The Splendid Table

Reviews For The Splendid Table

Relaxing, informative, entertaining, and diverse!
As a consumer of TV shows, podcasts, and videos on food and cooking for a number of years, I am growing tired of hearing about celebrity chefs, what goes on in commercial kitchens, and all the political issues pertaining to food. I just want an escapist vehicle that motivates me to go into the kitchen and make something. Of the most recent shows (this is April, 2019), the only one I connected with was the one on cooking tools and knives, how you could sharpen a knife on the bottom of a ceramic cup. That's what sticks, and that's what I tune in for. As for the call-in segments, Francis just isn't programmed for that. Just drop the Splendid Table format and start over with something new rather than keeping The Splendid Table on life support.
Francis - if you are going to promote a recipe, you need tp try it first. I was a sucker to try this weekends roasted artichoke recipe. I always steam my artichokes and they are tender and delicious. I tried the roasted recipe and it is worthless and you should never have promoted it. Try it yourself and you will see that you owe your listeners an apology. I have been a big fan but now you are toast. Catherine Cain Glen, Montana
Tinker, tailor, candlestick maker...cook. This show satisfies all. If you can't find an episode that excites you, go back to eating your Big Mac!
I was a longtime listener of Splendid Table. I looked forward to it every week, more than any other show. I have no problem with Francis as a person; He seems very smart, caring, and no doubt he is very accomplished. My problem is with the complete format change of the show. When Lynne hosted, every segment was different, fun, and interesting. There was lots of variety. She had a great rapport with guests. Now the show is based around a single theme. As many others have said, it is now less about the joy of cooking and more about people. More importantly, it just doesn’t feel fun anymore. I have no problem with the social message the new show is trying to convey, but it feels like a completely different show. The frequent reruns and repurposed segments don’t help either. So I am really missing the old Splendid Table, and I have sadly unsubscribed.
I was sad when Lynn was leaving, I admittedly had little faith in this new guy Francis. Boy was I wrong. I’m so glad I kept listening for the love of food and the culinary arts. Francis really is so great! It might be silly but I love his giggle. This show has great guests & always interesting segments. Can’t wait for the next one ☝🏼
I really love this show. I have learned so much about the world and life in other places through the lens of food. I have become a better cook and eater since I started listening. I wish there were more Key 3 segments and less reruns of episodes.
I’ve enjoyed several episodes. Then I heard a boo-hop, liberal blah blah about cry me a river Sudanese illegals. PBS always has to inject, along the way, what is only relevant to ivory tower liberals. The show would be better being non-political.
Wide-ranging, thoughtful. Love the host's gentle personality. As a beginning home cook, I have learned so much from this podcast.
It's so sad that the Splendid Table has gone so far downhill. After Lynne retired and passed the baton to Francis Lam the show is a mere shadownof itself. Gone are the passionate calls with listeners, exuberant talks about foos and off the cuff recipes. Gone is the love. Francis is more interested in people than the food they make. His knowledge is nothing compared to Lynne's. Not to mention it seems like 3 out of 4 episodes are now complete repeats or combinations of past interviews. I can't bear to give TST less than 3 stars because of the decades of beauty Lynne left us, but Francis is so milquetoast I hardly ever listen anymore.
I appreciate the cultural history aspect of this podcast. I love to cook, and I love to eat, and I really love hearing other people’s stories. Listening to The Splendid Table grows my culinary know-how along with my human empathy. Thanks for all your hard work, Sally, Francis, and everyone!
I love this podcast. I learn SO much about food and cooking. And beyond that, it exposes me to different perspectives —it makes me think. Francis is a wonderful host—funny, knowledgeable, and curious.
The show was great with Lynn. I’m sad with the way the show has turned into a political agenda. The last straw was Cecile Richards “baking pies” which was not at all about cooking. No more of this podcast for me.
Splendid table used to be my favorite podcast (Lynn was the host)... when I heard Frances was going to take it on- I was sad but decided to give him a try. There have been good episodes, I’m just a bit surprised Splendid table would put someone on as host, who isn’t as culturally rounded as Lynn. I was actually embarrassed for the show in the more recent episode when Frances and guest joke about ‘carrying a mantle’... they had no clue what it even meant. (Psst... it’s not a fireplace mantle! 🤦🏽‍♀️) Bottom line- The guests are generally interesting, I hope the hosting improves over time.
I have been hearing a lot of “repurposed” segments in the new format. It’s frustrating to get into a podcast on a commute only to realize that parts are reruns.
This podcast is something every foodie should listen to. I have learned so much about food history, new cookbooks and books about food. Also news about food trends. What more could a foodie want to know. Very interesting and entertaining.
Topics are diverse but host Lamb approaches all with curiosity, intelligence and generosity. The Edna Lewis special is a perfect example of this podcast’s blend of cuisine and culture.


By Shams W
I have loved this podcast for many years and am so grateful to have it for my commute to work. Thanks Francis, for the fabulous job you’re doing, and thanks to all the folks who make this podcast possible. Mwah!!!
I'm so impressed at the job Francis Lam is doing since taking over the show!
I have been a loyal Splendid Table listener for the past ten years. I, like many others, was sad to learn that Lynne would be retiring, but have continued to listen each week, hoping that Francis would find his stride. That may have happened, but the show is almost unrecognizable in relationship to what it had been in the past. I’ve always listened to the show for seasonally relevant tips and recipes, to learn new techniques, and to hear from others as to what they’re facing in their home kitchens. Now, when I tune in, it seems as though every week the majority of the show is food politics, and the like. (As background, I’m a mid-thirties, liberal Democrat, and even I’m tired of the arc of the show. The last show I listened to was about vegetarian-ism and masculinity issues. Seriously.) It’s not that I think Francis’ new turn to the show is wrong. It is that it has fundamentally changed the nature of the show and what it has always been. I’m very disappointed. NPR has lost my donation. Here’s to hoping Lynne might return at minimum, for Turkey Confidential in November.
Francis hasn't improved the show much, and his voice doesn't even compare to Lynn's beautiful one.😜 Since he started hosting, there have been so many repeat shows. I'm pretty sure there's one at least once every other week, and the worst part is they're presented as new shows in your feed. Also, the show is much less about food now and much more about politics, racism, culture, etc. I'm just here for the food and recipes, and I don't care about that stuff. There are still some good elements to the show- the listener questions are always my favorite part. But most of the time I'm just like "really, Francis..?"
While I agree it is important to tell the stories behind those who make food and advocate for justice every part of our lives, this podcast has ceased to satisfy me. Most of Public Radio/podcast media I consume informs me of social ills and how to affect change. I just want a podcast that takes me on a gastro adventure and guides me to imagine new flavors. Can anyone recommend some alternatives? Since Lynn left Francis has watered down the experience significantly.
Francis is amazing. Really thoughtful topics on more than just cooking. His rapport with and respect for the people he’s interviewing is clear. And when he laughs, I laugh.
This show is just getting stronger, more accessible, and more relevant every week. Kudos to Francis and the team!
Dear Francis, I love the direction you are taking the show. I fully agree that food is about the people who produce food, who cook food and who share and eat food. Your energy and style are such a welcome and civilized reminder of respect and kindness so very needed in these challenging times. Thank you. Kind regards, Christina Lindstrom
I have listened to “The Splendid Table” for several years. I think I have listened to almost every episode. I enjoy the wide variety of interviewees. I liked the Lynn Rosetto Casper, but also really enjoy the younger version with Frances Lamb.
I love the show and the new direction. So why are you using the same lame music? It’s distracting from his otherwise very smooth and relaxing delivery. keep the great interviews, but change the music please!
When Francis took over for Lynne, I was excited because I thought there would be a new show every week. I assumed that the reason that the show recycled so many segments so frequently, and recycled them multiple times, was because Lynne was getting ready to retire and couldn’t devote herself to creating new shows all the time. Needless to say, I was disappointed to hear shows repeated almost as soon as Francis took over. Yes, they were the shows he had done last year, when he and Lynne were alternating weeks, but they were still repeats. I’ve been listening religiously since at least 2006; I feel that I know most of the episodes by heart. So I can tell when shows are being recycled. It wasn’t only the Splendid Table, either: many other public radio shows were doing the same thing, such as Speaking of Faith, which has now been renamed On Being. Apparently the economic situation is still dire for public radio. Keep contributing folks!
I used to listen to the Splendid Table a few years ago but got a bit burned out. Just downloaded an episode today for my run and I really enjoyed it! Good variety, enough depth on each segment, fun content. I'll be back!
I used to adore this podcast. I love Lynne’s enthusiasm. I do like Francis’ inclusion of diverse foods/food topics and non-European foods. I’ve since attempted making pho. But lately it’s ALL RERUNS. Reruns from when I started listening 2 years ago. It’s almost offensive how lax this podcast has become. I’m wholly disappointed. The most recent podcast had an interesting title. The first segment was fascinating...then reruns
The Splendid Table is the first podcast I ever listened to. It became a Sunday morning treat to listen to after church every week. Lynne Rosetto Casper was an awesome hostess and commentator I came to consider a friend. I was hesitant that anyone could fill her shoes. Frances Lamb is doing an admirable job in my opinion. It is still my favorite podcast!
Do you like to cook? Are you a restless cook, always on the hunt for fresh ideas? Looking to pull off something amazing for your next dinner party? If any of these descriptions fits you, I could not recommend any other podcast more highly. Inventive, informative, filled with interesting segments, powered by people who really have their fingers on the pulse of food today. Not “stunt-y” or “molecular” but practical and delicious. Sign up for their “Weeknight Kitchen” emails, too. Really fun, and useful no matter where you live.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper taught me how to cook over years of the show, and she felt like family. The new host, Francis Lam, has taken this show in a wonderful direction, bringing in diverse voices and multiple views on important subjects. I am deeply grateful for both the show's past and its future.
I enjoy this podcast, and Francis Lam has been great! BUT... I realize podcasts are an audio medium, and that the subject is food, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can we have less closely mic'ed sounds of people slurping, chewing, lip-smacking, etc? These are intensely repulsive and appetite-killing sounds in real life, and the effect is magnified X1000 when experienced through earbuds. Don't even get me started on Bridget Lancaster's dog...
This is my favorite food podcast
I have always loved this show! It informs and inspires me in my kitchen. It has made me a much better foodie.
Powerful teaching bites. Appreciate the energy as it forages the relevant. I’ve enjoyed The Splendid Table for years even as it morphs. Thank you Lynne! And now thank you Francis!
Great topics, covered in a very approachable way. A nice diversion from all the anxiety in our society these days.


Love that Americas Test Kitchen now contributes to this show
I like learning from the various guests.
The Splended Table often goes back in my playlist to listen to again. Pieces of advice that were not relevant months ago suddenly connect with a problem or idea I am working on. It is an excellent replacement for my America's Test Kitchen Radio podcast. Thank you for all the variety of useful and entertaining information.
But please stop with the slurping and chewing sounds!! I can't listen to the episodes that have them, drives me insane
I don’t remember when I discovered Splendid Table but loved it from the first. My favorite was when Lynne would create receipes from callers leftovers plus her allowed addition of salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil. I may not be remembering 100% correctly but she always amazed me with her creativity! Best to Francis Lam as he assumes the reigns.
This is really the best podcast I have ever listened to!
Love this podcast, especially the variety of stories, recipes, and ways to explore food.
Well researched and produced. Informative and fun. If you like ATK, Milk Street, Radiolab or Sporkfull, don't miss out on this!
I love that this episode featured some food from areas of the world often forgotten. Melissa Clark is way to excited and i literally couldn't finish the episode. Which is sad because this is one of my favorite podcast.i think it was mostly the pitch of her voice that became intolerable and reaping the same phrases.
I look forward to listening to the latest episode every week -- the hosts are super knowledgeable & friendly, the topics & guests are always fascinating & leave me hungry to try something new to eat or cook, the calls/ questions are fun to listen to too. All in all I always get a warm feeling from this podcast, love it!! :)
Lynne has been a fabulous voice to listen to over the years, providing such a joyful and beautiful take on the art of cooking. While I am sad to see her stepping away, I am so thrilled that The Splendid Table will be left in the immensely capable hands of Francis Lam. He has a different perspective which is just as valuable, and it is just inspiring to see him pick up the lofty role left by Lynne with such graciousness and sensitivity. I can't wait to listen for many more years to come!