A Couple Cooks | Small Bites Podcast
Bite-sized food for thought
Podcast hosts Sonja and Alex Overhiser pair small bites of food with short form interviews to inspire you in less than 20 minutes. The married duo behind the acclaimed website A Couple Cooks has teamed up to explore the stories, ideas, and people behind what we eat, featuring leading authors, entrepreneurs, and celebrity chefs. It’s a busy world, they cut the small talk and get right to the point, all in the time of your daily commute!
Hosting tips straight out of Hollywood from an actress and mom of two! It’s Tiffani Thiessen, who you might know as Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell. Tiffani shares her passion for bringing people together over food, and breaks down some fun ways to help people connect at the dinner table. With her interview, we pair a lemon feta dip from her new book, Pull Up a Chair.
Why eat organic? It’s a complicated question, so we’ve brought in an expert: the famed Gary Hirshberg who founded America’s largest organic yogurt company. Gary breaks down the benefits of organic for us as a Win, Win, Win: and helps us understand how to start with some organic baby steps. For our small bite with Gary’s interview, our fan favorite apple manchego salad. Another must listen!
“I don’t expect perfection: I long for relationship.” Cookbook author and video series host Ashley Rodriguez joins us to talk about life around the table. In an Instagram-saturated world, how do we overcome our desire for a perfect meal and simply gather around the table? We also chat about teaching kids of all kinds learn to embrace the beauty of food. With Ashley’s interview, we pair a charred scallion dip from her new book, Let’s Stay In.
Culinary legend Mark Bittman joins us for an intimate conversation about trendy diets and how to make our world a better place through food. His book Food Matters was a part of a growing food movement 10 years ago, but are we eating better today? After writing a 20-year New York Times food column, authoring countless books and being in 4 television series’, there’s still conversation to be had. With Mark’s interview, we pair a simple bruschetta you can make in 5 minutes with simple ingredients.
This episode stars one woman who’s combating Islamophobia in America one bite at a time! Amanda Saab is founder of Dinner with Your Muslim Neighbor, an organization that brings Muslims and non-Muslims together over home-cooked meals. She’s also the chef behind the Butter Bear Shop bakery in Detroit and star of a new television show called Chef in Hijab. With Amanda’s interview, we pair it with a small bite: a cookie from her Butter Bear Shop.
Can what we eat affect climate change? In this episode we take a bite into the big topic of how what we eat affects the planet. We’re joined by Eliza Barclay, Science and Health Editor at Vox.com, to break it down and share practical takeaways to help our world by eating more plant based meals. With Eliza’s interview, we pair a small bite: irresistible tomato almond dip from our vegetarian cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking.
In this episode, we’re transported to Spain by the writer behind the popular blog Gimme Some Oven. Ali Martin reports in from Barcelona about lingering over the table and Spanish tapas. Where American culture is all about speed when it comes to food, Spain is about nourishing relationships around the table. With Ali’s interview, we pair a small bite: homemade roasted patatas bravas.
In this episode, cookbook author Julia Turshen shares with us how to reinvent leftovers into new dishes, à la her new cookbook Now & Again. Plus, she provides inventive ideas on what to bring if you’re a dinner guest, and how to connect to your community through food. With Julia’s interview, we pair a small bite: charred broccoli crostini with creamy goat cheese.
Season 1 Episodes
“Mindset matters. Everyone talks so much about what the perfect diet is—we debate what foods you should take out of your diet, and whether you should exercise or meditate in the morning or the night. And those are all important, but they are totally missing the point if you have a mindset that has you suffering and feeling like you’re a failure.” That’s Robyn Downs, and along with her husband Dr. Andrew, they’re fascinated with the mindsets that lead to healthy eating. This podcaster teamed up with her psychology professor husband to conduct a study on the way we think about food—and the results were surprising. They joined us to talk about their story and what mindsets can help us to be actually healthy.
Want to be transported to the Eternal City without leaving your couch? We got Rome on the phone in this episode and chatted with Kristina Gill, author and photographer behind the cookbook Tasting Rome. Hear about her love affair with the city that’s kept her there for nearly 20 years, and what she’s learned about authentic Italian cuisine from cabbies to restaurateurs.
Ever wondered what it’s like to write a book—and adopt a baby at the same time? This episode is an exclusive with Alex and Sonja about the process of writing their new cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking. They share about starting A Couple Cooks, deciding to write a book, adopting their son Larson, and all the trials and triumphs in between. Along the way, you’ll learn the entire process of book writing from agent to proposal to launch.
“You have to see things not as they are, but as they could be. That’s what an artist does. And that’s what I am at heart.” That’s Majora Carter, real estate developer and urban revitalization strategist who’s won a long list of accolades for her work, including the coveted MacArthur Genius fellowship. Her 2016 TED talk was one of the first 6 on that groundbreaking website. Majora joins us to talk about beautifying our neighborhoods, the value of coffee shops and groceries, and how to create “demand” for real good food. She shares about the Boogie Down Grind Cafe, a coffee shop she helped to start serving high quality coffee (and veggies) in the South Bronx, and the value of taking risks to try new things.
“Treat sugar like salt.” That’s Bill Yosses, former White House pastry chef for Barack and Michelle Obama. When the First Lady asked him to create healthier treats for her family, he discovered that dialing back the sugar actually made his desserts taste better. In this episode, we learn Bill’s secrets to creating stellar, decadent tasting desserts that are “healthified” but still incredibly delicious. Plus, he shares the behind-the-scenes to making everyday meals at the White House, and President Obama’s favorite dessert.
“I love the imperfections in a dinner party. When we micromanage, we lose all ability to see what the dinner party is about. In all truth, no matter what Pinterest tells us or what we see in a magazine, the only things that really matter are the food and the people.” That’s Megan Gilger, Creative Director of the Fresh Exchange blog and brand. She’s passionate about getting people around the table, for events simple and elaborate. This episode is all about the dinner party: practical tips for pulling one off, and how to focus on what matters most: building relationships, shunning perfection, and making it work for you.
It’s not every day that you get to hear from an entire family of cooks, especially one that’s had such an impact on American food culture. Enter the Pollan Family: Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy. Only missing brother Michael Pollan, bestselling author about food and agriculture, the Pollan family shares the story of growing up around the table. Mom Corky passed down a culture of cooking and eating together, which has now been passed down to a new generation of cooks. Along they way, they wrote a cookbook: accessible, everyday recipes, heavy on the vegetables, to inspire families to come together around the table.
“The day to day romantic vision you have of farming: that is completely gone. It’s full panic mode from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. We have that in our chest from March until August.” That’s Taylor and Andrea Bemis on what it takes to run a farm as a husband-wife team. Theirs is Tumbleweed Farm, a picture perfect mountain-view farm outside of Portland, Oregon. What’s more, Andrea is a farmer with a first-class food blog and a popular cookbook. For Dishing Up the Dirt, Andrea develops recipes with the produce she grows and photographs them in her home studio. Hear about how she got a cookbook deal to tell their story and behind the scenes of a successful organic vegetable farm. While running a farm is not as romantic as it seems, in the end it’s the most fulfilling work they’ve known.
“Everyone is so busy. We’re constantly getting fast food or ordering out because our schedules are so, so busy. Sitting around the table and enjoying a meal, or being in the kitchen and preparing a meal with other family members, the joy and the love of that experience has gotten drowned out. And I really want to make sure that doesn’t happen.” That’s Jocelyn Delk Adams, the personality behind Grandbaby Cakes. She’s appeared on The Today Show, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and the Cooking Channel with her modern takes on her grandmother’s traditional recipes. Jocelyn sat down with us to chat about her family history in the kitchen, her road to becoming a mother, and how food can have a place in expanding diversity and understanding.
“‘If the front door is closed, climb in through the window.’ That’s my life motto. You don’t stop when someone says no. You don’t stop when there’s a bump in the road. You just have to keep going through it. It’s tenacity, grit, and perseverance that gets you to the other side of tough times and to your goal.” Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett lives that inside and out. In just five years, she’s built a multi-million dollar apron company from the ground up. She now sells to 6,000 restaurants all over the world, and counts Martha Stewart and Mario Batali as customers. Hear about her Mexican roots that led her to Mexico City for culinary school, and how she’s propelled herself to the top of her game by age 30. This lady’s got major hustle, and her positive, no-nonsense approach will have takeaways for your kitchen and life.
A bite sized food podcast
Do you listen to podcasts? A Couple Cooks | Small Bites is a food podcast that looks at the stories, ideas, and people behind the food. Because what we eat is so much bigger than recipes!
Our food podcast format is “bite sized”: each episode is less than 20 minutes. In that time, we pair a small bite of food with an inspirational short form interview. It’s a busy world and we know it’s hard to find time to listen to podcasts. We hope our food podcast can fit into your daily commute or while you’re cooking or folding laundry!
Why a food podcast?
As cookbook authors and recipe developers, why did we start a food podcast? Well, we’ve found the best way to learn about food is to surround yourself with people who love to food and cooking. When we started learning to cook, we made dinner with friends, watched Julia Child and Jamie Oliver on cooking shows, and used social media to connect with people all over the world who loved food. Our idea for a food podcast was to “meet” listeners in an authentic way and start a larger conversation with people who love food and cooking.
So, in 2016 we started the A Couple Cooks food podcast. Since then, we’ve had the honor of chatting with some of the best and brightest leaders in food, from cookbook authors like the Pollan family, entrepreneurs like Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett, and celebrity chefs like Carla Hall and Graham Elliott. We’ve covered big ideas like food as community and identity, and specific things like how to taste olive oil and salt your food.
Best food podcasts
Some of our favorite podcasts are food podcasts. We hope A Couple Cooks | Small Bites hits your list of best podcasts! Here are a few of our best food podcasts: