A New Radio Network for Food Lovers

With 10 shows hosted by writers, anthropologists, chefs, and experts from around the world, Whetstone's new food podcast network is an exciting auditory journey.

Meher Varma of Bad Table Manners and Clarissa Wei of Climate Cuisine
Photo: Courtesy of Whetstone Radio Collective

For Stephen Satterfield, writer, producer, High on the Hog host, and founder of Whetstone magazine, podcasting for the sake of podcasting just isn't a sustainable way forward for media. "I like meeting people where they are in terms of how they prefer to consume ideas and information," he says. "But the print magazine will always be a part of our DNA, no matter what we do." With the launch of the Whetstone Radio Collective's podcast network, Satterfield is excited to tell stories beyond the confines of the physical page, and says the new 10-show cohort was strongly shaped by people readers have gotten to know from the magazine's stories.

While centering celebrities and other high-profile figures has been an audience-building strategy that many other podcasters have relied on, Satterfield and his team consciously made the choice to amplify voices that reflect Whetstone's community, the people who he says "have enabled us to exist as a business." He's thrilled to feature episodes hosted by journalists like Clarissa Wei, whose show, Climate Cuisine, explores how ingredients from similar climate zones are used around the world and across cultures, as well as Delhi-based anthropologist and writer Meher Varma, who unpacks food recipes, rituals, and culinary traditions in post-colonial India for her show Bad Table Manners, which airs on December 15.

"We actually just believe in these people, and the quality of their ideas, the rigor of their reporting and storytelling, and we're betting that other people will ultimately value the insight and analysis they bring, too," Satterfield explains. "There are a lot of podcasts out there, and us pursuing high-profile individuals for listenership or to build our audience actually isn't a strategy that serves us."

NPR's Guy Raz, host and co-creator of popular programs like TED Radio Hour and How I Built This, serves as Whetstone's Radio Advisor, but Satterfield says he's also learned a lot from Whetstone's first foray into podcasts, a collaboration with iHeart Radio. "This time around, we really have been pushing ourselves to produce in a more cinematic fashion," he explains. "While the shows do have an interview component, they're also supported with lots of audio that will really place people in the story in a way that we haven't experienced in the food podcasting realm," he says.

Tune into Whetstone Radio Collective here.

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