The FoodTalk Show
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.

Sue Nelson and Ollie Lloyd talk to Tim Boldt of Gousto

Sue Nelson and Ollie Lloyd talk to Tim Boldt of Gousto

September 21, 2020

Listen again to our podcast from November last year.

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.

Surf’s up with Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

Surf’s up with Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

September 14, 2020

Listen again to our podcast of March last year.

Ollie, Holly and Sue admit that today's taste combinations are not exactly well planned, but they decide to push on ahead anyhow. Watercress and iced coffee are today's topics. While we now have a great coffee culture in the UK, we're still way behind the Scandinavians who are easily the biggest consumers of coffee in the world. It must be all that cold weather.

Jimmy Cregan is mad on iced coffee rather than the hot stuff. He was travelling around Australia trying his best to be a surfing hero, when he discovered the stuff and became obsessed with it. He couldn't find just what he wanted when he came back to the UK though, and so started making his own and selling it in his sisters cafe in Christchurch. Jimmy's Iced Coffee is determined to take on Starbucks and all those high street chain and he's now heading to a turnover of £5 million.

Meanwhile James Harper, the Commercial Manager at The Watercress Company explains how to grow the perfect watercress and why it's so damn good for you. Based in Dorchester in Dorset, they have a team of 300 from seasonal staff to technical specialists. They have even started to grow wasabi, which apparently is pretty tricky in the UK weather - who knew?

Two great British products, but probably not best consumed together.

Love is in the air with Pippa Murray of Pip & Nut

Love is in the air with Pippa Murray of Pip & Nut

September 14, 2020

As food and drink lovers, we couldn’t let Valentine’s Day pass without helping you create some lovely cocktails for a special evening. Whether it’s your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, dog or cat – this episode of the FoodTalk Show is best enjoyed over a candlelit dinner with that special person or thing in your life.

We're incredibly lucky to welcome Paul McFadyen to our studio. Paul is a master of cocktail mixing and a brand ambassador for Maison Ferrand – a producer of fine spirits.

Not only did he tell us a bit about the brand and educate us on alcohol, he also whipped up some amazing cocktails for our gracious presenting team. We know you can’t taste these through the airwaves, but just take our word for it, they're delicious.

Sue got a bit carried away and already feeling merry on the cocktails, was delighted to welcome the amazing Pippa Murray back on to The FoodTalk Show. You can’t have missed her Pip & Nut peanut butters in all of the major supermarkets, and here she tells her amazing story from museum worker to award winning entrepreneur.

Breaking the new year booze ban

Breaking the new year booze ban

September 7, 2020

Jane Peyton teaches us about the School of Booze and Mardi Roberts raises a glass to Ridgeview Wine Estate. Listen again to our podcast from January 2019.

How are those resolutions going?

Whether it’s eating healthier, exercising more, saving money, or committing to giving to charity – statistically its estimated that 80% of resolutions fail by the time you turn your calendar over to February. So, as we’re nearly at mid-January, we can safely say that around 40% of you have failed already.

A popular resolution for many is to partake in Dry January (just forget any drinks you had during Auld Lang Syne with Jools Holland), so it would be pretty mean of us to feature booze on this episode. Sorry folks, we’re going to be mean and please the 40%.

We’ve got not one, but two companies that specialise in varying types of booze for this episode. Sue, Ollie and Holly didn’t put up too much of a fight when they saw the schedule.

First up, we had the fantastic Jane Peyton with us. As far as drinking buddies go, she is pretty premium. Jane is an alcoholic drinks expert, broadcaster, pub expert, writer, public speaker, and founder of the School of Booze. The school is the education establishment that everybody wishes they spent six (or so) years at. Beer, cider, wine, sherry or champagne tasting sessions – there’s something to satisfy any tipple.

All good things come in pairs. Our other guest also knows more than a thing or two about alcohol production. Mardi Roberts has been with the fantastic Ridgeview Wine Estate for almost 20 years.

Ridgeview has been at the forefront of the recent evolution of English sparkling wine production. Based in the South Downs National Park, their wines are exported around the world and served at many prestigious occasions.

Cheers to the 40% - we’ll raise a glass to the 60% who can join us in a few weeks.

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.

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