This July, WLRN will add America's Test Kitchen to its 91.3 FM summer lineup, in addition to TEDTalks, Tell Me More, and the much-hyped quiz show& Ask Me Another, which started in Brooklyn's Bell House for audiences keen on obscure trivia. But alas, we're here to talk food.
The America's Test Kitchen radio show started in January. It takes an intellectual look at cooking with its hosts -- bow-tie enthusiast Christopher Kimball and America's Test Kitchen lead instructor Bridget Lancaster -- who discuss trendy recipes and tastings such as preserved Moroccan lemons, commune-made morning buns, and winetastings guided by Boston Globe reporter Stephen Meuse.
Distinguishing itself from the other food-related programs, America's Test Kitchen takes a scientific approach to cooking (and cleanup!) and relies on recipes and taste tests by ATK testers who methodically try out different recipes, procedures, and ingredients to identify one that comes with an America's Test Kitchen seal of approval. The show's strength is the authority of ATK testers and the welcoming chemistry between the folksy hosts: For techies, they review the latest kitchen gadgets; for mad scientists there's the science behind recipe development; and for the culture-obsessed, the show goes inside the everyday lives of chefs, reveals Marilyn Monroe's last meal, and debates raw milk.
Peter Maerz, WLRN radio programming and operations manager, had to listen to a lot of programs to arrive at a decision for this summer's lineup and says America's Test Kitchen made the cut because of the show's practical and informal tone, and liked the fact that it didn't "put too much of an emphasis on celebrity chefs."
This change-up in the WLRN lineup comes on the heels of a New York Times article last week which reported that many public radio stations are looking for new voices to breathe some fresh air into programming, stating that the "aging of public radio's core shows has given many producers incentive to act now." However, Maerz says while he is always looking for new voices, the decision was not based solely on attracting a younger audience. Rather, it was based on reaching more listeners and finding entertaining and lively programs, regardless of subject matter.
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Whatever the reason behind the change, the lineup looks to be a refreshing makeover to the station's content and an exciting menu change we look forward to sampling. If you can't wait till July, check out a free episode online.