The FoodTalk Show podcasts
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.

Getting hygge down on the farm

Getting hygge down on the farm

April 4, 2019

This week our presenters are joined by Bronte Aurell of ScandiKitchen and Will Evans of Eat Farm Now. When we contemplate Scandinavian food, we typically think of pickled herrings, gravlax and Ikea meatballs, but Bronte opens our eyes to the abundance of other wonderful produce. Sue is a little confused by the term "hygge" and wants to understand why Sweden has obesity levels as low as 10% compared to us relatively lardy people in the UK, with a quarter of us being classified as obese. Is it hygge or is there something else going on here?

Ollie and Holly are then stunned by Sue's knowledge of the UK countryside and how little of it is actually built on. We are a rural country after all and no one knew. Did you also know that agriculture in the UK uses 69% of the country’s land area but we produce less than 60% of the food we eat. Crazy. Will has joined us to talk all things farming and agriculture and explain his mission to promote the work of farmers and why they are so important to us all.

Having the craic tasting all things Irish

Having the craic tasting all things Irish

March 28, 2019

This week Sue tests the presenters on the top favourite Irish foods and can't stop eulogising about the humble spud. The team discuss Irish stew, soda bread, colcannon, champ and boxty (what?) and of course, Ireland's love affair with potatoes. Irish chef Anna Haugh, owner of London's Myrtle Restaurant, kindly brings in a huge hamper of great food and drink from the Emerald Isle for everyone to taste. 

Sue also reveals that she goes to Harrods to get her favourite beef dripping in the world, from James Whelan butchers of County Tipperary. Ollie is aghast at this revelation.

From Ireland to Greece as Sally Dorling of Tim's Dairy explains how they make traditional greek yogurt in the heart of the Chiltern Hills. Chris, Peter, Bides and Tony Timotheou have brought traditional Greek methods to producing the finest yogurt in batches using fresh pasteurised British milk, natural ingredients and bio-live cultures. 

Brexit’s dream according to Ollie Lloyd

Brexit’s dream according to Ollie Lloyd

March 21, 2019

The last four weeks have been very health focused, something we're very proud of on the FoodTalk Show, but the presenters are back to their old ways and have sneaked in some booze this week. But to balance it out, Holly, Ollie and Sue want to understand the new trend in plant-based foods. Sue tests the team to see if they know the names of the dozens of types of plant-based and dairy reduction diets out there. How many do you know?

Ollie's research shows 56% of committed foodies are trying to stick to more of a plant-based diet (January 2019), and most especially basing their weekday meals around health. As a nation we are undeniably reducing our meat intake and these trends look set to continue.

After the plant-based discussions we are joined by Rob Berry of Asterley Bros, a company that Ollie describes as "Brexit's dream". He's worked through London’s history of tonics and liqueurs to painstakingly recreate (with his brother Jim) a unique drink with Sicilian influence - the ‘hybrid amaro’. Why has Ollie called it "Brexit's dream"? Listen and find out.

Surf’s up with Jimmy

Surf’s up with Jimmy

March 14, 2019

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.

On the wagon

On the wagon

March 7, 2019

Today, we're talking about all things drink with no food in sight. Sue is relying on Holly as she admits she’s not an expert in non-alcoholic drinks. Laura Willoughby of Club Soda and Chris Beech of Luhv Drinks arrived in the studio to inspire us with some great alternatives to the hard stuff.

In such a health-focused time, more and more people are giving up alcohol during the week or abstaining altogether. Ollie reveals that nearly a quarter of millennials don't drink at all, so what are the alternatives? The consensus in the studio is that consumers are ill-served when in bars, restaurants and pubs with a disappointing selection of non-alcoholic drinks.

Laura is on a mission to give inspiring ideas and support to those who want to socialise and 'fit in' when on the wagon. Meanwhile Chris explains how is dedicated to producing plant-based drinks and juices which are good for the heart, skin and mind.