It's official, we've hit the roughest patch of winter. That time when we're just about done with our snow boots and are itching for spring produce to hit the farmers' market. Unfortunately, we still have some cold weeks of staying inside ahead of us. To pass the time, we Tasting Table editors like to hunker down in our kitchens with chicken noodle soup or boozy hot cocoa and a good podcast. Here's what we're listening to right now, in no particular order.
① Heritage Radio Network: Roberta's is home to charred pizza beauties and a hoard of superb, rather niche podcasts from Heritage Radio Network, launched by Slow Food USA founder Patrick Martins. More than 30 shows are broadcast from the pizzeria's shipping containers, but our favorites are Cooking Issues, The Front Burner with Jimmy and Andrew and Radio Cherry Bombe. The first is a geeky look into the science with MOFAD founder and cocktail guy Dave Arnold. Case in point: A recent episode pondered ways to preserve the color of herb-based simple syrups and drawings shot out from a tattoo gun. The brand-new Front Burner, with Toqueland's Andrew Friedman and The Red Cat's Jimmy Bradley, is a sort of Meet the Press for chefs, discussing hard-hitting issues like pressure and drugs in the kitchen. And Cherry Bombe, hosted by the magazine's editorial director, Kerry Diamond, and creative director, Claudia Wu, features amazing women in the food world, from Whole Foods "forager" Elly Truesdell to Nigella Lawson.
② The Splendid Table: It's hard to not listen to a Julia Child-endorsed podcast. Like Child, host Lynne Rossetto Kasper is a grand dame of the culinary industry, always ready to help callers who reach out with cooking questions and to advise listeners on how to prepare a dish with the seemingly incongruous ingredients that gather in our refrigerators. Kasper's list of guests over the years is a who's who of contemporary food, including chefs, cookbook authors and journalists looking at the politics of food.
③ The Eater Upsell: Just one season in, the Upsell's hosts, Helen Rosner and Greg Morabito, have scored interviews with some of the country's most influential restaurant chefs, like John Besh, Hugh Acheson and Jessica Koslow. In the addictive first segment, Rosner and Morabito riff on the dining culture (particularly in New York), giving listeners an access to a game of insider's baseball, complete with sharp observations and takedowns.
④ The Bon Appétit Foodcast: Short and sweet, this is a great podcast to listen to while you're making coffee in the morning or a quick dinner—most episodes wrap just shy of the 30-minute mark. Editor-in-chief and main host Adam Rapoport chats with chefs and cookbook authors like Yotam Ottolenghi and Magnus Nilsson, but perhaps his greatest strength is shown when he talks with food director Carla Lalli Music. Rapoport freely admits what he does and doesn't know about cooking, and Music is an excellent teacher, walking him (and listeners) through cooking techniques and menu plans. If we could keep one person on speed dial the next time we're planning a dinner party, it would be Music.
⑤ Good Food: Host Evan Kleiman is a veteran of food radio, helping pioneer its modern incarnation and never shying away from real issues in the food world. The scope of her KCRW show is expansive, covering everything from contemporary dining culture to regular interviews with restaurant critic Jonathan Gold to chats about cheddar. The short segment format allows listeners to dive in and out of what piques their interests. Not sure where to start with the show's deep archive? Head straight to her now-famous episode in which the once-anonymous authors of Thug Kitchen reveal their identity.
⑥ Grub Street Podcast: Think of this podcast as you do a night in with your friends, where the chatter can swing snobby and insular yet honest and the topics, well, topical. Now, replace your friends with Grub Street editor Alan Sytsma and New York Magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt. Here, the two curmudgeons talk about New York City dining, whether it's the classics like pizza or of-the-moment trends like ranking NYC's influx of fried chicken sandwich joints. Similar to The Eater Upsell, this is an insider's guide to eating out, but, here, the hosts are more focused on NYC's ebbs and flows with on-the-ground reporting, waiting out the crowds, interviewing fellow customers and chomping down on guac burgers at By Chloe.
⑦ Gastropod: Cohosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley geek out on subjects ranging from microbes to "peak booze." They invite experts on the show to dive deep with them into the history of certain foods and niche interests. You can imagine them listening intently to their guests in between their earnest questions and interjections with colorful personal experiences and endearing stories. Often needlessly self-deprecating and always charming, the humble and curious hosts totally make the show.