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Hidden Kitchens

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

Nikki Silva, Davia Lee Nelson


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/22/2006)


"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 - 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.

Praise For Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR#s The Kitchen Sisters

“The genius of the Kitchen Sisters has been to discover a nation filled with humor, imagination, and passion.” —Alice Waters, from the Foreword

“Silva and Nelson catalog and spin yarns about offbeat kitchens of all sorts, from the racing pits of NASCAR to Vietnamese ones in nail salons to those smoking in midnight cab yards. Their stories, highlighted with photos, always grab you.” —The New York Times

“The Kitchen Sisters are my favorite storytellers. Their offbeat and heartfelt kitchen stories make me want to walk through my neighborhood, go on a road trip, and eat the food of family.” —Francis Ford Coppola

“The Kitchen Sisters have done some of the best radio stories ever broadcast.” —Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life

Rodale Books, 9781594863134, 304pp.

Publication Date: October 21, 2005

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.