Writing for the radio

Cookbooks

You may have heard Kathy Gunst on National Public Radio's Here and Now, a live news magazine show broadcast to over 500 public radio stations in the US. Recently Gunst spoke with Dianne Jacob to explain how writing for the popular radio program differs from writing for print

Gunst knows a thing or two about food writing: she's the author of over a dozen cookbooks, including the popular Stonewall Kitchen series. While writing for print or radio involves similar research, the output is quite different. Says Gunst, "I know that if I have to speak for 6-14 minutes I need enough info to speak for an hour, to feel safe and confident. Then we have a conversation. That's completely different from writing for magazines, because this is a 2-way often live conversation where one or two hosts interview me. I bring food in so they're always tasting and eating and we're always laughing." The goal for each pieces is to have the audience listening at home or in the car think "I could make that, I could cook that tonight."

When asked what the most challenging part of doing a radio show, Gunst replied: "Making food come alive through sound. It's the sense that's rarely discussed." She describes an interview she once conducted with Jacques Pepin where he was talking about training young chefs. Pepin remarked that "he could walk into the kitchen and tell if the meat was overcooked by the sound of the searing in the kitchen." Gunst strivies to use sound to make the other senses "come alive for people." 

Read the complete interview on Dianne Jacob's blog.

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