Cooking and Cuisine

Marcel Proust has his little madeleine cakes. Calvin Trillin has Arthur Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City. And Tulsa-based writer and editor Mark Brown has, well, his mother's bygone fried chicken. Food, for so many of us, is about much more than taste and sustenance, much more than flavors and rations. It's about culture, society, tradition, and practically everything else --- about the past, the seasons, our memories, our loved ones. Food is as basic to the human species as are celebrations, rituals, fingerprints, or dreams.

On this installment of ST, a fascinating book about culture, cuisine, customs, cutlery, crockery, and civilization itself.

"It's always five o'clock somewhere," as the old saying goes. And this expression, of course, was as true in the 1770s or 1860s or 1930s as it is today --- and maybe it's all the more fitting right this instant, as we approach the holiday season. On today's show, therefore, we are discussing the histories, traditions, origins, myths, and/or recipes related to various cocktails.

On this edition of ST, we speak with celebrity chef John Besh about his latest book, "My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking." It's a volume aimed not at great cooks per se but, rather, at everyone who recognizes that there are obvious and immediate (and delicious) benefits to making more of one's meals at home.

On this installment of ST, we speak with James Oseland, who is the editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine --- and who is also known for his TV appearances as a judge on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters." Oseland's 2006 book, "Cradle of Flavor," a memoir with recipes about living in Southeast Asia, was an award-winning volume that drew rave reviews from critics, readers, and foodies alike.

Summertime, for food-lovers and capable chefs both near and far, is Vegetable Time. There are, of course, so many tasty veggies --- freshly picked, readily available, and in season --- at one's local market...wherever that market is located. On this edition of ST, therefore, we speak by phone with Susie Middleton, a chef, food writer, and gardener who lives and works on Martha's Vineyard, where she maintains a small farm.

Pages