Reviews For The Splendid Table: Conversations & Recipes For Curious Cooks & Eaters

Like many episodes lately, this was a repeat. I wouldn’t mind so much if it was stated it is a repeat, or encore like many other podcasts will do.
This is a professional podcast, it has a nice structure and has great variety. There are well informed interviews with authors and has great call-in segments to answer listener questions. Also there are special returning guests that are super fun because they show up with a well thought out topic to address. I have even been able to leave a recording of a cooking tip that got played on the show! I love the show!! Mike Dearing
Recently a guest said it had been a “lifetime dream” to be on the show, and Francis was like - “really? You should aim higher than that.” Sure, it’s a joke but it also sums up the vibe- and it made me pause, and actually unsubscribe. I miss Jane and Micheal stern. I like Francis as a host, actually. But the show needs “features” or… something.
My family used to love this show and binge listen on car rides. Now we are quick to change the channel when it airs on our local NPR station. Francis Lam’s radio speaking voice is nearly inaudible. Unsure if it’s his radio equipment, just his voice or both. The “new” show features up-and-coming chefs and trendy restaurants in big cities, which is fine. But there used to be a balance between the stories about professional chefs and the interests/betterment of the home chef. Understanding that Lynne is irreplaceable, there is something missing from this show now. It feels like work to listen to.
Sad the format is just a commercial
While I agree with some of the reviews that critique the over-abundance of chefs and cookbook authors (and too little an emphasis on home cooks), I think Francis’ style keeps it fun, engaging and diverse. I also love his giggle! Lynn was a gem, but it’d unfair to expect Francis to be a replica of her. He brings his own style and I enjoy it. I always come away from an episode with cooking ideas.
I so looked forward to this show for YEARS and loved Lynne’s intelligence, practicality, and joy. I learned so much from her and Sally, especially the podcasts that were offshoots of TST-How to Eat Weekends & How to Eat Supper. I completely respect that Lynne deserved to retire after unselfishly giving us her time and talents and good humor for so long. I just really wish a host that was worthy of the job could be found. Clearly FL knows food from a chef’s perspective and can speak to the technicalities of food. No one’s questioning that, I'd guess. It would seem that he is also trying to make us believe that ethnic cooks are the people we should be following at this point. Certainly it's fair to include ALL food-related, talented people in the interviews, especially when THEY are featured so we hear their stories firsthand. Please--stop the over-the-top, irritating giggling. Feels unprofessional, forced, and self-aggrandizing--words that could NEVER be used to describe Lynne.
I have been motivated to try so many new foods after listening to this … excellent show!!
Used to love this show (especially pre Francis). Found it helpful as a home cook and always uplifted my spirits and inspired. This past week’s episode with hearing Rene Redzepi complain about selling and educating cooks with his bottle of garum really shows the disconnect between the audience and the show. I think I’ll unsubscribe now.
For months now it’s just been repeat after repeat. Record new episodes for gods sake.
I rarely write a review, but I have to on this one in the hopes that some producer will listen. This show used to be funny, interesting, useful to the home cook and full of fun and quirky segments. Now it’s a rambling collection of interviews with chefs and cookbook authors that put listeners to sleep. Unfortunately, after many, many years of being a loyal listener, I’m hitting the unsubscribe button. Hopefully, you’ll make this show fun again.
Shows have gotten away from recipes and foods more about cookbooks that Mr Lam has edited. Very disappointing. Very few new shows more replay. ZERO Stars. Show has really gone downhill.
The number of repeat episodes is getting worse. It’s been going on for weeks now.
No one keeps posting old episodes like this
OMG so oppressive that the British MADE Indians drink tea and take tea breaks during work. 🙄 The second half of this episode was so annoying. I studied in India and was graced with many cups of chai from loving families, memories now tainted by your bitterness.
Francis, another great episode. Can you post a recipe for crispy ramen. That sounded delicious in this episode. Thanks, Sandy
How could you not love this show? Francis is fun, whimsical, inquisitive, thoughtful and brimming with curiosity. I look forward to his show every week sharing some of the lesser known food narratives out there.
Thank you so much for rebroadcasting this interview I had missed. Dr. Harris was a wonderful guest. I will be watching High on the Hog and looking for her books. She sounds like a fascinating person and so humble. I wish I got to be at a dinner party with her.
FIrst time listener: I couldn’t resist listening to the Deborah Madison episode as she quite literally changed the way I cook and eat. She was wonderful when Francis gave her the chance to speak, which was not nearly enough for me. I wanted to hear the guest and not the self-important host who seems to care more about getting his info out than celebrating his guest. He seems knowledgeable but too interested in proving himself than allowing his guest to be the star. Gave the podcast another shot recently. I really like nigella Lawson but didn’t get as much of her as I’d wanted. once more the host hijacked her time to tell an uninteresting personal story while nigella awkwardly waited for him to finish…and what’s worse, he sadly seemed genuinely bored with her. I think he really wants a show where he can talk about his favorite subject: himself.
I absolutely LOVE The Splendid Table. As a super fan of Lynne Rossetto Kasper, I was not sure how I would respond to a new host. Francis Lam is an incredible host - he is intelligent, hilarious, calming and a joy to listen to. Thank you for this brilliant show.
What a delight. Francis Lam has taken over the helm of this show in a way that honors its founder and its past, but also makes it fresh and relevant and irresistible. Bravo! So excited to binge listen to all the episodes I’ve missed, and I can’t wait for all the new ones to come.
I’ve been listening to TST since it was just a radio show. I’ve always been delighted by the offerings and it continues to do so to this day! How do you do it? Francis shares his incredible wealth of knowledge and I look forward to listening the next week and finding out what new things I can learn from the show. I especially love the annual thanksgiving show - I have a ritual of listening to it while I cook my family’s dinner. Can’t think of a world without TST! Thanks, Francis et al!
I live this podcast. Soothing and inspiring. An excellent listen on both a run and in the night when I can’t sleep. Thank you!
I miss Lynne but Francis Lim has a soothing voice (like Lynne) and has an infectious, gentle glee for the subjects. I like to listen to this before bed.
Loved this podcast so much when Lynne was at the helm. Now it’s just terrible. Francis Lam is annoying and talks over his guests so much that they may as well have never come on the show. And his annoying giggle when he’s trying to be cute about something is just. . . Ugh. You’ve lost this fan.
I love listening to this each week while I cook or bake, it’s soothing, inspiring, and so interesting each time. I have also purchased so many amazing cookbooks thanks to the show! Thanks for promoting such varying cuisines & worldviews.
I’ve tried to enjoy the show with the new host, it’s just not the same. I used to love to listen to The Splendid Table on the weekends. Now I find it boring.
I thought I was the only dope who accidentally froze tofu, and then it became an intentional choice. Break up your frozen tofu, a great stand in for ricotta cheese
When I hear chewing and swallowing I have to skip ahead.
Love the format and the content is great. Informative as well as entertaining. Just one thing, stop saying “right on”. Not sure why it irritates me but,,,,,,,,
I’ve tried to listen to this podcast over the last few months but every time something ridiculous is said i.e. apologizing for the aesthetic pleasing look of monochromatic FOOD and the just now comment of how men are terrible is just what i needed to unfollow this one…
Wonderful topics beyond the usual, great guests, but no links to find the guests on their blogs or Instagram accounts, sometimes not even their names. Links to the restaurants so we can go patronize them would be great. Organizations web sites so we can connect, and maybe donate. Some episodes do this, but others, like the American Chinese food, don’t. One annoying thing about Francis Lam: he giggles. Sometimes when there’s nothing really funny. A nervous giggle.
Love, enjoy hearing about all the incredible guest and their life and how all the world can be so together
I’ve never written a review to a podcast before…. the bizarrely negative intro to this episode compelled me. COVID has made a mess of us all but there’s little excuse for the angry vitriol spewed here. This calm practiced radio voice delivery does little to mask the seething strange, angry and idiosyncratic opinion of our host. You won’t let your kids watch it?!?!! What an extreme statement for a film intent on inspiring the next generation of young chefs.
I love listening to Francis Lam’s voice and laugh. His conversations flow naturally with guests. He’s knowledgeable and a great conversationalist


By pmcmart
Hey Francis, great podcast. Do a piece on heirloom beans. I order nine from Franco Gordo. Include some simple recipes. Happy new year!
Francis Lam, you are a Friend. Thanks for your thoughtful and always kind demeanor. Never thought anyone could take over from Lynn who would work but you are the perfect fit.
Francis is well versed in food culture but does not take himself too seriously
Just listened to 2hrs of Turkey Confidential the day after Thanksgiving… Francis Lam brings out the very best in each of his guests… I am an avid Lynn Rosetta Casper fan … Francis was & is the perfect person to continue the gift of The Splendid Table … Thank You so very much.


Annoying giggle, too much sucking up. I understand he is trying to come out from Lynne’s shadow…problem is we miss Lynne and the show we loved and looked forward to so much. And stop the freakish giggle.
At its height, this was a magazine show with both reliable segments (e.g., road food reports from Jane and Michael Stern, gear reviews from America’s Test Kitchen, and even a “Stump the Cook” game during the call-in portion) and a variety of interviews and correspondent reports on topics ranging from history to science to business to contemporary social and environmental concerns - all as they are related to food. As Lynne Rossetto Kasper edged toward retirement, however, the savory theme song changed to a guitar riff that was far less evocative of culinary resplendence, presaging the dissolution of the resplendence of the show itself as Frances Lam eased into the host seat. Today, the Splendid Table is more of an interview series that focuses on chefs and authors, often emphasizing either the challenges of demographic discrimination or the personal struggles of the interview subjects themselves, sacrificing opportunities to explore food from so many other angles. The result is now a boring show that marinades in the zeitgeist rather than introducing the audience to new ideas or concerns, and a show that sacrifices the potential for dynamic engagement by broadcasting repetitive interviews. Ultimately, I suspect this is the result of three factors: (1) indolence; (2) market pressure to focus on social trends; and (3) the decreasing budget of professional journalism. I am on the verge of ending my subscription, but I still hold out hope that Francis and the producers will find a way to return to the diverse range of topics and segments per episode that made this radio show so engaging to begin with.
This was, years ago, interesting. Now, it’s full of blasé conversation of self-absorbed host and guests full of fake praise and annoying chatter. It’s no longer a serious show.
Love listening to The Splendid Table. Francis has such a kind comforting voice. I love the questions he asks, and how he interacts with his guests.
He’s trying…however I have tried numerous times since he took over to understand where Minnesota Public Radio is going with this. Are your donations up? Has Francis increased listenership and enriched MPR? If he has, then you made the right decision and I’m just a 50 year old relic clinging to the past. If not, perhaps it’s time to admit your mistake and move on.
I’ve tried so hard to fall in love with this the way I loved Lynne. Not happening. This is really not a cooking show. It’s a show about chefs and culture, not a show for home cooks looking for ideas and solutions. I think I’m done.
This show is getting boring. Are you ever going to do a new episode?
If you haven’t listened since the days of LRC, it’s time to come home to the new Splendid Table. Francis is such a thoughtful, respectful, and curious host, and such a dear man. Perfect listen with your morning coffee.
Clearly I’m late to this party…but this is a phenomenal listen.