I’ve tried hard to like Francis, but his wandering, unfocused comments and annoying giggle have defeated me. I’ve resorted to going to the website and listening to the vintage episodes with Lynne.
I listen to this program every week. It is always interesting and culturally challenging! I love it. Thanks
Great to listen to while cooking!
Love the interviewer, love the guests, love the everything about the production. Keep up the good work!
Just can’t anymore...
I used to absolutely love this show, and I admit I was disappointed when LRK retired, but I’ve tried to give Francis a fair shot and it’s just not working for me. The show used to be about food and cooking. Now it’s all human interest stories and some weird insider world for chefs, not the home cook. No recipes, no food talk, no tips, no food culture... And Lam just isn’t that entertaining. I’m actively seeking other podcasts to fill the void.
Francis isn’t Lynn and that is okay, even great
I was super disappointed when Lynn moved on because she was so familiar, but I now really enjoy the angle Francis offers. It feels fresh and more meaningful to our current reality. I am not into the short bits with Melissa though. I find the sound recording annoying but maybe what she is sharing has appeal to someone else. I am vegan but like to hear about the cultural, worldview implications of food and diets, and I also enjoy the alchemy parts of cooking too. The storytelling is most interesting to me, not the quick tips for how to make dinner fast drivel.
Less giggles and let Melissa Clark
Less giggling more food and no more melissa Clark she is way too anxious
Francis Lam is simply amazing
I’ve read a ton of bad reviews on here of Francis Lam you have to listen for yourself to see but I love the show.
More food focus
Please, please stick to food stories!!!
It’s good but repetitive
I do listen every single week and I have learned some great tips and cooking and life ideas. I would appreciate if there was a warning about repeat segments on supposedly ‘new’ podcast content. It is annoying to hear the same interviews and content secretly put into new stuff. But, maybe I’m crazy and that’s not what’s happening.
Lam is a subpar substitute for LRK
While I still enjoy the show sometimes, I’m disappointed by Francis Lam. That laugh/giggle is disconcerting, both in sound and timing. It often seems to be deployed when Lam feels the need to interject but doesn’t have a full sentence or thought to add. I generally skip his segments and listen to the other parts of the show. I understand the need to grow and change, but I’m nostalgic for the old days of an actual food show.
Just as good!
While I started listening to ST under Lynn’s creative direction, I appreciate and true enjoy the new direction that the show has taken. I think there are a lot of negative reviews by folks that are unable to move on. To those people, they can listen to the old episodes. I think if one is open to new can be good, then they will enjoy Lam’s direction. After all, isn’t trying new things and enjoying them with friends and family what the show is about.
Never Miss a Show
I enjoy the direction that Francis has taken the show. Not only the recipes but interesting forays into food culture, history and ideas. He asks interesting questions too. I know Lynn hand picked Frances and I compliment her foresight. I am also glad to see Sally taking on a more prominent role and love her down-to-earth style.
This podcast used to be about the food...and now with new host Francis Lam it’s turned into a sort of “This American Life” with a food angle. I think Francis may not be the right fit for this podcast as he clearly wants to explore the cultures and socio-economic information of foods rather than the actual ingredients themselves. Francis also never seems to do the live caller sessions anymore which is disappointing. This podcast has really strayed from what drew me in originally. Please please PLEASE keep this show about the food.
So very tired of Lam’s ridiculous giggling. Can’t listen anymore.
No longer an interesting podcast
I’ve listened many years until the new host Francis whatever. Lynn kept it professional yet personal. This guy has that mocking laugh at the most inappropriate times like that friend who laughs too loud and too long Because they never left jr high. I’ve actually unsubscribed and when I listen to an episode I cringe and his cackle. Take note.
Talk about food
Thank you for bringing awareness to social/cultural issues but I listen to this show for the enjoyment of food. Please talk about food.
Calming and informative
One of my favorite ways to learn and relax. You guys have built a wonderful and welcoming space for cooks of all abilities. Francis does such incredible interviews and his laugh is so wonderful to hear. I love “Turkey Confidential” on Thanksgiving and have learned so much from your regular call-in sessions! Thanks for making me a better cook!
I love this podcast!!!
I love that this podcast opens my mind and world to what is going on in the world. I loved the recent themed podcast about using the left overs and scraps. I love hearing from and about chefs that live in the US and in other countries. I love learning how others cook, their food, and their cultures. Thank you for opening my eyes to the food and people world!!! I also enjoy stories about hidden food treasures. Keep up the good work and Thank you Francis. Your interest and interview style keeps me engaged. I love the newsletter and frequently download and print the recipes.
Agree with prior comments. Long time fan losing my interest over the non food topics to making every topic tied to a political issue. Am sympathetic but not why I listen.
Please stick to food stories. The world is over saturated with political views and I just need a break from it.
Can’t we just enjoy our food without politics?
Cooler Dan bacon
I am, or more accurately, was a huge fan of The Splendid Table. I loved Lynn Rosetto Casper and all of her interesting takes on food culture, but over the years it has grown to be way too political, especially since Francis Lam has become the new host. We can’t have a discussion about food without including with some sort of social or political discussion, whether it’s being a better environmentalist or including LGBTQ or racial issues in the food conversation. Maybe I’m just not very conscientious, but I would just like to talk about food without thinking about all the other issues involved in the world. Can’t I just take a relaxing minute in my car to learn how to cook a better pie without having to wonder where my cherries came from, and if they were sourced locally, or if the gay undocumented farm worker was treated fairly? I know these are all things to consider, but it would be nice not to have to think about them while I’m listening to The Splendid Table. Enjoying food is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but it isn’t anymore when EVERY story includes a social or political issue. It takes the fun out of the whole thing! Please, Splendid Table, take us back to just enjoying food and leave the political issues to the daily news reporters.
Rhode Island Ruth
I love Francis’s laugh. It lightens things up and illustrates that cooking can be fun.
Rhode Island Ruth
Excellent Food show!
This is a great show on food themes and food connects us not just recipes. I really enjoy Francis’ interviewing style, it’s very intimate.
Keanu Onwauchi best interview
Kwami’s story is so compelling and I think Francis asked some really good and probing questions. Not only great journalism on food but also on the still endemic racial inequality.
Not What It Used to Be
This review reflects the newer version of the Splendid Table, when the show switched hosts from Lynne Rossetti Kasper to Francis Lam. I’m not criticizing the show based on the fact that it switched hosts, because changing hosts doesn’t necessarily mean a change in quality. I became an avid listener of the ST a few months before Lynne’s departure, so while I was a fan sad to see her ago, I also didn’t consider myself a purist opposed to change itself.
Unfortunately, since Lynne’s left and been replaced by Francis, the soul of the show seems to have shifted. Oftentimes, the new iteration of the Splendid Table feels like a show about social justice & current events featuring food, rather than a show about food switch also may include those other topics when appropriate. As an devout listener of public radio, I’m far from the type of person to oppose this sort of discourse, but this change has fundamentally impacted my experience listening to the Splendid Table. Instead of what was once an easy listening, feel-good show about cooking and the simple pleasure of food, the Splendid Table is now a medium for tackling social issues using food to tie topics together. While this isn’t a bad thing, I do miss the old show’s charm and ability to remind us of the importance of food, shared experiences, and community. In a time when the political news seems to saturate every crevice of the media, the old Splendid Table is sorely missed. Sorry, but I no longer listen.
No Longer A Show About Food
I listened to LRK’s show for years and was sad to lose her work to her retirement, but when Francis took over for LRK, I was glad for the Fresh perspective he brought to the idea of what makes “AMERICAN” cuisine. I particularly loved the episodes where he introduced listeners to Filipino sauces and exquisite Mexican chiles. But over the last several months the show has ceased to be a celebration of food and an introduction of new ideas and ingredients to home cooks, and has instead become a celebration of food celebrity. The Splendid Table is no longer a tool for making the home table splendid, and that saddens me.
An excellent dish of a podcast
They serve it just like I’ve liked it since I was a kid. Thanks for keeping my soul fed.
Love the new Splendid Table
I enjoyed listening to LRK for years, but the transition to a new host has given this podcast new life. Francis Lam has big shoes to fill and is doing beautifully bringing his own style.
...is the most annoying laugh I’ve ever heard. It’s a shrill high pitched sound and he never stops. He laughs at the most inappropriate times which makes the conversations so awkward because no one else is laughing except for him. I want to like the pod but his laugh just ruins it for me.
A Listener for Decades
The interview with Kwame Onwachi was absolutely the best one I’ve listened to. Thank for sharing him with the world. I plan to send his book to my grandson.
Relaxing, informative, entertaining, and diverse!
As a consumer of TV shows, podcasts, and videos on food and cooking for a number of years, I am growing tired of hearing about celebrity chefs, what goes on in commercial kitchens, and all the political issues pertaining to food. I just want an escapist vehicle that motivates me to go into the kitchen and make something. Of the most recent shows (this is April, 2019), the only one I connected with was the one on cooking tools and knives, how you could sharpen a knife on the bottom of a ceramic cup. That's what sticks, and that's what I tune in for. As for the call-in segments, Francis just isn't programmed for that. Just drop the Splendid Table format and start over with something new rather than keeping The Splendid Table on life support.
Wrong - false advertising
Francis - if you are going to promote a recipe, you need tp try it first. I was a sucker to try this weekends roasted artichoke recipe. I always steam my artichokes and they are tender and delicious. I tried the roasted recipe and it is worthless and you should never have promoted it. Try it yourself and you will see that you owe your listeners an apology. I have been a big fan but now you are toast. Catherine Cain Glen, Montana
The foodie go to!
Tinker, tailor, candlestick maker...cook. This show satisfies all. If you can't find an episode that excites you, go back to eating your Big Mac!
Lost Without Lynne
I was a longtime listener of Splendid Table. I looked forward to it every week,
more than any other show. I have no problem with Francis as a person; He seems very smart, caring, and no doubt he is very accomplished. My problem is with the complete format change of the show. When Lynne hosted, every segment was different, fun, and interesting. There was lots of variety. She had a great rapport with guests. Now the show is based around a single theme. As many others have said, it is now less about the joy of cooking and more about people. More importantly, it just doesn’t feel fun anymore. I have no problem with the social message the new show is trying to convey, but it feels like a completely different show. The frequent reruns and repurposed segments don’t help either. So I am really missing the old Splendid Table, and I have sadly unsubscribed.
My favorite podcast
I was sad when Lynn was leaving, I admittedly had little faith in this new guy Francis. Boy was I wrong. I’m so glad I kept listening for the love of food and the culinary arts. Francis really is so great! It might be silly but I love his giggle. This show has great guests & always interesting segments. Can’t wait for the next one ☝🏼
I really love this show. I have learned so much about the world and life in other places through the lens of food. I have become a better cook and eater since I started listening. I wish there were more Key 3 segments and less reruns of episodes.
Some good, a lot of liberal nonsense too
I’ve enjoyed several episodes. Then I heard a boo-hop, liberal blah blah about cry me a river Sudanese illegals. PBS always has to inject, along the way, what is only relevant to ivory tower liberals. The show would be better being non-political.
Wide-ranging, thoughtful. Love the host's gentle personality. As a beginning home cook, I have learned so much from this podcast.
What a shame
It's so sad that the Splendid Table has gone so far downhill. After Lynne retired and passed the baton to Francis Lam the show is a mere shadownof itself. Gone are the passionate calls with listeners, exuberant talks about foos and off the cuff recipes. Gone is the love. Francis is more interested in people than the food they make. His knowledge is nothing compared to Lynne's. Not to mention it seems like 3 out of 4 episodes are now complete repeats or combinations of past interviews. I can't bear to give TST less than 3 stars because of the decades of beauty Lynne left us, but Francis is so milquetoast I hardly ever listen anymore.
One of my favorites
I appreciate the cultural history aspect of this podcast. I love to cook, and I love to eat, and I really love hearing other people’s stories. Listening to The Splendid Table grows my culinary know-how along with my human empathy. Thanks for all your hard work, Sally, Francis, and everyone!
I love this podcast. I learn SO much about food and cooking. And beyond that, it exposes me to different perspectives —it makes me think. Francis is a wonderful host—funny, knowledgeable, and curious.
Too much politics
The show was great with Lynn. I’m sad with the way the show has turned into a political agenda. The last straw was Cecile Richards “baking pies” which was not at all about cooking. No more of this podcast for me.
Used to be better
Splendid table used to be my favorite podcast (Lynn was the host)... when I heard Frances was going to take it on- I was sad but decided to give him a try.
There have been good episodes, I’m just a bit surprised Splendid table would put someone on as host, who isn’t as culturally rounded as Lynn. I was actually embarrassed for the show in the more recent episode when Frances and guest joke about ‘carrying a mantle’... they had no clue what it even meant.
(Psst... it’s not a fireplace mantle! 🤦🏽♀️)
Bottom line- The guests are generally interesting, I hope the hosting improves over time.
I have been hearing a lot of “repurposed” segments in the new format. It’s frustrating to get into a podcast on a commute only to realize that parts are reruns.
A foodie must
This podcast is something every foodie should listen to. I have learned so much about food history, new cookbooks and books about food. Also news about food trends. What more could a foodie want to know. Very interesting and entertaining.
Francis Lam is magnificent
Topics are diverse but host Lamb approaches all with curiosity, intelligence and generosity. The Edna Lewis special is a perfect example of this podcast’s blend of cuisine and culture.
I have loved this podcast for many years and am so grateful to have it for my commute to work. Thanks Francis, for the fabulous job you’re doing, and thanks to all the folks who make this podcast possible. Mwah!!!
Impressed by Francis Lam!
I'm so impressed at the job Francis Lam is doing since taking over the show!
Show’s new agenda disappointing
I have been a loyal Splendid Table listener for the past ten years. I, like many others, was sad to learn that Lynne would be retiring, but have continued to listen each week, hoping that Francis would find his stride. That may have happened, but the show is almost unrecognizable in relationship to what it had been in the past.
I’ve always listened to the show for seasonally relevant tips and recipes, to learn new techniques, and to hear from others as to what they’re facing in their home kitchens. Now, when I tune in, it seems as though every week the majority of the show is food politics, and the like.
(As background, I’m a mid-thirties, liberal Democrat, and even I’m tired of the arc of the show. The last show I listened to was about vegetarian-ism and masculinity issues. Seriously.)
It’s not that I think Francis’ new turn to the show is wrong. It is that it has fundamentally changed the nature of the show and what it has always been. I’m very disappointed.
NPR has lost my donation. Here’s to hoping Lynne might return at minimum, for Turkey Confidential in November.