, gentle, and honest, with soundscapes that will transport you to everywhere Dearlove conducts her interviews, such as London's bustling Chinatown, as well as to the kitchens of a variety of chefs and cooks exploring the cuisines and cultures that make up the U.K.'s food scene. Dearlove inserts history and literature into these food-based ASMR-heavy episodes, including a six-part audio documentary about the history and evolution of the domestic kitchen.

Keep Calm and Cook On with Julia Turshen

Julia Turshen is a writer and chef who wears her heart and sense of integrity on her sleeve. Not only are her cookbooks delicious and her recipes approachable, but she has spent the last several years striving to help create more equity and representation within food media with her community fundraising cookbook, "Feed the Resistance," and her website, Equity at the Table

In her podcast "Keep Calm and Cook On" — called "an antidote to diet culture" by the New York Times — Julia talks candidly and compassionately with chefs, cooks, community organizers, and writers within the food industry and beyond it. Having just wrapped up its seventh season, the podcast has covered a range of topics including cooking techniques and the kitchen tips, alongside the ways in which food connects so deeply to our own sense of identity and belonging. Despite all her accolades and awards including a James Beard and finalist for the IACP awards, Turshen remains deeply and wonderfully humble, her presence reading like that of a trusted friend with each episode. 

From the desk of Alicia Kennedy

"Can you tell me about where you grew up and what you ate" is how food writer Alicia Kennedy begins each interview for her long-running podcast, "From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy." Kennedy, originally from Long Island and now based in San Juan has been a growing voice within independent food journalism in the U.S. over the last few years. Brazen, empathetic, and unafraid (at least outwardly so) Kennedy's podcast celebrates the work of others carving out their own unique paths within the food, drink, and media industry by connecting on a personal level and sparking honest conversation. 

"From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy" helps to peel back the curtain between consumers and creators, allowing audiences to see the humanity, labor, and effort required in order to be a part of the industry. The show, originally called "Meatless," has been running since 2018. It reflects upon food trends and culture of the times, including inequality, representation, and earth-conscious eating and shopping, amongst other topics. Listening feels like you're eavesdropping on a great conversation between two friends who have a lot to say over drinks — each episode comes across as personal, warm, and honest while being equally thought provoking. Listeners may find themselves nodding along to the peppering of universal truths within each conversation.

Cooking the Books

Gilly Smith is no stranger to the microphone, using it to amplify conversations taking place around food culture. Smith is a seasoned host for several food-based British podcasts including the "Delicious Podcast" and Leon's "How to Eat to Save the Planet." In her award-winning podcast, "Cooking the Books," she zooms in on the world of cookbooks, using them as a jumping off point through which to discuss everything else. 

With her ear to the culinary ground, Smith keeps listeners up to date with newly released books, making this show essential listening for cookbook collectors and enthusiasts. Guests endear themselves easily through Smith's line of questioning to audiences, stoking curiosity and a sense of adventure in the kitchen. "Cooking the Books" features a wide variety of cuisines, experts, and cooking techniques. Episodes are structured around four personal "food moments" chosen by each guest to help reveal a deeper story and connection between life, love, and food. 

We aren't the only ones to fawn over each episode of "Cooking the Books," it's also recently been recognized by the Guild of Food Writers, winning the category of podcasts in 2022 and a finalist in the Fortnum and Mason Awards 2022.

Table Manners with Jessie and Lennie Ware

For listeners who love a bit of food chat, family banter, and a healthy dose of celebrity gossip with the celebrities themselves "Table Manners with Jessie and Lennie Ware" might just be the podcast for you. London-born singer Jessie Ware first established her career within the British music industry (via JessieWare.com), before embarking on the additional role as podcast co-host. In 2017, Ware added a duet to her solo performances by inviting her mother to join her in hosting this food-and-family based podcast (via The Guardian). 

The premise of the podcast is simple: Each episode the mother-and-daughter duo invite a well known celebrity or two from across a wide range of industries over to their house in South London. The guest is asked to cook or bring a dish to share, alongside dishing up stories both related and unrelated to food. Conversations range from personal and endearing to witty, including stories from guests' childhood, travel experiences, history, and everything in between. 

In recent years everyone from Dolly Parton and Jamie Oliver to Dany Levy and Stanley Tucci have graced the Ware table (physical or virtual) to chat, eat, and laugh as the show continues to gain support. Episodes often mimic what it might be like being a fly on the wall at a celebrity dinner party.

Gravy

"Gravy" is a podcast produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance, whose mission is to document, study, and explore the diverse food cultures of the changing American South (via Southernfoodways.org). The podcast reflects the organization's mission statement by paying tribute to Southern foodways and traditions through oral histories, a customary method of communicating recipes and traditions within Southern and once enslaved communities, as documented in Writing the Kitchen: Essays on Southern Literature and Foodways co-written by Jessica B Harris of Netflix's High on the Hog

Listen to the podcast's recently aired five-part series about baking and bread making traditions including a small-but-mighty bakery in North Carolina, insight into the dedication it takes to using a traditional woodburning fire, and the rise and revolution behind a fresh flour movement in the South. "Gravy" episodes also highlight and celebrate the multiple diasporas living in the South from Indonesian to Lebanese to Puerto Rican communities, including the ways in which new interpretations of traditional dishes have evolved based on available ingredients.

Climate Cuisine with Clarissa Wei

Hosted by journalist and food writer Clarissa Wei, "Climate Cuisine" focuses on sustainable foods in a unique way. The show compares climate-friendly ingredients like cactus and cassava root (also known as yuca), observing how the same ingredients are grown and treated by different cultures with similar climates. This thoughtful approach to global sustainability, examined at a local level couldn't be more relevant to the climate crisis we are facing.

During the "Climate Cuisine" trailer, Wei lays out the shows three proposed seasons, which are grouped by climate: hot, warm, and cold. During "Climate Cuisine's" first season, Wei enters the hot zone. She investigates how sustainable ingredients like cassava, cactus, bananas, and breadfruit are produced and used amongst separate cultures with similar hot climates. She adds cultural context, too, noting symbolic significance of traditional ingredient within each community. Wei transports listeners from Mexico to Taiwan to Hawai'i through her interviews with permaculture experts, biologists, and chefs to create a richly informative and engaging exploration of what it means to eat sustainably. We can't wait to hear where she'll take us next for season two. 

One Dish with Andi Oliver

If you're looking for inspiration on what to make for dinner, you'll be hard pressed not to salivate while listening to "One Dish" with Andi Oliver. Episodes are short, sweet, and easily digested — each lasting only 14 minutes. Hosted by charismatic and food-obsessed Andi Oliver, each week features a new guest and a new dish, hand-picked as the "one dish" each celebrity guest would want to return home to for restorative comfort. 

Dishes cross cultures and continents, ranging from lasagna to kala channa to Thai Chicken soup. Episodes also feature a short snippet of history, helping to connect dishes to their place of origin. Presented alongside each guest about their chosen meal's comfort-enhancing merits, you'll want to cook each dish immediately after the episode finishes. We think this makes "One Dish" the perfect aural antidote to any cooking rut. The best time to listen is just before you write your shopping list for the grocery store.

Off Menu

It's hard to find a U.K.-based award the comedic duo behind the food-meets-funny podcast "Off Menu" hasn't won. And, for good reason. The guest list alone for this show is bonkers, from the likes of Ed Sheeran, comedians Wyatt Cenac and Kumail Nanjiani, and chefs like Asma Khan, just to name a few. 

Each show hangs together by a handful of simple questions. Hosts and comedians Ed Gamble and Ed Acaster invite guests to their "Dream Restaurant" offering sparkling or still water alongside an amuse-bouche and a breadbasket before moving onto the meal. Guests are then asked to compose and discuss a wish list comprised of their favorite appetizer, main course, side, dessert, and drinks for a perfect night out. This structure tends to support a variety of tangents and banter from guests — wildly encouraged by the hosts themselves. 

Within each episode lies another game: The hosts discuss a hated ingredient at the top of each show. During the course of the episode, if the guest asks for something with the secret loathed ingredient, they are immediately thrown out of their hypothetical restaurant. It's a show to listen to if you need a laugh rather than recipe suggestions for dinner.