Hidden Kitchens

Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR's The Kitchen Sisters

By Nikki Silva; Davia Nelson; Alice L. Waters (Foreword by)
(Rodale Books, Hardcover, 9781594863134, 320pp.)

Publication Date: October 13, 2005

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Paperback

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.



"The Kitchen Sisters off-beat kitchen stories make me want to walk through my neighborhood, go on a road trip and eat the food of family -- they have heart."
Francis Ford Coppola

Hidden Kitchens, the popular and highly acclaimed radio series on NPR's Morning Edition, is the inspiration for a new book by the Peabody Award-winning producers, The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva. Hidden Kitchens explores the world of street corner cooking, legendary meals, kitchen rituals, and visionaries - how communities come together through food.

When the Hidden Kitchens project began, The Kitchen Sisters and co-producer Jay Allison, opened up a NPR Hotline and asked listeners, "What food traditions are disappearing from your life?" "Who glues your community together through food?" Hundreds of listeners called to share their stories, tips and rituals.

Hidden Kitchens: Stories Recipes and More" interweaves stories and characters from the radio series, with phone messages from listeners and a wealth of new material from the enormous archive of interviews, photographs, and recipes gathered for the series.

There are stories about a midnight cabyard kitchen on the streets of San Francisco, makeshift kitchens crammed in the racing pits of NASCAR, a secret civil rights kitchen tucked away in a house in Montgomery, and the most unexpected hidden kitchen of all, The George Foreman Grill. The reader gets a peek inside the world of secret, little known, private kitchens, where traditions are carried on and communities are tended and fed â€" from the freighter galleys of the Great Lakes, to fire pits in Kentucky, to a fennel patch in San Francisco.

Hidden Kitchens is a sometimes poignant, sometimes wild chronicle of American life and how family and community traditions are passed along through food.

About the Author

About the Authors

The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) have been producing radio stories together since 1979. Their groundbreaking Peabody Award winning national collaborations, "Lost & Found Sound" and "The Sonic Memorial Project, created with Jay Allison have brought together independent producers, NPR, artists, writers, archivists and public radio listeners throughout the country to create richly layered radio documentaries that chronicle untold stories of American culture and traditions. The Kitchen Sisters teach at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and lecture and provide training workshops around the country.

In addition to producing radio, Davia Nelson is a screenwriter and casting director. Nikki Silva is also a museum curator and exhibit consultant.

Praise For Hidden Kitchens

A Chicago homeless man explains the beauty of the George Foreman Grill that he uses to make meals in a tunnel. An inmate at Louisiana's Angola prison made praline candies while in solitary confinement. There are underground meetings of raw milk societies in New York City and Indiana.Who knew? In one of the year's best nonfiction audio books, National Public Radio's Kitchen Sisters - Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva - take you to weird places where people sometimes create strange food, proving that not everyone in this country eats only microwave or takeout.You meet the Chili Queens of San Antonio and vegetarian tailgaters at Phish concerts; You visit a cooking schoolat a San Francisco jail. After Nelson and Silva put out the word on all-powerful NPR for listeners to call in their favorite hidden kitchens, they were swamped with responses. This audiobook lets you hear those radio tips that were taped on an answering machine. Actress Frances McDormand as the reader is more than you should expect for $19.95. She fits this material perfectly (remember the pregnant deputy in Fargo, asking about buffets?) As a bonus, you get to hear Tony Joe White's Polk Salad Annie. You'll love this audio book if you're a fan of NPR's eclectic mix of stories on All Things Considered, which first aired the Kitchen Sisters. These stories, each one better than the last, stream past: Mexican street vendors; a Sicilian gourmet cook; cooking for NASCAR teams; Native Americans harvesting wild rice in northern Minnesota. My advice? Buy four or five copies for holiday gift-giving, because you don't know anyone who won't love Hidden Kitchens.

Indie Bookstore Finder

Update Profile