About Salt + Spine Podcast

SALT + SPINE is the podcast focused exclusively on the art and craft of the cookbook: the compelling stories behind their creation, evolution, and lasting legacy.

In Salt + Spine, we explore both new and vintage cookbooks and the inspirations behind them, the inspiring people who created them, and the impact they have on home cooks and the culinary world at large.


Each episode centers on one featured in-depth interview with a cookbook author. The interviews are the backbone of this podcast and focus on getting to the heart of the author's craft—their life story and inspiring forces, their foray into cookbooks, the intriguing aspects of production, and opportunities for broader conversations about the cookbook or restaurant industries, home cooking, political advocacy, and more. We approach interviews from a conversational and journalistic perspective, looking to tell compelling stories, share unique information, and invite you—the listener—into our conversation with an informal and energetic dialogue.

The Salt + Spine podcast is more than a summary of upcoming cookbook releases—our show celebrates—through engaging conversations and compelling themes—the art and craft of cookbooks and the chefs, authors, and creative minds who bring them to us.


Our Team


Brian Hogan Stewart is the host and creator of Salt + Spine.

I’m a once-budding chef who passed on a culinary school degree to pursue journalism. I’m not a professional cook nor a cookbook author—but I’m an avid home cook and an enthusiastic cookbook collector, with a collection now in the hundreds. (That may seem like a lot to some, but I envy Diana Henry's 4,000-book library almost daily!)

I’ve worked extensively in journalism and new media, including leading a media company featuring a daily newspaper with circulation of 50,000+, a nightly newscast, and multiple digital properties. I’ve conducted hundreds (and hundreds…) of interviews throughout my career, including time spent covering food culture and personalities in the midwest.

I'm a native of Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism, English, and American studies. I hope you’ll share your stories on cookbooks with me! 

You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


Alison Sullivan is executive producer of Salt + Spine.

I had a pen and paper in my hand long before a wooden spoon. My obsession with storytelling led me into the kitchen to explore the rich stories behind food and the incredible people who work with it everyday. My capacity to talk about food, however, still far exceeds my knife skills.

Storytelling remains my bread and butter. Whether through data, photography or audio, my experience in all forms of journalism and communication has taken me around the world – from China and Texas to the small Iowa communities where I grew up, covering the people, policies and news shaping the day.

I’m a cornfed Iowa native who graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in journalism and political science.  

You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or walking my dog in Alamo Square.


Additional Support for Salt + Spine from:

The Civic Kitchen Cooking School, studio location
Omnivore Books, guest commentary
Stained Page News, guest commentary
Nina Earnest, audio support
Brunch for Lunch, music design



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