The FoodTalk Show podcasts
The world in a coffee cup

The world in a coffee cup

April 9, 2020

Two companies that are striving to tackle the single-use plastics problem.

Coffee capsule machines are big business these days and everyone seems to have one (except Sue). But they are, in the opinion of Lex Thornley from Blue Goose Coffee, the next environmental disaster just waiting to be acknowledged.

Blue Goose coffee capsules are compostable, while still being compatible with many of the popular machines on the market. In addition, their boxes are all sustainable sourced, printed with vegetable ink and assembled with plastic-free glue.

Most importantly, of course, he’s brought along some of his delicious coffee for Sue and Ollie to taste.

Frugalpac are also driving the environmental cause forward with their product, which is the only paper cup that can be recycled as part of the mainstream waste process. George Rumble is here to explain how their unique manufacturing process makes a cup that is easily recycled and to discuss what the future holds for the recycling issue.

Best of both worlds

Best of both worlds

April 2, 2020

Great chocolate and delicious coffee that are gentle on the environment.

Coffee is a big deal in Ollie’s world, so Guy Wilmot from Bird & Wild Coffee is under pressure to impress. Luckily, he’s up to the challenge – Bird & Wild is the UK’s only bird-friendly and shade-gown coffee.

Although coffee naturally grows in the shade, it’s commonly grown in the sun by commercial producers in order to increase yields and speed up the process. This has a negative impact on bird populations, due to the removal of nesting sites and the presence of insecticides and pesticides.

Once Sue and Ollie are amped up on coffee, it’s time to chill out with some amazing treats from Prodigy Snacks. The chocolate is plant-based and vegan-friendly, plus it’s free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. It’s even plastic-free, thanks to the recyclable packaging.

Prodigy are on a mission to reinvent the classics, so you can enjoy the taste of your favourite chocolate bars while consuming only low levels of natural sugar. Sue thinks they’re out of this world…

A touch of spice and all things nice

A touch of spice and all things nice

March 26, 2020

We’re hot to trot with this exotic episode.

There’s a spicy atmosphere in the studio this week and for once, it’s got nothing to do with Ollie’s shirts.

Arun Kapil from Green Saffron has brought in an array of fabulous spices, which the company provides in a variety of different blends. They aim to create blends that bring out the best in each element on a plate and treat spice as a flavour ingredient, not just a regional touch.

Jack Galliano of Galliano Dining is well aware of the challenges of keeping the spice in mass catering – how do you feed 600 people and still serve up top quality food? Jack has some interesting insights into feeding the masses, along with his views on the new dining trends to watch.

Inspired by 12 years of doing PR for innovative food brands, Hannah Glasson has launched the new INTUNE range of fruit and botanical drinks to share the benefits of CBD. Having found that CBD helped to boost her concentration at work while undergoing medical treatment, Hannah wanted to share her discovery with the world in a tasty, refreshing way.

Back to basics

Back to basics

March 19, 2020

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.

Bread of heaven

Bread of heaven

March 13, 2020

Amazing sourdough and gin fuelled by romance – what more could you want?

Ollie has temporarily moved house and he’s now living above an amazing bakery. But there’s no time for Sue and Holly to feel jealous, because there’s some delicious bread right here in the studio.

Lovingly Artisan Bakery has a mission to return bread to the centre of the table. Baker Aidan Monks makes incredible double fermented artisan sourdough from heritage grains that has been a huge hit with discerning shoppers. Of course, he’s brought some along for the team to try, much to Sue’s delight.

We all adore a good love story and there’s a true romance behind the origins of Manchester Gin. You’ll have to tune in to hear Seb Heeley’s tale, but suffice to stay it has resulted in a fabulous brand that started life in his dining room and is inspired by Manchester’s industrial heritage.

What’s your favourite Spanish or South American tipple? Lucy Shaw, editor of The Drinks Business, is here to share her love of these countries’ produce and give her views on the impact of the burgeoning English sparkling wine industry.

Behind the grill

Behind the grill

March 5, 2020

Tune in for the best of British and the magic of the Med.

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.

Quiz your thirst

Quiz your thirst

February 27, 2020

We hear about the state of the drinks industry and the new ideas bubbling up.

Sue starts this week’s show with a pop quiz – can our hosts and guests guess at the bestselling spirit brands? Or the most popular lagers, tonic waters and soft drinks? There may be a few surprises in there…

One of today’s guests has some insider knowledge about this topic. Richard Chamberlain from Drink Warehouse has some interesting insights of his own to add, along with a top tip for low and no-alcohol drink producers.

Fran Pearce is no stranger to fun alcoholic products, thanks to her work with Smith and Sinclair. But today she’s here to talk about a new venture, Pollen, which is taking the growing trend for CBD products one step further by exploring the use of CBD in cocktails and gummies.

Finally, Jess Latchford from Waste Knot explains how they’re helping to build relationships between farmers and chefs. When farmers have surplus fruit and vegetables that they can’t sell through their usual channels, Waste Knot can connect them with chefs who are looking to buy great quality produce – thus reducing food waste in a big way.

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!

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