Latest Episode

Ep. 102: The Hurt Lingers. How Do We Heal?

Friday December 03, 2021

Raw, uncomfortable, embarrassed, wounded, defensive, inadequate. These are the feelings many of us experience as we face the wine industry’s most sensitive issues, including sexism, racism, and inequity. To wrap up this season, we invited two activists to give us an assessment of how much progress has been made in recent years, which pain points still exist, and the work that remains to be done.

Rania Zayyat is the founder of Lift Collective, an advanced sommelier, and Wine Director of Bufalina Wine and Bufalina Pizza. Miguel de Leon is a writer, podcaster, and advocate for BIPOC professionals in the wine industry; he’s also the Wine Director for Pinch Chinese.



Ep. 101: Bonus Episode — Maggie Henriquez on the Luxury Market

Friday November 26, 2021

In this bonus episode, Maggie Henriquez, PhD, President and CEO of the prestige Champagne house Krug, joins us for a special interview. Katherine and Maggie discuss the beginnings of Krug and how she navigated the luxury market during the pandemic. We’ll be back next week with our final episode of the season.

Ep. 100: What Wine Gets Wrong About Indigenous Americans

Friday November 19, 2021

In this episode, we hear from two wine-world leaders about their experiences as Indigenous Americans, and the ignorance they must contend with every day, from incorrect old stereotypes about alcohol to the appropriation of Indigenous art and terminology by wine marketers.

Our guides in this conversation are Elaine Chukan Brown, a wine writer, Indigenous mentor, educator, and the founder of Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews; and Tara Gomez, winemaker at Kitá Wines and cofounder and cowinemaker at Camins 2 Dreams.

Ep. 99: Feeling Conflicted About Selling Luxury

Friday November 12, 2021

In a time of desperate need, how does it feel to be selling hedonism? Is it possible to find peace and purpose in a career that underscores income inequality?

Joining us for this episode are Cristie Norman, President of The United Sommeliers Foundation, Lead Sommelier at the Wynn Resort, Las Vegas, and CEO of the Online Wine Course; and Anna-Christina Cabrales, sommelier, founder of Sommation, and Education and Innovation Manager at Independence Wine & Spirits.

Ep. 98: Everyone (Except our Guests) Is Wrong About Sustainability

Friday November 05, 2021

Why does Martin want to “make lighter bottles sexy”? Here are some hints: It has to do with protecting the planet, safeguarding our future, and rethinking the wine business. Get ready to throw your preconceptions and misconceptions onto the compost pile and join us in Ep. 98 for an eye-opening conversation about sustainable winegrowing.

Here to help us find a sustainable future are Anna Brittain, a sustainability advocate and Executive Director of Napa Green; and Sandra Taylor, founder and President of Sustainable Business International, Falk Professor of Socially Responsible Business at Chatham University, and founder of Fine Wine Divas.

Ep. 97: The Vineyard Stories You Haven’t Heard

Friday October 29, 2021

The stories you don’t hear in wine-education classes or read about in magazines are the most important ones out there. These are the stories of brutality and enslavement in vineyards—practices that continue to this day. Prepare to be shocked, surprised, and enlightened by Episode 97.

Our guest Stephen Satterfield, the host of High on the Hog on Netflix, has worked as an activist on behalf of South African vineyard workers. Stephen is also a food writer, sommelier, podcaster, and the founder of Whetstone Media. Deborah Parker Wong is a writer, teacher, wine judge, and the Global Wine Editor of SOMM Journal and The Tasting Panel magazines.

Ep. 96: Battling Burnout While Working in Wine

Friday October 22, 2021

What could possibly be stressful about working with wine? It turns out that a career centered around other peoples’ enjoyment and leisure is anything but relaxing. As news headlines blare dire warnings about “The Great Resignation,” we focus Ep. 96 on why burnout happens in the wine industry, and what can be done about it.

Keeping us grounded and healthy this week are Laura Louise Green, a spirits educator, Licensed Professional Counselor, and founder of Healthy Pour; and Rebecca Hopkins, founder of A Balanced Glass, and Vice President of Communications at Folio Fine Wine Partners.

Ep. 95: The Nose Episode

Friday October 15, 2021

What has the power to transport us through space and time with nothing more than a single sniff? The nose! In Ep. 95 we discuss the ways in which COVID-19 and technological innovations have changed our thinking on smelling. We’ll also explore the nose’s ability to dramatically enhance a whole spectrum of experiences, from our own memory to a glass of wine.

Helping us sniff out the truth are Harold McGee, a food science expert and the James Beard Award-winning author of multiple books including Nose Dive; and Dr. Hoby Wedler, an entrepreneur, scientist, and activist.

Ep. 94: The Natural Wine Cold War

Friday October 08, 2021

Is “Natural Wine” a category, a lifestyle, or just a buzz phrase? In Ep. 94 we hear about the Cold War between natural and conventional winemakers, question the possible quackery of so-called clean wines, and more.

Our natural wine guides are Esther Mobley, an award-winning journalist and the wine critic at the San Francisco Chronicle; and Amanda Smeltz, a sommelier, poet, the newly-annointed European Portfolio Manager for Coeur Wine Co., and the author of Imperial Bender.

Ep. 93: Vinfluencers... or Thirst Traps?

Friday October 01, 2021

Are social media “vinfluencers” bringing new consumers to wine, or simply devaluing expertise? What does it take to be a successful wine pro in the digital age, and what does authenticity look like in a world of polished Instagram feeds? In Ep. 93 we unpack these thorny questions and more, as we explore the ways social media and online personas have changed and shaped our industry.

Influencing The Four Top are Jeff Graham and Mike Matyjewicz, online wine influencers and the founders and personalities behind the Sparkling Winos blog; and Paul Mabray, a wine industry digital futurist, and the CEO of Pix.wine.

Ep. 92: Money, Money, Money

Friday September 24, 2021

What do toilet paper and Bordeaux have in common? Who’s making money in wine these days and how are they doing it? In Ep. 92, we dive into the economics of the wine world. We discuss the various ways the pandemic has upended the industry, and debate what changes might be here to stay.

Our team of financial advisors includes Felix Salmon, Chief Financial Correspondent at Axios and host of The Slate Wine Club podcast; and Rob McMillan, Executive Vice President of the Wine Division at Silicon Valley Bank, and author of the annual State of the Wine Industry Report.

Ep. 91: Wild Wine Fairs

Friday September 17, 2021

Do you remember when massive throngs of people gathered to drink wine together without a second thought? In Ep. 91, we reminisce about our most memorable moments from wine trade shows and consumer fairs with guest panelists Alpana Singh and Stevie Kim. We also discuss the ways in which these mega-events forge connections and propel the industry forward.

Meet our panelists: Stevie Kim is an author, podcaster, and the Managing Director of Vinitaly International. Alpana Singh is a former Master Sommelier, entrepreneur, television personality, and the owner of Terra & Vine in Chicago.

Ep. 90: The New (Non) Rules of Wine Pairing

Friday September 10, 2021

This week marks the long-awaited return of The Four Top! Welcome to our new season, with brand new cohost Martin Reyes, MW. In this episode we are joined by Regine Rousseau and Derrick Westbrook to discuss why “traditional” wine pairings (think Champagne & caviar) don’t work, and explore more abstract pairing concepts: Wine with music, poetry, fragrance and… CBD?

Guest panelist Regine T. Rousseau is founder and CEO of Shall We Wine and author of Searching for Cloves and Lilies: The Wine Edition. Derrick Westbrook, an accomplished sommelier (and Wine Enthusiast cover model!) is founder of Samples & Samples, and owner of the Chicago wine bar Juice @1340.

Ep. 89: How To Appear Normal at Social Events

Friday April 09, 2021

In the final installment of our "Best of The Four Top" series, we seek answers to today’s most pressing questions: Can absurd food and drink discussions get our social juices flowing? Can you nourish your relationship through cookery? And what's it like to be an overnight culinary celebrity? Please enjoy this apropos post-pandemic episode while we record our next season, which will focus on wine!

Meet our panelists: Brent Braun is the celebrity sommelier and self-described “wine slob” at OK Omens and Post Familiar Wine. Zach Geballe is the host of the "Vine Pair" podcast, a wine educator, and the founder of Disgorged Wine. Chad Murphy is an assistant professor of management at Oregon State University College of Business and the author of “How to Appear Normal at Social Events,” under his cartoonist pseudonym, Lord Birthday. Ashley Rodriguez is the author of two cookbooks, hosts the Kitchen Unnecessary Podcast, and writes the popular food blog notwithoutsalt.com.

Ep. 88: Why Wine is Rock & Roll

Tuesday March 02, 2021

We continue our "Best of The Four Top" series by asking: In what ways are music and wine related? Why are music industry veterans drawn to the wine industry? And why do creators launch "vanity labels," whether in music or wine? We're revisiting our conversation about ’80s and ’90s bands, fine wine, and everything in between.

Meet our panelists: Courtney Taylor-Taylor is the lead singer, guitarist, and co-founder of The Dandy Warhols, and the owner of our recording venue, the punk-rock-fine-wine bar The Old Portland. Jay Boberg co-founded the seminal 1980s label IRS Records before going on to run MCA/Universal. He’s now the co-owner of Domaine Nicolas-Jay winery. Sheri Hood ran the American branch of the British record label 4AD and managed prominent bands before becoming the proprietor of The Pressing Plant wine label. Katherine Cole is our host.

Ep. 87: Cannabis in the Kitchen

Friday February 12, 2021

As congress considers legalizing marijuana nationally, it's time to revisit our conversation about cannabis in the kitchen. We brought together a renowned cannabis cookbook author, the former editor-in-chief of Fine Cooking magazine, and a libertarian journalist for some serious talk about marijuana's role in the food world, and how the heck to cook with it (hint: it's not easy).

Our panelists are Jacob Grier, a prominent mixologist who is also a political writer for publications such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The Daily Beast; Martha Holmberg, CEO emeritus of the International Association of Culinary Professionals; and Laurie Wolf, cannabis cookbook author and owner of Laurie & Mary Jane, a producer of small-batch, cannabis-infused edibles. Our host is Katherine Cole.

Ep. 86: Reenvisioning Food Media for an Equitable Future

Monday January 25, 2021

We continue our "Best of The Four Top" series with three journalists who have led the call for change through social media and solid journalism while raising the bar for food and beverage writing: Soleil Ho of the San Francisco Chronicle, Khushbu Shah of Food + Wine magazine, and freelance journalist Tammie Teclemariam. We learn about the subtle practices—such as whitewashing recipe titles and pigeonholing people of color—as well as overt pay discrepancies and hostile behavior that created a racist environment within culinary media.

Ep. 85: Diet Lies

Tuesday January 12, 2021

The new year is here, we’re trying to stick to our resolutions, and the USDA has just released a controversial set of new dietary guidelines. So we’re kicking off our “Best of The Four Top” season with DIET LIES.

We’re joined by a journalist who uncovered the fact that USDA food pyramids were actually making us fatter, a longevity doctor whose diet might just save your life, and a salumist whose cured meats could—yes!—be the key to good health.

In short, everything we thought we knew about nutrition was wrong. Listen in as Nina Teicholz, Dr. Miles Hassell, and Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions tell us why a salami a day might just keep the doctor away, and politics should stay out of science.

Ep. 84: Time for Change in the Wine Industry

Monday December 21, 2020

The Court of Master Sommeliers, an elite and exclusive group of wine professionals, faces accusations of sexual harassment and assault, and reports of fostering a culture of racism. Our panelists discuss. Next, our guests examine the ways in which the culture of wine has changed recently, and the work required to further propel the industry forward.

Our panelists are Julia Coney, contributing editor at VinePair and founder of Black Wine Professionals; Julia Moskin, food and dining reporter for The New York Times; and Martin Reyes, the world's first Master of Wine of Mexican descent, founder of Reyes Wine Group, and cofounder of Wine Unify Our host is Katherine Cole. This episode was recorded remotely in locations across the United States. Stay safe out there.

Ep. 83: Celebrating Hispanic Roots in Winemaking

Monday December 07, 2020

Our table for four turns into a table for seven this month as Katherine moderates the first-ever Celebrating Hispanic Roots, a discussion about Hispanic heritage in the wine industry. Six dynamic Hispanic winemakers join Katherine to talk about diversity, their passion for winemaking, and the challenges faced by the Spanish-speaking vineyard workforce.

Thank you to Ximena Orrego of Atticus Wine, Carla Rodriguez of Beacon Hill, Sofía Torres-McKay of Cramoisi Vineyard, Cristina Gonzales of Gonzales Wine Company, Sam Parra of Parra Wine Company, and J.P. Valot of Valcan Cellars. Visit the Celebrating Hispanic Roots website to learn how you can support each participating winery.

Ep. 82: Harvest in 2020 – A Year Like No Other

Monday November 02, 2020

It has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us, but no group of people has been put at greater risk this fall than agricultural workers. Vanessa García Polenco, Reyna Lopez, and Somini Sengupta join Katherine Cole to discuss how wildfires, superstorms, and the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the lives of agricultural workers who are essential to putting food on our table.

Ep. 81: ‘Junk’ Food & Judgment

Monday October 05, 2020

How did McDonald’s come to play a defining role in Black American history? And should society judge individuals on the basis of the foods they eat? Historian Marcia Chatelain, author and columnist Roxane Gay, and Memphis-based health advocate Whitney Trotter discuss.

Ep. 80: Reenvisioning Food Media for an Equitable Future

Monday September 07, 2020

As confederate statues have fallen in 2020, so, too, has racist and inequitable leadership within the food media establishment. We speak with three journalists who have led the call for change while raising the bar for food and beverage writing: Soleil Ho, Khushbu Shah, and Tammie Teclemariam.

Ep. 79: Food, Film, and Fiction

Monday August 03, 2020

What are some of the most memorable food moments in film and fiction? Food journalist Nikita Richardson, YouTube phenom Andrew Rea (“Binging with Babish”) and historical-fiction author Crystal King fill us up with food-centric watching and reading recommendations.

Ep. 78: Why Veganism Matters Now

Monday July 06, 2020

How has COVID-19 changed the public's perception of veganism? Why is the "Black Veganism" movement gaining traction right now? And how are vegans navigating the world differently in 2020? The Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter, Talia Pollock, and Waz Wu bring us up to speed on veganism's new guard.

Ep. 77: Eating On The Edge

Monday June 01, 2020

What explains the high infection rate of COVID-19 among food-processing workers? Do Americans have a new understanding of food insecurity? And what is “corona-conscious eating”? Elle Simone Scott, Dr. Don Schaffner and Sophie Egan fill us in.

Ep. 76: Meet the New Wave of Culinary E-Entrepreneurs

Monday May 04, 2020

Who are the new culinary entrepreneurs of the COVID-19 quarantine? The innovators who are bringing foods from farms to doorsteps, sending exotic ingredients across the country, and connecting families through cooking. Our guests are Julia Niiro, Ted Farthing, and Kelly Montoya.

Ep. 75: Diet Lies

Monday April 06, 2020

Everything we thought we knew about nutrition was wrong. According to journalist Nina Teicholz, Dr. Miles Hassell, and salumist Elias Cairo, a salami a day might just keep the doctor away.

Ep. 74: Coronavirus Hits The Food Industry 

Sunday March 22, 2020

In this special episode, Carrie Welch, Vitaly Paley, and Heather Kintler discuss the profound impact that COVID-19 has had on their businesses.

Ep. 73: The Future Of Food Is The Past

Monday March 02, 2020

Is foraging the new farming? How will Gen Z change the food industry? And how will a cutting-edge grocery chain change the health industry? Panelists Rowan Jacobsen, Jen Bryman and Fernando Divina discuss.

Ep. 72: Special Episode - Assemblage Symposium

Tuesday February 18, 2020

Meet women who are changing the wine industry, at the Assemblage Symposium, recorded live.

Ep. 71: Bonus Episode - Interview with Nancy Rommelmann

Wednesday February 05, 2020

A prominent journalist discusses free speech and food culture.

Ep. 70: What Is Nattō?

Friday January 24, 2020

Have you tried the Japanese breakfast food that's as sticky as chewing gum and "smells like stinky feet"? Meet nattō.

Ep. 69: Japanese Cuisine Today

Tuesday January 07, 2020

What do Americans get wrong about Japanese flavors? Is it difficult for females to make it as professional Japanese chefs? And is Japanese cuisine bolstered by deep philosophical underpinnings?

Ep. 68: Bonus Episode | Interview with Farideh Sadeghin

Monday December 16, 2019

A master cook-turned munchie maker spills on what it's like behind the camera at Vice Media.

Ep. 67: Special Episode | Ed Levine | J. Kenji López-Alt

Monday December 02, 2019

In this special episode, Ed Levine, founder of Serious Eats and author of the new book Serious Eater, joins James Beard Award–winning author J. Kenji López-Alt at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.

Ep. 66: Lynne Curry | Camas Davis | John Schiable

Tuesday November 05, 2019

What is it like to slaughter an animal? Could grass-fed meat be part of a sustainable "vegetarian" diet? And what's the "mature beef" movement?

Ep. 65: Courtney Taylor-Taylor | Jay Boberg | Sheri Hood

Monday October 07, 2019

In what ways are music and wine closely related? Why are a rock star and a couple of former record execs in the wine industry? And why do creators launch "vanity labels," whether in music or wine?

What happens when a rock star and two former record execs sit down together to talk wine and music? Behold Episode 65 of "The Four Top," in which our panelists discuss ’80s and ’90s bands, fine wine and everything in between.

Ep. 64: Sarah Masoni | Ivy Manning | Megan Scott

Tuesday September 03, 2019

What's up with the new wave of faux junk food made from nutritious ingredients? Are you surprised by the latest savory flavor sensations? And are snacks poised to displace meals?

Ep. 63 Penelope Bass | Michael Alberty | Jordan Michelman

Monday August 05, 2019

Meet the secret worldwide society of seltzer aficionados. Next, the "sober-curious" trend is spawning a new generation of high-end mixologists. And finally, canned beverages are here to stay.

Ep. 62: Erin DeJesus | Juan Diego Ramirez | Heather Arndt Anderson

Monday July 01, 2019

What does the term "American Food" mean today? How should we reframe our conversations about Mexican, and Mexican-American, cuisines? And is the American family dinner imperiled?

Ep. 61: Reva Barewal | Alexis Hillyard | Drew Prindle

Monday June 10, 2019

What are the emotional repercussions for those who lose the ability to eat and feed themselves? How has a one-handed cook used YouTube to build an international community? And how are modern innovations redefining cooking for people with less mobility?

Ep. 60: Maggie Hoffman | Lee Hedgmon | Cheryl Wakerhauser

Monday May 06, 2019

In Ep. 60, we sit down with women leading the charge in the beverage industry. First, meet the efficient, crowd-pleasing batch cocktail, the contemporary craft take on the punches of yesteryear. Next, how much hard work does it take to build community through a passion for beverages? And our insiders discuss the pervasive skepticism and misogyny women face in the male-dominated drinks industry.

Episode 60 of "The Four Top" is online from May 6.

Ep. 59 Claudia Lucero | Juno DeMelo | Kyra Bussanich

Monday April 01, 2019

We're going free in Ep. 59. First: Forget those rubbery dairy-free cheeses from the grocery store and meet the new flavorful artisan alternatives. Next, how compelling is the case against sugar cane, and which of the dizzying array of alternatives is b...

Ep. 58: Drew Prindle | Liz Crain | Michael Zusman

Monday March 04, 2019

In our "feast for the senses" episode, we explore how sensory stimulation affects our food and beverage experiences. First, the music you hear in restaurants and grocery stores has changed significantly over the past decade. Next, as recreational marij...

Ep. 57: Ben Jacobsen | Kristofor Lofgren

Monday February 04, 2019

Pescetarianism is the world's fastest-growing diet. Can the planet's oceans handle this shift? And should we be concerned about where our salt is sourced from? Finally, let's get to know sake, the misunderstood Japanese rice wine.

Ep. 56: Cynthia Nims | Kerry Newberry | Diane Morgan

Monday January 07, 2019

What's the big deal about Olympia Oysters? And what will the future look like when fish are no longer harvested from the wild? Finally, practitioners of one of the world's most dangerous careers — crabbing — are fighting Big Oil to save their jobs and the planet. Episode 56 of "The Four Top" is online from Jan. 7.

Ep. 55: Miles Hassell | Mea Hassell | Sarah Bowen Shea

Monday December 03, 2018

While doctors deem the veggie-heavy, whole-grain Mediterranean diet as a long-term lifesavers, athletes still carbo load on refined grains. How can these two philosophies coexist? And should we be suspicious of grab-and-go protein bars? Finally, it mig...

Ep. 54: Ivy Manning | Virginia Gewin | Tove Danovich

Monday November 05, 2018

Behold the beet. What makes this curious root vegetable so unique? Will science end the practice of planting crops annually? And how does the U.S.'s every-growing American agriculture industry impact the rest of the world? Listen to Episode 54 from Nov. 5, 2018.

Ep. 53: Ashley Rodriguez | Brent Braun | Zach Geballe | Chad Murphy

Monday October 01, 2018

What's it like to suddenly find yourself a celebrity in the wine or culinary world? What sorts of meals should you cook your boo to nourish your relationship? And how can you use food and drink to kickstart party conversations?

Ep. 52: Fernando Divina | Jill Lightner | Amanda Oborne

Monday September 17, 2018

A new grocery store concept aims to educate communities about health and increase access to affordable, high quality food—will it succeed? What are the best food waste hacks for whittling down our grocery bills while eating healthfully? And could "Rege...

Ep. 51: Rebecca Hopkins | Cathy Huyghe | Hannah Wallace

Tuesday September 04, 2018

Could a career in the food or beverage industry be harmful for workers' mental health? How do wine professionals stay healthy in a fairly unhealthy line of work? And why is a bar one of the most stressful places to work?

Ep. 50: Dana Frank | Jordan Michelman | Andrea Slonecker

Monday August 20, 2018

So-called "natural wine bars" are all the rage right now. Why? And what are the new, surprising wine-food pairing rules? Finally, who knew that eggs are sometime used to make wine?

Ep. 49: Sarah Marshall | Sara Bir | Heather Arndt Anderson

Monday August 06, 2018

At the height of summer, we discuss the surprising produce (and spices) all around us that will get us through the zombie apocalypse, the science (and potential risks) behind canning all that good summer bounty, and finally, the history of "putting up,...

Ep. 48: Michelle Smith | Kelly Montoya | Julie O'Toole

Monday July 23, 2018

Learn about selective eating and food phobias, two lesser-known eating disorders afflicting children. Next, discover Little Sous, a new concept for turning kids into confident cooks. And finally, a cookbook author and food blogger fills us in on raisin...

Ep. 47: Drew Prindle | Chase McPeak | Sam Slaughter

Monday July 09, 2018

As robots become more of a reality in our everyday lives, how are they altering the agribusiness? Next, our discussion dives deeper, unpacking the inevitable friction between food and technology. And finally, we shift the tech talk to the beverage indu...

Ep. 46: Steven Raichlen | Marnie Hanel | Jen Stevenson

Monday June 25, 2018

A simple fire might be the most primal cooking method, but there are still innovative ways to barbecue, according to our trio of experts. Next, jerky is suddenly ubiquitous and overpriced, but it turns out it's easy to make at home—even from fish. And ...

Ep. 45: Dr. Greg Jones | Hannah Wallace | Jordan Michelman

Monday June 11, 2018

Will the wine industry be a victim of climate change? Next, how have the increasingly devastating wildfires that have hit vineyards recently affected the wines? And finally, we lighten the mood by asking why rosé must be limited to summer.

Ep. 44: Karen Karbo | Katie Pratt | Alex Prud'homme

Tuesday May 15, 2018

What made the love story of Julia and Paul Child so unique? Next, what would photographer Paul Child think of today's Instagram-food-photo craze? And finally, we discuss how we can all live life to the fullest à la the Childs.

Ep. 43: Jim Meehan | Jeffrey Morgenthaler | Jacob Grier

Monday April 30, 2018

Do you act cordially at bars? Today's high-end temples to mixology aren't places for crude behavior, say our three cocktail craftsmen. Next, how are the best bars in the world designed for efficient flow and optimum pleasure? And finally, why are bars ...

Ep. 42: Cheryl Wakerhauser | Danielle Centoni | Kyra Bussanich

Monday April 16, 2018

Modern French pastry is a spellbinding art form, combining eye-popping colors with surprising textures, shapes and flavors. We discuss this exciting movement with a pro. Next, boutiques selling nothing but macarons are the latest trend in sweet treats....

Ep. 41: Ashley Duchemin | Emilly Prado | Juan Ramirez

Monday April 02, 2018

Can culinary podcasts change the way society sees food? We think so, and so does Juan Ramirez, producer of the excellent "Racist Sandwich" podcast. Next, we discuss the ways in which different cultures discuss body image.

Ep. 40: Beth Federici | Ivy Manning | Kathleen Squires

Monday March 19, 2018

First, a chef and a food writer give us the lowdown on truffles during this special episode recorded at the Oregon Truffle Festival. Next, we gab about other fab fancy food fests all over the globe. Our third course is a survey of our favorite foodie f...

Ep. 39: Nick Fauchald | Martha Holmberg | Christina Henry de Tessan

Monday February 26, 2018

Food magazines are shutting down at an unprecedented rate, but could there be new opportunities in this sector? Next, cookbooks are moving in a more classic, less celebrity-driven direction. And finally, we discuss ultra high-end, self-published culina...

Ep. 38: Mary Paganelli | Virginia Gewin | Heather Arndt Anderson

Monday February 12, 2018

Cuisines from all over the world are readily available in every major U.S. city. So why aren't the traditional foods of the First Americans? Despite centuries of systematic cultural suppression, American Indian chefs and historians are rediscovering an...

Ep. 37: Connie Blumhardt | Kenneth Olson | Jordan Michelman

Monday January 29, 2018

Episode 37 is all about coffee. First, our experts teach us to ride the "Third Wave" movement. Next, what's a microroaster? How about a nanoroaster? And finally, we taste and talk about Guinness Stout's caffeinated counterpart. Episode 37 of The Four Top is online from Jan. 29.

Ep. 36: Molly Wizenberg | Paul Clarke | Matthew Amster-Burton

Tuesday January 16, 2018

Episode 36, recorded live at PodCon in Seattle, is a freewheeling look at beverage trends for 2018. We kick things off by reminiscing about the faddish beverages of decades past that are ready for revivals this year. Next, we predict the drinks that will die this year. Finally, our three pundits share their personal desert-island drink picks.

Ep. 35: Bonnie Frumkin Morales | Deena Prichep | Michael Zusman

Monday January 01, 2018

Episode 35 goes live on January 1, 2018, so we will kick off this three-course show by learning about the surprising ways in which the New Year is celebrated in Russia. Next, we’ll review the world’s best hangover foods. And finally, tongue is a classi...

Ep. 34: Bronwen Percival | Francis Percival | Christian Debenedetti

Monday December 18, 2017

"Raw" cheeses are demonized... but could they be less harmful for you than raw fruits and vegetables? How are home brewers leading the backyard biologist movement? And those who work in artisanal food industries are asking themselves: Is the conversa...

Ep. 33: Jami Curl | Michelle Lopez | Kyra Bussanich

Tuesday December 05, 2017

How did our guests build businesses selling candy, cupcakes and chronicles to adults? Next, what’s the magic formula for making a visual splash with a food startup? And finally, there’s a sense of tension in the American food scene, with raw veggies an...

Ep. 32: Jeff Alworth | Erin James | Jeff Smith

Monday November 20, 2017

Why is cider the fastest-growing segment in the American drinks industry? Next, what's the deal with professional beverage tasting? And finally, craft beverage producers are constantly being solicited for donations.

Ep. 31: Christopher Kimball | Matthew Card | Carrie Welch

Monday November 06, 2017

With food media increasingly fragmented, why are some brands staging live IRL events? Next, do you sous vide at home? And finally, what are food entertainment personalities really like when the cameras turn off? We discuss on Episode 31 of The Four Top, online from Nov. 6.

Ep. 30: Hannah Wallace | Andy Kryza | Jeff Alworth

Monday October 23, 2017

Did you know that the hospitality industry is the profession with the highest rate of substance abuse? What's the deal with the new crop of beer spritzes, with names like Radler and Shandy? And finally, how did a brewery open in Flint, Michigan, during...

Ep. 29: Diners Gone Wild | Food Cart Backlash | Marijuana on Menus?

Monday October 09, 2017

How rude can restaurant patrons be? Very. Next, food cart vendors and restaurateurs are battling. What role should city legislators play in this war? And marijuana can't be served in dining establishments—yet—so how are chefs working around the laws to...

Ep. 28: Andrew Knowlton | Khushbu Shah | Hillary Dixler Canavan

Monday September 25, 2017

What are the implications of a food journalist deeming a so-called "ethnic" cuisine a "trend"? What accounts for Portland's attraction to food tourists and tastemakers? And why is the restaurant industry such an unwelcoming world for women?

Ep. 27: CRISPR Over GMOs? | Endangered Foods | Banking Seeds in Vaults

Monday September 11, 2017

Could a new gene-editing process called CRISPR win over the NO GMOs contingent? And which of the foods we eat every day may become extinct during our lifetimes? Finally, we crack open the confusion regarding the Global Seed Vault and its sibling seed b...

Ep. 26: When Critics Go Viral | Food Journalism 2.0 | Reservations Re: No Reservations

Monday August 28, 2017

When you get three food writers and critics in a room together, you get Episode 26 of "The Four Top," in which our panelists unpack the dining reviews that explode on social media, the new state of food journalism, and why some restaurants don't take reservations.

Ep. 25: Pregnancy Food Warnings | The State of Fake Meat | Dirt on Clean Eating

Monday August 14, 2017

Have pity on pregnant women this time of year: Their feet are swollen, their backs ache, and they can't relax with a plate of sushi and a glass of ice-cold rosé without risking public condemnation. Has society gone too far in placing food restrictions on soon-to-be mothers?

Ep. 24: Figurative Salads | Cookbooks as Literature | The Ideal Kitchen

Monday July 31, 2017

In Episode 24, we overturn our assumptions about everyday things. What do you picture when you hear the word "salad"? What is a cookbook for? And what does the ideal kitchen look like? Hear our panelists' surprising answers to these questions, and more.

Ep. 23: Au Courant Canned Beverages | Nudist Natural Wine | Nutrition Info on Booze?

Monday July 17, 2017

Have you noticed all the new craft beers and wines being sold in aluminum cans? We discuss this trend and taste a couple of examples. Next, the author of "Naked Wine" gives us the lowdown on the Natural Wine movement, and we explore its counterparts in...

Ep. 22: Kombucha Madness | Unraveling The Mystery Of Q | Get Your Politics Out Of My Food

Tuesday July 04, 2017

How can we explain the kombucha craze, and why are some people going to prison for selling it? What’s the mysterious Taiwanese concept known simply as ‘Q’? And get your politics out of my food, will you?

Ep. 21: Cannabis in the Kitchen | Will Marijuana Wreck Restaurants? | Truthiness in Labeling

Monday June 19, 2017

What happens when you get a renowned cannabis cookbook author together with the former editor-in-chief of Fine Cooking magazine together in one radio studio? Serious talk about how very different marijuana cookery is from mainstream cuisine. The icing on the cake: One of our panelists happens to be a friend of Cedella Marley.

Ep. 20: The Evolution Of Grocery Stores | Does Cured Meat Kill? | Serious TV Chef

Monday June 05, 2017

From corner store to Costco, the grocery has changed over time. What's the future of food retail, and how do today's supermarkets deceive their customers? Next, the World Health Organization has warned us not to eat processed meat. Does that mean we have to give up artisanal salumi? And finally, a couple of new culinary shows are taking the genre in a more serious direction. Our panel ponders these questions in episode 20 of "The Four Top."

Ep. 19: 6 Seasons | Why Salmon Matters | James Beard On Film

Monday May 22, 2017

We kick off Episode 19 with a discussion of the ... six seasons of the food year. And you thought there were only four, didn’t you? Next, why is salmon the most important fish to travel from ocean to plate? And finally, a new film on food provocateur James Beard has us thinking about this big man’s great legacy.

Ep. 18: Sanctuary Restaurants | Undocumented Labor In Food | Peruvian Cuisine

Monday May 08, 2017

First, there were sanctuary cities. Now there are sanctuary restaurants. This fast-growing movement launched in January and is already making an impact. How can restaurants protect marginalized people? Our panelists discuss.

Ep. 17: Ab-Fab Lady Food Bloggers | The Language Of Flavor | Online Wine Clubs

Monday April 24, 2017

If you're addicted to sites like Goop and The Pioneer Woman, you know how addictive it can be to follow the impossibly perfect lives of lady food bloggers. But do we honestly enjoy these sites, or are we hate-reading them? For our second course, we cha...

Ep. 16: Restaurateurs Under Trump | Whence The Midsize American Farm? | Institutional Eating

Monday April 10, 2017

Restaurant owners may claim to be progressive, but are they benefiting from the policies of the Trump administration? Next: What’s the midway point between the boutique organic CSA and corporate Big Ag? The elusive and increasingly rare midsized American farm. Finally, is it the illness or is it the hospital food that’s making people sick? We diagnose the state of institutional eating in Episode 16.

Ep. 15: Spammed By 'Spon Con' | Convoluted Cobranding | Why Is Brewpub Food So Bad?

Monday March 27, 2017

So-called "Spon Con" is influencing our food-purchasing decisions. But can we identify it when we see it? Next, cobranding has crossed over from fashion to food, with some bizarre consequences. We’ll debate the merits of Carhartt-brand beer and Tabasco-sauce-flavored Jelly Bellies. And finally, why is it so hard to get a decent meal at a brewpub? Join us as we unravel one of life’s great mysteries on Episode 15.

Ep. 14: Grocery-Store Checkout Talk | The Death Of The Dinner Party | The Average Home Cook

Monday March 13, 2017

Ep. 14: Grocery-Store Checkout Talk | The Death Of The Dinner Party | The Average Home Cook by Oregon Public Broadcasting

Ep. 13: Food Network Champion Tells All | Laptop Squatters And Cafés | Why Kids Should Cook

Monday February 27, 2017

What’s really happening behind the scenes at the Food Network? Are so-called “laptop squatters” bad for business or good for café culture? And could a cooking class improve your child’s test scores?

Ep. 12: Why Truffles Are Like Drugs | Restaurant Playlists | Rethinking The Microwave

Monday February 13, 2017

Are four-star restaurants serving narcotics? Truffles are sold on the black market for thousands of dollars per kilo; and according to Italian researchers, these homely little tubers can get you high. We discuss, then turn our attention to the role of music in enhancing the dining experience. Do you prefer to eat to the sound of silence, soothing violins, or something more sonically dynamic? Finally, microwaves: We think outside the box.

Ep. 11: Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party | Dictatorial Dining | Single-Subject Cookbooks

Monday January 30, 2017

Get to know the only cooking show that brings high society together with "high" society: "Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party." Next, get to know the hardline rules restaurants are increasingly laying down for customers to follow. Finally, what's the appeal of the single-subject cookbook? Savor the conversation as our team of panelists debate these issues, and more.

Ep. 10: Competitive Culinary Tourism | Eating Under Embargo | Rum, From Cuba With Love

Monday January 16, 2017

As American tourists stream into the newly opened nation of Cuba, they're driven by a desire to capture this magical moment. But how "authentic" is a Cuban dining experience when full-time residents don't have access to many foods? After a heavy conversation about privation, we lighten the mood with a brief history—and taste—of Cuban rum.

Ep. 9: The Juice Cleanse | Digital Foraging | Food On The WWI Homefront

Wednesday January 04, 2017

We kick off our ninth episode by evaluating a popular new year's resolution, the juice cleanse: Is it effective or counterproductive? Next, we take stock of the ways in which the digital era has altered the age-old art of foraging for wild edibles. Finally, we look back to the U.S.'s entry into World War I in 1917, when dining decisions and patriotism were inextricably intertwined.

Ep. 8: The Tyrannical Traditional Table, Fake Food Holidays And The Culinary Class Divide

Monday December 19, 2016

With the help of Megan Scott, the fresh new face of “The Joy of Cooking,” our panelists question holiday food traditions and decry the scourge of fake food holidays (although National Eggnog Day might get a pass). Finally, they tackle the troubling class divide between foodies and those less fortunate.

Ep. 7: Have You Eaten Your Sea Vegetables? | New in Food for 2017 | Doing the Hoke-ay Poke Listen

Monday December 05, 2016

In our seventh episode, we look forward to 2017. We pick at the new food trend that is poke (that’s “poh-kay,” OK?), and swim through the underwater world of sea vegetables. And our panelists share their food-and-drink predictions for the year to come.

Ep. 6: Soylent | Craft Beer's Dirty Secret | Fear The Yeti

Monday November 21, 2016

We uncover craft beer’s dirty little secret and examine the cult phenom that is the Yeti cooler company — but not before sipping Soylent, the embattled Silicon Valley food replacement.

Ep. 5: Secret Menu Items | Martha Stewart's Meal-Prep Kits | Dining In The Instagram Era

Monday November 07, 2016

In our fifth episode, our panelists investigate the "secret menu" trend that's happening in national chain restaurants and discuss the significant impact Instagram has had on restaurant menus.

In addition, our two professional recipe testers try out Martha Stewart's new meal-kit delivery service, "Martha & Marley Spoon," and compare it with the competition.

Ep. 4: Session Beers Back | Fast Casual Dining | The War On Minimum Wage

Monday October 24, 2016

In our fourth episode, we embrace the return of the simple session beer and explore the new millennial-friendly restaurant category called "fast casual."

We also discuss the connection between restaurant workers and changing minimum wage laws.

Ep. 3: Recipe Theft | Born-Again Chefs | Tipping … Over?

Monday October 10, 2016

In our third episode, we explore the nefarious realm of recipe theft, discuss the recent trend of born-again chefs ditching bacon and embracing health food and debate the end of tipping as we know it.

Ep. 2: Meaningless Food Terms | Flavor Bombs | Bycatch Curious

Monday September 26, 2016

In our second episode, we kvetch about B.S. food terminology, learn why inherent flavor will save our lives and cast our net around bycatch, the best new thing in seafood.

Ep. 1: Breakfast Insanity | Dining Out On Apps | Talking Trash About Food Waste

Monday September 12, 2016

In the debut episode of "The Four Top," we talk trash about food waste, unpack the baffling breakfast-ization of dinner and test-drive the hottest dining apps for your phone.

Trailer: The Four Top

Saturday September 03, 2016

From food waste to tipping, The Four Top is a roundtable discussion of today's hot-button topics in food and beverage culture. Listen in every other Monday.