The FoodTalk Show podcasts
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.

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!