The FoodTalk Show podcasts
The story of Asma Kahn and Darjeeling Express

The story of Asma Kahn and Darjeeling Express

February 8, 2021

Have a listen again to our podcast from 2019 and marvel at how things have changed!!

Asma Khan, founder of Darjeeling Express, joins us to discuss her story and foodie trends of 2019.

Chocolate? Expiring Turkey trimmings? Cheese? Crisps? What’s filling up the bins outside your property as we head into a brand new year with bleary eyes and a sincere fear of going to work?

Don’t worry, we know that January is a horrible month and we want to make things a bit easier for you. Alas, we have the first FoodTalk podcast of 2019 here which is live and ready to be downloaded.

For this one, we are looking into our crystal ball and trying to gauge what foodie trends will sweep the nation in 2019. There are a few surprising shouts from Ollie Lloyd, our presenter with the crucial Great British Chefs stats, so make sure you note his comments and set an alarm for December to see if they come off.

It’s not that we didn’t value the views of our regular team of Sue, Ollie and Holly, but we did want some fresh perspective on it all too. So to help us we were delighted to welcome Asma Khan into the studio. As well as looking at predicted foodie trends, she told us her incredible story.

Due to feature in Netflix’s ‘Chefs Table’ soon, Asma is earning huge plaudits in the cooking world thanks to her amazing Asian cooking skills. If you’ve ever visited the hugely popular Darjeeling Express in Soho’s Kingly Court, you’ll know what we mean.

There’s so much more to Asma than her cooking though…click play on this episode to see how her roots make this story even more unlikely.

 

The low down on Saturday Kitchen

The low down on Saturday Kitchen

February 1, 2021

What does 2020 have in store for our two exciting guests? Well none of us would have ever guessed it would have panned out quite how it did! Listen again to our podcast from January this year when life was much simpler.

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?

Are these the UK’s best cookbooks?

Are these the UK’s best cookbooks?

January 25, 2021

Listen again to our podcast from September 2019.

Food writing is the topic for this show – which book will be our flavour of the month?

Ollie is absent from the studio this week – off on one of his “hippy jaunts”, as Sue so delicately puts it – but the delightful Holly Shackleton is here and ready to talk all things food. As an added bonus, the pair are joined by an absolutely fabulous guest presenter and friend of the show, Kumud Gandhi.

Not only is Kumud the founder of The Cooking Academy, she’s also a published food author, which is pretty handy given our topic this week. Sue and Holly want to talk about the phenomenon that is food writing, in all its diverse forms.

Both Holly and Sue are, of course, published food writers but they want to hear from renowned foodie, Felicity Cloake, who is vice-president of the Guild of Food Writers. 

In the digital age, it’s never been easier for food bloggers to find an audience, but are they any good? And is it really that hard to write a cookbook?

Well, it turns out that writing your own recipe book is a true labour of love. Felicity should know, as she’s recently written a new book herself. Fortunately, Sue, Holly and Kumud don’t have to just look at the pictures, as Felicity has brought in some divine delicacies from the book for them to try.

Plus the team take a look at a selection of new food books that cover such fascinating regions as the Black Sea and Ethiopia.

Paul A. Young, the UK’s very own Willy Wonka

Paul A. Young, the UK’s very own Willy Wonka

January 18, 2021

Listen again to our podcast from June 2019.

This week Sue and Ollie have got guests from both ends of the flavour spectrum: sweet chocolate and savoury noodles. The one thing they have in common is that both producers love to experiment with exotic flavours.

Master chocolatier Paul A Young makes a very welcome return to the show and he’s brought more of his incredible treats for Sue and Ollie to try. Although he’s seriously famous and renowned in the foodie world now, Paul has not been tempted to abandon his artisan roots.

Inspired by the sights, smells and sounds of European patisseries, Paul’s unique and mouth-watering chocolates are still manufactured onsite at his three London shops but no oompa loompas in sight. Sue can’t wait to give her verdict on the buttered toasted hot cross bun flavour… 

Another familiar face returning to the studio is Damian Lee, the man behind Mr Lee’s Noodles. If you thought that noodles in a pot were just the preserve of students, think again. Mr Lee’s Noodles don’t contain the preservatives and ‘nasties’ like MSG and high salt and sugar levels that are found in many rival brands.

Damian talks about the challenges that his company has faced as a disruptor brand in the noodle space and how his noodles are now being served to the entire Australian Defence Force. He could even be about to attain the ultimate achievement of selling noodles to China!

Robin Moxon on fish and Adam Byatt of Celebrity MasterChef

Robin Moxon on fish and Adam Byatt of Celebrity MasterChef

January 11, 2021

We’re talking meat and fish with two of the best in the food industry. Listen again to our podcast of August last year. 

Robin Moxon of Moxon’s Fishmongers knows pretty much all there is to know about fish and the buying habits of the Great British public. Surprisingly, it seems that Brits are more adventurous with fishy flavours than Sue had realised – you’ll never guess the subject of Great British Chefs’ most popular Instagram post!

This kicks off a conversation about whether it’s difficult to cook fish at home and why people aren’t doing so much of it anymore.

If you like a bit of foodie TV, you’re bound to have seen our second guest at some point. Adam Byatt has appeared on the likes of Saturday Kitchen, Celebrity MasterChef and Great British Menu, but he’s not just a media man. His Clapham restaurant Trinity has one Michelin star and has won countless other awards, so he knows a thing or two about meat.

Sadly, the number of butchers in the UK has declined by 60% in the last 25 years. Yet it seems that in the meat world too, people are keen to break out of their comfort zones and try the weird and wonderful. Adam reveals his approach to getting the best out of food and even gives us some tips on the most underrated British produce – velvet crabs, anyone?

Calum Franklin and eating pies at the Holborn Dining Room

Calum Franklin and eating pies at the Holborn Dining Room

January 4, 2021

Listen again to our podcast of April 2019 to cheer us up in 2021.

Who ate all the pies? Not Sue, Holly or Ollie, because Calum forgot to bring any with him. The extraordinarily talented pie maestro, who is the Executive Chef at the Holborn Dining Room, breezed into the radio studios to talk all things pastry covered. The star of the short film The Geometry of Pie has opened the Pie Room at Holborn with a new menu dedicated to perfectly crafted pies. Sue just cannot contain her enthusiasm and reckons that steak and kidney pudding is probably the best dish in the whole world ever. Calum's 80,000 followers on instagram might well agree.

Pie could go with sprouts but we're not talking Brussels! Sprouts are seeds that germinate to become young plants after a few days and are extremely nutrient. They're great in salads, soups, pasta sauces, wraps and stir fries and are becoming increasingly popular. How do you use these type of sprouts?  Ratna reveals all.

Why English sparkling is so good with Gusbourne Estates

Why English sparkling is so good with Gusbourne Estates

December 26, 2020

Listen again to our Boxing Day podcast from last year. 

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.

David Walker explains how you start a snail farm

David Walker explains how you start a snail farm

December 21, 2020

Prepare for an education about the secret life of snails…by listening again to our podcast of December last year.

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!

Sam Bilton and the fascinating food history of the UK

Sam Bilton and the fascinating food history of the UK

December 14, 2020

Listen again to our podcast from February.

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.

An Infinite Session for the designated driver

An Infinite Session for the designated driver

December 7, 2020

Non-alcoholic drinks innovation means you can enjoy the party without the hangover. Listen again to our podcast of December last year. 

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.

Sam Moro, restauranteur since 1997

Sam Moro, restauranteur since 1997

November 30, 2020

Re-listen to our podcast of 20 March 2020 - just before COVID-19 struck. 

This show begins with some fond reminiscing as Sue recalls the best meals she’s ever had at London’s Moro restaurant.

Luckily, among today’s guests is Sam Clark, who founded Moro with his wife in 1997 to celebrate the food of the southern Mediterranean. Both Sue and Ollie are huge fans, so they’re delighted to welcome a true food hero to the studio.

They’re joined by another chef with a very different style – Nick Deverell-Smith, whose menu at the Churchill Arms in Chipping Campden reflects its beautiful Cotswolds surroundings.

Nick has brought some fabulous spiced pear Bakewell tart for everyone to try, which goes brilliantly with our third guest’s offering. Coconuts Organic make all-natural ice cream from coconut cream and refined coconut sugar. It’s a vegan-friendly dessert that has an amazing taste and texture to rival traditional brands.

This sparks a fascinating conversation about the evolution of food and the way that vegan sensibilities are – or aren’t – requiring chefs to adapt their menus to keep in step.

Dr Sarah Jarvis and the best food programme ever made

Dr Sarah Jarvis and the best food programme ever made

November 23, 2020

Listen to the repeat of our podcast from January 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.

CBD - what’s the deal?

CBD - what’s the deal?

November 16, 2020

Listen again to our podcast on CBD from January 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.

Sheila Dillon, legend of the airwaves

Sheila Dillon, legend of the airwaves

November 9, 2020

Renowned food journalist Sheila Dillon joins Sue for a very special show. Listen again to the interview from 19 December 2019.

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!

Crazy about Kent

Crazy about Kent

November 2, 2020

The team go gonzo for the Garden of England in this very special episode. We're playing this podcast again from September last year in support of all Kent food and drink businesses hit by COVID-19.

Sue’s adopted home of Kent is the focus of this week’s show, with two great guests who share her passion for the south east county.

First up is Amanda Cottrell who, alongside many other prestigious titles, is patron of both Visit Kent and Produced in Kent. After 50 years living in the Garden of England, she’s highly knowledgeable about the country’s produce and a true champion of local producers.

Sue decides to test her guests and co-presenters on Kent delicacies – who knows what Kentish rarebit or Canterbury tart is? – before Amanda shares her bounty of incredible cheeses from around the county. Oh, and just wait for her story about driving sheep across London Bridge…

Next we hear from Lee Desai from Dr Legumes, a Folkestone restaurant dedicated to plant-based food. Not only is the eatery part of the amazing foodie renaissance that’s taken the seaside town by storm, Lee also believes that food and education can bring communities together. Well, maybe we’ll go and check out his nettle pesto and pea ballotine, just to be sure!

Listen in to find out whether Suffolk-and-proud Holly has been sold on Kent by the end of the show.

Scottish gin upholding Victorian tradition

Scottish gin upholding Victorian tradition

October 26, 2020

Today we’re talking about gin… and nothing but. Listen again to our podcast of October last year. 

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!

Colette Twomey and the Clonakilty secret recipe for black pudding

Colette Twomey and the Clonakilty secret recipe for black pudding

October 19, 2020

Listen again to our podcast from June last year.

It’s Hari’s last week as guest presenter on the show, so she’s making the most of the goodies our guests are offering up. Black pudding and milkshake make a bit of an odd combination… But hey, why not?

The first mention of black pudding can be found way back in Homer’s Odyssey. The family business of our first guest, Colette Twomey, doesn’t go back quite that far, but Clonakilty Blackpudding Company certainly has an impressive history.

Founded in the 1880s and still family run, the company produces truly delicious black pudding, along with equally tasty sausages. When she fails to get the secret family recipe out of Colette, Sue has a few questions about how a business retains authentic quality when their product becomes Ireland’s favourite black pudding.

With a farming background, Andy Howie knows plenty about sausages, but he’s now a connoisseur of the dairy side. Inspired by the poor quality of drinks on offer at a festival, Andy and his wife Jodie launched Shaken Udder Milkshake. They wanted to create something that was worlds apart from the instant powdered stuff and holy cow, have they succeeded – what’s more, they’ve done it without any investors.

Neal’s Yard Dairy and a cheesy romance

Neal’s Yard Dairy and a cheesy romance

October 12, 2020

Listen again to our podcast from August last year. Neal’s Yard Dairy has been a Covent Garden fixture and cheese champion for four decades, so it’s very exciting for Sue, Ollie and Holly to welcome Jason Hinds to the studio. He quite naturally knows a thing or two about cheese.

The consuming public’s love affair with British farmhouse cheeses has been flourishing for some years now, so the team are delighted to see that Jason has brought a selection of the company’s UK and Irish-produced stock for sampling.

There follows a masterclass on the various types of cheese available too, so pay attention – who knew that different parts of the same cheese could boast different flavours? Oh, and if you’re using clingfilm to store your cheddar, stop immediately!

Here to offer some insight into Polish cheeses and to talk about his country's native food and vodka is Jan Woroniecki from Kavka Vodka, a Polish distillery that has turned to the production methods that were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. The result is a distinctive, characterful taste, which Sue admits wasn’t quite what she was expecting.

With all the cheese in the studio, this naturally sparks a debate about the best drinks to pair with cheese. You might be surprised to learn that the consensus is – not red wine!

Peverel Manners of Belvoir with Jamie Crummie

Peverel Manners of Belvoir with Jamie Crummie

October 5, 2020

Listen again to our podcast from July last year.

Ollie is wearing a noticeably flowery shirt to the studio this week, which may draw some amused comments from Sue but is also remarkably apt.

One of this week’s brilliant guests is the gloriously named Peverel Manners, from Belvoir Fruit Farms. Their refreshing fruit cordials and presses are supermarket staples today, but it all started in 1984 with the humble elderflower.

Pev tell us how to make the perfect cordial – which is pretty tricky when, like Belvoir, you refuse to add artificial flavourings, colours or preservatives. Sue has made elderflower gin (of course) but not cordial, so this is educational stuff. 

Ever felt guilty about the amount of food waste you throw out of your kitchen? Well, maybe you should, but not quite as guilty as the food sector, which chucks 3.4 million tonnes every year.

Too Good To Go is tackling this huge problem by connecting consumers with restaurants and stores that have unsold food available at the end of the day. People can simply download the app, go and ‘rescue’ the perfectly good, edible food and feel like a waste warrior at the same time. What’s not to like?

Cookery schools and how to use salt

Cookery schools and how to use salt

September 28, 2020

Listen again to our podcast from March this year.

The lost arts of home cooking and proper use of salt

Sue has finally returned from her exotic adventures in South Africa, with lots of stories to tell. You’ll need to tune in, if only to hear about the bath on the train…

Our first guest, Rosalind Rathouse, hails from South Africa originally but her mission is not an exotic one. As the founder of Cookery School at Little Portland Street, Rosalind wants to encourage more people to get into the kitchen and get cooking.

Apparently, one in eight people in the UK avoids cooking from scratch, but with the school’s help, they can learn the basics of good home cooking and discover the joy of real food. Oh, and Rosalind has brought in some samples, of course.

Another key basic of cooking is how to use salt, yet it’s something that a surprising number of home cooks don’t really understand. Jess Lea-Wilson, from Halen Môn, is here to shed some light and tell us more about their natural Anglesey sea salt.

Sue and Ollie are delighted to find that Beth-Anne Smith of The Lismore Food Company has also brought some tempting wares, in the form of their amazing sweet and savoury biscuits.

Play this podcast on Podbean App