Nancy Leson

Commentator & Seattle Times food writer

Seattle Times food writer and KPLU commentator Nancy Leson serves up a bounty of information and culinary tips on Pacific Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants. A native Philadelphian, she spent nearly 20 years waiting tables before trading her apron and corkscrew for a writer’s notebook and keyboard. Nancy joined the Seattle Timesas lead restaurant critic in 1998 and today keeps her finger on the pulse of the local food scene on her blog, All You Can Eat (www.seattletimes.com/allyoucaneat).

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Waiting for a Table

The line around 1 pm on a Saturday at Paseo's in Fremont
Heather W. Yelp.com

So how long would you be willing to stand on line for a table at a popular restaurant? Ten minutes? A half hour? Longer? Not KPLU’s Dick Stein, as he tells Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson on today’s Food for Thought.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Homemade vinegar: For starters, it's easy to do

This "mother of vinegar" starter turns red wine into red wine vinegar.
Nancy Leson

Making your own vinegar is not complicated, thank goodness, but it does require a  good starter. Seattle Times food writer, Nancy Leson, tells KPLU's Erin Hennessey how she makes her own red wine vinegar and why it's so special.

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Food for Thought
5:14 am
Wed March 9, 2011

John Pizzarelli's box lunch serenade

The man just can't stop entertaining
KPLU

The only difference between John Pizzarelli and a real ham is...

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Food for Thought
1:24 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Ugliest cooking pot winner

Dick Stein presents prize to Tina Koch (pulling-the Big Red Switch). Cick on photo and scroll to see her winning entry.
KPLU

And the winner is...

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Food for Thought
4:16 am
Wed February 23, 2011

The power of sour

Nancy Leson's vinegar habit exposed!
Nancy Leson

I like it straight out of the bottle, no ice, no glass.  And with apologies to Fast Eddie Felson, I don't mean JTS Brown bourbon.

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Food for Thought
2:31 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Put them all together, they spell tiramisu

Here's the stuff you need...
Nancy Leson

Created for a Medici, it was the dessert of choice for Venetian working girls.

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Food for Thought
4:49 am
Wed February 9, 2011

Leson and Stein put feet in mouth – again

Chicken feet -- Claws for our jaws
Courtesy of Nancy Leson

Our diets lay bound, gagged and locked in the trunk as Nancy and I sped toward our date with Wretched Excess.

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Food for Thought
4:52 am
Wed January 19, 2011

Supermarkets' trading on 'charade of intimacy'

Supermarkets are pretty familiar with what we buy. Nancy and Dick say they're getting a little too familiar overall
KPLU

Have you noticed your local grocery clerk asking you more personal questions of late? "Plastic or paper?" is giving way to "What are your weekend plans?"

This wicked turn toward what they call a 'charade of intimacy' doesn't sit well with Dick and Nancy. They've had it up to their squeaky shopping carts with faux familiarity!

And what about those frequent shopper cards that populate your wallet? Are they really 'saving' you money, as you're told at check out? 

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Food for Thought
4:02 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Seattle's restless restaurant scene

Serious Pie is serious pizza, and chef Tom Douglas is expanding on his success. A second location opened in South Lake Union, one of three new Douglas kitchens.
Tom Douglas.com

The end (and the beginning!) of the year often marks change in business of all kinds, and the restaurant business is no exception. 

Nancy and Dick lay down the latest on some noteworthy Seattle restaurateurs who have opened - or are about to open - new kitchens. Other famous spots have new names, or new owners.  Nancy says look out for:

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Food for Thought
7:24 am
Wed January 5, 2011

Making mochi to ring in the year

Formed mochi rounds, up close.
Nancy Leson

It's the first Food for Thought of 2011, so Nancy and Dick put the spotlight on a little morsel associated with the start of a new year from the Japanese tradition: Mochi making.  

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Food for Thought
4:18 pm
Wed December 29, 2010

Cooking in a power outage

This little propane grill and a canister of propane cost about $25 and are widely available. The backyard (or, in this case, back porch) cooking option is a handy alternative in a power outage.
Gary Davis/KPLU

A lot of folks around these parts lately have become experts at cooking during a power outage. A listener asked Nancy and Dick to offer their own tips on making do when the juice shuts off.  

This week's Food for Thought makes sure your covered when the lights go out. 

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Food for Thought
9:48 am
Wed December 22, 2010

2010's best cookbooks include some local gems

A few of the local best cookbooks of 2010, as Nancy Leson sees it. She and Dick Stein share their faves on this week's Food for Thought.
Nancy Leson photo.

Picture your favorite cookbook, and how you have come to savor the experience of its splendor.  This week’s Food for Thought reveals new favorites that rank in that class, and Nancy and Dick are naming their top picks,   in time for Christmas.

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Food for Thought
6:01 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Nancy's French Adventures

Nancy Leson is home from her KPLU Travel Club trip to France, full of stories, tales of tastings, and the trials of rich food.
Paul Stankavich/KPLU

Seattle Times Food Writer Nancy Leson is back from her KPLU Travel Club trip to Paris, where she ate…and ate…and, well, you get the idea.  

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Food For Thought
5:57 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Following the Fish

Gene Ikeda of Seattle's Mutual Fish Co., makes his restaurant deliveries to restaurants around town, something the Rainier Valley seafood shop has done for decades. Here he delivers to Vios Cafe on Capitol Hill.
Nancy Leson

Ever wonder how your favorite restaurants make sure they have the freshest seafood ready to serve to you? Dick and Nancy take you on a journey from the boat (and the airfreight cargo office) to the table, and follow one of the regions top seafood proprietors on this week's Food for Thought.

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Food for Thought
11:28 am
Wed November 24, 2010

Nancy's Thanksgiving Hotline

Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson and Dick Stein usually get together at the KPLU studios each Tuesday to record Food for Thought -- but given Tuesday's hazardous driving conditions it seemed more prudent for Dick to just get Nancy on the phone for their Thanksgiving chat.

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