The Syria Supper Club, Taming Lionfish, Inside Balthazar, Exploring Spanish Cuisine

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A Lionfish swims in an aquarium in the Vivarium in the zoo in Basel, Switzerland on Wednesday, December 12, 2007.

Kate McCaffrey and Melina Macall join us to discuss their Syria Supper Club. The club began in 2015 as a Christmas Eve dinner for Muslim refugees from Syria and Iraq, but has grown into a fundraiser with 30 cooks. Author Reggie Nadelson joins us to discuss the history of the SoHo brassiere Balthazar, and what it's like to work inside of a restaurant that serves more than half a million meals a year. She will be joined by the restaurant's executive chef, Shane McBride. The lionfish is an invasive species harming coral reefs across the world. We'll hear from three people with diverse backgrounds about how they're trying to address the issue by putting lionfish on the menu. Our latest Please Explain is all about the variety and enduring creativity of Spanish food, including Basque food. We'll be joined by Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero, New York City-based chefs and owners of Txikito, which is New York's only Basque restaurant.

This episode of "The Leonard Lopate Show" is guest hosted by Deb Perelman. Perelman is a self-taught home cook, photographer and creator of SmittenKitchen.com. Her first book, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, was a New York Times bestseller. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two children, and is currently at work on her second cookbook, which is due out this fall.