Hidden Kitchens

Hidden Kitchens

From NPR

An ongoing series exploring the world of hidden kitchens: street corner cooking, legendary meals and eating traditions...how communities come together through food. Produced by the Kitchen Sisters.More from Hidden Kitchens »

Most Recent Episodes

The Breadbasket Blues: A Central Valley Kitchen Story

Hidden Kitchens takes us into the agricultural heart of California's Central Valley, the "nation's breadbasket," where the rates of juvenile obesity and type 2 diabetes are some of the highest in the nation. The Kitchen Sisters travel to Fresno, Bakersfield, Kettleman City and beyond to chronicle some of hidden causes of this epidemic and the local kitchen visionaries grappling with the problems.

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Stubb Stubblefield: Archangel of Barbecue

C. B. "Stubb" Stubblefield, namesake of the barbecue sauce and legendary club in Austin, Texas, had a mission to feed the world, especially the people who sang in it. When he started out in Lubbock, he generously supported both black and white musicians the likes of Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tom T. Hall — creating community and breaking barriers.

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Garden Allotments: A London Kitchen Vision

Hidden Kitchens travels across London to explore the long tradition of allotments: urban communal garden plots wedged in between buildings, planted in abandoned open spaces, carved into hillsides, bequeathed to the working classes on protected land scattered across the city by the hundreds.

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The Birth of Rice-A-Roni

The worlds of a young Canadian immigrant, an Italian pasta making family, and an old Armenian woman converge in this story of the creation of the "San Francisco Treat."

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The Sheepherders Ball

Hidden Kitchens explores the world of Basque sheepherders in the American west and their outdoor, underground, one man, 2,000 sheep, two dog cooking traditions. Basques have been well known as sheepherders in the United States from as early as the 1850s. When there was a shortage of shepherds in the 1950s Basques were recruited from Spain and France to tend sheep throughout the western states. Within days of arriving in America these men, with little or no sheepherding background, found themselves working alone, with two dogs and 2,000 sheep, sleeping in canvas tents, walking hundreds of miles across the mountains, in search of food and pasture. They cooked underground using Dutch ovens to bake bread and stew lamb, or ate at boarding houses that popped up along the sheepherding trail. And in Boise, once a year, they feasted on chorizo and broad bean stew, while dancing to the Jota, at the Sheepherders' Ball.

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Broncos and Boudin: The Angola Prison Rodeo

A journey to kitchens hidden behind bars — that come and go with the Angola Prison Rodeo at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Each April and again in October the public is invited in to this maximum security prison to watch convicts ride wild horses and bulldog steers, before an arena full of thousands. Alongside this convict spectacle, dozens of inmate organizations sell down home southern food.

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Sugar in the Milk: A Parsi Kitchen Story

This episode of Hidden Kitchens stretches back some 3,000 years, from San Francisco, to India, to Persia. Niloufer Ichaporia King, author of My Bombay Kitchen, brings us into the ancient and disappearing world of Parsi cooking.

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Hercules and Hemings: Presidents' Slave Chefs

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.

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Kibbe at the Crossroads: Lebanese Kitchens in the Mississippi Delta

Lebanese immigrants began arriving in the Mississippi Delta in the 1870s, working as peddlers, then grocers and restaurateurs. In this episode of Hidden Kitchens we go to Clarksdale where BBQ, the blues and a kind of Lebanese meat loaf meet — at the legendary intersection of the Highways 61 and 49, where bluesman Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil.

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The Legend of Stubb's Barbecue

In the 1970s, C.B. Stubblefield's BBQ joint and roadhouse in Lubbock, Texas became a gathering spot for an emerging Texas music scene --Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Jesse Taylor, Terry Allen and many Texas greats played there regularly lured in by Stubb's great BBQ and beautiful nature. C.B Stubblefield, a former army cook in the last all Black regiment of the Korean War, generously fed and supported both black and white musicians, creating an atmosphere of community and breaking barriers in the still segregated region. Over the years Stubb's fed the likes of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Emmy Lou Harris, the Rolling Stones, Robert Cray, Los Lobos, Stevie Ray Vaugn and the list goes on.

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