Books by Nikki Silva
NPR stories about Nikki Silva
The birth of Rice-A-Roni began with a friendship between a Canadian immigrant and a survivor of the Armenian genocide. Soon after, an Italian family made "the San Francisco treat" into a popular side dish.
London's "allotment" gardens are an unusual and vibrant system of community gardens across the entire city. Tended by immigrants, retirees, chefs and fans of fresh food, the allotments make up a kitchen community like no other.
In the last century, Basque people fleeing Francisco Franco's dictatorship flocked to America, herding sheep across the West. "Hidden Kitchens" explores the world of Basque sheepherders and their outdoor, below-the-ground, Dutch oven cooking traditions.
Hidden Kitchens travels to the Louisiana State Penitentiary and the world of unexpected, below-the-radar, down-home convict cooking at the Angola Prison Rodeo. The event, which draws thousands of spectators, features traditional dishes prepared and sold by inmates at the prison farm.
Niloufer Ichaporia King lives in a house with three kitchens. She is known for her ritual celebrations of Parsi New Year on the first day of spring, when she creates an elaborate ceremonial meal based on the auspicious foods and traditions of her vanishing culture.
Hercules, a slave of George Washington, and James Hemings, owned by Thomas Jefferson, began a long connection of presidents and their African-American cooks. And President Lyndon Johnson's black cook may have influenced his work on civil rights reform.
In the late 1870s, Lebanese immigrants began arriving in the Mississippi Delta, working first as peddlers, then grocers and restaurateurs. Kibbe, a meatloaf of sorts, is part of the glue that continues to hold the Lebanese family culture together in the Delta and beyond.
After Pearl Harbor, about 120,000 Japanese Americans were uprooted and forced to live for years in remote federal camps around the country. The upheaval of internment changed the traditional Japanese diet and erased the family table.
Every year, Palestinians from towns and villages across the West Bank bring their ladders and tarps to local olive groves. Olive oil season is the center of local history and culture — and at the heart of the economy.
The Kitchen Sisters explore the saga of a Texas corn chip and C.E. Doolin, the can-do visionary behind it. Doolin, who envisioned Fritos as a side dish, never imagined anyone would consume an entire king size bag. The story of the Frito is the latest in the "Hidden Kitchens" series.
NASA's Johnson Space Center invited The Kitchen Sisters to visit its "hidden kitchen." On the eve of NASA's scheduled launch of space shuttle Atlantis, The Kitchen Sisters present a brief history of space food.
On the eve of Mozart's 251st birthday, The Kitchen Sisters take us to Vienna, to Mozart's Hidden Kitchen: "The Tables of New Crowned Hope." The festival honored the composer's free-thinking philosophy, innovation and radical music.
The Kitchen Sisters visit the 21st annual Farm Aid benefit concert in Camden, N.J., for some turkey-stuffin', potato-mashin' music and some deep stories of an endangered tradition — the American family farm.
At a truck stop between Dallas and Waco, Texas, a little energy revolution has begun. Truckers at Carl's Corner fill up on BioWillie, biodiesel named after singer Willie Nelson. The fuel is made from farm crops and recycled restaurant grease.
In honor of Mother's Day, The Kitchen Sisters linger in the room in the house where families gather and children are fed, where all good parties begin and end. The room where the best stories are told.
The revelation that Brazilian cab drivers in San Francisco were getting a taste of home at an off-the-radar restaurant sparked the interest of radio producers The Kitchen Sisters. Soon, they were making midnight runs to Janete's Cabyard Kitchen.
The new book by The Kitchen Sisters charts their ongoing series of reports exploring the world of street-corner cooking, colorful kitchen rituals and visionaries, legendary meals and eating traditions.