Communal Table Podcast: The Joy of Cooking Has Always Been There for You

The original author's great-grandson John Becker and his wife Megan Scott go in-depth on how they updated the classic cookbook for the modern era.

Chefs and restaurant workers take great care of everyone else, but often they need a little help themselves. Each week, Food & Wine senior editor Kat Kinsman talks with hospitality pros about they manage their business, brain, and body for the long haul. Is there a topic you'd like to know more about or a guest you'd love to hear from? Tell us at or tweet to Kat @kittenwithawhip, and subscribe to the weekly Food & Wine Pro newsletter. Subscribe to the new Communal Table YouTube page and never miss an episode. Catch up on previous episodes here.

Episode 69: The Joy of Cooking Has Always Been There for You

There's a good chance that The Joy of Cooking is somewhere in your orbit, whether it's a vintage edition handed down through your family, a copy bestowed upon you when you moved away from home, or even the newest version that came out at the end of 2019. What many people may not realize is that Joy has been a family enterprise since Irma S. Rombauer published the first edition in 1931. Now, with more people cooking at home than ever before, it's the perfect time to get to know Rombauer's great-grandson John Becker and his wife and co-author, Megan Scott, who spent years stewarding the family's legacy into the modern era. Food & Wine Senior Editor Kat Kinsman sat down with the couple in a hotel room in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while they were still working on the book to talk about the pressures of expectations, their methods for testing and updating thousands of recipes, how they decided what to keep and what to leave to the past, and how they made it look like the America of today.

Note: Because the podcast had to be recorded in a less than ideal setup, the sound quality may not be as crisp as usual. We're all doing our best.

Links and Resources

Learn: Ode to Joy: The powerful legacy of Joy of Cooking, America's favorite cookbook.

Buy: The Joy of Cooking (2019)

Make: Megan Scott's Cheddar-Scallion Biscuits

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Previous episode: Win Son's Trigg Brown listened closely for guidance from authorities, but it was slow in coming. He took action to protect his team.

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