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BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY Minneapolis 1999 -

Readers' Choice: Tom Barnard

When the topic is broadcasting food, the only thing we can think of that would keep us from tuning in to KNOW (91.1 FM) to hear Minnesota Public Radio's nationally syndicated show The Splendid Table would be if the Food Network were to suddenly start airing the original black-and-white episodes of The French Chef every Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Come to think of it, in that unlikely event, we'd just dial up Lynne Rossetto Kasper's weekly program when it's rebroadcast Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Kasper has that most precious of radio-host gifts: the ability to avoid coming off as a know-it-all. The topics she covers are unfailingly entertaining, edifying, and unpredictable (recent shows have featured segments on reasonably priced French wines and quick Thai curries, as well as esoterica like food-name etymologies and edible bugs). Equally engaging are her guests: Gourmet magazine road-food writers Jane and Michael Stern, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, Dean & DeLuca produce procurer David Karp, and cheese guru Steve Jenkins, among others. As our beloved Julia would say: Bon appétit!

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