The FoodTalk Show podcasts
Just our cup of tea?

Just our cup of tea?

August 22, 2019

There’s no shortage of soft drinks on the market these days, many of them pretty high brow and creative. However, there’s one thing that most of them have in common; sugar.

Even if a soft drink has a relatively low sugar content, the flavour profile is bound to lean towards the saccharine and sweet drinks kill flavours. So, how do you find a non-alcoholic alternative that won’t ruin your lovely meal?

David Begg from Real Kombucha reckons he has the answer and he’s here to win Sue and Ollie over. Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s been around for thousands of years and David believes it offers a delicious option for those avoiding booze.

Another interesting aspect of kombucha is that it is a probiotic and can apparently be good for your gut health. A tasty, low calorie beverage that boosts your microbes – what’s not to love!

Sue’s a big fan of sour tastes in cocktails so she’s going to love this, right? Well, it’s fair to say that while Ollie enjoys the kombucha, Sue isn’t so sure… Although, is that a second glass we can hear being poured by the end of the show?

No sushi please, we’re Japanese

No sushi please, we’re Japanese

August 15, 2019

Fans of BBC’s MasterChef will recognise the voice of Andrew Kojima, who made it to the final of the 2012 series. Half Japanese, half British, Andrew – known as ‘Koj’ – has made the transition from a finance career to opening his own Japanese restaurant in Cheltenham.

But despite Koj’s love of traditional Japanese cuisine, you won’t find any sushi on the menu – Sue and Ollie are dying to know why!

Our other guest this week is also treading his own path by taking things right back to nature. Fred Thorneycroft has been foraging ever since he started making nettle beer at university, which led to an enduring interest in herbs, wild fruits and other overlooked ingredients.

Based in Macclesfield, Fruits of the Forage makes incredible chutneys, cordials, beers and wines with foraged treasures and just about anything they can find. Of course, Fred has brought some samples into the studio for the team to taste. Sue can’t get enough of the Sloe Seville Marmalade, while Ollie is intrigued by the Pickled Wild Garlic Buds.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing though, as Fred reveals with an interesting story about his Hogweed Curry Chutney! Oh, and there’s some exciting news about the company’s future plans too.

Mouthful all weekend

Mouthful all weekend

August 9, 2019

It’s summer, which means it must be festival season.

Ollie has chosen to wear a rather fashionable shirt for today’s show, which is apt because Sue wants to talk about that most trendy of summer activities – the festival. 

But this is no ordinary festival. This week Sue and Ollie are joined in the studio by Katie Bone, founder of PX+ Festival, an event created to bring together chefs, producers, sommeliers and many more from the culinary industry for one brilliant three-day extravaganza.

Alongside 65 chef headliners, the festival, which takes place from 17 – 19 August, also welcomes speakers from other industries to encourage the sharing of knowledge and expertise, check out #mouthfulallweekend

Katie explains why she wanted to host a gathering specifically for the hospitality community and also gives us the secret behind the festival’s name.

Among the headliners is our second guest, Jan Kanonetzki, who is Director of Wine at the rather fabulous Four Seasons Hotel Ten Trinity Square. Not only does Jan give us his take on the PX+ Festival, he also answers such pressing questions as, what does a director of wine do? What does the future look like for sommeliers? And do you really need a huge wine list?

We all love a cheesy romance

We all love a cheesy romance

August 1, 2019

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!

Good health in a nutshell

Good health in a nutshell

July 25, 2019

Apparently walnuts are healthier than peanuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios. Who knew?

Sue, Ollie and Holly are going nuts in the studio this week – or rather, nuts about nuts. Unless you’re unfortunate enough to have a severe allergy, you probably love nuts as much as our hosts do. But are you clued up on how to make the best of these tasty, oily treats?

Sian Porter from the California Walnut Board has popped into the studio to shed light on the benefits of eating walnuts. Some people avoid them due to the fat content, but did you know just how good they can be for your health. A registered dietitian, Sian has some cracking advice for us.

A conversation about the challenges of eating healthily brings us to the next guest, Franco Beer, the creator of Boka cereal bars. Shocked by the amount of sugar, fat and salt in many supposedly healthy cereal bars, Franco set out to disrupt the market. Now, Boka products are the only bars to have all four green lights in the traffic light nutrition system. But how do we use the traffic lights to optimum advantage?

You sexy thing

You sexy thing

July 18, 2019

From the tranquil beauty of the Lake District to the sensuous allure of Indian cuisine, we’ve certainly got a saucy show for you this week. 

Maria Whitehead from Hawkshead Relish joins Sue, Ollie and Holly in the studio to talk about their delicious award-winning preserves, relishes and pickles, which are produced in the heart of glorious Cumbria. With over 120 acclaimed products, Hawkshead Relish’s range is a leading example of the fantastic food coming out of the Lake District – but it hasn’t been an easy road to success, as Maria explains.

Chutneys are a familiar part of Indian cuisine, at least here in the UK, but are they authentic? Chef Sarah Ali Choudhury is well-placed to answer that question, having been the youngest Asian female to manage an Indian restaurant.

But things really hot up when she tells us about her new health-focused products – including a “Viagra curry”, which aims to keep things spicy in the bedroom. Poor Ollie is somewhat outnumbered by women in the studio, but maybe he can take a bit home without anyone noticing…

From Russia with love

From Russia with love

July 12, 2019

Well, from Suffolk actually… But this is one cool vodka.

Holly is back from her holidays and full of food stories that are making Sue and Ollie’s tummies rumble with envy. Having been immersed in one of the world’s most beloved cuisines, she’s ready to get back to discovering the best of British. 

Kiron Phillips set up RK Vodka with his brother Zan to produce a simple yet delicious new vodka. They use sugarbeet rather potatoes, which gives the tipple a more characterful taste. He even reckons that RK Vodka has converted a few confirmed gin and whisky drinkers to the cause!

Because the company deals directly with stockists, from fine dining restaurants to village pubs, they can offer bespoke packages. This sparks a lively conversation about food pairings and what tasty treats go well with vodka. Kiron also enlightens us about his single distillation process and explains the science behind reverse osmosis filtered water (whatever).

Finally, you can’t talk about vodka without devoting a little time to cocktails. This versatile ingredient is very popular for creative alcoholic concoctions, so Kiron tells us more about the magic of mixology and the mystery of flavoured sugar syrups.

The pressing topic of elderflowers

The pressing topic of elderflowers

July 4, 2019

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?

Ooh la la! Le Cordon Bleu

Ooh la la! Le Cordon Bleu

June 27, 2019

Sue and Ollie are feeling all continental as talk turns to traditional French cuisine . . . have they lost their place in the culinary world or is classic cooking still important? 

Research has shown that home cooks are becoming more adventurous, both in terms of flavours and techniques. But as a nation, are we equipped with the basic skills to be truly competent in the kitchen?

To discuss this, Sue and Ollie welcome to the studio Colin Westal from Le Cordon Bleu, the world’s largest network of culinary and hospitality schools. Colin explains that the focus for students is more on learning classic French techniques, rather than recipes, as these are the essential tools for gastronomic success.

Luckily for the team, Colin has also brought in a sneak preview of Le Cordon Bleu’s upcoming plant-based course – which, much to Sue’s delight, takes the form of two absolutely delicious dishes in which the veggies are the heroes.

It takes a lot of courage to switch from one career to another, so Anna Richey’s tale of transformation from journalist to liquid egg white producer is quite the story. She comes out of her shell to discuss the success of Two Chicks and, of course, Colin is on hand to give us all the secret of a perfect poached egg.

The UK’s very own Willy Wonka

The UK’s very own Willy Wonka

June 20, 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!

Question: What can you make out of cow’s milk?

Question: What can you make out of cow’s milk?

June 13, 2019

Answer: the most wonderful cheese from the beautiful north west and vodka (yes, really)

Ollie’s back from Morocco and after his taste of the exotic, he’s keen to get stuck into the best of British once again. It’s just as well neither he nor Sue have had breakfast, as the studio is full of food – and alcohol!

Gill Hall from Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses boasts an incredible family history in the cheesemaking industry. It all started with her grandparents back in 1932 and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first time Gill’s mum made the company’s flagship Lancashire cheese.

She tells us about the joys of running a family business and gives us an insight into the challenges of perfecting Blacksticks Blue, a fabulous cheese that is going down rather too easily in the studio…

Jason Barber from Black Cow Vodka grew up on a farm and also has cheesemaking in his blood, but now he focuses on dairy waste rather than dairy produce. He’s taken whey, an under-valued by-product and turned into an award-winning tipple.

Does vodka go with cheese? Rather surprisingly, it does, very well – so much so that vodka sceptic Ollie is now a convert.

The Clonakilty secret recipe for black pudding

The Clonakilty secret recipe for black pudding

June 6, 2019

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.

Born in the USA

Born in the USA

May 30, 2019

With Ollie and Holly still on their travels, Sue has the pleasure of Hari Ghotra’s company once again as guest host. And oh boy, what a show. Gin and pizza? Yes please!

When Warner’s launched their gin brand in 2012 – with a mission to “save the world from mediocre gin” – the market was very much an emerging one. However, sales of gin in the UK have tripled since 2009 and we spent £461 million on the tipple last year.

Is the gin market saturated? With 315 distilleries operating in the UK, how does an artisan brand stand out from the crowd? Tom Warner pops in to tell us how their “graft gin, not craft gin” got in early and why authenticity is so important if you want to make a splash in the market.

Craft gin isn’t so popular in the US yet, but they do like their food. Unfortunately, not everyone else does… Sue confesses to knowing nothing about American food, so it’s lucky that the man behind Stafford’s Bank House Restaurant by Chef Jonathan – Jonathan Cushing himself – has popped in to educate Sue on the rich history of American cuisine.

The San Francisco native has brought an authentic Chicago deep dish pizza for Sue and Hari to try, with the hope of banishing a few stereotypes about the US of A’s foodie credentials. We think he might have succeeded…

Sugar and spice and all things nice

Sugar and spice and all things nice

May 23, 2019

Sue is joined once again by guest host Hari Ghotra, who is astounded by the sheer amount of food in the studio. She’ll soon get used to that…

This week they have the great pleasure of chatting to Kumud Gandhi, founder of The Cooking Academy and widely recognised as “the Spice Queen”. Hailing from a family of spice merchants and chemists, Kumud is fascinated by the “alchemy of food” and she has brought along some samples of her amazing cookery to share with Sue and Hari.

Statistics reveal that 18% of people cook from scratch less than once a month, or even never. So, how can The Cooking Academy help to inspire home would-be cooks to get into the kitchen? 

Social media has transformed the way we communicate, connect and consume over the last 10 years or so and the first guest is social media success personified. Olivia Wollenberg certainly hit the ground running when she founded Livia’s Kitchen in 2014, with the aim of producing indulgent treats that wouldn’t trigger her food intolerances.

Just 11 weeks after having the idea for the business, Olivia was launching her Superfood Crumbles exclusively in Selfridges. Her subsequent recipe blog went on to attract 300,000 hits in the first month. Sue and Hari want to know how she did it!

Planting the seed of change

Planting the seed of change

May 16, 2019

With regular co-hosts Ollie and Holly away, Sue is joined by a rather fabulous guest presenter, Hari Ghotra – the spice sensation behind the wildly successful eponymous brand. Hari is a bit of an expert on Indian food, having started a whole business designed to inspire people to get cooking with spices.

Plant-based diets are gaining momentum among consumers, so restaurateurs and food manufacturers are having to respond with more, tastier plant-based options. Joining Sue and Hari to shed light on the burgeoning industry is Vishal Madhu from Qwrkee, who claims to have created the world’s first probiotic snack.

Inspired by his wife’s desire for a high-protein diet, Vishal explains how he set about developing a nutritious beef jerky – without the meat. There’s also a range of probiotic puff snacks designed to boost your gut, which Vishal calls “your second brain”.

Also in the studio is Peter Ahye from Freaks of Nature, which aims to satisfy sweet teeth with delicious puddings that are certified vegan and vegetarian, and dairy and gluten-free. If Sue and Hari can stop eating the desserts for long enough to ask any questions, we’ll find out how…

Putting on a show

Putting on a show

May 9, 2019

Soraya Gadelrab is the Portfolio Director at Fresh Montgomery. Her job includes organising the International Food & Drink Event (IFE), The Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Show and Speciality and Fine Food Fair amongst others. In this special programme Sue talks to Soraya to get tips and recommendations on how to make the most of exhibiting at food fairs and exhibitions. How do you prepare beforehand? What can you do to attract the key buyers? And most importantly, how you should follow up your contacts when the show is over. To find out more about forthcoming food fairs or to get help and advice from the Fresh Montgomery team, click here.

Rummaging in the nation’s store cupboards 2

Rummaging in the nation’s store cupboards 2

May 2, 2019

We're back again with Sue and Ollie getting all serious, dissecting the annual Great British Chefs Survey with the help of Charlie Parker, a renowned nutritionist. Using her experience as Head of Nutrition for Sainsbury's she gives an interesting perspective on Ollie's infamous love of food statistics and trends.

This show is the second of two, with the team dissecting the results to find out what UK consumers are thinking, their motivations and what they're buying and eating in 2019.

Is alcohol consumption really on the decline? What’s the story about the interest in plant-based food and just what do foodies have in their store cupboard? The team give their views and for a copy of the full GBC research click here.

Rummaging in the nation’s store cupboards 1

Rummaging in the nation’s store cupboards 1

April 25, 2019

This week Sue and Ollie are getting all serious, dissecting the annual Great British Chefs Survey with the help of Charlie Parker, a renowned nutritionist. Using her experience as Head of Nutrition for Sainsbury's she gives an interesting perspective on Ollie's infamous love of food statistics and trends.

This show is the first of two, with the team dissecting the results to find out what UK consumers are thinking, their motivations and what they're buying and eating in 2019.

Is alcohol consumption really on the decline? What’s the story about the interest in plant-based food and just what do foodies have in their store cupboard? The team give their views and for a copy of the full GBC research click here.

Bringing home the bacon

Bringing home the bacon

April 18, 2019

We have a great combination in the studio today, and we aren’t talking Holly and Ollie, we’re talking Gin and Charcuterie! We're joined by Shaun Cannon of Cannon and Cannon and Talula White of Sekforde Drinks.

British charcuterie was a bit of an oddity when Shaun started out. The general perception was that you couldn't possibly make charcuterie in the UK because the weather conditions "weren’t right". Well, just like British cheese, we now have a burgeoning charcuterie industry and according to Shaun we're rather good at it.

He takes Sue and the team through a tasting feast of extraordinary British bresaola, air dried hams and chorizos. All from animals that are free range and ethically reared. Eating all this charcuterie made Sue extremely thirsty, so thank goodness Talula was in the studio. If you're overwhelmed by the range of weird mixers that now populate the supermarket shelves and can't work out the perfect combination to go with your Sipsmith, Talula has solved the problem. Sekforde make the perfect mixers to go with a range of spirits and she's enlisted the help of Sharon to make some gin combinations to prove it.

Who ate all the pies?

Who ate all the pies?

April 11, 2019

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.