Hidden Kitchens: Tell Us Your Stories

Nationwide Collaboration of Radio Producers, NPR and Listeners

Hidden Kitchens logo

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San Antonio Chili Queens

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Lou the Glue

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Raspa Vendors

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Cab yard kitchen

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Pascual Family

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Morning Edition wants your stories. Coming this fall, a new series, produced by The Kitchen Sisters and Jay Allison, will gather stories exploring the world of Hidden Kitchens: street-corner cooking; legendary meals and eating traditions; how our families, neighborhoods and communities come together through food.

Call (202) 408-0300 — the NPR Hidden Kitchens Hot Line — to share your stories and ideas.

Tell us: What food tradition is disappearing from your life? From the neighborhood? From the planet?

Tell us: Who glues your community together through food? Who are the "old stoves," the local legends cooking in unofficial kitchens?

Who is cooking on your corner and in your neighborhood? We're looking for stories of tiny kitchen economies, food sold from ice chests, pushcarts, vans, places you'd never expect to find a kitchen... the taqueria that appears in the carwash in the evening and disappears at midnight.

What should be captured and documented before it disappears or changes beyond recognition? What are the food rituals tucked away in your everyday life? Who are the pioneers and kitchen visionaries?

In this sound-rich series, you'll hear the voices and stories of street vendors, home cooks, anthropologists, foragers, grandmothers, chefs, food historians and public radio listeners nationwide. Hidden Kitchens premieres on Morning Edition in October 2004 and will run weekly — 13 stories on 13 Fridays — a baker's dozen. In the meantime, we're searching.

Share your stories, leads and hot tips with us and we'll try to follow up on as many as we can and include them on the air or on the Web as part of this oral history of America's food culture. And thanks again for joining us in this nationwide effort to uncover and chronicle these "Hidden Kitchens."

In our "Call for Hidden Kitchens" story, produced by Jay Allison and The Kitchen Sisters, you heard the voices of Bryan Gordon (filmmaker); Isabelle Sanchez (daughter of Teresa Cantu Rocha, a San Antonio Chili Queen); Lou "The Glue" Marcelli (commodore of the Dolphin Club); Peggy Knickerbocker (cookbook author and food writer); Phyllis Richman (former Washington Post food critic); and Kim Severson (author and San Francisco Chronicle food writer).

Tell us a Story. Spare no detail.

Call NPR's Hidden Kitchens Hot Line

(202) 408-0300

www.KitchenSisters.org

Hidden Kitchens is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) and Jay Allison, creators of the 1999 Peabody Award-winning series Lost & Found Sound and the 2002 Peabody Award-winning series The Sonic Memorial Project.

* Photo of San Antonio Chili Queens courtesy San Antonio Light Collection, Institute of Texan Cultures at UTSA, Gift of the Hearst Corporation.

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