We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

The Kitchen Sisters

GroupAccount image

The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) are producers of the duPont-Columbia Award-winning NPR series Hidden Kitchens, the two Peabody Award-winning NPR series, Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project and most recently, The Hidden World of Girls, a series on NPR that explored the lives of girls and the women they become. Their currenct project is The Making Of…, a production with KQED and AIR.

As independent producers, they are the creators of more than 200 stories for public broadcast about the lives, histories, art and rituals of people who have shaped our diverse cultural heritage.

Hidden Kitchens heard on Morning Edition, explores the world of secret, unexpected, below the radar cooking across America—how communities come together through food. The series inspired their first book, Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR’s The Kitchen Sisters, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2005 and nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Writing on Food.

Lost & Found Sound, a national collaboration that went on air in 1999 chronicles American life through recorded sound. In 2001-2002 The Kitchen Sisters created and spearheaded The Sonic Memorial Project, a collection of radio stories and audio artifacts, a website and archive (www.sonicmemorial.org) commemorating the life and history of the World Trade Center and its neighborhood. This nationwide cross-media collaboration was awarded the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York Award for most innovative use of archives and the NFCB Golden Reel for Best Hour-Long Radio Documentary.

Other recent work includes the radio special Hidden Kitchens Texas, narrated by Willie Nelson, which was nominated for a James Beard Award and the inspiration for their second book,Hidden Kitchens Texas: Stories, Recipes and More from the Lone Star State, and Cry Me a River, a portrait of three pioneering river activists and the damming of wild rivers in the West, that aired as part of the series, Stories from the Heart of the Land.

The Kitchen Sisters began their radio lives producing a weekly live radio program in the late 70’s on KUSP-FM in Santa Cruz, California. Their radio documentaries have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition, the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Smithsonian, California Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, Soundprint, and others. Other noted Kitchen Sisters stories include: Waiting for Joe DiMaggio, The Nights of Edith Piaf, Carmen Miranda: The Life and Times of the Brazilian Bombshell, WHER: 1000 Beautiful Watts, Guillermo Cabrera Infante: Memories of an Invented City, Tupperware, The Road Ranger, and War and Separation.

The Kitchen Sisters are also involved in educating and training new voices for public media in an imaginative, artistic and creative approach to storytelling. They have taught at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, University of California Santa Cruz Social Documentary Graduate Program and frequently lecture and provide training at universities, festivals, workshops, radio stations, public forums and events throughout the country and abroad. They also train and work with interns, college students, and youth radio apprentices and participate in the life of the public radio community throughout the country. In addition to producing radio, Davia Nelson is also a screenwriter and casting director. She lives in San Francisco. Nikki Silva is also a museum curator and exhibit consultant. She lives with her family on a commune in Santa Cruz, California.

Pieces

Piece image
Theresa Sparks has lived more than one life. Born a guy’s guy, a man’s man, cowboy boots, motorcycles, a stint in the army, married his childhood s...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 12, 2015
  • Length: 15:06
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
The worlds of a young Canadian immigrant, an Italian pasta-making family, and a 70-year-old survivor of the Armenian Genocide converge in this stor...

Bought by WABE


  • Added: Apr 28, 2015
  • Length: 19:31
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Potlucks, church picnics, fish fries, family reunions — during the 1930s writers were paid by the government to chronicle local food, eating custom...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 17, 2015
  • Length: 18:16
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
A look into the life of Taylor Negron— actor, comedian, and telephone message hoarder— told through the voicemails on his machine. We produced thi...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 13, 2015
  • Length: 19:02
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Before Elvis walked through the door, before Sun Studios put Memphis on the map—Sam Phillips, a young man with a tape recorder, lived by the motto,...

Bought by WABE


  • Added: Mar 13, 2015
  • Length: 31:12
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Narrated by Andy Garcia, the story of the men who read to the cigar rollers as they worked in the cigar factories of Ybor City and Tampa in the ear...

Bought by WABE


  • Added: Mar 13, 2015
  • Length: 26:28
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
In 2001, a quarter-century after boxing's celebrated "Thrilla in Manila," Ali and Frazier were once again poised to enter the ring. But this time i...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 10, 2015
  • Length: 25:50
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
In the early 1950s, at the same time legendary record producer Sam Phillips was making recordings of the pageants and events happening in Memphis’ ...

Bought by WABE


  • Added: Feb 25, 2015
  • Length: 16:56
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote a poem about them. Amy Tan’s mother was serenaded by them as she lay in state. Jessica Mitford’s memorial procession ...

Bought by WABE and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 24, 2015
  • Length: 15:44
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Frances McDormand
The Kitchen Sisters and PRX present Hidden Kitchens World, a new hour of kitchen stories that travel the world. A broadcast special rich with grea...

Bought by WYSO, KUNM, WHRV, KUFM - Montana Public Radio, WNIJ and more


  • Added: Sep 11, 2014
  • Length: 53:57
  • Purchases: 63
Piece image
Patti Smith was an aspiring poet, not yet launched into the world of rock and roll. Judy Linn was just beginning her work as a photographer. The tw...

Bought by WABE, WCAI / WNAN, and KALW


  • Added: Sep 03, 2014
  • Length: 13:13
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
Fugitive Waves: Episode 6: Cry Me a River: A story of three pioneering river activist and the damming of wild rivers in the west.  Mark Dubois, co-...

Bought by KZYX, Moab Public Radio, XRAY.fm, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Aug 01, 2014
  • Length: 33:19
  • Purchases: 4
Piece image
In 1947 Tennessee Williams and his lover Pancho stepped into a recording booth at a penny arcade in New Orleans and recorded 8 cardboard discs. Lo...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM, WABE, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 25, 2014
  • Length: 21:16
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
Tales from Vietnamese Manicurist Shops in America: A story of memory and manicuring. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese immigrants work as manicurists...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 24, 2014
  • Length: 23:04
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
In this episode of Fugitive Waves, The Kitchen Sisters ride the nightshift with The Homobile. Homobiles is a non-commercial, volunteer, 24/7 ride ...

Bought by KALW and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 24, 2014
  • Length: 21:17
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
In 1947 Tennessee Williams and his lover Pancho stepped into a recording booth at a penny arcade in New Orleans and create some Fugitive Waves.

Bought by WABE, KALW, XRAY.fm, and WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: May 28, 2014
  • Length: 21:25
  • Purchases: 4
Piece image
Look around your daily life.  There's a little piece of Thomas Edison almost everywhere.

Bought by XRAY.fm, KMUZ, WCAI / WNAN, KZYX, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 05, 2014
  • Length: 23:26
  • Purchases: 5
Piece image
Jeremy Mayer is a sculptor who disassembles typewriters and reassembles them into full-scale, anatomically correct human figures. He does not solde...

Bought by WABE, KFAI, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Aug 02, 2013
  • Length: 05:29
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
Beck’s latest album, Song Reader, echoes the time when popular songs were played at home, around the parlor piano, porch guitar or grandpa’s harmon...

Bought by WABE and PRX Remix


  • Added: Aug 02, 2013
  • Length: 04:13
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Treatbot, the karaoke ice cream truck, is a silver bullet on wheels that churns out gorgeous ice cream and hot music as it plies the streets of San...

  • Added: Aug 02, 2013
  • Length: 04:03