Nancy Leson

Food Commentator

KPLU food commentator Nancy Leson is a food writer, cooking instructor and public speaker who learned much of what she knows about food during her first career: waiting tables. Readers embraced her as the longtime restaurant critic and columnist for The Seattle Times, where her byline appeared for nearly two decades. Each week Nancy and jazz DJ Dick Stein offer “Food for Thought” as they laugh and argue, share cooking tips and recipes and bring their private kitchen conversations into the lives of their listeners.

Ways to Connect

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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.

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.


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


And the winner is...

The power of sour

Feb 23, 2011
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.

Nancy Leson

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

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.


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? 


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:

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.  

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. 

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.

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.  

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.

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.

Nancy Leson photo.

It shakes, it shimmies, sometimes it's got marshmallows in it. It's that wiggly dessert Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson recently rhapsodized about in her blog.  But KPLU's Dick Stein is a fellow who's not so mellow about Jell-O.

Photo by Gary Davis/KPLU

Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson and KPLU's Dick Stein get good n' greasy as they attempt and fail to exercise ground beef control in this installment of Food for Thought.


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