From the unusual food cravings of American presidents (squirrel soup, anyone?) to a seafood masterclass from one of the world’s greatest chefs, Eric Ripert, these are the Milk Street Radio episodes you loved in 2023.

Nigella on Nigella

In this episode, we interview Nigella Lawson. We discuss what’s to love about brown food, what’s to hate about tasting menus and what everyone gets wrong about cooks. For Valentine's Day, we explore the life of chocolatier Milton Hershey, make a decadent Dark Chocolate Terrine with Coffee and Cardamom, and take your baking questions with Cheryl Day. Plus, Dan Pashman gets us ready for the Super Bowl with a definitive guide to eating chicken wings.

White House Noshes: What Presidents Really Eat

Jefferson ate capon, Eisenhower craved squirrel soup and Grant had a habit of throwing bread across the table. In this episode, we go into the White House with Alex Prud’homme to hear culinary stories from presidential history, like how Julia Child charmed her way into a state dinner and why Eleanor Roosevelt may have used Jell-O salad to get revenge on FDR. Plus, the late Raghavan Iyer reflects on curry, Indian cuisine and his legacy as a culinary educator; Alex Aïnouz experiments with AI in the kitchen; and we learn a recipe known as “killer spaghetti.”

Dining Disasters, Crazy Chefs and a Michelin-Starred Nightmare: True Restaurant Stories

We share stories from the world of fine dining. Maître d' Michael Cecchi-Azzolina has encounters with mobsters, fainting celebrities and unruly guests at New York’s top restaurants and reveals the secrets to great service. Writer Geraldine DeRuiter sits down for the world’s strangest Michelin-starred meal: She eats rancid cheese, slurps foam out of a ceramic mouth and is forced to watch the kitchen staff play extreme sports. Plus, historian Rebecca Spang uncovers the invention of the restaurant, Sara Moulton reveals the most baffling thing she ever witnessed in her career as a chef, and actors tell us how waiting tables unexpectedly helped their theater careers.

The Secrets of Cooking Fish with Eric Ripert

We get a seafood masterclass from one of the world’s greatest chefs, Eric Ripert. He also explains why sauce is the hardest technique to master and reflects on the moment he decided to change the way he ran Le Bernardin. Plus, Milk Street’s science editor, Guy Crosby, joins us to answer our most pressing food science questions, and we uncover the true origins of Chicken Kyiv.

Falcons are smart, fast and lethal––but they can also be a farm’s greatest defense against losing an entire harvest. Master falconer Alina Blankenship tells us about protecting fields of grapes and blueberries with her flock of highly-skilled birds, from the falcon that operates like a jet-fighter to the hawk that patrols crops like a bouncer. Plus, Kim Severson reports on Gen Z’s “milk shame” and what the dairy industry is trying to do about it; Alex Aïnouz pursues perfect creme brûlée; and we learn to make a vegetarian Carbonara where you won’t miss the meat.

Exploding Chickens, Shrimp Cannons and Biscuit Bazookas: Food Myths with Adam Savage

Adam Savage of “MythBusters” fame joins us to break down his favorite food experiments, including the time he dropped an Olympic swimmer into a giant vat of syrup. Plus, reporter Rebecca Rosman investigates America Week at a popular French grocery store; J. Kenji López-Alt cracks the code on Chicago thin-crust pizza; and we travel to Rome for Cloud Bread.

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