OwlTail

Cover image of The Sporkful

The Sporkful

We obsess about food to learn more about people. The Sporkful isn't for foodies, it's for eaters. Hosted by Dan Pashman, who's also the inventor of the new pasta shape cascatelli. James Beard and Webby Award winner for Best Food Podcast. A Stitcher Production.

Popular episodes

All episodes

Read more

We obsess about food to learn more about people. The Sporkful isn't for foodies, it's for eaters. Hosted by Dan Pashman, who's also the inventor of the new pasta shape cascatelli. James Beard and Webby Award winner for Best Food Podcast. A Stitcher Production.

Claire Saffitz Doesn’t Need To Defend Dessert (Live)

Podcast cover
Read more

Beloved dessert person Claire Saffitz joins Dan for a holiday baking-themed extravaganza and tackles some of the most pressing baking questions of the moment… What’s the best way to roll out pie dough into a uniform shape? How can I recreate a relative’s secret cookie recipe? And what’s the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? Plus, Claire tells us how she and her chef husband divvy up kitchen responsibilities at home, and offers advice to a couple struggling with a food-related dispute. Taped live at Sirius XM Studios in New York City!

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell. Special thanks to our colleagues at SiriusXM, including Danielle Graziano, Chris Howard, Erick Gonzales, Corey Kesluk, and Madeleine Flieger.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Nov 28 2022

36mins

Play

The Firehouse Chef Who Still Burns His Toast

Podcast cover
Read more

Firefighters face plenty of high-pressure situations — including cooking a lunch for their crewmates that’s hot, filling, and on time. The pressure is even greater for A.J. Fusco, a firefighter in Harrison, New York, who moonlights as a chef in New York City. His firehouse lunches sometimes include ingredients the other firefighters aren’t used to. And when he makes mistakes, his crewmates make sure he doesn’t forget. On today’s show, Dan makes a firehouse meal with A.J. Can they get lunch on the table before the crew mutinies? Or will an emergency call come in and ruin the whole meal? 

This episode originally aired on February 5, 2018, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, Peter Clowney, and John DeLore. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Nov 21 2022

26mins

Play

A New Jersey Whiskey Mystery

Podcast cover
Read more

A bottle of whiskey with no online footprint. A bar that’s long been closed. An address that doesn’t exist. Six years ago, Akhil and Nisha Dayal found a whiskey bottle at an estate sale whose backstory they couldn’t trace. Can The Sporkful uncover the origins of this mysterious whiskey?

Correction: We defined "single malt" and "blend" incorrectly in an earlier version of this episode. The audio has now been updated to reflect the correct definition.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Johanna Mayer, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell. This episode was mixed by Casey Holford. Original music by Jeff Morgenstern and lyrics by Dan Pashman.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Nov 14 2022

35mins

Play

Wendy Osefo Is A ‘Real Housewife’ Who Actually Cooks

Podcast cover
Read more

It’s not just her three graduate degrees that set Dr. Wendy Osefo apart on The Real Housewives of Potomac. It’s also that she loves to cook. She says her castmates see her as “the only person on this entire show who feeds her guests real food.” That deep care around food comes from her mother, who would bring gourmet meals to the cafeteria in Wendy’s elementary school and cook up Nigerian delicacies regularly. But, Wendy says, her mom also used food as a way to exert influence and control at home. Wendy talks with Dan about her new memoir, Tears of My Mother, and how she’s using food with her kids differently than her mom did with her.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell, with editing help this week from John DeLore and Devon DiComo. 

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Nov 07 2022

33mins

Play

Nigella Lawson Orders Food Like A Method Actor

Podcast cover
Read more

Nigella Lawson is a domestic goddess of the highest order. She strikes the perfect balance between aspiration — a beautiful garden, perfect lighting — and accessibility — sheet pan dinners and a disdain for pretentiousness. Nigella reveals how her own cooking show persona comes from her discomfort in social situations, and shares the two condiments she always keeps in her purse. She also rebuffs the one piece of criticism that she believes no male chef would ever receive.

This episode also features S’mores for More, a s’mores kit that benefits pediatric cancer research. 

This episode originally aired on May 28, 2018, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, Peter Clowney, and John DeLore. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Oct 31 2022

31mins

Play

Southern Cooking, Via Gujarat And Oakland

Podcast cover
Read more

Today, we talk with two chefs who are putting their own stamp on Southern food, each refusing to be pigeonholed in the process. Vishwesh Bhatt was born and raised in Gujarat, India. He moved to Oxford, Mississippi, for graduate school and quickly embraced the region in his cooking, and his identity. Tanya Holland has family roots in Virginia and Louisiana, but she's not originally from there. Still, she took the Southern food traditions she grew up with to the West Coast to create what she calls California soul.

Vishwesh’s first cookbook is I Am From Here, and Tanya’s new cookbook is California Soul. If you want a chance to win a copy of their cookbooks, subscribe to our newsletter here!  

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Oct 24 2022

33mins

Play

How To Export Coffee In A War (Pt 2)

Podcast cover
Read more

As civil war erupted in Yemen, Mokhtar Alkhanshali found himself imprisoned, with $5,000 stuffed in his underwear and his coffee samples confiscated. To get those samples to the biggest specialty coffee expo in North America, he’d have to survive more than one near-death experience. Would his coffee be worth the risk?

This is the second half of our two-part episode about Mokhtar Alkhanshali. If you haven’t listened to Part 1 from last week, please start there. 

If you want to learn more about Mokhtar's story, check out The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers. You can buy Mokhtar’s coffee at Port of Mokha. And for more information on Mokhtar's non-profit, and the National Yemeni Coffee Auction, visit the The Mokhta Institute.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell. Editing help this week from Devon DiComo.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Oct 10 2022

27mins

Play

How To Export Coffee In A War (Pt 1)

Podcast cover
Read more

Mokhtar Alkhanshali was a doorman in San Francisco when he saw a statue that changed his life. The statue was of an Arab man holding a cup of coffee, and it led Mokhtar to learn about the origins of coffee, in Yemen, where his family is from. While coffee’s roots in Yemen run deep, Mokhtar learned that present-day Yemeni coffee was hard to source, and the quality was inconsistent. But when it was good, some experts said it was the best they had ever tasted. Mokhtar saw an opportunity to start his own coffee company, and help Yemeni farmers in the process. But just as he was getting started, war broke out in Yemen, and Mokhtar found himself stranded there.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell. Editing help this week from Devon DiComo.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Oct 03 2022

29mins

Play

Celebrating Shabbat At Wendy’s

Podcast cover
Read more

Shabbat — the Jewish Sabbath – begins every Friday at sundown with a meal. But in all the years that Jews have been having Shabbat dinner, there’s no record in the rabbinic texts of it happening at the fast food chain Wendy’s. Until, that is, a group of seniors in Palm Desert, California, made it their weekly tradition. This week Dan joins in on the Friday night festivities, and the seniors tell him why this ritual is so important to them, how they're evolving it, and how they like their fries.

This episode originally aired on September 10, 2018, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, Aviva DeKornfeld, Gianna Palmer, and Dan Dzula. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Sep 26 2022

25mins

Play

Inside The Consumer Reports Test Labs

Podcast cover
Read more

Dan goes inside Consumer Reports, the independent nonprofit that tests and rates everything from toaster ovens to frozen pizzas to luxury cars. CR takes testing very seriously, and Dan gets to see their process in action. It all starts with an undercover shopper who goes by the pseudonym Jim. Then Dan visits the labs at HQ, where he sees how a gas range is poked, prodded, and brought to its limits. This includes testing the oven’s self-cleaning feature against a mixture so foul, it’s legendary.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell, with editing help this week from Devon DiComo.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Sep 19 2022

35mins

Play

Malcolm Gladwell Only Drinks Five Liquids

Podcast cover
Read more

Author and podcast host Malcolm Gladwell immigrated to Canada when he was young, the child of an English father and Jamaican mother. He’s always felt like an outsider. He hated maple syrup, in a town that hosts the largest one-day maple syrup festival in the world. That outsider’s perspective served him well as he became a cultural observer, and over the years, Malcolm’s trained his critical eye on food. He calls flavored seltzer “an abomination” and Earl Grey tea “a bridge too far.” He also talks with Dan about his food-related work, from what chunky tomato sauce says about our food preferences, to the supposed merits of appropriating food, and he explains why he only drinks five liquids.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Johanna Mayer, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Sep 12 2022

37mins

Play

This Man Can Identify Pizza From Its Grease Stain

Podcast cover
Read more

By day, Scott Wiener leads pizza tours around New York City. By night, he shares his Brooklyn apartment with his world record-holding pizza box collection. Since going all in on pizza, he’s visited tomato farms in California and buffalo farms in Italy, and even planned entire vacations around visits to pizza box factories. This week, Scott schools us on the history of pizza — from its humble invention to its unlikely rise to culinary fame and fortune. Plus, he takes Dan out for a slice (or three), and they discover the one thing about pizza that divides them.

Visit the Scott's Pizza Tours website for more info about tours and online classes. You can also donate to Scott's nonprofit, Slice Out Hunger.

This episode originally aired on Jun 18, 2018, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini and Aviva DeKornfeld, and edited by Peter Clowney. The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Sep 05 2022

31mins

Play

Why Desk Lunches Are Illegal In France

Podcast cover
Read more

In France, you either leave your desk during lunch, or you’re breaking the law. Which makes Kaitlin Plachy, an American expat in Strasbourg who secretly eats at her desk most days, an outlaw. So why do the French have this law? Our friends at the podcast Rough Translation found that one popular theory — that the law is meant to preserve French culture — is not as correct as many people believe. So what is the explanation? And can Rough Translation convince Kaitlin to take a break?

Rough Translation is a podcast that tells stories from far off places that hit close to home, and you can find all their episodes here

Rough Translation is hosted by Gregory Warner. The team includes Adelina Lancianese, Pablo Arguelles, Katz Laszlo, Luis Trelles, Justine Yan, Tessa Paoli, Emily Bogle, Liana Simstrom, Bruce Auster, Josh Newell, Greta Pittenger, and Anya Grundmann, with help from Eleanor Beardsley, Robert Krulwich, and Sana Krasikov. The French news tape in the episode is from Radio France and Radio Monte Carlo. Music by John Ellis and FirstCom Music and Audio Network. 

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Aug 29 2022

29mins

Play

Sohla And Ham El-Waylly Settle A Pancake Dispute

Podcast cover
Read more

Chefs and YouTube stars Sohla and Ham El-Waylly first met in culinary school, where they geeked out over hydrocolloids and molecular gastronomy. Since then they’ve gotten married, opened (and closed) a restaurant together, and spent countless hours collaborating in the kitchen, on screen and off. Dan talks with Sohla and Ham about their latest cookie obsessions and dream restaurant desserts. Then, they all try to solve a food dispute between listeners about ideal pancake size.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Johanna Mayer, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell, with editing help this week from Tanaka Muvavarirwa.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Aug 22 2022

27mins

Play

When Opera Rejected Alexander Smalls, He Opened A Restaurant

Podcast cover
Read more

After 15 years as an opera singer and winning a Grammy and a Tony, Alexander Smalls got turned down for a lead role at the Metropolitan Opera. He’d hit the same glass ceiling that held back many Black opera singers before him. He went home, drank a bottle of wine, and came to a realization: "I couldn't own an opera house, but I could own a restaurant." In the decades since, Alexander has served upscale Southern food in New York, researched the food of the African diaspora in the Americas, Asia, and beyond, and fused cuisines in award-winning cookbooks. His biggest project to date is an African food hall in Dubai, and he plans to open similar food halls around the world. Alexander shares his story with Dan, and also his food, when he cooks up his own spin on shrimp and grits. 

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Johanna Mayer, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell, with editing help this week from Tanaka Muvavarirwa.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Aug 08 2022

32mins

Play

The Problem With The International Aisle (Live)

Podcast cover
Read more

What has to happen for Vietnamese lemongrass barbecue sauce to take up as much space as Texas barbecue sauce on an American grocery store shelf? There’s a whole generation of young entrepreneurs — many of them women of color — making packaged foods that are expanding the palate of American shoppers. This week, live on stage in Brooklyn, Dan is talking with two of these businesspeople: Chitra Agrawal, founder of Brooklyn Delhi, and Vanessa Pham, the CEO of Omsom. Chitra and Vanessa have taken different approaches to their businesses, but they’ve faced similar challenges — trying to figure out how to grow while staying true to themselves. One of the struggles they share: The debate over whether to place their items in the “ethnic” or “international” aisle of the grocery store.  

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Aug 01 2022

36mins

Play

Traveling Back In Time For Coconut Cake

Podcast cover
Read more

Dan goes on an adventure around Los Angeles, starting at the airport. Where is he going? He doesn't know. He doesn't have a plan. The one thing he does know is that he's going to attempt to travel through time to eat a piece of coconut cake from Patys Restaurant, which he should have eaten three years ago. With an Atlas Obscura article as his guide, what could go wrong?

This episode originally aired on July 16, 2018, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, and Aviva DeKornfeld, with editing help from Rob McGinley Myers and mixing by the Reverend John DeLore. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Jul 25 2022

39mins

Play

Phil Rosenthal Has A Menu Strategy

Podcast cover
Read more

Wherever Phil Rosenthal goes, he wants to eat — which explains the name of his Netflix show, Somebody Feed Phil. He travels the world with wide eyes, an empty stomach, and a bottomless supply of delight at the people and food he encounters. And before Somebody Feed Phil and his new podcast Naked Lunch, Phil created the hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, which used food as a key source of tension between the characters. Over lunch at Frenchette, Dan and Phil swap menu strategies, dissect the role of food in a classic Raymond episode, and get into Phil’s relationship with his parents, who were Holocaust survivors who didn’t understand his passion for fine dining. 

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Johanna Mayer, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell, with editing help this week from Tanaka Muvavarirwa.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Jul 18 2022

31mins

Play

2 Chefs And A Lie: Canadian Prime Minister Edition

Podcast cover
Read more

Dan gives up the hosting chair and becomes a contestant in our most popular (and only) Sporkful game show, 2 Chefs And A Lie! The game is simple. Dan talks with three “chefs.” Two are real, and one is a faker with a made-up resume. Dan gets five questions per chef to determine who’s legit, and who doesn’t know their bass from their elbow. The best part: You can play along! Can you spot the fake chef?

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Jul 11 2022

29mins

Play

A Quick History Of American Barbecue

Podcast cover
Read more

Barbecue is America’s culinary national pastime. Dozens of  books have been written about it, food writers criss-cross the country looking for the best places, and people wait hours to eat at the most famous spots. In his book The Cooking Gene, culinary historian Michael Twitty traces the path that barbecue traveled from West Africa to the American South — and how enslaved cooks in plantation kitchens created Southern cuisine. But the barbecue journey doesn’t stop there. During the Great Migration, Black Americans brought the foods they created in the South with them to places like Chicago. Dan visits Uncle John’s BBQ, just south of Chicago, to learn about — and eat — a type of barbecue that only exists there.

Check out Kevin Pang’s article about Chicago’s “barbecue divide” in Saveur.

This episode originally aired on December 10, 2018, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, and Aviva DeKornfeld. It was edited by Gianna Palmer and Kristin Torres, and mixed by Casey Holford. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O’Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O’Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Jul 04 2022

44mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

2348 Ratings
Average Ratings
1853
280
77
54
84

Instant Obsession!

By Noonan420 - Mar 24 2020
Read more
Thank you for this! I truly enjoy this podcast.

So fun!

By Syndanne - Mar 11 2020
Read more
Nice light touch and insightful interview questions. Very enjoyable!