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The Best Table Talk Questions and Answers of 2018

marssy | Dec 21, 201810:02 AM    

What a year we've had in 2018! We cannot thank you enough for giving life and knowledge to the Chowhound community.

In 2018, we hosted on Table Talk twelve cookbook authors and chefs featuring Dorie Greenspan, Diana Henry, Nigella Lawson, Samin Nosrat, Anthony Bourdain, and the very own Dogfather Snoop Dogg—who is still working on answering your questions because he's Snoop and has a million things on his plate.

Here we want to list our favorite Table Talk questions and answers of 2018—we'd love to learn which ones are your favorites!

** From Table Talk with Nigella Lawson - https://www.chowhound.com/post/table-....

— Question by Westminstress - https://www.chowhound.com/post/table-...
Do you like to read other people's cookbooks, like many of us do? Which cookbooks do you find most inspiring these days?

— Nigella:
I love reading cookbooks and have an extensive collection, always on the look-out for new ones. And right now I would heartily recommend BraveTart by Stella Parks, Salt, Fat, Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat, Onions Etcetera by Kate Winslow and Guy Ambrosino, Fresh India by Meera Sodha and How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry.

** From Table Talk with Diana Henry - https://www.chowhound.com/post/table-...

— Question by LJSTUBBS - https://www.chowhound.com/post/table-...
I cooked so many recipes from Simple! Experiencing the different flavours was inspiring and delicious. Where do you go for inspiration?

— Diana:
I do a lot of travelling. It’s very hard when you're travelling not to get inspired, honestly. In my second trip to Iceland, for example, I was with my boyfriend at that time and I started to write notes on my notebook after breakfast when we left the hotel.

He said, “What are you writing? We’ve only just had breakfast, so you can't have anything to say,” but when you are in a place like Iceland, you’re suddenly surrounded by ingredients that are not always at the front of your mind so you have to take notes.

I’ve never cooked with licorice until I went to Iceland. Icelanders also cook with lovage and angelica—the latter is quite hard to get. You have to grow it yourself.

When you're away, you see dishes and you might be in a homely place or you might be in quite a fancy place and you’ll think, “Oh, that’s an interesting dish but I wouldn’t do it that way. I would take this element and I do it this way,” so I do something slightly different.

** From Table Talk with Samin Nosrat - https://www.chowhound.com/post/table-...

— Question by pistachio peas - https://www.chowhound.com/post/table-...
Hi Samin, I love the way you cook. If you had to describe one meal (could be several courses) that encapsulates your cooking identity, what would the components be?
And if there's time for a bonus question: what are your favorite ways to bring together Iranian and Californian cuisines? (I'm Iranian too. Hi!)

— Samin:
Great to hear that you are Iranian too!

This is going to be a weird meal because I have so many different parts of my identity. Definitely Persian rice with tahdigs.

My favorite version of the Persian rice is the sabzi polo, which has herbs in it, and then there has to be something Mexican – my mom would get a rotisserie chicken from the store and tortillas and salsa and we’d made little chicken tacos at home—it’s one of my favorite meals growing up. So I’d probably make a buttermilk roast chicken. Then I would make a hybrid between Iranian shirazi salad and pico de gallo. It’s just tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and lemon juice but then I would add cilantro, lime juice, and some chiles, so it would be like a pico de gallo salad.

Lastly, I’d make ice cream for dessert because that’s my favorite food.

In reference to your second question, the answer is so simple: feta cheese and herbs. Iranians sit down and eat a big plate of herbs at the beginning of every meal and I never really got fully comfortable doing that so my way of bringing that to my own cooking is by adding a huge herb salad on top of any other salad I make. I did it for the bean salad in the Heat episode. I also put yogurt on everything.

** From Table Talk with Anthony Bourdain - https://www.chowhound.com/post/flash-...

— Question by PennyG - https://www.chowhound.com/post/flash-...
I listened to an interview you did with Lynne Rossetto Kasper of The Splendid Table where you spoke of lovingly preparing your daughter’s lunches to take to school taking “perverse pleasure” in making some kooky stuff you knew none of the other kids had in their lunches! Your daughter must be nearing her teenage years now. Does she still welcome your kooky (your word) lunches?
As a side comment, my husband and I have watched all of your shows together for years now. You know how people periodically muse about, “If you could have 3 people over for a dinner party - anyone, dead or alive ... who would you invite?” Well, for us, that list always includes YOU. We just think you would be a fun guy to kick back with and enjoy some good food and drink.
Keep on doing what you’re doing! Take care.

— Antony Bourdain:
Wow, that’s very kind. I still love challenging my daughter; she loves Spam musubi, for instance. That’s something she loves bringing to school.

** From Table Talk with Dorie Greenspan - https://www.chowhound.com/post/table-...

— Question by bmorecupcake - https://www.chowhound.com/post/table-...
Your cookbooks have hundreds of recipes, especially when you consider the variations. Have you actually cooked every recipe with all the variations in your home kitchen at some point in your life?

— Dorie:
The answer is YES! In capital letters, with an exclamation point.
In order for a recipe to find its way into one of my cookbooks, it has to be tested, often several times.
I have a spiral-bound notebook and that’s where I keep all of my testing notes. You can see in it where I’ve crossed stuff out and where I put stars next to the ones that I think are good.

I’ll work on a recipe until I get it the way I want it. Then, I’ll write the recipe completely - the ingredient list and the directions - and that gets sent to my recipe tester, Mary Dodd. I work in my own home kitchen, she works in hers – that way we get to see how things work with different ovens, tools and ingredients.

We’ll go back and forth with notes. If she has a question about something, if she thinks something doesn’t work properly, I’ll go back and I’ll remake it. It’s not just that I’ve made these recipes in my home kitchen, it’s likely that I’ve made them several times.

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