The FoodTalk Show podcasts
Cordial relations

Cordial relations

November 21, 2019

Forget squash – we’re talking classic cordials with a modern twist.

Until fairly recently, cordial has had a bit of an underwhelming reputation. If you associate it with elderly ladies or over-sweet squash drinks, this week’s show has a surprise in store.

Natasha Steele is in the studio to share the story of Urban Cordial, a brand of which Sue is already a big fan. For centuries, cordials were viewed as medicinal concoctions and in some parts of the world, the term refers to a tonic, syrup or low-alcohol beverage.

Not only is Urban Cordial making a big splash in the non-alcoholic market with refreshing flavour combinations – Raspberry and Rosemary is a particular hit in the studio – the company is also committed to sustainable production.

After starting out as a hobbyist, making cordials from the produce of her own allotment, Natasha made the decision to take her idea to market. Concerns about the huge food waste problem, however, prompted her to use surplus fruit in the production of Urban Cordial. To date, the company has saved over 40 tonnes of fruit from going to landfill.

In this week’s show, Ollie gets his first taste of Urban Cordial’s delights and also reveals some rather odd drinking habits that leave Sue and Holly scratching their heads…

The gusto life

The gusto life

November 14, 2019

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.

Do the truffle shuffle

Do the truffle shuffle

November 7, 2019

Will trying truffles in lots of different forms finally win Ollie over?

The team are busting myths and testing preconceptions all over the place this week, starting with the much-adored truffle.

Perhaps surprisingly for a foodie, Ollie isn’t a big truffle fan and isn’t sure if they’re worth the (often very expensive) price tag. Nigel Whitehouse from Truffle Hunter is in the studio to see if he can tempt Ollie over to the dark – or light – side with a selection of tasty truffle-based treats.

From mayonnaise to cheddar, there is a veritable smorgasbord of delicacies for the team to try. You’ll have to listen to find out whether any of them are successful in winning Ollie’s approval…

If you feel increasingly confused by the wealth of conflicting information about diet and nutrition, Check Your Food could be heaven sent. Designed to make nutritional information accessible and understandable, the website allows you to check out the chemical and biological makeup of foods and make smart choices about your diet.

Matt Wright is here to tell us more and there are a few surprises as he reveals the truth about some of our favourite foods – how will milk, carrots and even the doner kebab line up?

Tickling the tastebuds

Tickling the tastebuds

October 31, 2019

Oriental flavours and American beers are set to blow the team’s socks off.

It’s a full complement in the studio this week, as Holly takes a break from her gastro adventures to rejoin the team. What a great week to return, too – with food and drink that has the potential to split the crowd…

First, we meet the person with probably the best job title in the world: Head of Beer. Andrew Morgan from Beer Hawk Fresh explains just what it means to be head honcho of hops and introduces the team to some exceptional beverages. It’s a mixed reaction to the peanut butter milk stout, which Andrew washes down with a fascinating insight into American hops. Next, we find out which tipple would be his ‘desert island beer’ – we hope you’re taking notes!

Does wasabi go well with beer? Sue, Ollie and Holly are about to find out, as Nick Russell from The Wasabi Company provides an education in what the Oriental staple should really look and taste like. As experienced watercress farmers, the company has great expertise in growing plants in flowing water, so tasting the products turns out to be a bit of a life-changing moment for the team.

Plus, we hear about finger limes, Buddha’s hands and some exciting news for vodka fans.

Keep your Gin up

Keep your Gin up

October 24, 2019

Today we’re talking about gin… and nothing but.

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!

Taking a bite of the future

Taking a bite of the future

October 17, 2019

The event that showcases the food and agri innovators of tomorrow.

Try as they might, Sue and Ollie just can’t stay away from the booze. Or rather, the booze can’t stay away from them.

This week, it’s an Italian liqueur that’s tempting our intrepid twosome. Italicus is a sour treat based on bergamot that makes incredible cocktails – as Sue is to find out, thanks to the generous mixology skills of Adamo Vobaro (phonetic). This time-honoured tipple is very well-known in Italy and its versatility is certainly impressing our co-presenter…

There will be more promising discoveries to be made on 7 November, when FoodBytes! comes to London. This live pitching event is the most incredible showcase for food and agriculture start-ups, where they can meet investors and possibly get the big break they need to crack the market.

Sue is appearing at FoodBytes! to help bring brilliant exposure to these promising innovators, so tune in to find out more from Maarten Ooms and learn how you can be there.

Plus, the team and guests chat about some fascinating facts thrown up by Great British Chefs’ latest research into the ecological values of the buying public.

Pick the bones out of that

Pick the bones out of that

October 10, 2019

Bringing back superfoods of old and cracking the foodie market.

Hands up if you had a granny who made the most incredible soup that could cure any childhood ailment? Recipes and delicacies from days gone by tend to get left behind as food trends and technology surge forward. But there’s a lot to be gained from looking at the time-honoured knowledge we used to have about food.

So says Fiona Esom of Product Chain, an FMCG retail sales agency that works to bring food and drink innovation to the British public. Although the company is passionate about the flavours of tomorrow, Fiona also believes that bone broth has an important place on today’s menus.

That’s the thinking behind Boosh, a high-protein and very nourishing food that Fiona wants to see in homes, care establishments and hospitals everywhere.

Breaking into the food or drink market, even with an established concept, can be incredibly tough. Fiona is well-placed to shed light on the do’s and don’ts of launching a new product.

Everleaf is already making a splash in the non-alcoholic drinks market. Created by bartender Paul Mathew, the aperitif Everleaf aims to offer consumers the complexity of flavour and texture that is so often missing from soft drinks or spirit alternatives. Will Sue and Ollie agree?

You’ve got to be kidding

You’ve got to be kidding

October 3, 2019

Will the distinctive taste of kefir win over Sue and Ollie or will it get their goat?

Ollie is back from his recent jaunt to Indonesia and he’s full of tales about the country’s amazing foodie offerings. If anyone knows of a great Indonesian restaurant in London, do let us know…

What is a microbiome? What damages it and what can we do to reverse that damage? How can you tell if a goat is happy?

These critical questions and more are put to gut health expert Shann Jones of Chuckling Goat, the UK’s number one producer of kefir. She’s brought some of the company’s products to try and it’s safe to say that Sue’s reaction won’t disappoint. But you’ll have to tune in to see whether Shann can convert Sue and Ollie to kefir by the end of the show.

After discussing the admirable attributes of goats, the team turn to investments – specifically, what to do with that spare £100,000 they’ve got lying around. Sue wants to know which areas of food tech are on investors’ radars right now if they want to stand a chance of good returns in the future.

Luckily, food entrepreneur and business growth advisor Rekha Mehr has popped into the studio to offer her expertise on the food trends of today and tomorrow.

Viva la revolution

Viva la revolution

September 26, 2019

The team’s lives may just have been transformed by today’s guests…

This week’s show starts on a sad note as it’s Kumud Ghandi’s last appearance as guest presenter. But what a week to go out on, as the presenters discover two products that might just change their lives.

Sue’s not a sandwich or wrap fan, finding that the carrier often out-stodges the filling. Anishya Kumar, founder of Zinda Foods, shares this view, which is why she created the incredible AirWrap. Light, simple and delicious, could this have the power to transform lunch forever?

The small company has already broken into a supermarket chain, but scaling up can be tough for innovative food and drink firms. So, it’s interesting to hear from Rupert Holloway of Dorset-based Conker Spirit. His company launched its first gin at the very beginning of the gin revolution, so didn’t have too much competition to start with.

Times have changed a bit since then, so it’s fortunate that Conker’s Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur is proving such a hit. Hailed as the foundation of the perfect espresso martini, it’s certainly made a big impression on our presenters – we think Sue may actually be in love…

Crazy about Kent

Crazy about Kent

September 19, 2019

The team go gonzo for the Garden of England in this very special episode.

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.

Name that tuna

Name that tuna

September 12, 2019

There’s a fish substitute in the studio, but is it the real deal or a red herring?

With Olly still away, Sue, Holly and Kumud Ghandi are ruling the roost in the studio and they’ve got plenty to talk about.

This week the team are joined by Tara Mei from Bread & Jam, the UK’s first festival for food founders. If you’re an emerging business in food or drink production, you need to be at this two-day conference on 3 and 4 October – Tara explains why the experience can be life-changing for fledgling innovators.

Tune in to find out how you can access invaluable expert advice, as successful figures in the food industry offer their feedback to entrepreneurs – but you need to book your spot, so don’t miss out! And of course, there’s the Grand Final of the Future Food Awards to look forward to as well.

There’s another transformative experience in store as Eric Woods from Loma Linda offers a vegan plant-based alternative to tuna. Loma Linda in California is one of the world’s five ‘blue zones’ where people tend to live longer and veganism could be contributing to their longevity.

It’s got the texture but not the smell – will it win over the presenters? Or will they find Tuno a bit fishy?

Time to eat your words

Time to eat your words

September 5, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a fishy old business

It’s a fishy old business

August 29, 2019

We’re talking meat and fish with two of the best in the food industry.

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

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

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

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

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.

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