John Wurdeman studied music and art before becoming a winemaker in the country of Georgia. His winery, Pheasant's Tears, has revived an 8,000-year-old Georgian winemaking tradition. He tells Melissa Clark what brought him there, the myriad varieties of Georgian wines, and the integral part they play in that country's meals.
Bonnie Benwick translates chef recipes for the home cook in the Washington Post's Plate Lab column. She tells Melissa Clark about some of the challenges you'll face when attempting a restaurant meal in your own kitchen.
With almost 800 pages of recipes and striking photography, Magnus Nilsson's The Nordic Cookbook is the definitive work on the food cultures of his native land. He spoke with Melissa Clark about the impact winter has on the Nordic countries, the common source of everyone's family herring recipe, and the enduring popularity of taco quiche.
What rare wines are to some, heirloom beans are to Rancho Gordo's Steve Sando. Lynne Rossetto Kasper talks to him about how he got his start, his favorite kinds of beans, and his "foolproof" method for preparing them.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper: So how did you get into beans?
Aperitivo is northern Italy's version of happy hour, only instead of half-priced beers and a sketchy taco bar, light drinks and small plates carry the day. Marisa Huff writes about these cocktails and appetizers in the aptly-titled Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy, and speaks with Splendid Table contributor Shauna Sever about them.
Shauna Sever: For the uninitiated, can you paint us a picture of this lovely Italian tradition of aperitivo?
Eggs are tricky. Molly Birnbaum, executive editor of Cook's Science for America's Test Kitchen, agrees, and says it all comes down to the white and the yolk. She tells Sally Swift how to best soft-boil an egg and shares a recipe for Runny Yolk Sauce.
What defines great restaurant service? Restaurateur Will Guidara, co-owner of New York's renowned Eleven Madison Park, shares his thoughts, and why it sometimes includes personalized bocce balls, with Francis Lam.
Francis Lam: So I'm going to start with a very simple question for you: What is great service?
Summer is the season for low-alcohol drinks, from session beers to spritzes. Talia Baiocchi, co-author of Spritz, tells Melissa Clark about how some of these drinks, long popular in Italy, are making their way to the U.S.
Melissa Clark: So, summer is around the corner, and in summer people like to drink low-alcohol beverages. Can you give us some ideas of how we can do that?
Smokers are closely associated with meat. But there is a world of meatless uses for them as well, from potatoes and eggs to water and even ice cream. Project Smoke author Steven Raichlen tells Joe Yonan all about them.
Joe Yonan: To some people, the idea of smoking without meat is an oxymoron.
In 1987, an Englishwoman named Jekka McVicar started growing herbs in her backyard. Nothing unusual about that -- herb gardens are rampant in the U.K. But the one Jekka McVicar grew made her famous, and she's left the backyard to create the largest herb nursery in the U.K., growing some 300 herbs.
"Working completely seasonally, and working with a vegetable garden, what you tend to have is a feast or a famine," says chef Skye Gyngell of the restaurant Spring and author of a book by the same name.