Al Spoler | WYPR

Al Spoler

Host, Cellar Notes and Radio Kitchen

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.

His most rewarding immersion in cooking came through his work as a television director at MPT.  Spoler served as off-line editor and assistant director on two series featuring the legendary French chef Pierre Franey.  He also worked with Mexican chef Patricia Quintana, and with Bed and Breakfast expert Gail Greco on her series "Country Inn Cooking". Al says traveling all over the US visiting country inns and taping recipes that they prepared in little makeshift television kitchens was an incredible education.

Spoler's tastes in cooking are influenced by regional tradition and contemporary casual French fare. Never slavish to recipes, he is never happier than improvising a Sunday dinner with whatever ingredients come to hand.

Zinfandels

Jul 12, 2017
Evan Bench/flickr

Al and Hugh investigate what's shakin' in the world of zinfadels.  

Click on the image for the wine list.

Market Inspirations

Jul 11, 2017
Jamyla Krempel

It's probably pretty easy to figure out where we get a lot of our ideas for Radio Kitchen. All it takes is a visit to a weekend farmers market and we walk away with topics galore. Jerry and Al made their regular visits to Baltimore's farmers markets recently, and came away inspired. Click on the picture for some ideas they culled from the market.

Jon Connell/flickr

 

Al and Hugh return to one of their tried and true friends--Rioja. Al recently visited Marques de Murrieta in Spain, where modern Riojas started, and he and Hugh share some suggestions for riojas you can find in stores. 

Click on the image for the wine list. 

Boris Mann/flickr

Happy 4th of July. And I'm willing to bet that more than a few of you are planning crab feasts to go along with the fireworks. Some purists may insist that you only need two things for a proper crab feast: crabs and beef.  But to make it a true feast, I think you've got to offer more than that. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has set his focus on the sides. Here are a bunch of ideas to round out your crab feast.

Click on the image for the list of recipes. 

Cameron Kennedy/flickr

In the cellar this week: Tempranillos, which refers in Spanish, to the grape's tendency to ripen early. 

Click on the image for the wine list.

Krista/flickr

Last week I shared my culinary memories of my trip to Spain, and the week before that Jerry was talking about the grill. So this week we've decided to blend the two concepts and talk about something rather novel. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has figured out how to throw a Spanish classic on the barbie.

Click on the photo for recipe and instructions. 

Timothy Vollmer/flickr

I just got back from my trip to Spain, and boy did I eat well. We did a fair amount of tapas and a fair amount of sit-down dinners, and since I had my notebook with me, I brought back some ideas. And I'm sure that Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Coking School would have been going nuts sampling all that good food.

Click on the picture for recipes.

Megan Cole/flickr

The Radio Kitchen food for thought: Who says French wines can't be paired with Spanish cuisine?

Click on the image for the wine list. 

Albariño Wines

Jun 14, 2017
Evan Bench/flickr

Albariño is a white grape grown in Spain and Portugal. The grape produces varietal, light colored wines. Click on the picture for the wine list.

Aimee Plesa/flickr

I've been firing up my grill for a few weeks now, and ever since we did a show on smoking with wood chips, I've been cooking up some very tasty food. But if you want to increase the flavor of your steaks, ribs and roasts, you can't beat the direct approach:  going with marinades and rubs. And this is where Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School can get very creative. Click on the picture to the left for instructions and recipes.

Pages