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Your Mama’s Kitchen

Higher Ground

“Tell me about your mama's kitchen.” That’s the simple request which begins each episode of this Audible Original podcast from acclaimed journalist Michele Norris (NPR’s All Things Considered, The Washington Post) and Higher Ground, Barack and Michelle Obama's media company.

Every week, hear guests like Michelle Obama, Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach, Matthew Broderick, D-Nice, José Andrés, and more explore the complexities of family life and how their earliest culinary experiences helped shape their personal and professional lives—and of course,each guest brings a recipe for a favorite dish from their youthso you can taste a bit of their story.

With a delicious buffet of actors, authors, chefs, musicians, and more, the rich conversations that flow from that simple, initialprompt reveal the histories, memories, and cultures that emerge from the kitchen—the heart of the home—where we are nourished physically and spiritually. Some of our most valuable and vulnerable moments happened there as we watched parents struggle with bills, wrestle with shifting family dynamics, or figure out new roles for themselves as feminism changed the national terrain. Your Mama’s Kitchen is a podcast about cuisine and culture, ingredients and identities, and the meals and memories that make us who we are.

Please Note: This is now the home of Your Mama’s Kitchen hosted by Michele Norris. To listen to Michelle Obama: The Light, search for it wherever you listen.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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Our Editor's Take

Journalist and Race Card Project creator Michele Norris hosts Your Mama's Kitchen. It's a warm, inviting interview podcast about family, memory, and food. Michele coaxes personal stories from celebrities with her soothing voice and even tone.

Each episode begins with a soundbite from the guest. In the first episode, former First Lady Michelle Obama says that her mama's kitchen was a small space that felt big. Norris asks Obama to recall South Euclid Avenue on the South Side of Chicago. Obama's great-aunt and uncle owned the two-story building and lived on the first floor. She doesn't think it was an official two-family home since the second-floor space she lived in was so small.

Comedian Conan O'Brien reminisces about his father's cooking style. He describes his father as methodical in learning recipes. But O'Brien also recalls his father was not one to clean up after himself while cooking. He notes that, though he rarely cooks, his wife has noticed that he inherited this trait.

Actor George Takei tells Norris about New Year cuisine. It was a big winter celebration for his Japanese family. His mother and aunts would start cooking a week ahead of time. Takei describes a favorite sushi roll his mother would make. She would hollow out a deep-fried tofu cube and fill it with her mix of rice, carrots, and vinegar. This type of sushi is inari, but young Takei referred to these rolls as "footballs."

Your Mama's Kitchen evokes both food cravings and emotional honesty. Chef and Vegan Soul Kitchen author Bryant Terry shares something special with Michele. Terry talks about his grandmother, whom he called Ma'dear. She always sang in the kitchen. He asked his mother to sing the song he remembered and made a recording. He played a snippet of his mother's sweet singing for Norris. Listeners can hear his mother cooking. With the sound of sauteing onions in the background, it's a lovely moment for audiences to connect to.

Those with a passion for food and nostalgia may enjoy this podcast. Your Mama's Kitchen episodes are between 30 to 40 minutes long.

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Society & CultureSociety & Culture


Dorie Greenspan
Dorie Greenspan
Cookbook author and baker extraordinaire, Dorie Greenspan, joins Michele to discuss the long, winding and unforeseen journey to Dorie’s great baking career. Dorie grew up in a household that did not cook home-cooked meals, and as a young adult, she first pursued an academic PHD. Cooking was not on her radar. But when Dorie’s perceptive husband witnessed how much Dorie loved baking, he encouraged her to pursue it; and Dorie did — with enthusiasm. Today, in addition to having been mentored by food-world icon, Julia Child, Dorie has written 14 cookbooks, won five James Beard awards, and has her very own, prized kitchen in Paris. In this episode, find out how Dorie’s story begins by mistakenly burning down her mother’s kitchen, and ends with Dorie being one of the best bakers in the business – and stay tuned for a lovely soft-shell crab recipe that Dorie loved to share with her mother, on the back steps of her childhood Brooklyn home.Dorie Greenspan was born in Brooklyn and pursued a PHD in gerontology before becoming an internationally recognized cookbook author and baker. Dorie has been a columnist for New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post. She’s written 14 cookbooks and won five James Beard awards as well as the Cookbook of the Year award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Dorie was awarded the Mérite d’Agricole – the Order of Agricultural Merit – by the French Consulate for her writings about France’s food. Today, she lives with her husband Michael in New York City, Westbrook, CT and Paris, France.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban — entrepreneur, fixture on the reality TV show Shark Tank, and born outsider — joins Michele this week. Mark shares how he acquired a do-what-needs-to-be-done attitude from his Jewish immigrant grandparents when he was a boy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; how he first tapped his entrepreneurial spirit by selling garbage bags to neighbors. And – ignoring the way things “should” be done – fast-forwarded his education to start achieving the financial success he’s known for today. But Mark never forgot his roots: he values family and hometown friends more than anything he can buy, and he especially loves his mother’s Raisin Noodle Kugel, a recipe he happily shares with us.Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur, investor and TV personality. He is the former principal owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban showed his entrepreneurial spirit early in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he grew up selling goods door to door and eventually graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana State University. His business ventures took off as the founder of MicroSolutions and, both of which he eventually sold, earning millions. He has invested in dozens of successful businesses across many industries, and, as majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks, won the NBA Championships in 2011. He is active in philanthropy, social and political commentary, and can be seen regularly on reality TV. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Bryant Terry
Bryant Terry
Bryant Terry – cookbook author, chef, food activist, conceptual artist and publisher – joins Michele at his University of California Berkeley art studio to discuss one of the biggest influences behind all of his work: his grandmother, Margie Bryant; or, as his family affectionately called her, Ma’dear. In Ma’dear’s Memphis, Tennessee kitchen, Bryant spent hours helping her shell peas, peel potatoes or pour sugar into the pot for her sweet fruit preserves. It was in her kitchen that Bryant learned how Ma’dear’s love for her family came in the form of what she made there, and it's that love that stays with Bryant today and drives his work.When Bryant is not penning one of his acclaimed cookbooks, like his most recent work, Black Food, he is touring the country, educating Americans about the ways in which our food system is broken, how we as consumers can make choices that help local producers and farmers get the resources they need to continue their valuable work, and about what many of us often get wrong about Black Food – a cuisine that is far more varied, healthy and complex than many people are led to believe.   In this episode, Bryant recounts how a very specific 90s hip hop song led him to veganism, he shares his recipe for Ma’dear’s savory, slow-cooked leafy greens, and he sings the haunting, beautiful song Ma’dear would sing as she cooked them down until they were meltingly tender.   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.