The FoodTalk Show podcasts
The right connections

The right connections

February 20, 2020

Tracking down the best dishes in town and shaking up FMCG.

Where can you get the best cheese toastie around? Or the most delicious doughnut? Or the most sensational sushi?

Well, it’s time to share your recommendations because a new app is taking the guess work out of making your next gourmet discovery.

Originally inspired by a hunt for raspberry sorbet, Eaten compiles user reviews of dishes, rather than restaurants. So, if you’re in the mood for a great Sunday lunch and don’t have time to search endless restaurant reviews or websites, Eaten can cut out the middle man and take you straight to the best roast joint in town. Co-founder Jeeho Park is in the studio to tell us more.

The world of fast-moving consumer goods, or FMCG, is a pretty daunting one, but it’s also where more and more food start-ups are making their debut. Young Foodies is a business hub and community that helps start-ups deal with the challenges of getting their products onto retailers’ shelves and scaling up when the big players come calling, as Theadora Alexander explains.

Colouring food of the past

Colouring food of the past

February 13, 2020

We’re hitting up history for some fresh food ideas. 

Food history and writing are both under the spotlight this week, as two culinary wordsmiths share their very different outlets for gourmet expression. 

Sam Bilton is a freelance food historian, writer and cook who also runs a supper club, Repast, where she showcases her modern interpretations of historical food. If you fancy a blast from the past, you need to get a seat at Sam’s table, but what is her own favourite gastronomic era? Her answer might just surprise you…

Once they’ve finished tucking into yesterday’s delicacies, Sue, Ollie and Holly welcome Zeren Wilson, acclaimed writer of Bitten and Written, which was crowned Best Food Blog at the 2019 Guild of Food Writers Awards.

After a lively discussion about the do’s and don’ts of negative restaurant reviews, Zeren’s experience in wine selling leads the team to explore the role of beverages throughout the ages.

While Sam and Zeren are no strangers to adding colour to their writing, Exberry has been doing that in a more literal sense for over 40 years. By using fruits, vegetables, edible plants and water, Exberry helps food manufacturers to make their products look amazing, the natural way. Paul Collins is here to tell us more about the company’s colourful history.

Passion for plant-based

Passion for plant-based

February 6, 2020

Plant-fuelled passions surge with this week’s trio of innovative products.

This week’s show gets underway with a discussion about alcoholic drinks, including a truly heroic cocktail recommendation from Ollie.

It’s not the most apt start though, as this episode focuses on healthy alternatives that don’t involve alcohol. Rosh Amarasekara from Humble Warrior is here to tell us about her range of plant-based drinks aimed at the health-conscious adult soft drink market.

Using extraordinary plants to create extraordinary flavours – such as reishi and pineapple – Humble Warrior is offering a really different alternative to booze and sweet soft drinks.

Luhv Drinks is taking health beverages to a whole new level and they won the Drink Innovation category at last year’s Future Food Awards.  Through their collaboration with Kings College London, they’ve created drinks that benefit particular parts of the body – currently these focus on the skin, the heart and the mind, with more in the pipeline. Chris Beech joins the team to explain more.

The line-up is completed by another Future Food Awards winner in Seaweed & Co, which triumphed in the Mission Driven category. Dr Craig Rose, aka Doctor Seaweed, tells us why he’s so passionate about seeing this Eastern food staple become as popular in the West. He also reveals the rather surprising reason why he decided to study marine biology…

Food on screen

Food on screen

January 30, 2020

What is the greatest food TV programme ever?

It’s a family affair in the studio today, as the team are joined by Ollie’s sister, Antonia – who just happens to be a BAFTA award-winning producer who has worked on many of the UK’s top food and drink programmes.

She gives us some behind the scenes glimpses of life in foodie television, such as MasterChef: The Professionals and The Great British Menu. Plus, we hear from two other guests who are no strangers to the small screen. Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE is BBC Radio 2’s resident GP and has appeared on numerous TV shows, while Sally Bee is a well-known healthy cook for ITV.

So, what are the greatest TV programmes about food ever made? Opinions vary as Sue, Ollie and Holly share their personal favourites and discuss the heroes and villains of the genre.

Looking to the future of food programming, Sally and Dr Sarah certainly know where they would like the spotlight to rest. As members of the advisory team to Lo Salt – the all-natural alternative that has 66% less sodium than regular salt – Dr Sarah and Sally want to see delicious, healthy food getting more coverage in mainstream cookery shows.

Sally has survived five heart attacks, so she knows about the importance of raising awareness and feels that TV has a huge role to play.

Food of the Gods

Food of the Gods

January 23, 2020

Charcuterie is on the menu today, along with some visionary chocolate.

So, how are your New Year’s resolutions going? If you’ve fallen off the sugar wagon already, don’t worry – our first guest will make you feel good about giving in to gourmet chocolate.

Edinburgh-based Coco Chocolatier not only allow its visionary chocolatiers free rein to explore amazing flavours, they also work with artists to create fantastic designs for the packaging.

Calum Haggerty is in the studio to tell us more about the brand, which sources ‘origin made’ chocolate from Colombia. This enables more of the product to be created at the source, rather than just the beans, resulting in a fairer and more sustainable trade.

We get to the real meat of the matter with Thomas Whitaker from award-winning Tempus Foods, a charcuterie company founded in 2014. Both Thomas and his co-founder Dhruv Baker are MasterChef finalists, with Dhruv having won the title in 2010. 

He fills Sue and Ollie in on the secrets of the charcuterie world, ways to do it at home and how to avoid the common pitfalls of amateur curing.

Don’t miss this show if you love chocolate, as there’s a special discount available for FoodTalk listeners at Coco Chocolatier – but you’ll have to listen in to get it!

The A.I. Diet

The A.I. Diet

January 16, 2020

How will AI transform the way you shop and eat in 2020?

Holly has finally given up her globetrotting in order to re-join Sue and Ollie in the studio. Once they’ve checked in on how their New Year’s resolutions are going, they take a look at tomorrow’s world by investigating the hot foodie topic of artificial intelligence (AI).

From self-service supermarket checkouts to the algorithms that push online advertising at us, we interact with AI every day. But how is it being put to good use in the food sector?

Markus Stripf from Spoon Guru explains how his company set out to become the “Google of food”, enabling consumers to search for the products that suit their particular dietary needs.

How often have you visited a restaurant or ordered a takeaway and struggled to understand which dishes are truly right for you? Helping people to eat with convenience, control and transparency is a passion for Nick Popovici of Vita Mojo. The company provides an ultra-personalised menu, allowing customers to control macros, calories and quantities.

What does gut health mean to you? Possibly not very much, so it’s good that Helena Rogers from Troo is on hand to explain why it’s so important to our wellbeing. The vegan-friendly brand has created high-fibre products that contain no potential gut irritants, plus they’re a plastic-free company.

CBD - What’s the deal?

CBD - What’s the deal?

January 9, 2020

Three experts bust some myths about controversial cannabidiol.

Ever since CBD, or cannabidiol, products started to hit the UK market following law changes a few years ago, the media has been full of conflicting stories about its safety and efficacy. Is it a dangerous way of supplying cannabis to an unsuspecting public, or a harmless yet effective alternative to traditional medicines?

There are strict legal guidelines in the UK around the medical claims that can be made for CBD. But Sue and Ollie are intrigued enough to invite three experts into the studio to try and answer some pressing questions.

Why is CBD legal in the UK but cannabis isn’t? Will taking CBD products make you high? What conditions and ailments can it allegedly help with?

Michael Fitzgerald from Body and Mind Botanicals, Tony Calamita from Love Hemp and Charlotte Nielsen from Little Rick are here to answer all these questions and more. They also discuss the future of the CBD industry and the need for greater public education, in order to demystify and destigmatise CBD, so that more people feel confident trying it out themselves.

If you’re curious about the truth behind CBD, tune into this episode to learn more.

It’s a chefs life

It’s a chefs life

January 2, 2020

What does 2020 have in store for our two exciting guests?

It’s a brand new year and we’d like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2020.

To kick off the year, Ollie and Sue have invited two brilliant guests who are both at exciting stages in their food careers.

Marianne Lumb is a chef who reached the final of BBC’s MasterChef in 2009, going on to open her own London restaurant and also be a finalist in 2018’s Great British Menu series. The Saturday Kitchen Live regular is now considering her next gastronomic adventure and another restaurant could be on the menu, so watch this space…

Once they’ve finished devouring Marianne’s delicious cake, Sue and Ollie welcome Oliver Familoe of Oli’s Nectarous. This company won the Young Producer category at last year’s Future Food Awards with a range of amazing vegan-friendly, plant-based, gluten-free desserts made with natural sugar.

Oliver’s mum was a patisserie chef with Coeliac disease, so the young business graduate spotted a niche in the market for gluten-free, vegan desserts that genuinely tasted amazing.

Finally, the group discuss their foodie trend predictions for 2020. Will they come true or just be pie in the sky?

A mistle-toast to the holiday season

A mistle-toast to the holiday season

December 26, 2019

Continue the Christmas cheer with some top recommendations for Boxing Day.

Only Sue and Ollie have managed to struggle into the studio today, with straining stomachs after the usual Christmas excess.

However, they’re never too full to enjoy some fresh flavours, so they’re delighted to extend a festive welcome to three fascinating guests.

Charlie Holland from Gusbourne Estate in Kent has brought in some of their fantastic sparkling wine to keep the party going, which sparks a conversation about the quality of English wines today. How do our home-produced sparkling wines compare with France’s output?

If you’re looking for less alcoholic alternatives to beer or wine, you’ll be glad to hear about Binary Botanical. Boasting a prosecco-like taste, this lower calorie table beer is gluten and sugar-free and suitable for vegans. Danielle Bekker joins the team to explain more.

For those who are still in the mood for a cocktail, Tipplesworth produce “fun, faff-free” products to make mixology a breeze. Their range of ‘just add spirits’ cocktail mixers are quick and easy to use. Frankie Snobel has brought in a hot cocktail for the team to try, plus she reveals the secret of a great espresso martini with a Canadian twist.

Legend of the airwaves

Legend of the airwaves

December 19, 2019

Renowned food journalist Sheila Dillon joins Sue for a very special show.

Our host Sue Nelson is beyond excited for this very special, festive edition of The FoodTalk Show. She’s joined by legendary food journalist, Sheila Dillon, who has been presenting BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme for over 20 years.

Once they’ve finished sampling some tasty treats from Sheila’s native Lancashire, the pair get talking about Sheila’s remarkable life in food and the media. After starting out with a very public critique of her college’s unappealing dinners, Sheila’s career was driven by a passion for exploring the food industry and its impact on consumers.

Time spent in Finland and the US was followed by a return to the UK, where Sheila broke down more barriers in her pursuit of gender pay equality. Back in the 1970s, alongside some colleagues, Sheila brought a class action against her employers in publishing – and won.

After two decades on The Food Programme, the multi-award-winning journalist has some interesting thoughts on women’s rights, food trends of the future and a few pet peeves concerning food entertainment! She also shares her experience of using food to benefit her health after being diagnosed with bone marrow cancer.

Don’t miss this audience with a real food heroine – then go and have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

Alcohol you later

Alcohol you later

December 12, 2019

Non-alcoholic drinks innovation means you can enjoy the party without the hangover.

It’s just two weeks to go until Christmas and Sue, Ollie and Holly are getting into the festive spirit. There’s talk of turkey versus chicken, the best Christmas breakfast and – most controversially – how early is too early to break out the alcohol?

Well, with the UK non-alcoholic drinks market on the rise, you might decide not to risk a Boxing Day headache at all. Innovators like today’s guests are working to offer drinks that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve been on Santa’s naughty list, just because you want to bypass the booze.

Ellie Webb is here to add a far-flung flavour to Christmas with Caleno, a tropical non-alcoholic spirit that balances exotic botanicals with citrus and spice.

Beer drinkers are becoming ever more discerning, but do you need to have the alcohol in order to enjoy great taste?

In the studio to contribute to the debate is Chris Hannaway from Infinite Session, a beer lover who wanted the freedom to enjoy both alcoholic and booze-free ales. Chris has brought with him samples of Infinite Session’s IPA, pale ale and pilsner varieties, to see if he can convince the team to down some alcohol-free pints this Christmas.

Sweet taste of success

Sweet taste of success

December 5, 2019

Prepare for an education about the secret life of snails…

This week’s show is a very special edition because we’re meeting not one, not two, but three categories winners at the Future Food Awards.

Dorset Snails took the Farm to Fork crown when the judges were wowed by the incredible taste and texture of their produce. The company’s entire farming process also impressed the panel, so Sue, Ollie and Holly want to know more about this innovative firm.

David Walker is on hand to give us an insight into Dorset Snails’ methods and reveals some fascinating snail facts that leave our presenters speechless!

Astonishingly, half of the baby food packaging found in UK supermarkets can’t be easily recycled. Little Freddie stormed the Food Packaging category with their innovative pouches that can be effectively recycled and help to reduce parents’ carbon footprint.

Next, the team try out some vegan honey that’s been made from, wait for it – brown rice. Bee Approved won the Food Innovation category with its delicious honey alternative and the good news is, they’re thinking about launching a beer too!

Futuristic Food

Futuristic Food

November 28, 2019

From space age food to hot new talent, we’re looking at the flavours of the future.

There’s a packed studio this week as three fantastic guests drop in to chat with Sue, Ollie and Holly.

First up, we hear from Nourish3d – the cutting-edge company that wowed the Future Food Awards judges enough to be unanimously voted Supreme Champion. Melissa Snover explains the science behind the world’s first truly personalised 3D printing daily nutrition stack, plus she’s brought in a sample that has been specifically tailored for Sue’s needs.

Once Sue has had her vitamin boost, she can’t wait to introduce the next guest. Jason Hirst from Evogro has been impressing some of the country’s top chefs with his plant growing system, which enables the production of perfect, delicious herbs and salad leaves right there in the kitchen. It’s not long before the team are clamouring for an Evogro of their own…

Finally, we get a glimpse of tomorrow’s talent with a visit from Bianca Tia Mesuria, who met some pretty impressive standards in order to win the prestigious Julia Child Scholarship with Le Cordon Bleu training schools. Luckily, the team don’t just have to trust that she’s highly talented – Bianca has brought in a tasty example of her cooking talent to prove it!

Cordial relations

Cordial relations

November 21, 2019

Forget squash – we’re talking classic cordials with a modern twist.

Until fairly recently, cordial has had a bit of an underwhelming reputation. If you associate it with elderly ladies or over-sweet squash drinks, this week’s show has a surprise in store.

Natasha Steele is in the studio to share the story of Urban Cordial, a brand of which Sue is already a big fan. For centuries, cordials were viewed as medicinal concoctions and in some parts of the world, the term refers to a tonic, syrup or low-alcohol beverage.

Not only is Urban Cordial making a big splash in the non-alcoholic market with refreshing flavour combinations – Raspberry and Rosemary is a particular hit in the studio – the company is also committed to sustainable production.

After starting out as a hobbyist, making cordials from the produce of her own allotment, Natasha made the decision to take her idea to market. Concerns about the huge food waste problem, however, prompted her to use surplus fruit in the production of Urban Cordial. To date, the company has saved over 40 tonnes of fruit from going to landfill.

In this week’s show, Ollie gets his first taste of Urban Cordial’s delights and also reveals some rather odd drinking habits that leave Sue and Holly scratching their heads…

The gusto life

The gusto life

November 14, 2019

Ultra convenience and almost zero food waste – the food solution that has supermarkets on the run.

After presenting The FoodTalk Show together for about a year, it’s finally occurred to Sue and Ollie that they don’t know much about Holly’s day job. As the editor of respected industry magazine Speciality Food, we know she’s a bit of a food expert, but what does it take to pull a top magazine together?

This leads the team to discuss the delicate balance that must be achieved between editorial integrity and essential advertising revenue. Getting relevant press coverage is always tough for new food and drink companies, so listen in for some useful insights.

Someone who knows about taking on the big boys in a difficult market is Tim Boldt from Gousto, a company that has been offering an alternative to the supermarket for seven years. 

Customers can choose from a huge selection of online recipes, then the ingredients – in the correct amounts – appear on their doorstep, ready to cook. As well as offering high levels of personalisation, this could be the ultimate low-waste business – Gousto boasts an impressive 0.35% waste rate in the supply chain and factory. This may well be the shopping mechanism of the future.

Do the truffle shuffle

Do the truffle shuffle

November 7, 2019

Will trying truffles in lots of different forms finally win Ollie over?

The team are busting myths and testing preconceptions all over the place this week, starting with the much-adored truffle.

Perhaps surprisingly for a foodie, Ollie isn’t a big truffle fan and isn’t sure if they’re worth the (often very expensive) price tag. Nigel Whitehouse from Truffle Hunter is in the studio to see if he can tempt Ollie over to the dark – or light – side with a selection of tasty truffle-based treats.

From mayonnaise to cheddar, there is a veritable smorgasbord of delicacies for the team to try. You’ll have to listen to find out whether any of them are successful in winning Ollie’s approval…

If you feel increasingly confused by the wealth of conflicting information about diet and nutrition, Check Your Food could be heaven sent. Designed to make nutritional information accessible and understandable, the website allows you to check out the chemical and biological makeup of foods and make smart choices about your diet.

Matt Wright is here to tell us more and there are a few surprises as he reveals the truth about some of our favourite foods – how will milk, carrots and even the doner kebab line up?

Tickling the tastebuds

Tickling the tastebuds

October 31, 2019

Oriental flavours and American beers are set to blow the team’s socks off.

It’s a full complement in the studio this week, as Holly takes a break from her gastro adventures to rejoin the team. What a great week to return, too – with food and drink that has the potential to split the crowd…

First, we meet the person with probably the best job title in the world: Head of Beer. Andrew Morgan from Beer Hawk Fresh explains just what it means to be head honcho of hops and introduces the team to some exceptional beverages. It’s a mixed reaction to the peanut butter milk stout, which Andrew washes down with a fascinating insight into American hops. Next, we find out which tipple would be his ‘desert island beer’ – we hope you’re taking notes!

Does wasabi go well with beer? Sue, Ollie and Holly are about to find out, as Nick Russell from The Wasabi Company provides an education in what the Oriental staple should really look and taste like. As experienced watercress farmers, the company has great expertise in growing plants in flowing water, so tasting the products turns out to be a bit of a life-changing moment for the team.

Plus, we hear about finger limes, Buddha’s hands and some exciting news for vodka fans.

Keep your Gin up

Keep your Gin up

October 24, 2019

Today we’re talking about gin… and nothing but.

There’s a serious challenge in store for Sue and Ollie this week, as the FoodTalk studio becomes a full-blown gin palace. Will they stay sober until the end of the show? The dynamic duo is made of pretty stern stuff so, fingers crossed!

Not one, but two gin experts have paid FoodTalk a visit, bringing with them tantalising tipples to test anyone’s temperance. Sue has some fun gin facts to share first – did you know that sales of gin have tripled since 2009? – before she and Ollie meet today’s ginspiring guests.

Jack Wareing is the only Englishman in Scottish company Porter’s Gin, which has embraced both the old and the new with its distillation techniques. By both harking back to Victorian preservation methods and exploring the latest thinking in gin production, the firm has produced gins to really tickle the taste buds.

Sue is particularly fond of the intriguing Tropical Old Tom, but steady on Sue, there’s more to come…

The geniuses at Pinkster Gin don’t just create the most delicious pink gin, they also take a ‘nose to tail’ approach to plants. When this sustainable ethos results in alcoholic raspberries, you’ll get no argument from us!

Taking a bite of the future

Taking a bite of the future

October 17, 2019

The event that showcases the food and agri innovators of tomorrow.

Try as they might, Sue and Ollie just can’t stay away from the booze. Or rather, the booze can’t stay away from them.

This week, it’s an Italian liqueur that’s tempting our intrepid twosome. Italicus is a sour treat based on bergamot that makes incredible cocktails – as Sue is to find out, thanks to the generous mixology skills of Adamo Vobaro (phonetic). This time-honoured tipple is very well-known in Italy and its versatility is certainly impressing our co-presenter…

There will be more promising discoveries to be made on 7 November, when FoodBytes! comes to London. This live pitching event is the most incredible showcase for food and agriculture start-ups, where they can meet investors and possibly get the big break they need to crack the market.

Sue is appearing at FoodBytes! to help bring brilliant exposure to these promising innovators, so tune in to find out more from Maarten Ooms and learn how you can be there.

Plus, the team and guests chat about some fascinating facts thrown up by Great British Chefs’ latest research into the ecological values of the buying public.

Pick the bones out of that

Pick the bones out of that

October 10, 2019

Bringing back superfoods of old and cracking the foodie market.

Hands up if you had a granny who made the most incredible soup that could cure any childhood ailment? Recipes and delicacies from days gone by tend to get left behind as food trends and technology surge forward. But there’s a lot to be gained from looking at the time-honoured knowledge we used to have about food.

So says Fiona Esom of Product Chain, an FMCG retail sales agency that works to bring food and drink innovation to the British public. Although the company is passionate about the flavours of tomorrow, Fiona also believes that bone broth has an important place on today’s menus.

That’s the thinking behind Boosh, a high-protein and very nourishing food that Fiona wants to see in homes, care establishments and hospitals everywhere.

Breaking into the food or drink market, even with an established concept, can be incredibly tough. Fiona is well-placed to shed light on the do’s and don’ts of launching a new product.

Everleaf is already making a splash in the non-alcoholic drinks market. Created by bartender Paul Mathew, the aperitif Everleaf aims to offer consumers the complexity of flavour and texture that is so often missing from soft drinks or spirit alternatives. Will Sue and Ollie agree?