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Latest Episode

Ep. 126: Sound Off on Roundup

Wednesday August 09, 2023

Here it is, folks; our episode about Roundup…but it’s so much more than that. In Ep. 126. we dive into regenerative agriculture, climate action, and the fight over how to grow grapes on a rapidly changing planet.

Rounding out our expertise this week are Dr. Jamie Goode, an award-winning wine journalist, plant biologist, and the author of I Taste Red: The Science of Tasting Wine; and Anna Brittain, the founder and executive director of Napa Green and Napa RISE.

Ep. 125: Sustainability Means Inclusivity

Wednesday August 02, 2023

From The Court of Master Sommeliers to vineyards around the world, diversity has become a buzzword, but what does it mean in practice? In Ep. 125 (recorded live at Napa RISE), our guests help us understand how to unravel the wine industry and rework it as an inclusive, inviting space.

On the stage with us for this live recording are Philana Bouvier, the president of Demeine Estates and a San Francisco Business Times “Most Influential Women in Business” honoree; and Dr. Akilah Cadet, a Forbes “Next 1000” honoree and the founder and CEO of Change Cadet.

Ep. 124: The Viticulture Counterculture

Wednesday July 26, 2023

Viticulture is monoculture… but it doesn’t have to be. In Ep. 124, our guests discuss permaculture and natural farming, and so much more. In their quest to capture the past in order to change the future of winegrowing, they will go so far as to introduce genetic diversity from vine to vine.

Behind the mics this week are Nate Ready, a former Master Sommelier, and the owner and farmer behind Hiyu Wine Farm; and Randall Grahm, A.K.A. the Rhône Ranger, the founder and vintner of Bonny Doon Vineyard.

Ep. 123: Packaging Visions for Reduced Emissions

Wednesday July 19, 2023

Sustainability is a hot topic in wine, but we’re still addicted to carbon-intensive glass bottles. Our guests this week are trying to change that. We’re diving into canned wine, lightweight packaging, and how to wean ourselves off the evil that is styrofoam.

Joining us for Ep. 123 are Kristin Olszewski, founder and CEO of Nomadica Wine; and Nicolas Quillé, Chief Winemaking and Operations Officer at Crimson Wine Group and co-author of Understanding Wine Technology, 4th edition.

Ep. 122: Gray Water for Green Vineyards

Wednesday July 12, 2023

Historic droughts followed by colossal atmospheric rivers? There’s a term for that: weather whiplash. As wine regions experience the highest highs and lowest lows back-to-back, vineyards are looking for ways to adapt. Our guests on Ep. 122 discuss the future of water use in winegrowing, from gray water to dry farming.

Our aqua-experts are Dr. Peter Gleick, a leading water and climate scientist and the co-founder of the Pacific Institute; and Miguel García, PhD., the Sustainable Agriculture Program Manager at the Napa County Resource Conservation District.

Ep. 121: You Can't Afford NOT To!

Wednesday June 28, 2023

Imagine losing out on $120,000 of energy savings just by forgetting to fill out one form. Do we have your attention? Then tune in as our guests share ways for wineries to save, from the simple (LED light bulbs) to the innovative (water batteries?).

Increasing efficiency with us on Ep. 121 are Peter Yeung, a wine business consultant and the co-host of the XChateau Wine Podcast; and Will Drayton, the Director of Technical Viticulture and Research Winemaking at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE).

Ep. 120: "Anna-Dotes," aka The Six Pillars of Sustainability

Wednesday June 21, 2023

Hello Wine World; we’re back! We kick off The Four Top’s sustainability season with Anna Brittain, executive director of Napa Green and Napa RISE. Anna lays out “the six pillars of sustainability,” sharing anecdotes—we call them “Anna-dotes”—to illustrate each one. Prepare to be surprised by Ep. 120.

Ep. 119: Hot Takes, Cold Wine, Part Deux

Friday December 30, 2022

Did the ghost of ​​Georges Duboeuf haunt filmmaker Jason Wise this Christmas? Will NBA star-turned TV commentator Channing Frye ever be invited back to Napa? In our final episode of this wine season, we toast the new year with hot takes from two of wine’s wittiest pundits, and add a couple of our own crackpot ideas.

Making their opinions known on Ep. 119 are Channing Frye, an NBA Champion and the founder of Chosen Family Wines; and Jason Wise, the filmmaker behind the SOMM documentary series and the streaming platform SOMM TV.

Ep. 118: Bonus Episode — Cuffing Season

Friday December 23, 2022

With “cuffing season” upon us, Martin and Katherine talk through their experiences and observations about personal relationships in the wine industry. Is it best to pair up with someone else who understands the wine life, or choose a life partner who hasn’t drunk the (fermented) Kool-Aid?


Friday December 16, 2022

With unionization in the news (we see you, Amazon, Apple, and Starbucks), we learn about vinetenders who have recently organized, and revisit the long battle farmworkers have waged since being excluded from the National Labor Relations Act in 1935. Why isn’t unionization more prevalent in the wine industry? We discuss in Ep. 117.

Our guests this week are Jahdé Marley, a sommelier and the founder of By the Hand; and Miguel Lopez, the co-founder of AHIVOY and the owner of Red Dirt Vineyard Management and Winemaking.

Ep. 116: Bonus Episode — Navel Gazing and Pearl Clutching

Friday December 09, 2022

Pearl clutchers be warned: In this special “Two Top” episode, Katherine and Martin gaze at The Four Top’s navel and discuss some contentious questions. Such as: What does The Four Top aim to achieve, and in what ways do we break the rules?

Ep. 115: What We Need to Know About Web 3.0

Friday December 02, 2022

The Four Top is a “Three Top” this week as Martin and Katherine chat with a crypto-curious, VR-visionary wine personality. In Ep. 115, we ask what Web 3.0 is, exactly, and why wine businesses should be planning for it now.

Our seer this week is Dan Petroski, a digital futurist and the founder of Massican Winery.

Ep. 114: Bonus Episode — Commodity or Luxury? Heroes or Villains?

Friday November 25, 2022

In the first of three holiday bonus episodes, our Four Top becomes a Two Top as Martin and Katherine discuss their desire to find common ground between luxury wine collectors and commodity wine consumers. Whether your bubbles are Krug or Barefoot Moscato, don’t miss this case for kinship.

Ep. 113: Is Wine Writing Going the Way of Coal Mining?

Friday November 18, 2022

Is wine writing going the way of coal mining? Writers and critics are struggling to make a living as technology renders traditional journalism increasingly irrelevant. In Ep. 113, we seek advice on how to survive (or even thrive) as a wine writer in an increasingly challenging new-media environment.

With us for Ep. 113 are Julia Coney, the renowned wine writer, wine educator, and the founder of Black Wine Professionals; and Karen MacNeil, the James Beard Award-winning author of the bestselling wine compendium The Wine Bible.

Ep. 112: Is Wine Culture White Supremacist? Er, um, yeah.

Friday November 04, 2022

When we hear the term “white supremacy,” we think of despicable scumbags in pointed white hoods. But white supremacist culture is lurking right under our noses in the wine world, insidious and omnipresent. In Ep. 112, we explore the subtleties of coded language and implicit bias, and our guests help us move toward making change.

Behind the mic for Ep. 112 are Tiquette Bramlett, the president of Compris Vineyard and the founder of Our Legacy Harvested; and Tahiirah Habibi, the founder of the Hue Society and the co-founder of the Roots Fund Initiative.

Ep. 111: Wine Talk on TikTok

Friday October 21, 2022

Dancing, pranks, cooking hacks, and…wine? The oenosphere is discovering the power of TikTok, or “WineTok.” In Ep. 111, we pick up our phones and get scrolling to learn more about what TikTok has to offer the wine world, and vice versa.

With us this week are Isis Daniel (@themillennialsomm), a popular TikTok wine educator and Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 Tastemaker; and Amanda McCrossin (@sommvivant), an award-winning sommelier and fellow TikTok wine educator.

Ep. 110: Power, Power, Power

Friday July 22, 2022

We’re joined by two of the most powerful people in wine for Ep. 110, in which we visualize the wine power elite as a pyramid. Also: why you should NEVER throw out those bell bottom jeans, and a hot tip on a zombie wine.

Giving us power this week are Annette Alvarez-Peters, the former AVP/GMM of Beverage Alcohol for Costco Wholesale, and a board member of Crimson Wine Group and Wine Unify; and Erica Duecy, the Chief Content Officer at Pix Wine, the former Editor in Chief and Chief Content Officer at VinePair, and the former Vice President and Founding Editor in Chief of SevenFifty Daily.

Ep. 109: Smash the Glass

Friday July 15, 2022

Why do we use a carbon-intensive, 4,000-year-old technology to package wine? Heavy, fragile, and toxic, glass is ready for a rethink. In Ep. 109 we dig into packaging, supply chains, and the daunting task of reinventing both. Smashing glass with us this week are Melissa Saunders, a Master of Wine, a sustainable wine packaging consultant, the founder of Communal Brands, and the wine director at The Good Goods, a reusable wine bottle startup; and Diana Snowden Seysses, the enologist at Domaine Dujac, a consultant at Domaine de Triennes, and a member of Porto Protocol’s global steering committee.

Ep. 108: Hot Takes, Cold Wine

Friday July 08, 2022

Is Philippe André the Jason Momoa of Champagne? Is Marissa Ross the David Sedaris of natural wine? Do you agree with Katherine that real winemakers wear muddy Carhartts? We may disagree on some things, but everyone in Ep. 108 agrees: Just put the damn ice cubes in your wine. Keeping us on our toes this week are Philippe André, the U.S. Ambassador at Charles Heidsieck Champagne and the Private Client Director at Folio Fine Wine Partners; and Marissa Ross, a writer, humorist, leisure enthusiast, the author of Wine. All The Time, and the former Wine Editor at Bon Appétit magazine.

Ep. 107: Taboos & Titillation

Friday July 01, 2022

Bondage, black sheep, and OPP, oh my! In Ep. 107 we talk irreverent branding, unconventional influences, and drinking wine in…the bathtub? Getting us outside of the box this week are André Mack, owner of Maison Noir Wines, Proprietor and Sommelier at Large at the & Sons Hospitality Group, and an author, sommelier, winemaker, designer, and on-screen talent for Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel; and Jean-Charles Boisset, a vintner and the proprietor of the Boisset Collection.

Ep. 106: Should We Be Pro-Prohibition?

Friday June 17, 2022

Turns out the Prohibitionists were alllll right. In Ep. 106, find out why you—yes, you!—likely would have supported the Temperance movement back in 1920, and the lessons that yesteryear’s teetotalers can teach us today. Tackling temperance with us this week are Moira Donegan, a columnist for The Guardian; and Mark Lawrence Schrad, a political science professor at Villanova University and author of Smashing the Liquor Machine, Vodka Politics, and The Political Power of Bad Ideas.

Ep. 105: Wine for the Metaverse

Friday June 10, 2022

In Ep. 105, crypto meets Bordeaux. How will NFTs change the wine industry, and who will benefit? Solving this crypto puzzle with us are Behdad Shahsavari, co-founder at Club dVIN, an NFT-based wine club; and Mike Juergens, co-owner of SoCal Rum and a senior partner with a Big Four consulting firm, where he works with international wine businesses.

Ep. 104: The Tractor That’s Bringing Sexy Back

Friday June 03, 2022

How are Carlo Mondavi and Raj Parr righting the wrongs of industrial agriculture? And, ooh, that tractor. In Ep. 104 we dig into the viticultural movements aiming to avert the apocalypse. Naturally, our guests this week are Carlo Mondavi, the Chief Farming Officer at Monarch Tractor and vintner at RAEN winery; and Rajat Parr, a farmer, winemaker, sommelier, and author who runs Evening Land Vineyards, Sandhi, and Domaine de la Côte.

Ep. 103: Wine Criticism Is Dead

Friday May 27, 2022

What do wine critics and superheroes have in common? In Ep. 103 we answer this question, dig into the “bizarre notion of objectivity,” and spill the beans on which wine our critics think is the best kept secret. Critiquing criticism with us today are Eric Asimov, the New York Times wine critic and author of How to Love Wine and Wine with Food; and Jon Bonné, a wine critic, author, and the managing editor of Resy.

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.

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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: The Future of Food

Monday September 11, 2017

What is CRISPR (no, not that misunderstood drawer in your fridge), and can it win over the “NO GMOs” contingent? What common foods are destined to go the way of the dodo bird? And can someone please help us understand the Global Seed Vault?

Cutting it up with us this week are Heather Arndt Anderson, culinary historian, botanist, and food writer; Virginia Gewin, an award-winning journalist covering food security and agriculture for publications such as Nature, Popular Science, and Modern Farmer; and Tove Danovich, a freelance food and agriculture journalist and author for Eater, Bon Appétit, and The Atlantic.

Ep. 26: Food Critics on Food Critics

Monday August 28, 2017

We got three food critics together to talk about… food critics, and what happens when reviews go viral. We also pick their brains about the new state of food journalism, and ask the age-old question: Why are some restaurants reserved about reservations?

Helping us along this week are Roger Porter, a restaurant critic, professor of English at Reed College, and the editor of Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing; Michael Zusman, a dining critic, food writer, and the co-author of The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home; and Mattie John Bamman, a freelance lifestyle and travel journalist and the former editor of Eater Portland.

Ep. 25: Let Pregnant Women Eat in Peace!

Monday August 14, 2017

What do wine, sushi, and coffee have in common? Pregnant women can’t enjoy any of these delights without risking public condemnation. Have we gone too far with these restrictions? Plus, we dive into the world of fake meat, and get the dirt on clean eating.

Helping us wade through it all this week are Tove Danovich, a freelance food and agriculture journalist and author for Eater, Bon Appétit, and The Atlantic; Juno DeMelo, a freelance health and wellness writer for publications such as Bon Appétit, Vogue, and NPR; and Virginia Gewin, an award-winning journalist covering food security and agriculture for publications such as Nature, Popular Science, and Modern Farmer.

Ep. 24: Figurative Salads and Reading Cookbooks in Bed

Monday July 31, 2017

What do you picture when you hear the word "salad"? What is a cookbook for? And what does the ideal kitchen look like? In Episode 24, we overturn our assumptions about everyday things, and our panelists might surprise you.

Flipping the script this week are Julia Sherman, founder of Jus Jus Verjus and the Salad For President blog, and author of a book of the same name; Peter Miller, cookbook author and owner of Peter Miller Books; and Megan Scott, editor, recipe developer, and project manager for The Joy of Cooking.

Ep. 23: Wine Naked, Canned, and Nutritional?

Monday July 17, 2017

Do wines and craft beers belong in aluminum cans? We taste a few and find out. Next, we get the lowdown on natural wine from the author of the book Naked Wine. Finally, we discuss the push to put nutritional information on our booze bottles, and wonder: Do we WANT to know?

Filling us in on all things alcohol this week are Alice Feiring, James Beard Award-winning wine writer and author; Jim Meehan, James Beard Award-winning author and mixologist; and Christian DeBenedetti, author, brewer, and founder of Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery.

Ep. 22: IS Kombucha a Cure, Craft, or Craze?

Tuesday July 04, 2017

Everyone is talking about kombucha, and some are… going to jail over it? We investigate this fermenting craze. Next, what is the Taiwanese food concept “Q,” and can we try some, please? Finally, can someone please get these politics out of my food?

Joining us for this “booch” cruise are Liz Crain, a culinary author, fermentation expert, and the co-organizer of the annual Portland Fermentation Festival; Ivy Manning, a food educator, cookbook author, and contributor to publications such as Cooking Light and Fine Cooking; and Laura Russell, a cookbook author, food writer, and recipe developer.

Ep. 21: Cannabis in the Kitchen

Monday June 19, 2017

Are you ready to ditch the pot brownies and embrace… deviled eggs à la Mary Jane? 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 this extremely fragrant herb (hint: it's not easy). As an added bonus, we get up-in-arms about arbitrary food-labeling laws—you’ll be surprised by how controversial they can be.

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.

Ep. 20: From the Trading Post to Costco

Monday June 05, 2017

From the trading post to Costco, the grocery shopping experience has changed over time. What does the future of food retail hold? Next, could cured meats and raw milk really kill you? And finally, are cooking shows finally starting to show the reality of life as a chef?

Keeping us in the loop on this episode are Michael Ruhlman, a cookbook author and fiction and nonfiction writer; Camas Davis, a food writer and the founder of the Portland Meat Collective, the Good Meat Project, and the Good Meat Breakdown; and Heather Arndt Anderson, culinary historian, botanist, and food writer.

Ep. 19: Six Seasons?

Monday May 22, 2017

Since when did a year consist of six seasons? Since a chef and his co-author took a close look at the phases of seasonal cooking. 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.

Joining us are Kathleen Squires, a freelance food and travel writer and the co-producer of the documentary “America’s First Foodie”; Diane Morgan, the award-winning author of eighteen cookbooks and counting; and Martha Holmberg, a cookbook author and the former CEO of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).

Ep. 18: A Place at the Table for Everyone

Monday May 08, 2017

Some restaurateurs have begun to declare that their businesses are “sanctuaries” for people of every race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. We explore what is behind the movement to create safe spaces for all. We segue into the topic of undocumented workers in the food industry, and ask how these workers and their employers navigate the choppy waters of illegal labor. We end this episode with hungry stomachs and minds after diving into the delicious world of Peruvian cuisine.

Our guides this week are Roxy De La Torre, a freelance reporter and producer who formerly covered immigration for Oregon Public Broadcasting; Hannah Wallace, a freelance food and wine journalist for Bloomberg Businessweek, Civil Eats, Food and Wine, and SevenFifty Daily; and Peter Platt, an expert in social entrepreneurship and the owner of the groundbreaking Peruvian restaurant Andina in PDX.

Ep. 17: How Do We Really Feel About Lady Food Bloggers?

Monday April 24, 2017

We’re all a little obsessed with the women of the internet who cook, craft, and wear cute outfits, but are we really enjoying their content, or do we secretly hate their glossy kitchens and perfect hair? After we’re done indulging our pettiness, we discuss the subjectivity of taste. How can we describe food when the sense of taste is so personal? Finally: Are wine clubs the personal sommeliers we’ve dreamed of, or are we getting ripped off?

Diving into the details this week are Bianca Bosker, a certified sommelier, contributing writer at The Atlantic, and the New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste. Also: Juneau DeMelo, a food and health writer for publications such as Marie Claire, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and Vogue; and Ivy Manning, a food educator, cookbook author, and contributor to publications such as Cooking Light and Fine Cooking.

Ep. 16: Is Donald Trump Hospitality’s Unlikely Hero?

Monday April 10, 2017

Restaurant owners may claim to be progressive, but some may be feeling bullish about former President Trump’s policies right now. Next, we take you to the elusive and endangered midsized American farm. Lastly, what do hospitals, jails, and schools all have in common? It’s institutional dining, and it may be making us sick.

This episode’s sage wisdom comes from Amanda Oborne, the President and Executive Director of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network; Greg Astley, the Director of Government Affairs at the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association (ORLA); and Virginia Gewin, an award-winning journalist covering food security and agriculture for publications such as Nature, Popular Science, and Modern Farmer.

Ep. 15: Carhartt Beer and Tabasco Jelly Beans… Really?

Monday March 27, 2017

“Sponcon” is influencing our food-purchasing decisions. Do we notice when it starts creeping into our newsfeeds? And with co-branding on the rise, what do we make of Carhartt-brand beer and Tabasco-sauce-flavored Jelly Bellies? Finally, why is it so hard to get a decent meal at a brewpub?
Answering the hard questions this week are Jeff Alworth, an award-winning writer and podcaster covering beer, cider, and occasionally, politics; Lucy Burningham, Certified Cicerone, food and travel writer, and author of two books on beer; and Andy Kryza, a journalist and a former senior editor at Thrillist.

Ep. 14: The Average Home Cook Shops for a Dinner Party

Monday March 13, 2017

Is that classic checkout line question—“How’s your day going?”—intrusive or endearing? Is the dinner party dead? Lastly, who exactly is the “average” home cook?
Gathering around the mics this week are Megan Scott, editor, recipe developer, and project manager for The Joy of Cooking; Laura Russell, cookbook author, food writer, and recipe developer; and Heather Arndt Anderson, culinary historian, botanist, and food writer.

Ep. 13: Food Network Champion Tells All

Monday February 27, 2017

What’s really happening behind the scenes at the Food Network? (Yes, you really do have to bake 1,000 cupcakes.) Are so-called “laptop squatters'' bad for business or good for café culture? And could a cooking class improve your child’s test scores?

Helping us answer these questions are gluten-free pastry chef Kyra Bussanich, owner of Kyra’s Bake Shop and the only four-time winner of “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network; Danielle Centoni, a James Beard Award-winning food journalist, cookbook writer, and recipe developer; and Laura Russell, a cookbook author, food writer, and recipe developer.

Ep. 12: The Homely Little Tubers on the Black Market

Monday February 13, 2017

Are four-star restaurants serving narcotics? In this episode we talk truffles, which, according to Italian researchers and news reports, have provoked gunfights and might get you high. Next, we debate the merits of soothing violins vs. sonically dynamic restaurant background music. Finally, microwaves: We think outside the box.

Joining us at the Oregon Truffle Festival are Harold McGee, a world-renowned food science expert, author of three books, and a former columnist at The New York Times; Dave Arnold, the founder of the Museum of Food and Drink, owner of Booker and Dax, and an author; and Peter Meehan, an author and the former editorial director for Lucky Peach

Ep. 11: Bringing “High” Society to High Society

Monday January 30, 2017

First, we deconstruct the phenomenon that is “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party,” starring Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. Next, we get to know the hardline rules restaurants are laying down for customers to follow. Finally, what's the appeal of the single-subject cookbook?

Our panelists this week are Heather Arndt Anderson, culinary historian, botanist, and food writer; Jacob Grier, a prominent mixologist who is also a political writer for publications such as The Washington Post; and Ivy Manning, a food educator, cookbook author, and contributor to publications such as Cooking Light and Fine Cooking.

Ep. 10: “I Wanna Go Before It Changes”

Monday January 16, 2017

This episode is all about Cuba. As incoming travelers compete for the best “authentic” Cuban food Instagram shots, it’s worth remembering that many Cuban residents are going hungry. What does this juxtaposition of privation and prosperity mean? We then lighten the mood with a brief history—and taste—of Cuban rum.

Traveling with us this week are Patrick Simms, the author of two books on Cuba, and a journalist covering for Outside, The New York Times, Harper’s, and GQ; Robert Reid, a former travel writer and the current host of OETA’s Gallery America on PBS; and Jacob Grier, a prominent mixologist who is also a political writer for publications such as The Washington Post.

Ep. 9: Juice Cleansing, Digital Foraging, Wartime Dining

Wednesday January 04, 2017

Should you juice cleanse? Or is this popular new year’s resolution counterproductive? How has the digital era altered the art of foraging? Finally, we look back 100 years to World War I, when dining decisions and patriotism were inextricably intertwined.

This episode we get caught up in conversation with Liz Crain, a culinary author, fermentation expert, and the co-organizer of the annual Portland Fermentation Festival; Heather Arndt Anderson, a culinary historian, botanist, and food writer; and Virginia Gewin, an award-winning journalist covering food security and agriculture for publications such as Nature, Popular Science, and Modern Farmer.

Ep. 8: Are Holidays Hip or Homey?

Monday December 19, 2016

Are we burnt out on holiday meals? Or are we happy with our traditional fare? This week we wonder if we should mess with the green bean casserole, or let tradition prevail. We turn our festive eye to fake food holidays, and try to tackle the troubling class divide between foodies and those less fortunate.

Helping to unravel all of this is Megan Scott, editor, recipe developer, and project manager for The Joy of Cooking; Laura Russell, a cookbook author, food writer, and recipe developer; and Ivy Manning, a food educator, cookbook author, and contributor to publications such as Cooking Light and Fine Cooking.

Ep. 7: Have You Eaten Your Sea Vegetables?

Monday December 05, 2016

It’s time to catch up on new food trends (with a lot of history behind them). We get the low down on poke, and swim through the watery world of sea vegetables.

Behind those panelist mics are Peter Meehan, an author and the former editorial director for Lucky Peach; Matthew Card, the food editor for Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street; and Ivy Manning, a food educator, cookbook author, and contributor to publications such as Cooking Light and Fine Cooking.

Ep. 6: Fear the Soylent, Embrace 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: Going “Animal Style” with Secret Menus

Monday November 07, 2016

We aren’t above fast food, and we aren’t above dishing on fast food secret menu items, like In-N-Out’s “animal style” burger. Next, we find out what Martha Stewart’s new meal-kit delivery service has to offer. And since no one would believe our menu hacks or Martha meals without picture evidence, we ask: What has Instagram done to our dining habits?

We turn to the sage wisdom of Laura Russell, a cookbook author, food writer, and recipe developer; Erin DeJesus, currently the lead editor at Eater.com; and Ivy Manning, a food educator, cookbook author, and contributor to publications such as Cooking Light and Fine Cooking.

Ep. 4: Beer is Back in Session

Monday October 24, 2016

Is the beer world calling a truce in the hops arms race? We discuss, then delve into the rise of “fast casual” dining. Finally, we navigate the minimum wage conversation vis-à-vis restaurant workers.

Our esteemed panelists are Erin DeJesus, currently the lead editor at Eater; Jeff Alworth, an award-winning writer and podcaster covering beer, cider, and occasionally, politics; and Lucy Burningham, Certified Cicerone, food and travel writer, and author of two books on beer.

Ep. 3: Hey, That’s MY Recipe!

Monday October 10, 2016

What’s the deal with recipe theft? Why are chefs transitioning from bacon besties to health-food connoisseurs? And is tipping over? Or is the end of tipping over? We’re so confused. (And if you’re confused about what’s “tipping over,” we’re talking $$ tips.)

Chiming in this week are Ivy Manning, a food educator, cookbook author, and contributor to publications such as Cooking Light and Fine Cooking; Laura Russell, a cookbook author, food writer, and recipe developer; and Jeff Alworth, an award-winning writer and podcaster covering beer, cider, and occasionally, politics.

Ep. 2: B.S. Food Terminology

Monday September 26, 2016

This week we dive deep into our words, our taste buds, and our oceans. Why are we so excited by B.S. food terminology, like “superfood?” Is flavor the new superfood? And what the heck is bycatch?

Our guests this week are Curt Ellis, the filmmaker behind the Peabody Award-winning documentary King Corn, and the cofounder and CEO of FoodCorps; Virginia Gewin, an award-winning journalist covering food security and agriculture for publications such as Nature, Popular Science, and Modern Farmer; and Ivy Manning, a food educator, cookbook author, and contributor to publications such as Cooking Light and Fine Cooking.

Ep. 1: When Breakfast Takes Over

Monday September 12, 2016

In our début episode we ask: What is up with America’s obsession with breakfast? We also talk trash about food waste and discuss how our phones are changing how we eat out.

Our inaugural guests are Erin DeJesus, currently lead editor at Eater; Laura Russell, cookbook author, food writer, and recipe developer; and Lucy Burningham, Certified Cicerone, travel writer, and author of two books on beer.

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.