Your Mama’s Kitchen

Your Mama’s Kitchen

By 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 youth so 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, initial prompt 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.


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.
21/02/24·37m 57s

Leslie Jones

Comedian and actress Leslie Jones makes us laugh and gets philosophical about the gift of comedy in this episode. We get a glimpse into her childhood kitchen in Southern California, where her father was the primary cook and funnyman. She opens up about dealing with the loss of both her parents and using humor as a form of therapy. We also get to hear her talk about her grandmother’s cornbread stuffing that is so good, Leslie has it all year round, not just on holidays. Leslie Jones is a stand-up comedian and actress. She was a writer and cast member on Saturday Night Live for five seasons, starting in 2014. She’s also played notable roles in films and TV shows, including the Ghostbusters reboot in 2016 and HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death. She published her memoir, Leslie F*cking Jones, in 2023. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/02/24·30m 21s

Matthew McConaughey & Camila Alves-McConaughey

In this episode, Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves McConaughey bring listeners into their marriage, from how they first met over margaritas to cooking steak sushi to make amends. Matthew’s sometimes chaotic upbringing in Texas could not be more different from Camila’s family-filled, farm-to-table childhood in Brazil, but they found ways to connect and thrive together in their kitchen in Austin. Plus, Camila teaches us how to make her family’s Brazilian Chicken Stroganoff, which is apparently better the next day. Matthew McConaughey is a Golden Globe- and Academy Award-winning actor known for his leading roles in films in a range of genres like Dazed and Confused (1996), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), and Dallas Buyers Club (2013). He authored his bestselling autobiography Greenlights in 2020 and performs the audiobook. Camila Alves McConaughey is a model, designer, and author of the New York Times bestselling children’s book Just Try One Bite (2022). She also runs the lifestyle website Women of Today. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/02/24·44m 19s

George Takei

Michele is joined by author, civil rights activist, and famed Star Trek actor George Takei. George’s story of his mother’s kitchen is far different than our other guests—he didn’t have one growing up. He shares his harrowing experiences living in an internment camp as a child, how he adjusted to life after, and what led to becoming Sulu. He’ll also share two foods that gave him solace throughout his life: his mother’s East LA-influenced tacos and her “footballs,” or Inari.George Takei is a social media superstar, Grammy-nominated recording artist, New York Times bestselling author, and pioneering actor whose career has spanned six decades. He has appeared in more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television roles, and he has used his success as a platform to fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and marriage equality.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/12/23·41m 15s

Jon Batiste

Singer, songwriter, composer, and genuine music lover Jon Batiste serenades us with his harmonica-keyboard while reminiscing on the sounds of his childhood kitchen in New Orleans. He describes what it was like to grow up in a big, musical family of jazz legends, and shares some of their favorite Christmas traditions—including competing to see who could make thebest and truest gumbo.Jon Batiste is a multiple Oscar and Grammy award-winning musician and TV personality. He was the bandleader and musical director for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert from 2015 to 2022. He also received multiple awards for his work on Pixar’s Soul. He is the subject of a new documentary, American Symphony. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/12/23·42m 46s

Samin Nosrat

Michele joins chef Samin Nosrat, author of the New York Times bestseller Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, to tell stories of Nosrat’s mother’s kitchen, who and what else shaped her as she grew up, and a very special trip Nosrat took to her native Iran when she was just a kid.Samin Nosrat is a San Diego-born, Oakland-based chef, writer, and teacher. Netflix’s documentary series Salt Fat Acid Heat, based on her book, was released in 2018. She has also starred in Netflix’s children’s cooking series Waffles + Mochi (produced by Higher Ground Productions), and co-hosted the podcast Home Cooking with Hrishikesh Hirway.Nosrat began her cooking career at Alice Waters’ acclaimed Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse. She went on to work in Italy alongside chefs Benedetta Vitali and Dario Cecchini, and at (the now-closed) Eccolo in Berkeley. She is currently at work on a second book.Find the episode transcript here: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/12/23·36m 0s

Jeff Tweedy

Singer and songwriter Jeff Tweedy discusses cherished memories from his childhood kitchen in Illinois, and the invaluable time he spent at his kitchen table with his mother, and he explains how his favorite home-cooked dish today–known simply as The Dish–became a Tweedy family hit. Jeff Tweedy is an American songwriter, musician, and record producer best known as the singer and guitarist of the band Wilco. Born and raised in Belleville, Illinois, Tweedy started his music career in high school with Jay Farrar and their band The Plebes (which later became Uncle Tupelo). After Uncle Tupelo's fourth studio album, the band broke up in 1994, prompting Tweedy to form Wilco. Wilco found critical and commercial success on their albums Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born; the latter went on to receive a Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2005. Across Tweedy's career, he has released fifteen studio albums: four with Uncle Tupelo, ten with Wilco, and one with his son Spencer, along with numerous collaborations with other musicians. He is the author of several books, including his memoir Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back) and most recently, World Within a Song.Tweedy lives with his wife, Sue Miller, in Chicago. They have two sons, Spencer and Sammy.Find the episode transcript here: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/12/23·40m 42s

Michael Pollan

Author, journalist, and professor Michael Pollan talks about the influence Julia Child had on his mother’s kitchen and the nature of kitchens in America today, and shares his unexpected favorite dish growing up. Michael Pollan is a renowned advocate for responsible farming, gardening, and slow, local eating. Pollan has been a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine since 1987 and is the author of several successful books. Pollan writes about “the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in our minds.” In 2003, Pollan was appointed Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. In 2017, he was appointed Professor of the Practice of Non-fiction at Harvard. In 2020, he co-founded the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. In his Netflix documentary series Cooked, Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes the world. Michael Pollan was born into a Jewish family in Long Island in 1955. He is the oldest of four children and brother to three little sisters. His father, Stephen Pollan, was a financial consultant, and his mother, Korky, was a New York Magazine columnist, style editor at Gourmet magazine, and an avid home cook. Pollan has a son, Isaac, and lives in the Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer. Find the episode transcript here: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/11/23·33m 52s

Al Roker

On this special Thanksgiving episode, we’re joined by America’s weatherman Al Roker. He shares Thanksgiving traditions new and old, plus tips on how to perfect his mama’s oxtail stew with dumplings.Al Roker is the longtime host of Today’s weather programing on NBC. He led NBC’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade 26 years in a row, up until 2021. He had his own program on Food Network called Roker on the Road and a podcast, Cooking up a Storm with Al Roker. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/11/23·38m 47s

Hari Kondabolu

In this episode of Your Mama’s Kitchen, comedian, writer and TV host Hari Kondabolu talks about growing up in Queens, New York City, where his mother brought her native South India to the dinner table with an unforgettable peanut chutney. Hari also discusses his parents’ quiet activism – and how, from his mother, Hari learned to use humor to confront the world’s injustices.  Hari Kondabolu is a comedian, writer, TV host, and podcaster based in Brooklyn, New York. His comedy covers subjects including race, inequity, and Indian stereotypes. The latter was the basis of Kondabolu’s 2017 documentary, “The Problem with Apu,” a cultural critique of The Simpsons’ character, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. His 2018 Netflix special “Warn Your Relatives” was named in several Best Of Year lists including Time, Paste, and Cosmopolitan. He is a former writer and correspondent on the FX show “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” and regularly appears on NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me” and WNYC’s “Midday on WNYC.” Kondabolu attended both Bowdoin College and Wesleyan University and earned a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics.Kondabolu's newest comedy special and album, “Vacation Baby”, is available worldwide free on YouTube. He previously released two chart-topping comedy albums, Waiting for 2042 and Mainstream American Comic. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/11/23·36m 35s

Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba is an actress best known for her roles in television shows like Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black and Hulu’s Mrs. America, but her talents extend beyond the screen and into the kitchen, where she deftly cooks up the Nigerian staples she was raised on in Boston’s outer suburbs.Throughout her childhood, Uzo and her siblings learned to cook alongside their mother, who taught them how to create Nigerian dishes like jollof and fufu. Although she loved her mother’s delicious food, at times Uzo also felt embarrassed by it; like many immigrant children, she faced probing questions from the other kids at the lunch table. But it was her mother’s persistent encouragement that helped Uzo celebrate her Nigerian heritage, and a special red hot recipe for red stew that connects her to it. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/11/23·36m 11s

Andy Garcia

Actor Andy Garcia is someone who loves everything about food. Cooking it, shopping for it, talking about it. And that might be a surprise to some, because Andy Garcia is more known for his roles in iconic films such as The Untouchables, When a Man Loves a Woman, Ocean's 11 and, of course, The Godfather Part III. But Andy was born into a different life and a different culture in Havana, Cuba. His family escaped Fidel Castro's regime with Andy and his two siblings in tow to join a community of Cuban exiles in Miami. It was in Florida that Andy first remembers falling in love with his native Cuban cuisine, often cooked by his grandmother. Andy discusses all of that, as well as his Cuban-inspired chicken fricassee that he makes when he is looking for that special taste of home. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/11/23·35m 38s

Conan O'Brien

TV’s funniest redhead, Conan O’ Brien, talks about growing up in a big, loud Irish-Catholic family in Massachusetts. He opens up about being an insecure kid and how he first learned to be funny at the kitchen table. We learn about why Halloween is his favorite holiday, and he shares his favorite childhood meal: fried ham. Yes, you heard that right. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/10/23·39m 48s

Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick has been celebrated for the iconic characters he’s played on stage and on screen. In this episode, he talks about what it was like to grow up in New York City with a family of artists, and how he prefers to eat when he’s on the road for different roles. He shares fond memories of the housekeeper who helped raise him and her recipe for ratatouille that he cherishes to this day.Matthew Broderick is a two-time Tony award-winning actor best known for his iconic portrayal of the charismatic Ferris Bueller in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. His acting career began on Broadway when he was just 17, and since then, he has gotten recognition for his stage roles in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/10/23·33m 14s

Kerry Washington

 Kerry Washington is many things—actress, producer, director, activist, mother, and wife. She’s always projected a strong, family-focused persona, but in a new memoir called Thicker than Water, she details the struggles that sometimes roiled beneath that perfect veneer. She joins the show to discuss her book, the importance of a kitchen in the Catskills, and how a pit stop in India changed her life and career. Additionally, she shares her family’s delectable Jamaican Black Cake recipe. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/10/23·43m 16s

W Kamau Bell

Comedian, activist, and creative executive W. Kamau Bell talks about growing up in different cities across the country with his mother and spending summers with his father’s side of the family in Mobile, Alabama. He opens up about what it means to be a good parent and reminisces on his grandmother’s lost recipe for her fried pies.W. Kamau Bell is known for his social commentary on race, justice, and inequality. He hosts and executive produces the Emmy Award-winning CNN docuseries United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell.Find the episode transcript here: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/10/23·33m 43s

José Andrés

Renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés shares tales about his upbringing in Spain, where croquettes, paellas, bread crumbs, and fire taught him valuable life lessons. After ruminating on the impact his parents had on him, José jumps into the kitchen with Michele to show her—and listeners—how to cook a favorite recipe of his: his mother’s roasted red peppers. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/09/23·37m 44s

Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach

Author Glennon Doyle and retired US soccer player Abby Wambach, who had drastically different upbringings around the kitchen and food, share how they’ve nonetheless found middle ground in their marriage. Abby shares her mama’s hearty Pasta for Thousands recipe, a beautiful mélange of pizza, pasta, and lasagna.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/09/23·36m 35s


Talented multi-hyphenate DJ D-Nice reflects on his humble upbringing in the Bronx, from sleeping on a couch and a motel desk to becoming a world-renowned DJ. D-Nice also discusses the pain and beauty he discovered in himself and others during the pandemic. Additionally, we hear how he found grace in his mother’s cabbage. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/09/23·42m 22s

Gayle King

Television titan Gayle King reflects on her and her mama’s tight-knit relationship including her upbringing in Turkey and then Maryland. Gayle famously doesn’t cook, but she shares not one… but TWO recipes with us. Her mama’s traditional Mac & Cheese and her famous Thanksgiving Jello Dessert.Gayle King is a TV personality and broadcast journalist. She’s about to host a new, weekly primetime show on CNN with Charles Barkely set to launch this fall. She’s received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. Before this, she co-hosted CBS’s flagship morning program, CBS Mornings beginning in 2012. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/09/23·37m 5s

Michelle Obama

On the very first episode of Your Mama’s Kitchen, we’re joined by former First Lady, Michelle Lavaughn Robinson Obama. Mother, lawyer and author of her latest title The Light We Carry, Michelle talks about her beginnings in a working class family on the South Side of Chicago and the delicious Red Rice her mother made that she says is perfect to take anywhere. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/08/23·46m 45s

Introducing Your Mama’s Kitchen

“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. Episodes available weekly starting August 30th anywhere you listen. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/08/23·1m 52s
Heart UK