The FoodTalk Show podcasts
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.

Let’s hear it from the Spice Girls (and boys)

Let’s hear it from the Spice Girls (and boys)

February 28, 2019

Breakfast… The most important meal of the day, right? It’s Sue’s favourite, Ollie thinks it needs an injection of excitement and Holly never seems to remember to eat it at all. From there we move on to spices. Holly eulogises about cardamom and everyone in the studio tries to work out which ones they have in their kitchen cupboards. They also ponder over the fact that we import 83 million tons of spices a year, even though 40% of the UK don’t cook international cuisine.

Unfortunately, Gouri from Holy Llama Spice Drops, is stuck on a train on route to the studio, so we have thrown Simon Griffiths in the spotlight for this one even though he's been invited to the studio as a bit of a palm oil and nut expert.  

Once he's told us about his favourite spices he takes us through the Meridian Foods story. They're probably most famous for their peanut butter but they make dozens and dozens of nut-based products. They've made a decision not to use any palm oil in their whole product range and Simon explains why it's so important to them. To finish off Ollie explains why tahini is no longer just for new Labour supporters and urges Simon to move peanut butter beyond "the toast moment"?!

A hug in a glass

A hug in a glass

February 21, 2019

As a country, we (or rather our politicians) may find it difficult to negotiate our way out of Europe or even work out what party we belong to, but we're very good at lots of other things.

In 2018 we managed to win a penalty shootout in a football game, we didn’t finish bottom of Eurovision and globally we continue to be the best at queuing. In fact, we even produce the best food-related podcast in the world (us, obviously).

One of the things that we haven’t been famed for, until recent years, has been making wine. However, over the course of the last 20 years or thereabouts we've been climbing up the quality ladder. We could even claim to be among the best at creating sparkling wine.

What about normal red and normal white though? We're not as famed for that yet, but we’ve found a company to rival the French, Spanish and Portuguese – they're the Redhill Farm Estate.

Henry Boorman came to walk us through their story and explain how they're the only vineyard in the country to produce more red than white wine. We had a bit of a taste too…obviously.

Another string to Redhill Estate’s bow is their sustainability. Their wines have a unique cork made from sugar cane waste and they don’t have a plastic capsule on the bottle. Their sustainability angle is thanks in no small part to Paul Foulkes-Arellano. Paul works for the design consultancy company, Precipice, and they're working with a whole host of manufacturers in the hope of ridding plastic from the planet.

Wine – good. Sustainability – good. Anti-plastic – good. This week’s FoodTalk episode – good!

Love is in the air

Love is in the air

February 14, 2019

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.

Cook books - the good, the bad and the ugly

Cook books - the good, the bad and the ugly

February 7, 2019

Ollie Lloyd has a new ritual of dancing along to the catchy FoodTalk theme tune as we begin our recording. It's just too much for Sue, who thinks it's the worst example of ‘dad dancing’ ever seen, but we’ll let him off because we’ve got another great episode.

This week we're discussing our favourite cookbooks. Ollie explains his favourites and despite some fabulous examples there really are some bad ones out there too. Holly has some that are really close to her heart and Sue has a couple that no one else has ever heard of.

The cookbook topic is one of the many tangents we head down when we record these shows, but the real star this week is Catherine Conway – thanks to her amazing Unpackaged company.

We're long-term haters of single-use plastic, but we also understand that, as a consumer and retailer, it’s difficult to avoid. Unpackaged are helping clients to become ‘zero waste stores’ and on a smaller scale can supply refill systems for supermarkets, delis and farm shops.

Will we be going back to the days of taking along our own tubs, jars and bottles to be filled at our nearest food shop? And if so, how are the retailers going to cope? Don't even mention health and safety.

Baby, it’s cold outside

Baby, it’s cold outside

January 31, 2019

We’ve done it again…January is just about out of the way so we can get back to eating sweet things now. Creamy ice cream and dark dark chocolate.

It’s absolutely freezing outside, snow has covered most of Scotland and so we should have invited somebody who makes stew, hot chocolate or something like that…but Coconuts Naturally are producing such damn good ice cream that we just had to invite Cecily Mills into the studio. We're fighting ice with more ice.

100% organic, 100% vegan…their reputation for creamy excellence is growing too. The South West made treats are already available in Ocado and expect to see more of them as the mercury starts to rise. 

From Ice Cream to chocolate (a warning to diabetics), our other guest is producing comfort food which is just as good. We admit it's not hot although it does give a warm glow.

Oli Shorts (another Oliver in the studio) came to visit us with his amazing Seed & Bean Chocolate. They don’t specialise in just one variety; white, mild, dark, pure cacao – they are producing brilliant chocolate bars across the board.

We hope you find this podcast as sweet as we do…

Masterchef winner cooks up a storm

Masterchef winner cooks up a storm

January 24, 2019

Jane Devonshire, Masterchef winner joins Jamie Burrows of MiniCrops in the FoodTalk studio.

We didn’t check our calendars accordingly – it’s Burns Night tomorrow and we don’t have any Scottish specialities to enjoy on this episode. Before reading/listening any further, you’d best google some appropriate food.

It got us thinking though, what’s your favourite Scottish delicacy? Haggis, neeps and tatties, shortbread…whisky? They probably wouldn’t admit it, but we bet Sue, Ollie and Holly would secretly demolish a battered Mars bar.

So, we don’t have anything Scottish on this show, but we have plenty of Devonshire. Jane Devonshire to be precise. You will probably recognise the name if you’re a fan of BBC show Masterchef. She won the competition back in 2016.

You might think of Masterchef entrants as the types of people who have the application dates etched into their minds and wait by the phone for the producers to give them the green light. In fact, it was rather different for Jane, she described how her children did it all behind her back and only informed her at the last minute. Then, when producers did call, she’d forgotten all about it. Not the ideal preparation for winning, but she did it.

From TV show fame, Jane is now a champion of gluten-free cooking – something she's always done because of her son's health issues. Not only did she bring us her cookbook, she had been cooking at home for us and bought plenty of goodies made from the book. Blue Peter style. We like Jane.

We also like Jamie Burrows, but for different reasons. He's created Vertical Future. They produce MiniCrops, using agri-technology to reduce food miles and provide fresh, consistent, sustainable produce to households and restaurants. He's a food hero too.

The gold standard of food

The gold standard of food

January 17, 2019

Gordon Davidson from Morocco Gold joins Ross Forder of Halo Burger UK 

An apology…we know it’s getting to that point in January where those food and drink-related resolutions start to buckle under the pressure, and we didn’t help ‘Dry January’ participants with our boozy episode last week. We’re making amends this week though, particularly to those challenging themselves to Veganuary.

That’s right…whether it’s going fully vegan, partially vegan or just a simple pledge to cut down on meat consumption, we are offering a safe zone.

There’s not a drop of alcohol in-sight either, much to our presenting team’s displeasure.

There is, however, a drop of something quite wonderful though. Gold is something associated with being the best and Morocco Gold are certainly the best olive oil producers that we have ever come across; they even medalled in our FoodTalk Awards in 2018.

Gordon Davidson came to the studio to educate us all about the UK’s favourite cooking oil. Some of the learning was frightful, especially hearing about some of the cheaper brands you pick-up from the supermarkets. Looking for the best? It has to be Morocco Gold’s superior quality, single estate, extra virgin olive oil from olives grown and pressed in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Case closed. 

From North Africa, our next guest is producing something just as lovely but a little bit closer to home. Camden’s street-food offerings have paved the way for similar foodie hubs to thrive and Pop Brixton is now one of the most popular foodie destinations in the capital.

Out of the vibrantly-decorated former storage containers, some great food is being cooked-up – none better so than Ross Forder’s Halo Burger unit. They boast the accolade of being the “world’s first” fast-food burger joint dedicated to serving only the “bleeding” vegan Beyond Burger. We strongly urge you to visit.

Breaking the new year booze ban

Breaking the new year booze ban

January 9, 2019

Jane Peyton teaches us about the School of Booze and Mardi Roberts raises a glass to Ridgeview Wine Estate

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.

Foodies thinking forward

Foodies thinking forward

January 3, 2019

Asma Khan, founder of Darjeeling Express, joins us to discuss her story and foodie trends of 2019

Chocolate? Expiring Turkey trimmings? Cheese? Crisps? What’s filling up the bins outside your property as we head into a brand new year with bleary eyes and a sincere fear of going to work?

Don’t worry, we know that January is a horrible month and we want to make things a bit easier for you. Alas, we have the first FoodTalk podcast of 2019 here which is live and ready to be downloaded.

For this one, we are looking into our crystal ball and trying to gauge what foodie trends will sweep the nation in 2019. There are a few surprising shouts from Ollie Lloyd, our presenter with the crucial Great British Chefs stats, so make sure you note his comments and set an alarm for December to see if they come off.

It’s not that we didn’t value the views of our regular team of Sue, Ollie and Holly, but we did want some fresh perspective on it all too. So to help us we were delighted to welcome Asma Khan into the studio. As well as looking at predicted foodie trends, she told us her incredible story.

Due to feature in Netflix’s ‘Chefs Table’ soon, Asma is earning huge plaudits in the cooking world thanks to her amazing Asian cooking skills. If you’ve ever visited the hugely popular Darjeeling Express in Soho’s Kingly Court, you’ll know what we mean.

There’s so much more to Asma than her cooking though…click play on this episode to see how her roots make this story even more unlikely.

 

FoodTalk 2018 - the best bits

FoodTalk 2018 - the best bits

December 27, 2018

Well, well, well…what a year 2018 has been.

Brexit has gone bonkers, the Prime Minister is under the cosh, a couple got married and are now expecting a child, football nearly came home and we sizzled in summer as the mercury rose above the levels of Spain. Have we missed anything?

It has also been an incredibly yummy year too. We have had an awful amount of with The FoodTalk Show in partnership with Great British Chefs and, recently, the Speciality Magazine.

We met new and interesting guests every week and we are putting the cherry atop our year by presenting some of our favourite moments from the past 12 months.

Fatbergs, seaweed, cow auctions, sweetie horror stories, stinky cheese, and weedkilling…just some of the many things that standout. We hope you enjoy this special episode and be rest assured that we are working on some new and great material for 2019.

Like these snippets and want more? Below is a list of the guests in order of their appearance with links to their full interviews.

 

  1. Tessa Stuart
  2. Dr Seaweed
  3. Rubies in the Rubble
  4. Rootwave
  5. The Jealous Life
  6. Neil Nugent – Iceland Foods
  7. Hilltop Honey
  8. Growing Underground
  9. FOGcheck
  10. Feltham’s Farm
  11. Cawston Press
  12. Brewers Association
  13. Keelham Farm
The story of William Chase

The story of William Chase

December 20, 2018

Catch our interview with William Chase, the man behind Tyrrells and Chase Distillery

Fancy an early Christmas present? Go on then…don’t tell anybody – it’s probably bad luck if you believe all that stuff.

We’ve got a very special interview to get you in the Christmas spirit nice and early. One of the perks of the job for Sue is that she gets to travel around the country meeting some fabulous foodies who all have a great story to tell.

However, with that being said, the stories probably don’t come too much more interesting than William Chase’s. You will have heard of Tyrells crisps and you might have tasted something boozy from the Chase Distillery, but have you ever wondered how one person could build those brands?

Craziness, brilliance, hard-work? As Sue found out, it was a little bit of everything. She caught up with him at the fabulous Bread and Jam Festival for foodies recently. William was on-stage at the founders festival to receive a bit of a grilling from our presenter so we captured it for FoodTalk as it’s too good to miss. It’s an amazing story which encompasses the many lows and highs of the food industry.

Make sure you listen to this podcast, but you can also find out info on William here. Tickets are available for the Bread & Jam Festival in 2019; it’s a wonderful event that shouldn’t be missed, find more information here.

From Iceland with sweet treats

From Iceland with sweet treats

December 13, 2018

We chat with Imran Meza from The Jealous Life and Neil Nugent of Iceland Foods.

Can we just ban any talk of Brexit now? It’s really dampening the festive spirit – we want to see The Grinch, Elf or A Miracle on 34th Street splashed across our screens, not the dour and dreary crew who work in those grandeur buildings of Westminster. 

To be fair, it’s a topic that stirs up some anger from our presenters. However, with two weeks until the guy in the red suit comes along, Sue, Ollie and Holly have promised to rein it in. 

If they go on about it too much, there won’t be any sweeties in their stockings on December 25th. We kept a secret stash back from Imran Meza and his amazing Jealous Sweets.

This may surprise you to know, but the majority of big brand sweets are actually far from being vegan-friendly, which seems crazy but it’s all to do with the gelatine used. The Jealous Life are here to satisfy vegans with a sweet tooth now though. Their amazing tasting range is also free from a lot of traditional nasties and is generally just perfect!

As a kid, you’re always told not to have too many sweets before dinner as it will ruin your appetite. Luckily, we caught up with Neil Nugent of Iceland Foods before we raided the sweets.

Here’s a fun stat for you…Neil is thought to be responsible for feeding around 50% of the nation at one time or another. He is currently the head of product development at the frozen food specialists but has held similar roles with other major supermarkets in his career too.

The world of supermarket food is always a contentious topic with our presenting team and Neil fielded some tough questions but provided some fantastic responses which really help you understand the challenges that the big shops face.

 

Foodie adventures: from Cambridge to Japan

Foodie adventures: from Cambridge to Japan

December 6, 2018

Andrew Chesters from Tazaki Foods and Ben Aveling of Radmore Farm Shops are today's guests

Honesty hour…the noise of cardboard being popped and cracked filled the living rooms of homes across the UK on Saturday to mark the start of the advent period but, hands-up, who has eaten a little more than their fair share of windows so far? Shame on you.

We do get it though. When you have something marked in your calendar for ages and ages, you just want it to happen already – how do you think we cope with patiently waiting for the FoodTalk podcast to be released every Thursday at 4pm?

It could be worse though, you could have an alcohol-filled calendar just like Sue, Ollie and Holly – they really know the feeling of being merry around the Christmas period, even if they claim it’s due to the excitement of this week’s guests.

Our starter has a distinctly Japanese feel to it. It’s a type of cuisine that continues to gain popularity in this country quicker than Usain Bolt on a 100m track – thanks in large part to companies like Tazaki Foods, who are making it more accessible to every day home cooks. They launched the Yutaka brand, which you’ll definitely recognise from the supermarket aisles – Andrew Chesters walks us through their story.  Sushi, anybody?

From one food that originates in Japan, our other guest is an advocate for food a little closer to home. Ben Aveling runs the fantastic Radmore Farm Shop. Their ethos is simple but brilliant; local produce, no mess, no fuss, great taste – happy food. Along with his wife, Ben runs a butchery and bakery – there’s something for everybody.

Enjoy this podcast while munching your way through the 20s of your calendar. You can always get a new one and they’re probably reduced too.

Getting to the root of good beer

Getting to the root of good beer

November 29, 2018

Lotte Peplow joins us from the Brewing Association and Andrew Diprose talks us through RootWave

It’s party season...as offices start spilling merrily (in more than once sense of the word) into the pubs and clubs, it also marks the point where there’s no turning back on the dieting front. You won’t be this skinny again until at least the end of January when that ‘new year, new me’ regime starts to take shape. 

We fully endorse the idea of listening to this podcast with a large glass, tab or bag of something rather yummy. Neither Sue, Ollie nor Holly need to be told twice.

To be fair, our first featured product is something that you definitely cannot consume. It’s actually an amazing bit of kit, and a perfect wildcard to kick off this week’s FoodTalk podcast.

Andrew Diprose is the CEO of the fantastic RootWave. It’s the leading solution to organically kill weeds without using chemicals; obviously a fantastic tool for farmers and gardeners alike. We could tell you more techy stuff, but you can check out their video to get a proper feel for it all.

Our second guest brings us something that is very easy to drink down…beer. We’ve met lots of UK beer companies in the past, but this time we’re learning about the state of beer from over the pond.

Lotte Peplow came to us to explain the role of the Brewers Association in the USA and how they help small and independent craft brewers at a time where the beer boom shows no sign of slowing. Bottoms up!

Jubelation & fighting allergies

Jubelation & fighting allergies

November 22, 2018

This week we welcome Jesse Wilson of Jubel Beers and Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, an expert in sensitive eating

The last seven days have been completely dominated by Brexit…cabinet this, no-deal that. One imagines that being an MP at Westminster has probably never been more exciting, even if the rest of us are sick of hearing about it.

One of the rumours to come out of the whole saga is that we, the UK, could have a bit of a food crisis on our hands. Whichever side of the fence you sit though, you can only admire some of the homegrown delights that there are to enjoy. So, you know what, stuff your Brexit for one hour. We want to talk UK food. 

Sue Nelson, Ollie Lloyd and Holly Shackleton don’t need to be told twice. Our three-strong presenting team were delighted to get chatting with our two guests this week.

Our first guest is somebody who has her finger on the pulse in the world of food and food sensitivity in particular. Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, on the back of a dairy allergy diagnosis in the family, has written countless books and created 1000s of recipes for people with allergies. Most of her great work can be seen in her own online magazines, such as Foods Matter. Michelle also created the FreeFrom Awards.

Our other guest has enjoyed less time in the business but has had an amazing start and is already being stocked in the supermarkets. Jesse Wilson explained how he and his co-founder were sick of drinking the same old lagers on the market, so decided to take matters into their own hands

As a result, Jubel Beer was created. The brief…not to be like everything else on the market. Well they’ve certainly cracked that. Their two brews, Urban and Alpine, are brewed with elderflower and peach respectively – they taste amazing.

Crack open a cold one (or two) and forget about bloody Brexit!