The Hungry Hoosier - Scott Hutcheson


Scott Hutcheson works in economic and community development for Purdue University and writes about food, family, and community for newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV. You can hear his audio essays on food on WBAA during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. His weekly newspaper column is syndicated across the country and his stories for PBS have been nominated for two Emmys. He and his wife have two young sons. You can contact Scott at

Family traditions are passed on from generation to generation. But sometimes they jump to another family through marriage.

Scott Hutcheson says he married into a good one with a dish known as Glorified Steak.

Glorified Steak

For some Americans, the 4th of July is the pinnacle of summer. A day off from work, great weather (hopefully), and time with family and friends.

To Scott Hutcheson, the 4th is all about community.

Baked Grits with Cheddar and Roasted Jalapeño

Hand-me-downs can cause delight or dread, depending on what the item is.

Scott Hutcheson has had a range of emotions accepting some of his parent's possessions. One in particular was excepted with open arms and caused culinary creativity.

Coffee and Doughnut Ice Cream

Think about summer and food. What comes to mind?

Maybe it's watermelon, or burgers and brats on the grill.

For Scott Hutcheson, it's the strawberry.

Strawberry Granita

Memorial Day kicks off the summer season for most of us, although that doesn't mean the same thing to all people.

Scott Hutcheson thinks no matter your circumstances when it comes to the warm-weather months, cooking is pretty much the same to everyone.

Chili Mango Salsa

Barbecue Chicken Salad

Some locations are known for a certain type of food that's a favorite among the locals - think about the cheesesteak sandwich, the po' boy, crabcakes, deep dish pizza.

Scott Hutcheson encountered something truly Minnesota on a recent visit there.

Pretzel Salad

In the opening line of the song Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett sings of "nibblin' on sponge cake."

While Scott Hutcheson has the Margaritaville attitude, he also has another cake suggestion for you to get into that island state of mind.

Tequila Cake 


  • 1 18-1/2 ounce yellow cake mix
  • 1 1-3/4 ounce (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup tequila

Lime Glaze

March Madness is about more than just basketball wins and losses, or if you picked the winning bracket.

Scott Hutcheson argues it's about the stories that come out over the course of the games.

Game-Time Spanakopita

There's a transition between each season, but the most noticeable change might be the one between winter and spring.

In early March, the signs of this transformation begin to appear - the crocus, the robin, more daylight hours.

One thing this period makes Scott Hutcheson think about is the red tomato of summer.

BLT Soup

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” That quote comes from Olympic Gold Medalist Doug Larson (1902-1981).

While Scott Hutcheson might not go that far, he has seen what the power of bacon has done to his wife.

Bacon with Sriracha and Brown Sugar

Running out of ideas for a good Valentine's Day gift? Think a teddy bear or other stuffed animal is too childish? Don't have the money for a jewelry purchase? What about food?

Scott Hutcheson says he's turned to some tasty and sentimental dishes for his sweetheart.

Chili Oil

Fads - they come and go. Sometimes you join in and other times you let them pass right by you.

Scott Hutcheson admits he's latched onto a fad or two, both clothing and food.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

What's your game day routine? Whether you watch the Colts or Bears or another NFL team, you probably have some ritual of where you watch the game and with whom. Another important item is the food you eat.

Scott Hutcheson has some general rules about the perfect game-time snack.

Sugar Cream Tassies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour


For those who celebrate Christmas, a big dinner might be the time to gather family around the table after a day of playing with new toys.

Scott Hutcheson thinks you might want to put just as much effort into Christmas morning breakfast.

Gingerbread Pancakes