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The voice of good food
(article, Kim Carlson)
Lynne Rossetto Kasper defies labels. While many people know her as a talk-show host and [/author/Lynne_Rossetto+Kasper "cookbook-author extraordinaire,"] Kasper is also a food educator and food advocate, a champion of real food who concerns herself with politics and community responsibility as much as with technique and flavor. Read our recent interview with her to get a sense of this.
Kasper's new book, co-written with her "Splendid Table" co-creator Sally Swift, has one of the longer titles we've seen on a cookbook in a while: The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show. Maybe that's because it's more than a cookbook. Rich with content, the book has the breadth of a good radio program — or website — with lots of sidebars, "Cook to Cook" notes, and entertaining quotes ("'Carpe diem' does not mean 'fish of the day'"). Little anecdotes make it a fun read, and gorgeous photos and Kasper's friendly cadence round out the package.
That cadence comes through loud and clear in the Culinate interview:
[%image reference-image float=right width=400 caption="Try Summer Zucchini Pasta for just a taste of Lynne Rossetto Kasper's talent."]
bq. I was raised in an Italian family. And food was primary; food was part of who we were. And we didn’t eat like everyone else, and at times that was a source of great embarrassment.
bq. I desperately wanted to be able to have Wonder Bread and chicken pot pie and frozen vegetables. And I’d go to my friend’s houses and they had all these things that I was just not allowed to eat. I couldn’t have any white flour or white sugar. Which meant no soda, no cake. White bread took on an aura of being the holy grail for me.
Kasper eventually got over her desire for Wonder Bread — and now, each week on the radio, she brings a sophisticated palate and sense of wonder to her work in food. Luckily for us, she also knows the value of a 20-minute recipe for everyday eaters who just need to know what to do with the zucchini that's threatening to take over the garden.
There's something splendid about that.