The Food Programme

By BBC Radio 4

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Category: Food

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Subscribers: 1560
Reviews: 2
Episodes: 305

 Jan 17, 2019
The host Dan S. is so annoying, smug and injecting himself into everything instead of just reporting, but the other correspondents are great and I enjoy the breadth of subjects.

A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 9, 2018


Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

Episode Date
The Awards Return
The BBC Food and Farming Awards are back for 2023 and now is the time to get nominating. This year the judging will be lead by former Masterchef winner, and founder of the Mexican restaurant chain, Thomasina Miers. In this programme, Jaega Wise meets Thomasina at one of her London restaurants to discuss how she plans to approach judging, and she chats to Sheila Dillon about how the awards came about, and why she believes they are still so vital. This year the awards will all have a climate first theme, plus listen out for an announcement of a brand new award for 2023. You can nominate people and businesses you know and love for the BBC Food & Farming Awards, just visit where you can also find the terms and privacy notice. Nominations close 19 June at 23:59 Presented by Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
May 28, 2023
Tech, TikTok and the Future of Food Writing
Leyla Kazim examines the growing influence apps, maps and lists are having on restaurant recommendations, food writing and the way we eat. Leyla sits down for lunch with Michael O’Shea from the restaurant recommendation app Jacapo, ‘the social network for people who love food,’ to hear why he thinks apps like his have the potential to reshape the way people find new places to eat. She meets Jonathan Nunn from online magazine Vittles in Green Lanes, North London, where they discuss the rapid trajectory of lists and map-based recommendations, and what these developments mean for the changing landscape of food media in the UK. We get the thoughts of three restaurant critics on the subject: The Telegraph’s William Sitwell, The Evening Standard’s Jimi Famurewa and Elite Traveler magazine’s Andy Hayler. In Glasgow producer Robbie Armstrong meets Julie Lin at her restaurant Ga Ga, where she talks about the way apps and tech now give restaurateurs instant feedback, and why she welcomes the social media reviewer as much as the classic critic. In Edinburgh, Robbie sits down for lunch with The Times Scotland Restaurant critic Chitra Ramaswamy to hear why she welcomes the democratisation of food reviewing. She outlines why critics continue to play a crucial role, and explains the ethics behind her approach to criticism. Social media influencers mvlondonreviews discuss the blurred lines that can emerge between restaurants and social media reviewers, and the reasons they set clear boundaries before a review. Finally, The Palmerston’s James Snowdon recounts the game-changing power a restaurant critic still holds. Presented by Leyla Kazim. Produced by Robbie Armstrong.
May 21, 2023
Eating Wild
Can you eat like a hunter-gatherer in 21st Century Britain? Dan Saladino meets a group of people doing exactly that to see how their bodies change during the three-month experiment. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
May 14, 2023
Coronation 2023 – How is Food Bringing us Together?
As people around the country gather to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, Jaega Wise finds out how food is bringing communities together. Jaega joins a community lunch in Kidlington, run by the Cherwell Collective, to talk to its founder, Emily Connally, about their coronation lunch. She also asks Lucy Scott of the pay-as-you-can bakery Lil’s Parlour in Birmingham, all about why she wanted to bring her community together around food to celebrate the big day. Also in the programme, food historian, Polly Russell, discusses how food has been used to mark coronations from the 1500s to today, and chef Ken Hom talks us through the inspiration for his coronation lamb dish. Presented by Jaega Wise and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
May 07, 2023
Conversations in cafes: all hail the greasy spoon
Traditional cafes, greasy spoon cafes - have been a fixture of our highstreets for at least a century, providing sustenance for those looking for something cheap and cheerful. But for a long time, they have been in decline for a number of reasons, tough competition from chains, our changing tastes and work patterns. From the early 2000s people have been calling curtains for the cafe, but, with inflation, the cost of energy and a crisis in hospitality staffing, things are looking as bad as ever. In three meals in three different locations across the country Leyla Kazim celebrates the greasy spoon. She start with breakfast with Guardian columnist, author and fry up expert Felicity Cloake in Bournville Cafe, Birmingham. In her book "Red Sauce Brown Sauce" Felicity explores why the fry up is so important to the British psyche by traveling the country. For lunch, she chats to her dad who owned caffs when she was growing up in Kaz's Kitchen in Woowhich. They talk about how owning a cafe has changed over time. She’s in Liverpool for dinner meeting Isaac Rangaswami who runs the caffs_not_cafes instagram page in Chinese caff San's Cafe. Isaac celebrates classic cafes and inexpensive restaurants, mostly in London. There is also thoughts on the possible decline of tradespeople eating in cafes from Nick Knowles and some familiar voices tell us their all time favourite places to get a fry up: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Angela Hui, William Sitwell, Paula Mcintyre and Henry Jeffreys Presenter: Leyla Kazim Producer: Sam Grist
Apr 30, 2023
The Good Friday Food Revolution
Joris Minne, Northern Ireland's most respected food critic, takes Jaega Wise on a culinary expedition to show how the politics of peace have helped revolutionise the local food scene. He remembers how the Troubles destroyed the night time economy and forced the majority of the region's restaruants to pull down the shutters during the 1970's and 80's. He describes how the Good Friday Agreement, signed twenty five years ago this month, persuaded a group of pioneering chefs to open new restaurants, which encouraged people to start eating out again and to appreciate the value of home grown produce. Today, Belfast boasts three Michelin starred restaurants; there's a proliferation of cafes and coffee shops; many pubs pride themselves on fresh seasonal menus and there are food trucks everywhere, serving a huge variety of dishes. Joris introduces Jaega to one of those pioneering chefs, Nick Price, who opened a wine bar in a derelict part of Belfast in the early 1990s. The area has developed into the Cathedral Quarter – the centre of the city's nightlife. Jaega meets Michele Shirlow, who founded Food NI, an association which promotes local food and helps producers expand their markets. In Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland's second city, she visits the Walled City Brewery, with its own restaurant and tap room, established on the site of a former British Army base. The brewery was opened by James Huey, who moved to Dublin at the height of the Troubles but was encouraged, by the peace process, to return to his home city to open his own business. Back in Belfast, Jaega gets the opportunity to taste some artisan dishes at one of Belfast's newest food ventures, Trademarket - a pop up food and retail market, housed in shipping containers in the city centre. Joris says it's a trend driven by a new generation of young chefs and the power of social media - a sign of how much Belfast has caught up with the food culture in other parts of the United Kingdom. Finally, Jaega calls at the home of Zehara Hundito who runs a small takeway business, A Taste of Ethiopia, from her kitchen. Zehara mixes her own spices and has found a way to make injera flatbread without the traditional Ethiopian teff flour. She's planning to open her own shop and cafe - a reflection of how the peace process has led many different nationalities to choose to live and work in Northern Ireland.....and bring their food customs. Joris acknowledges that Northern Ireland shares the same economic and social problems as other regions of the United Kingdom and he accepts that the peace process is not yet complete but he's confident that the worst of times are over and that the food revolution is here to stay.
Apr 23, 2023
Weight-loss drugs
Is hacking our biology the only solution left to an unhealthy food system and bad food culture? Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Apr 16, 2023
Secret Supply Lines – Fruit & Veg Under the Radar
Sheila Dillon delves into the world of fresh produce wholesale markets – an unseen part of the food system which has provided a steady supply of fruit and veg to greengrocers, corner shops and restaurants during the recent shortages in supermarkets. Could they be game changers in building a better, more secure food system in Britain? Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Apr 09, 2023
A Pudding Celebration
Are we still a nation of pudding lovers and does pudding still matter? Join Sheila Dillon in her kitchen where she's joined by some of the UK's best pudding makers to share some of the secrets of great pudding, and why they matter to them. Olia Hercules makes a pudding from her childhood in Ukraine, a cheesecake made from the "cheese of all cheeses"; Regula Ysewijn bakes an early version of a Bakewell Pudding using apricot kernels and sweetmeats; Melissa Thompson brings Jamaican nostalgia into her own pudding invention, Guinness Punch Pie; Jeremy Lee cooks his Granny's Steamed Treacle Dumpling and chef Anna Higham who's book "The Last Bite" is a celebration of seasonal fruit puddings, makes a rice pudding with a rhubarb compote. So what it is about pudding that delights people so much? And why don't we eat them as much as we once did? Sheila speaks to food historian, Ivan Day, who has spent a lifetime researching and recreating puddings from the past, to see what he makes of our relationship with them now. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Apr 02, 2023
Glasgow: Seeking Asylum and Finding Refuge in Food
Leyla Kazim and producer Robbie Armstrong explore the central role of food in building community, shaping identity and providing culturally appropriate spaces for refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow, resettled in the city as part of the UK Government’s asylum dispersal policy. Leyla speaks to Selina Hales, founder of charity Refuweegee, which distributes welcome packs and emergency food parcels, runs community meals and organises events for people starting a new life in Glasgow. Teresa Piacentini of the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum & Migration Network outlines how the dispersal system works, the changing landscape in Glasgow, and how food is used to establish community, identity and belonging for those seeking refuge or making a new home in Scotland. Ibrahim Kamara and Arij Alnajjar take Leyla out for lunch, where they discuss their experience in the asylum system, and how crucial food has been in helping them reclaim their identity and share their culture and cuisine with friends in a foreign country. Producer Robbie Armstrong visits the Garnethill Multicultural Centre to meet development worker Vivien Opiolka. He attends their community meal, and hears from service users about the importance of shared meals for those in the asylum system. Robbie shows Leyla around his neighbourhood of Govanhill, Scotland’s most multicultural area, and talks about its diverse array of cuisines, restaurants and affordable supermarkets. We hear from councillor Roza Salih, herself a Kurdish refugee and member of the legendary activist group the Glasgow Girls. She visits Kurdish kebab takeaway Shawarma King to toast owner Majed Badrekhan on his takeaway being crowned ‘best kebab in Scotland’ two years in a row. Closer to home, Leyla visits the Cyprus House restaurant in the Turkish Cypriot Cultural Association in Green Lanes, North London, where she reflects on her Cypriot heritage, her dad’s escape from war-torn Cyprus, and why food is a central part of her identity. Presented by Leyla Kazim. Produced by Robbie Armstrong.
Mar 26, 2023
Hospital Food: Agents of Change?
Hospital food has long had a bad reputation, but after several high profile campaigns, are things finally starting to improve? In England, new regulations are being implemented which are hoped to transform the meals being served, reduce waste, and make sure staff have access to good food 24/7. 60% of hospitals are already said to be complying - will the rest be able to catch up? But with many hospitals now functioning without real kitchens - can frozen or chilled meals that are simply re-heated in hospital be a part of that? Apetito, one of the biggest caterers, believes they can be, and invited Sheila Dillon to see how they prepare tasty and nutritious food in bulk. While in Cambridge, Sheila meets those working on a brand new Children's Hospital and hears how they want good food to be central to the hospital's philosophy. It plans to give patients and their families access to more dining spaces to avoid children eating meals in bed (when possible), and it plans to have it's own kitchens cooking food from scratch. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Mar 19, 2023
A Food Rethink: Lessons from a Food Shortage
From energy to seasonality, Dan Saladino explores the big ideas prompted by the recent shortage of fresh produce in supermarkets. Is the now time for a major food rethink? Produced and presented by Dan Saladino
Mar 12, 2023
Halloumi and hellim: The story of an island and its cheese
Halloumi, or hellim as its known by Turkish Cypriots, is now ubiquitous in our supermarkets, fast food chains and on restaurant menus. We import almost 50 per cent of the cheese produced in Cyprus. But its significance on the divided island from where it hails is bigger than you might imagine, and never more so than right now. In 2021, halloumi gained PDO status which means that any cheese labelled as halloumi within the EU has to be made on the Mediterranean island to a traditional recipe. And as Leyla Kazim finds, the dairy industry is having to adapt fast. But halloumi is more than just an export. On a divided island (there has been a border maintained by the UN since 1964), halloumi (Greek) or hellim (Turkish) is produced by both sides, and has been for millennia. In this programme Leyla travels to Cyprus to meet the people producing hellim and halloumi, to hear about its present and gauge it's future. She’ll watch it being made at scale in factories and in kitchens. She’ll meet dairy farmers and question the officials behind the new PDO status. And most importantly, she’ll taste a lot of halloumi. Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Mar 05, 2023
One Armed Chef: The Food Adventures of Giles Duley.
The story of how a photojournalist severely injured in a war zone reinvented himself through cooking. Giles Duley is now using food to transform conflict zones around the world. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Feb 26, 2023
Delia Country: How Delia Smith changed food in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Sheila Dillon is on a trip through 'Delia Country'; Norwich, Norfolk and mid-Suffolk. An area with a rich agricultural past and a vibrant food present, and the place where Delia Smith has lived and worked for more than 50 years. In that time, she has championed local food traditions and food producers, and the broad variety of food and drink made in East Anglia has shaped her recipes. Delia Smith invites Sheila to join her to watch Norwich City's first home game under their new manager. At Carrow Road football club, where Delia and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones are majority shareholders, Sheila meets Delia's Canary Catering team which every match day, serve 1250 sit down meals. She joins fans by the bar at half time and Delia in the Director's dining room. In Norwich city centre, Sheila meets chef and food blogger Zena Leech-Calton and in the Waveney valley, farmer and cheesemaker Jonny Crickmore. They describe the quiet food revolution which has happened in Norfolk and Suffolk. And Suffolk fisherman and restaurateur Bill Pinney and Essex turkey farmer Derek Kelly dwell on earlier encounters with Delia. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury. Photo by Robert Wilson.
Feb 19, 2023
Low Energy Cookers: Fad or For Life?
Sales of air fryers, pressure cookers, slow cookers and even microwaves have been increasing over the past year, and it is not hard to understand why. All these gadgets save energy, which has undoubtedly become more important since energy prices shot up. But can using them do more for us than just save money? In this programme, Sheila Dillon meets people who are obsessed with air fryers, pressure cookers and slow cookers. She hears from Belfast's Nathan Anthony about how his social media account "Bored of Lunch" has propelled his slow cooker recipe book to the top of the charts, and she speaks to Bristol's Square Food Foundation to find out why they are considering introducing pressure cookers on their courses. And could the devices help outside the home too? Hospitality businesses are under pressure with rising costs, and customers with increasingly tighter budgets. In Somerset, chef and restaurateur, Nicholas Balfe tests out some low energy appliances to see if they could make any difference in the professional kitchen. Are you now using a low energy cooker again, for the first time, or more than before? Tell us about what difference it's been making on social media. We are @BBCFoodProg on social media, or email Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Feb 12, 2023
Pierre Koffmann: A Life Through Food
Born and raised in Gascony but celebrated as a chef for his cooking in London, Pierre Koffmann shares his food story, from summers spent on a farm to the heat of the kitchen. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Feb 06, 2023
Brexit and Food: How is it working out?
Three years after the UK left the EU, and two years after the end of the transition period, Jaega Wise speaks to some UK food producers about if and how Brexit is still affecting their businesses. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed with the EU allows UK businesses tariff-free trade with the EU, but as some quickly discovered at the end of January 2021, "third country" trading rules must be followed. For most in the food sector that has meant more paperwork, having food checked by vets, and longer waits at ports. Jaega Wise speaks to small, medium and large business owners to find out about the ongoing impact, she hears how cocoa beans and cardboard boxes are being stockpiled in a railway arch, how growers in the Lea Valley are fighting for staff, and how a single test for water quality could shut down exports for weeks. The programme also hears from Professor of Economics at Bristol University Richard Davies, who explains how he has calculated the additional cost Brexit has added to all our food bills, and why he does not think the added costs are likely to come down. Plus we hear how Northern Irish producers are still being affected by the Protocol. Despite all this, the Food and Drink Federation says trade is almost back to where it was before Brexit, but there are still many challenges that are impacting confidence in the industry. Presented by Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Jan 29, 2023
The Wild West of Whisky: From Cask Investments to Dram Scams
Whisky has long been associated with money and wealth, but in recent years prices of rare casks and limited bottlings have soared. A cask of Islay whisky sold for a record-breaking £16 million last year, and the number of cask investment companies is growing, with many of them promising investors big profits and the chance to own their very own cask of Scotch whisky. Behind the headlines and dollar signs, some industry experts are concerned at the practices of certain companies, worried that their promised returns are unrealistic and questioning their legality to trade in some cases. We hear from whisky consultant and broker Blair Bowman about why he feels many companies are “flying way too close to the sun”. Jaega Wise speaks to Pete Allison from new Edinburgh whisky blender Woven about the rapid rise in cask prices, the impact it’s having on his business, and why he feels the bubble is destined to burst eventually. Producer Robbie Armstrong meets Jennifer Rose, presenter of the Whisky Sisters podcast, to hear about her experience purchasing a cask of whisky. Jaega also visits Holyrood Distillery to learn about their cask programme, which allows whisky aficionados to build a strong relationship with them as their whisky matures, and why they are clear that buying one of their casks is not an investment opportunity. We also speak to Glenfarclas about a high profile £150,000 robbery at their distillery last year, while auction director Isabel Graham-Yooll gives her tips on spotting counterfeit whisky. Finally, whisky broker Mark Littler shares his tips on the key things to look out for when buying a cask of whisky. Presented by Jaega Wise. Produced by Robbie Armstrong.
Jan 22, 2023
Fixing Dan
Like so many of us, Dan Saladino knows he needs to be in better shape, but why do his attempts to make a change keep failing? There's one important question he needs to resolve, when it comes to diet, are his family helping or hindering his eating habits? In his search for better health in 2023, Dan is joined by Dr Michael Mosley, inventor of the 5:2 diet, keto coach Panagiotis Kottas and the Whitingtons, the family behind the television documentary "Fixing Dad" in which two sons stepped in to save their father from a steep decline after a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jan 15, 2023
Shellfish: A Very British Image Crisis
When was the last time you tucked into cockle pie? Or stirred clams into a sumptuous pasta or stew? These bivalves are plentiful all around the UK coastline, tied up with the diets and fortunes of coastal communities for millennia. Many species can be efficiently farmed at minimal cost to the environment. Their nutritional value stacks up against mussels and oysters. And yet our desire for these 'uglier' shellfish is at risk of disappearing. In this programme we meet chefs, fishermen and food thinkers trying to change that. One of Wales’s best chefs Nathan Davies put Welsh razor clams on his heat winning fish course on BBC Two's Great British Menu. Fisherman Tom Flatt who thinks there's a sustainable fishing future in hand dived shellfish. Cambridge scientist David Willer whose research could lead to environmentally sound shellfish farms that fight malnutrition across the world. Welsh food writer and thinker Carwyn Graves wants us to dwell on food traditions from the past in order to make our own in the future, and so we hear from people living in the Welsh village of Penclawdd, where cockles have been part of residents' lives for as far back as they can remember. The problem they all face is the same; How to convince the UK to see past their ugly exterior and put shellfish back on the table. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Jan 08, 2023
Hangovers: a guide to the morning after
For many, drinking is part of our national identity but the immediate after effects of alcohol, it turns out, are an under investigated part of the experience. This week Jaega Wise looks hangovers from all angles. from science, history and culture. She talks to Dr Sally Adams Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Birmingham about what a hangover does to our bodies and minds. Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall is a writer who for his book Hungover: A History of the Morning After and One Man's Quest for a Cure subjected himself to serious self-experiment in search of a cure. Jaega talks to him about his decade of drinking and investigation into the history of the hangover. She also meets Prof David Nutt for a drink. Previously the Government’s chief drug advisor, he is now trying to create a replacement to alcohol that will create a pleasant effect without issues the next day. There are also suggestions for hangover cures from: Sam Evans, Wynne Evans, Noddy Holder, Ash Sarkar, Fred Sirieix, Michel Roux Jr., Russell Kane, Maisie Adam, Ania Magliano, Marlon Davis, Adam Flemming
Jan 01, 2023
Food, Philosophy & Football: Christmas with Delia Smith
In food, there are household names. And then, there is Delia Smith. So synonymous is she with cooking that her first name was included in the Collins English Dictionary in 2001. For four decades, her TV cookery programmes were primetime viewing, and when they ceased in 2013, she moved her cooking lessons online. She has sold more than 21 million copies of her recipe books. Her seasonal recipes were so popular that supermarkets would run out of ingredients when she cooked with them. - Notably cranberries in 1995. So influential were her books and broadcasts that Queen Elizabeth II made Delia Smith a Companion of Honour. At Christmas, Sheila Dillon invites Delia, now 81, into her kitchen to reflect on her long career in food and cooking, but also to talk also about other passions. Her lifelong interest in spirituality and philosophy as reflected in her 2022 book, 'You Matter', politics, and football, and her dedicated work to make Norwich City Football Club a food destination. Jamie Oliver and Angela Hartnett tell Sheila about the legacy Delia has left on their own careers in food. Cooking teacher Angela Holding bakes Delia's sticky toffee pudding and talks about the legacy Delia's books have had on aspiring cooks everywhere. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio West & Wales.
Dec 25, 2022
The Forgotten Foods of Christmas
Dan Saladino and food historian Ivan Day rediscover lost flavours from Christmas past with a feast that features chestnuts from an Italian forest, a cheese from the Yorkshire Dales and a once revered meat sourced from the Cumbrian fells. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Dec 18, 2022
The Food Books of 2022
Sheila Dillon and guests come together at Cherry Tree Library in Blackburn to discuss this year's best food books. From recipes and biographies, to food history and policy - there are choices for everyone to put on their Christmas lists, or.. check out from the library! Cherry Tree in Blackburn like most libraries has a wealth of food books to delve into, but unlike most libraries it also has its own honey producing beehives. Local comedian and author Tez Ilyas pops in to see what books he might like to help on his next venture of learning how to cook. While Jamie Oliver, Asma Khan, Tim Spector and many others who have featured during this year's programmes tell us what have been their food books of the year. If you would like to recommend a food or drink book - join the conversation on social media. We are @BBCFoodProg on Instagram and Twitter. And a copy of all the books mentioned has been donated to the library in Cherry Tree. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Dec 11, 2022
Nutrition's Dark Matter: The New Science of Eating
This year's winner of the Derek Cooper Lifetime Achievement award, scientist Professor Tim Spector explains the latest research into what, how and when we should be eating, from the power of polyphenols to the mysteries of our gut microbiomes. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Dec 05, 2022
Fred Sirieix: A Life Through Food
Fred Sirieix, the French maître d’ joins Jaega Wise to share his ‘Life Through Food’ and passion for hospitality. It’s been a decade since Fred started to appear on television, and he’s best known for being the Front of House on the long-running Channel 4 series First Dates. But before that, Fred had reached the top of his profession working in some of London’s most prestigious restaurants, and has been flying the flag for Front of House roles since he left catering college. Fred has presented and co-hosted many programmes, including Million Pound Menu, Remarkable Places to Eat, Michel Roux’s Service and Gordon, Gino and Fred: Road Trip. In a world full of celebrity chefs, Fred has become Britain’s only famous maître d’, and his role on television is helping to raise the profile of Front of House jobs. In this programme, Fred takes us back to his upbringing and training which installed his passion for hospitality. He discusses why he thinks Front of House roles are perceived differently in the UK compared to France, and tells Jaega more about the art of hospitality which is essential to the success of any restaurant business. Jaega also speaks to Fred’s friend and former boss, chef Michel Roux Jr, and we hear about Fred's quest to demystify wine. Presented by Jaega Wise and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Nov 27, 2022
BBC Food and Farming Awards 2022: Second Course
The winners of the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2022 are announced at a ceremony at the National Museum Cardiff. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Nov 20, 2022
BBC Food and Farming Awards 2022: First Course
The winners of the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2022 are announced at a ceremony at the National Museum Cardiff. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Nov 13, 2022
Avoiding the Avocado?
There's a growing anxiety around avocados. With more awareness of their impact on the countries where they are grown, some chefs have been reducing their presence on menus. Are worries about their sustainability well-founded? Why do we focus so much on avocados and could we replace this contentious fruit with something else? Leyla Kazim meets chef Adriana Cavita at her new Mexican restaurant to talk about growing up with Avocados and how she has tackled the issue of their sustainability. Leyla talks to food systems expert and the writer of a forthcoming book on avocados Honor Eldridge about the issues in the production of avocados in the Global South. She also gets a mini tour of avocado trees growing in London from garden designer and tropical plant fan Rob Stacewicz. Political commentator Ash Sarkar talks to Leyla about avocado's status as a meme in our public discourse. Wahaca owner and chef Thomasina Miers makes an alternative for Leyla to try. Presented by Leyla Kazim and produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Sam Grist
Nov 06, 2022
Best Food Producer: Meet the Finalists of 2022
Sheila Dillon and chef Michael Caines meet the three Best Food Producer finalists of 2022, a community farm in Sussex, a business making cultured butter, and processor of wild Scottish venison. Ardgay Game is a family run business which sources the highest quality wild venison from the Highland estates of Scotland. Their team of expert butchers turn this source of sustainable wild meat into a premium product which is exported all over the world. The Edinburgh Butter Co produce cultured butter made with traditional methods to create deep, rich flavours. Nick and Hilary Sinclair started the business from scratch in 2018 out of the desire to make delicious butter made from locally sourced cream, and now their products are used in hospitality, catering and deli shops as well as by artisanal bakers. Tablehurst Farm is a 500 acre community farm and social enterprise founded in the mid-1990s. They produce their own meat, poultry, vegetables, raw milk and arable crops to biodynamic and organic standards. At the core of their ethos is to involve the community at Tablehurst, inspiring others to farm and think about how food is produced. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Oct 30, 2022
Wine in a Changing Climate
As rising temperatures supercharge the UK wine industry, Jaega Wise finds out what this means for winegrowing at home and abroad, and the mixed blessing climate change presents. She finds out how winegrowers, viticultural scientists and wine trade experts feel about the double-edged sword of climate change, and what the future might look like for the industry both in the UK and further afield. In Sussex, we hear from winemaking duo Dermot Sugrue and Ana Dogic about their estate Sugrue South Downs, and how warmer temperatures have improved the ripening capacity of the grapes used to make their award-winning sparkling wines – putting them on a par with Champagne according to some. Wine critic Jancis Robinson has tasted the benefits of climate change on English and Welsh wine over the course of her career, and believes parts of England now have the climate to produce excellent red wines too. Noble Rot’s Dan Keeling, meanwhile, explains why he’s excited for the future of UK sparkling wine, and why some producers now stand their ground next to world-class Champagnes in blind tastings. Viticulture climatologist Dr Alistair Nesbitt shares the findings of a recent study looking at the next two decades of wine production in the UK. He believes we will begin to see more and more UK still white and red wine on shelves in years to come, and argues that sustainable winemaking plays a crucial role in the industry’s response to climate change. Producer Robbie Armstrong heads to Bordeaux to find out how one of the world’s largest and most famed wine regions is adapting, following a year that saw extreme drought, wildfires and the use of irrigation for the first time in decades. He speaks to a leading researcher at the Institute of Vine and Wine Science about their experimental vineyard, and a winemaker planting grape varieties that are better adapted to rising temperatures. Presented by Jaega Wise. Produced by Robbie Armstrong.
Oct 23, 2022
The Food Innovators
Dan Saladino explore three big ideas that are set to influence the future of food and farming: the reinvention of wheat, supplies of wild meat into hospital kitchens and 'taste education' for children. Each one is a contender in this year's BBC Food and Farming Awards, in the innovation category. Dan heads into a forest to see how the cull of a growing deer population is resulting in better hospital food. He visits a team of crop scientists who are taking wheat back in time and through its evolutionary history to create greater diversity and resilience. And inside a classroom he hears how the charity TasteEd is transforming the relationship children have with food and flavours. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Oct 16, 2022
So You Want to Be a Bartender?
Welcome to the world of cocktails and the people who make them. As Jaega Wise discovers in this programme, it's a world of extremes. On one hand, in the past decade, bartending has become a respectable, profitable career for some. International awards and competitions have thrust people like Monica Berg of London bar Tayēr + Elementary, and Max Hayward of Cardiff's Lab 22 into the media spotlight. But the other side is darker. Zero hours contracts, long hours, bullying and harassment. And a hospitality industry which is stretched like never before. In this programme, Jaega Wise speaks to bartenders, business owners and writers to make sense of where the professional bartending world is, and where it's heading. Presented by Jaega Wise. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Oct 09, 2022
Cost of Living Crisis: Food Donations
As energy bills rise to their new capped level at the start of October, Leyla Kazim shares some inspiring stories of giving that she has heard while on the road with the BBC Food and Farming Awards. Judging is currently underway for the Awards, which will be held for the first time this year in Wales. Given the financial situation the UK is in, with food inflation at its highest rate since 2008, perhaps it's no surprise that many of this years finalists are involved with getting food to people who are finding it harder to afford what they need. From pay what you feel shops, to allotments providing food banks with fresh veg, and cooking for the community, in the face of increasing need, and straight after dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic, our finalists keep stepping forward to support those around them. Organisations and individuals featured include: EMS Ltd in Hull, Big Bocs Bwyd in Barry, Mrs Mair Bowen from Kilgetty (Pembrokeshire), Mr Alun Roberts (Caernarfon). Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Oct 02, 2022
Hospital food - a turning point?
The quality of hospital food around the country remains a very mixed picture, despite various initiatives over the last decades. But now there is real optimism around a major Independent Review of NHS Hospital Food in England, published in 2020. Sheila Dillon looks at the barriers that have been holding back progress, and talks to Prue Leith, an Independent Advisor for the review, about the latest on progress with carrying through its recommendations. Sheila meets catering teams at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, and the Royal Blackburn Teaching hospital, both part of a group of pioneering ‘exemplar’ NHS Trusts that are doing things differently with hospital meals, to find out how they’re building a model that others can follow. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Sep 25, 2022
Cooperation: the solution to a food crisis?
The co-op that's saving land, a food culture and villages at risk of being abandoned. In Benevento, Italy, Lentamente is also giving former convicts a future through farms and food. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Sep 18, 2022
The Hairy Bikers: Full Throttle Food
Thirty years ago, Dave Myers, a specialist prosthetic make-up artist walked into a pub in Newcastle after scoring a job on a Catherine Cookson TV drama. Beyond the throng of TV crew sipping their white wine spritzers, he spotted the then assistant producer Si King, eating the pub's curry of the day at the pool table. He walked over, introduced himself and said to the landlord, "I'll have what he's having." That was the moment one of the UK's most popular TV double acts was born. The Hairy Bikers' food travelogues, diet and campaigning programmes have been on our screens for more than two decades, and in that time Si and Dave have written 26 books. Self-proclaimed home cooks, their cheerful presenting style and on-screen banter have won them awards and scores of fans around the UK and the world. In this programme Leyla Kazim asks Si and Dave how food and cooking have shaped their lives on and off screen, she hears the secrets to their enduring success, and hears from Stuart Heritage, TV critic for The Guardian, on why they still have much more road to travel together. Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Sep 11, 2022
A Very British Restaurant Revolution – Jeremy Lee and the joy of ingredients that sing
Sheila Dillon hears the story of one of the most loved and admired chefs in the business, Jeremy Lee, and celebrates the joy of his simple ingredient-led cooking. As chef proprietor at Quo Vadis in London’s Soho, and previously at the Blueprint Café, Jeremy Lee has been creating ever-changing regional, seasonal and historically inspired British cuisine. He learned in the kitchens of some of the key creators of what’s often called the Modern British Cooking movement, the qualities of which he has made distinctively his own. He chats to Sheila Dillon about the influences which have shaped his cooking, from growing up in a food-loving family in 1970s Dundee to the joy of shopping for the very best seasonal produce. Sheila hears about his reverence for his growers and suppliers, how he is inspiring a new generation of chefs, and of course, tastes his famous smoked eel sandwich. Featuring chefs Simon Hopkinson and Charlie Hibbert, food writer Rachel Roddy, and Frances Smith of Appledore Salads. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Sep 04, 2022
Cost of Living Crisis: The Food Factor
The latest calculations from economists point to an inflation rate for average shopping baskets of just under 12 per cent, but as Dan Saladino hears from has been retailers, analysts and supermarket customers, everyone is expecting that that figure to increase by the time winter arrives. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Aug 30, 2022
Feeding the Circus
Meet the chef who ran away with the circus. Ols Halas is one of the longest-serving cast members at much-loved Gifford's Circus. As well as being head chef in Gifford's travelling restaurant 'Circus Sauce', he also drives the lorries, helps put up the big top, he's even performed. He lives and breathes the circus life. Sheila Dillon meets Ols on tour in Gloucestershire on an August morning as the circus pulls into town. She hears stories from the travelling restaurant kitchen, as well as food stories from the dozens of caravans and wagons where the circus cast spend their summer months. And she hears how food has always been a pivotal part of circus life. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury. Photo: David Loftus.
Aug 21, 2022
Fried Chicken: a story of race and identity
Since the American Civil War to the present day, fried chicken has been used to create negative stereotypes of black people. These stereotypes and this history has seeped into today’s consciousness which has established a complicated relationship between chef and author Melissa Thompson and the food item. It’s a relationship which she wrote about and she joins Jaega Wise to explore her feelings and attitudes towards this fried dish. Food historian Adrian Miller looks at the presence of fried chicken on the plantation fields in the Deep South and explains how the racial connotations of fried chicken and black people materialised in America. We hear from Dr Kehinde Andrews who details the importance of having shared collective experiences of food and culture within communities. Dr Andrews explains how this experience strengthens the connection amongst people when faced in situations of being ‘othered’. Melissa pairs up Maureen Tyne at her Caribbean food establishment in Brixton, South London. Maureen shows Melissa how she makes her special recipe for fried chicken and shares her love for the meal. Presenters: Jaega Wise and Melissa Thompson Produced by Candace Wilson
Aug 14, 2022
Reformulation – a fix for the obesity crisis?
In the UK poor diet is a worrying public health issue, and we rank one of the worst in Europe for levels of obesity, particularly among children. Reformulating the most unhealthy foods to reduce sugar, salt and fat is the food industry’s main strategy to turn things around, and this is echoed by the government. Reformulation has been going on for decades, and there has been some real progress recently, for example reducing sugar in soft drinks and some breakfast cereals. However, overall there is much work still to be done and government sugar reduction targets are way-off being met according to recent figures. The focus on reformulation has always been on reducing the level of ‘bad’ nutrients in food. Now the concept of ‘ultra-processed’ food is calling that strategy into question. It defines food on the level of processing rather than on nutrients – if a product includes ingredients you wouldn’t find in your kitchen and was made in a factory, then it’s probably ultra-processed. UPF food makes up half of the average diet in the UK, and there is growing evidence to show that it’s very likely driving the rise in diet-related diseases, and the global obesity epidemic. So when it comes to nutrients, what are the technical challenges for reformulating our food, and how far can this approach go in improving the quality of ultra-processed food? And if the problem really lies with processing rather than nutrients, do we need a different approach entirely? Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Aug 07, 2022
Protein: power in powder?
Protein supplements have been around for a long time but recently it feels like they made the jump from a niche product for gym enthusiasts to something much more mainstream. We are seeing protein being added to all kinds of food products for example, from chocolate bars to cereal. Jaega Wise wants to find out more about these products. Do we need them? What are they made of? How much protein should we be eating? Jaega visits Balance festival in East London to observe how protein is taking over the wellness scene. She also talks to her partner Will who has been drinking protein shakes. She visits a factory where they make Form Protein – a more upmarket, vegan supplement. We hear from Professor Stuart Phillips on the effectiveness of protein supplements and Dietitian Dr Linia Patel on the Refence Nutrient Intake – the amount of protein we are recommended to have every day. Presenter: Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan and Sam Grist
Jul 31, 2022
Sandor Katz: Fermentation Journeys
Dan Saladino talks with Sandor Katz about the diversity of fermentation around the world. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jul 24, 2022
Michael Caines: A Life Through Food
The award winning and inspirational chef tells his food story to Dan Saladino. One of his mentors, Raymond Blanc, explains why Michael is one of the best chefs of his generation. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jul 17, 2022
Mindful Food and the Art of Attention
In a world where our attention spans are getting shorter, where we are rewarded not for the attention we pay to others but the attention we receive – is it time we re-evaluated the value of attentive growing and farming, and mindful eating? Could paying attention, as cheesemonger and podcast host Sam Wilkin argues, be the secret to great food and drink production and relishing what we consume on a daily basis? Sam takes us to Westcombe Dairy, where he’s been following their transition to regenerative agriculture for the past year, as part of the Westcombe Project. We visit a pioneering island distillery in the Inner Hebrides, as well as growers and brewers at an inaugural organic food festival in the East Neuk of Fife. The common thread that binds them? The belief that a more attentive approach has the power to transform the food system and improve our lives in the process. Presented by Jaega Wise. Produced by Robbie Armstrong in Glasgow.
Jul 10, 2022
Bread: Why should we care more about it?
What difference would it make if more people rejected cheap bread made using the Chorleywood Process, and moved to eating 'better' bread, i.e bread with fewer ingredients? In this episode Sheila Dillon explores why some scientists, campaigners and academics believe we ought to be eating more 'proper' bread, and puts her body to the test to see what difference it could make. Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and writer, Tim Spector shows Sheila how she can track her blood glucose levels using a sensor to see how her body responds to different kinds of bread, while at the UK Grain Lab event in Nottingham, Sheila meets bakers and campaigners to find out why they believe it matters what kind of bread we eat. In Hendon in North London, a bakery has started producing sourdough bread on a big scale, showing that scaling up production can be done. The bread is being sliced and bagged and sold in supermarkets, with the aim of increasing accessibility to those who cannot easily get to a local bakery. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Jul 03, 2022
The Food Strategy: Is There One?
Dan Saladino and Sheila Dillon dig deep into the details of the newly published Government Food Strategy. Produced by Dan Saladino.
Jun 27, 2022
Birmingham’s Food System Revolution
The city of Birmingham is about to launch its own ambitious Food System Strategy. It’s vision is to create a bold, fair, sustainable and prosperous food system and economy, where food choices are nutritious and affordable. The strategy faces many challenges – Birmingham has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the country, and worrying levels of food poverty with 6.8 % of residents reporting using food banks during lockdown. Last week the government published its long-awaited Food Strategy for England – a policy paper responding to Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy, a landmark national review into the food system. Reaction has been mixed, with campaigners disappointed that many of the review’s bolder recommendations - like a tax on salt and sugar - haven’t been taken up, and no mention of a Food Bill. So in today’s programme Jaega Wise visits Birmingham to ask if cities could take up the mantle of improving what we eat, and talk to grassroots food groups about the change they want to see. Is it time for cities to step up and drive the food agenda, and far can they go in creating the radical change we need? Presented by Jaega Wise and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Jun 19, 2022
Can we bring food diversity back to the table?
Dan Saladino meets people saving endangered foods and bringing diversity back to our diets. Groups of scientists, chefs and artists are now finding pioneering ways to rethink the global food system. At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew a programme of events called Food Forever involves exhibitions and installations exploring some of the biggest and most complex questions over the future of our food (including this fantasy world of food abundance by Australian artist Tanya Schultz (Pip & Pop), ranging from biodiversity loss and climate change to under utilised crops and enticing flavours. Dr James Borrell, a research fellow at Kew, explains why a giant plant in south-western Ethiopia, a valuable source of food, called enset (aka 'false banana') is one of the stories we should all know. Designers, María Fuentenebro and Mario Mimoso (Sharp and Sour) describe the 'Museum of Endangered Food', also on display at Kew, which includes enset. Meanwhile at The Serpentine Gallery,, artists Cooking Sections, is not only creating installations but influencing menus at restaurants such as Benugo's The Magazine. Photo: When Flowers Dream, an installation by Pip & Pop, (photographer Roger Wooldridge). Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jun 12, 2022
The BBC Food and Farming Awards return for 2022
Sheila Dillon and judges Asma Khan and Michael Caines open nominations for the 2022 BBC Food & Farming Awards, which celebrate people across the UK who've changed lives for the better, through food and drink. To mark the ceremony being held in Wales for the first time, there will be a special new category this year - the BBC Cymru Wales Food Hero award. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Jun 05, 2022
Falafel: A recipe for connection
Falafels are a widely celebrated and much loved food that have become an everyday part of street food culture in many cities across Europe, the United States and the Middle East. Falafel is known for being cheap, easily available, and accessible - no matter what a person's class, background, religious belief or dietary requirements. There have long been debates about whether falafel belongs or is authentic to any one nation or culture. Spoiler alert: this programme does not try to answer that question! What Leyla sets out to discover is just how different falafel can be depending on the cultural background of the person cooking it. For example, culturally-definitive recipes for the falafel itself, and specific salads, sauces and breads. In this programme, we explore how falafel is tied up in a political story of food propaganda, and how it’s been used to create division between different nationalities. But also how the food has followed people to different countries at times of conflict, and still provides a constant reminder of good times and home. We meet market stall traders in Shepherd's Bush who show the diverse make up of different falafel recipes. We meet the Syrian chef who lost a chain of successful restaurants selling falafel during the conflict in Syria. And a London chef who doesn’t understand why his patrons keep ordering it. Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced by Robbie Wojciechowski
May 29, 2022
Consider the Axe: Food, farming and the wonders of Stonehenge.
Dan Saladino and blacksmith Alex Pole explain how our food has been influenced by metals.
May 22, 2022
Madhur Jaffrey: A Legacy
40 years ago the BBC broadcast a new TV cooking series called "Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking". It was a first, and showed audiences that Indian food did not rely on curry powder, and that dishes were different depending on what region of India they originated. But that's not all, the series and Madhur Jaffrey's subsequent books (she has written more than 30) had another effect; it made her a model for two generations of women with roots in India. Today Sheila Dillon meets some of those prominent and hugely successful female chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and stylists who are currently working in the UK, to find out about their lives, and what they make of Madhur Jaffrey's legacy. Asma Khan rose to fame when she was chosen as the first British chef to star in the Netflix series, Chef’s Table. She runs her London restaurant, Darjeeling Express, with an all-female staff. Chetna Makan worked as a fashion designer in India before moving to the UK. She switched careers after making it to the semi-finals of the Great British Bake Off in 2014. She is now the author of 5 cookery books, and has more than 210,000 subscribers on YouTube. Ravinder Bhogal is a chef, food writer and author of two books. She also runs the London restaurant, Jikoni, which she describes as being “proudly inauthentic”. Romy Gill is a chef, broadcaster and food writer, and was one of the first Asian women in the UK to own her own restaurant. Rukmini Iyer is a food stylist and writer and the author of the bestselling "Roasting Tin" series of books. Sejal Sukhadwala is a London food writer. Her first book "The Philosophy of Curry" has just been published. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
May 15, 2022
Staffordshire Oatcakes – a Potteries tradition going strong
In our world of globalised food, there are few things that have remained true local specialities, and the Staffordshire oatcake is one of them. This oatmeal, yeasted pancake is an institution in Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding area, but still hardly anyone beyond the Midlands seems to have heard of them. The oatcake has a history stretching back hundreds of years as a staple food for workers of the Staffordshire Potteries – it then suffered a dip in popularity from the 1960s which led to concerns about its future, but today we hear reports that local production is healthy, and even going up. In the programme Leyla Kazim visits oatcake bakers in Stoke to hear how they’re keeping this much-loved local staple going strong. And we catch up with Glenn Fowler, the owner of the very last traditional ‘hole in the wall’ shop which closed in 2012, to find out how this Stoke institution lives on through its recipe. But as demand goes up, this is driving more automated production, so what could that mean for the traditional methods and the long-established recipes? And it is time for this overlooked oatmeal pancake to finally gain nationwide appeal? Presented by Leyla Kazim and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
May 08, 2022
SPAM: food + war + memory in a can
No other tinned meat has had the worldwide cultural impact of SPAM. Though often denigrated in this country, it is celebrated across the world particularly in the Asia-Pacific where it became integrated into food cultures after The Second World War. Jaega Wise explores this love of SPAM with Hawaiian chef Sheldon Simeon. She also meets Becky (Hanguk Hapa) in New Malden to talk about Budae Jjigae (army base stew), a dish born out of necessity, it is now a national comfort food. SPAM also saw big increases in sales in the pandemic. As well as being a shelf stable and practical food, did our war nostalgia play a part in our renewed interest? Jaega talks to historian Dr Kelly Spring about how SPAM, gifted to Britain during the Second World War by the American’s, was initially received. She also talks to Dr Duane Mellor from Aston University about the science and nutrition of tinned meat. Archive of Stan Suffling and Walter Price is from the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive. Presenter: Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Sam Grist
May 01, 2022
Jack Monroe: A Life Through Food
Jack Monroe, the food writer and poverty campaigner sits down in her living room in Southend-on-Sea to share her 'Life Through Food' with Leyla Kazim. It has been almost a decade since Jack first made a name for herself as a blogger and food writer - documenting life as an unemployed single mum. Her blog, A Girl Called Jack (now Cooking on a Bootstrap) first focussed on local politics, but became popular when she started sharing her costed out low budget recipes. Since then, she has written six cookery books, has written 10,000 tweets, and become a voice for those living in poverty in the UK. Jack's most recent campaign against the way inflation data is recorded and presented, resulted in the Office for National Statistics saying it would do more to represent the experiences of people living on different incomes in the UK. It also led the supermarket chain Asda to bring back and expand it's budget range of products. Jack is currently working on creating her own 'Vimes Boots' index to document the way food prices have changed over the past decade for people living on lowest incomes. In this programme, Leyla finds out what motivates Jack to keep speaking out about inequalities, and how she deals with social media backlashes. She talks about her early food heroes, the pleasure she gets from cooking, and why she believes there needs to be more equality and inclusivity in the food world. Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Apr 24, 2022
An Easter Special
Dan Saladino hears from cooks in Palermo, Marseille and Kyiv about Easter food traditions. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino
Apr 19, 2022
Ukraine: The Food Dimension Part 2
Dan Saladino speaks to food suppliers and farmers in Ukraine about the impact of war. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Apr 10, 2022
Beans Part 2: How Spain Does Beans
A few months ago, Sheila Dillon opened a glass jar of chickpeas in her kitchen. Their taste was so different from those she had been eating for years from cans, she took to social media to find out why. The story that unfolded in the comments led back to the Spanish, and their way of eating beans and other legumes. In this programme we meet the people who grow, select, process and trade beans, and hear of a culture that respects legumes, where home cooks know how to flavour them, often cook them from dry, and their many varieties are on display in markets and supermarkets. Sheila accompanies Spanish food importer and expert, Monika Linton, as she visits her processed and dried bean suppliers in the Navarra and Salamanca regions of Spain. Monika first set up her company Brindisa, bringing food from Spain into the UK, 35 years ago. She says legumes are for the Spanish what pasta is for the Italians. On the lentil fields of the Salamanca plains, we hear how farmers manage relatively small plots of land, and how the beans are used in rotation with other crops in order to both feed people, and nourish the soils. However not all beans eaten in Spain are grown locally. In Madrid, Mario Castellanos from Legumbres Castellanos, his family business, explains why the country still relies heavily on imports from other nations. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Apr 03, 2022
Beans Part 1: Are Legumes the Answer?
In the first of two programmes all about beans, Sheila Dillon asks if they could be the answer to our issues with health and global warming. We're often told how eating less meat is crucial for a healthy lifestyle and a healthy planet. In response, supermarkets and food outlets have been adding more meat-free options, and whole plant-based product ranges, which are often highly processed. So what if there was another food that we could all do with eating a lot more of, that's relatively affordable, is healthy and can be good for soil health and the environment? For hundreds of years beans have had a reputation in the UK of being food for the poor, vegetarians, or as filler for stews and curries. Mainly sold pre-cooked in cans, the ranges have been growing in recent years, but by far the biggest seller are Baked Beans. Someone who wants to change that is entrepreneur Amelia Christie-Miller, the founder of a new brand called Bold Bean Co. Sheila finds out why Amelia's beans that come in glass jars, taste so different from the ones she is used to eating from cans. The beans are imported from Spain, where they are a much bigger part of the culture. The owner of Spanish restaurant chain Bar44, Owen Morgan demonstrates how to make them the main event; Dietitian and nutritionist Dr Megan Rossi from Kings College London explains how the can also improve our gut health; and Dr Pete Iannetta from the James Hutton Institute, and writer and grower Susan Young (author of "Growing Beans: A Diet for Healthy People and Planet") say we should all be considering growing more beans in order to reap the benefits for our soils and health. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Mar 27, 2022
The True Cost of Food
The price of food is rising alongside fuel, energy and other costs, and experts are warning that households face the biggest squeeze on disposable incomes for at least 30 years. On average the lowest income families spend twice as much on food and housing bills as the richest families, so increasing food price inflation will disproportionately affect families already struggling to get by, according to the Resolution Foundation. As millions more people are on the brink of being pushed into food poverty, the food industry faces a turning point. The publication of a government white paper responding to the recommendations of The National Food Strategy is expected soon. The strategy’s assessment was dramatic – that Britain needs to change what it eats and how it produces food, in order to reverse the damage it does to our health and the environment. In today’s programme Sheila Dillon is joined by three guests to discuss the true cost of our food, and some of the issues we face in reforming the system. In these extreme conditions we now live in, how can we provide everyone with a decent diet that will underpin the UK as a healthy nation? With Tim Benton, Research Director of the Environment and Society Programme at Chatham House and Professor of Population Ecology at the University of Leeds; Kathleen Kerridge, anti-food poverty campaigner and Chair of the Lived Experience Panel at The Food Foundation; and Professor Corinna Hawkes, Director of the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Mar 21, 2022
Animal-free dairy: Could this be the future of milk?
Dairy alternatives with real milk proteins but no use of cows are now becoming a reality. In the US you can now buy animal-free dairy ice cream, and around the world scientists and food technologists are aiming to create lab-cultured dairy products indistinguishable from the real thing. This is possible through precision fermentation, a process which uses genetically engineered microbes to grow the proteins in a bioreactor, which is how insulin and rennet are already produced. The proteins are then separated and used to create products like milk and cheese from scratch. Companies creating precision fermentation-made dairy believe it could play an important part in reducing the environmental impact of traditional dairy production, and provide a much needed source of alternative protein. But as this new industry emerges it’s still not known how consumers will take to animal free dairy, and if it can scale up enough to make the products widely available and affordable to make an impact. In this programme, Leyla Kazim visits a company in London creating an animal-free cheese, and asks if it can ever be the same as a traditionally-made product. And as this new industry grows – how far could it go in making dairy more sustainable? Presented by Leyla Kazim and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Mar 13, 2022
Ukraine: War in the breadbasket of the world
Dan Saladino looks at the war in Ukraine through the lens of food. Are people already going hungry? And what does conflict mean for the millions dependent on Ukrainian wheat? Fundraising for people impacted by the war is already underway; Cook for Ukraine, and, as featured in the programme there is the World Central Kitchen This week's Radio Appeal came on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Mar 06, 2022
Scotland, a Good Food Nation?
Can Scotland become a nation where people from every walk of life ‘take pride and pleasure in the food they produce, buy, cook, serve, and eat each day’? Sheila Dillon and her Scottish producer Robbie Armstrong assess the country’s health and food system, and find out what opportunities and hurdles lie ahead as the Good Food Nation Bill is introduced to the Scottish Parliament. Sheila speaks to Scotland’s national chef Gary Maclean about the past, present and future of Scottish cuisine, while Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands Mairi Gougeon sets out what she hopes to achieve with the bill. She meets Pete Ritchie from the food policy NGO Nourish to hear why he believes the bill does not go far enough and should include a ‘right to food’. She visits social enterprise food business Locavore to speak to its founder Reuben Chesters, before exploring the complexities of food poverty with author of Feed Your Family for £20 a Week, Lorna Cooper. Robbie heads to his home town in the Scottish Borders to speak to Bosco Santimano from a social enterprise teaching basic cooking skills, and visits Food Punks, a project run by young chefs in the town of Peebles. Produced by Robbie Armstrong in Glasgow.
Feb 27, 2022
Fresh Grounds: The Search for the World's Rarest Coffee
Dan Saladino meets the plant hunters searching for the world's lost and forgotten coffee varieties and Michael Pollan, author of This is Your Mind on Plants, explains how caffeine helped usher in the modern world. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Feb 20, 2022
Ainsley Harriott: A Life Through Food
Ainsley Harriott joins Jaega Wise to share his 'Life Through Food' from his kitchen in South London. Ainsley is one of the UK's most recognisable TV chefs; after training at Westminster College he worked at a number of London's hotels and restaurants - including The Long Room at Lords Cricket Ground where he became head chef. In the early 90s he got his first broadcasting gigs - on BBC Radio 5, and shortly afterwards "tv came knocking". Over the past 25 years he has hosted countless programmes - including Can't Cook Won't Cook and Ready Steady Cook for a decade. He has presented series for US and South African television, been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, and was awarded an MBE in 2020. His latest TV series, 'Ainsley's Good Mood Food' is all about cooking food to boost your mood. In this interview, Ainsley takes us back to the early days of family dinner parties, a summer in France, and his journey to TV stardom. He also discusses what it's like to be the subject of many many memes and where he finds his seemingly perpetual energy. Jaega also speaks to school friend and the other half of Ainsley's 90s pop group The Calypso Twins, Paul Boross, and hears from Ainsley superfan, Radio 1 Breakfast DJ Greg James, who's obsession with Ainsley turned him into a viral sensation. Presented by Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Feb 13, 2022
Eco-labelling for food - what difference could it make?
Jaega Wise explores how environmental-impact labels on food and drink products could help lower the carbon footprint of the food industry. Although there’s been an increase in the number of companies using different kinds of carbon and eco labels, they still appear on a small minority of products. There are growing calls for there to be a unified system for calculating the environmental impact of food production – one that not only measures carbon emissions, but also other impacts like water use and biodiversity loss, all using the same internationally agreed method so shoppers can compare products fairly and accurately. So what would it take for environmental labelling to become widespread? Jaega Wise talks to non-profit organisation Foundation Earth about their plans to establish an eco-impact label that could be used across Europe. We look at how a more harmonised approach could encourage more companies to get on board, increase public trust, and trigger change across food supply chains as companies look for more eco-friendly ways of producing, manufacturing, transporting and packaging food. Presented by Jaega Wise and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Feb 06, 2022
Wassail! Wassail! A celebration of cider, orchards and song
Dan Saladino goes in search of the history, meaning and spirit of wassails and cider. In Somerset he takes part in a village wassail sung door to door and one sung in an orchard. Contributors: The Drayton village wassailers. Gerard Tucker, wassail master of ceremonies. Nell Leyshon (novelist and dramatist, play: Folk). James Crowden, author, Cider Country: How an Ancient Craft Became a Way of Life. Music: Drayton Wassail (as documented by Cecil Sharp in 1903) Tam Lin, Fairport Convention (1968) Bruton Town, Pentangle (1968) Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jan 30, 2022
Angela Hartnett: A Life Through Food
In this episode Sheila Dillon is joined by a chef, restaurateur, author and campaigner, Angela Hartnett, for another in the programme’s series of Lives told through Food. Angela Hartnett is seen as an icon in the food industry - she started out learning on the job in Cambridge - and later rose up working for Gordon Ramsey, first at The Aubergine, and later at the Connaught Hotel, where she earned her first Michelin star. During that time she started to become a familiar face on British Television, appearing regularly on Hell’s Kitchen and the Great British Menu. In 2010, Angela bought Ramsay out of the restaurant she still runs today - Murano - where she received another Michelin star. In January 2022, Angela was awarded an OBE for her services to the hospitality industry, and for the work she did for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this conversation, Angela reflects on her campaigning, changes in the industry, and family life. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Jan 23, 2022
Keto: Diet fad or food fix?
Dan Saladino explores keto to understand the appeal of this low carb way of eating. Featuring Gary Taubes (book) The Case for Keto), GP Dr David Unwin, Anna Tebbs (The Green Chef), Prof. Mike Lean (Glasgow University), Panagiotis Kottas (KeOntrack) and Prof. Helen Cross (Great Ormond Street Hospital). Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jan 16, 2022
Gabriella D'Cruz: Global Youth Champion
Gabriella D’Cruz, from Goa, wants to improve diets, transform livelihoods and protect the planet using an often-overlooked marine vegetable - seaweed. Ruth Alexander speaks to the 29-year-old about her big plans for the underwater crop, and her hope that it could bring lasting economic and environmental change to India’s coastal communities. Gabriella’s passion and her project’s potential saw her chosen by a panel of international judges as the winner of The Food Chain Global Youth Champion Award 2021. Produced by Simon Tulett originally for The Food Chain on the BBC World Service
Jan 09, 2022
#FoodTok: Mastering the Art of Cooking in Three Minutes
Jaega Wise and her co-presenters start the New Year having a go on TikTok after #FoodTok raked in billions of views in 2021. What, if anything, can be learned from the app, which dishes up creator-made videos in three-minute-long bursts? The presenters are joined by TikTok Chef Poppy O'Toole, who posts as PoppyCooks to her two million followers. From turning ordinary cooks into stars, to setting off trends for kitchen gadgets, viral recipes, and #WhatIeatinaday getting millions of views, people using TikTok are going mad for gastronomy. However unlike other social media sites where picture-perfect images of food are shared, TikTok takes viewers into ordinary kitchens, and seems to celebrate (mostly) the creation of lavish looking dishes with seemingly very little skill or effort. Food on TikTok has also become tied in with the ASMR genre (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) where creators deliberately emphasise the sounds and textures involved in cooking. So could TikTok be the inspiration for a new generation of cooks? And can the more mature cook learn anything new? Or is the so-called Wild West of the web’s version of cookery too unwieldy to properly inform? Will the hype around influencers and their inevitable marketing tie-ins put an end to any ‘authenticity’ on there? And is the site doing enough to protect those with eating disorders? Presented by Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Jan 02, 2022
The Rise of Ultra-Fast Grocery Delivery
Leyla Kazim dives into the world of rapid grocery delivery, one of the newest trends to hit the world of food retail. In scarcely more than a year, a wave of new companies like Getir, Weezy, Gorillas, Jiffy, Zapp and Gopuff has arrived in cities across the UK which can deliver products to your door in as little as 10 minutes. It’s a sector that’s raised billions of pounds of investment and wants to disrupt the grocery market – so what impact could it have on the way we buy food? Key to the ultra-fast delivery speeds are 'dark stores', or hyperlocal fulfilment centres, which have been growing in number since the start of the pandemic – Leyla visits one run by Gorillas, and talks to their UK General Manager Eddie Lee about their plans for expansion. To consider the future of the rapid grocery delivery companies and what impact they are having on the rest of the food retail world, we hear from: Matt Truman, co-founder and CEO of specialist retail and consumer investor, True; Chris Noice, Communications Director at the Association of Convenience Stores; George Nott, Technology Editor at The Grocer; and Professor Annabelle Gower, Director of the Centre of Digital Economy at the University of Surrey. Presented by Leyla Kazim and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Dec 26, 2021
A Christmas Feast Special.
Some of the biggest names in the food world join Dan and Sheila with their favourite Christmas dishes, including Claudia Roden, Jeremy Lee and Paula McIntyre. Noble Rot's Dan Keeling selects the wine. Presented by Dan Saladino and Sheila Dillon. Produced by Dan Saladino.
Dec 19, 2021
The Meaning of Cod
How did cod become such an important fish in so many different and diverse parts of Europe? In search of the past, present and future of cod, Dan Saladino travels to the west coast of Norway and the Arctic island of Lofoten. Presented and produced by Dan Saladino.
Dec 12, 2021
The BBC Food and Farming Awards 2021 - Second Course
Sheila Dillon presents more stories of the winners of the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2021, which celebrates the people across the UK who've changed lives for the better, through food and drink. We meet Countryfile's Young Countryside Champion and The One Show’s Community Food Champion, as well as the winners of the Best Streetfood or Takeway and Farming Today's Farming for the Future categories. Finally Dan Saladino goes to surprise the recipient of this year’s Derek Cooper Outstanding Achievement Award, food writer Claudia Roden.
Dec 05, 2021
The BBC Food and Farming Awards 2021 - First Course
The winners of the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2021 are announced at a ceremony at London's Broadcasting House.
Nov 30, 2021
Cookbooks of 2021
What are the books that the presenters of Radio 4's The Food Programme have been relishing this year? You are about to find out. In this episode, Sheila, Dan, Jaega and Leyla get together at 'Books for Cooks' in London's Notting Hill to share their favourite titles; the ones that have made them think, that have inspired them to get creative, and have simply filled them with joy. We also catch up with The Bookseller's Tom Tivnan to hear how publications and sales have been this year, food writer Signe Johansen shares her knowledge and experiences of ghost-writing in the cookbook world, and Eric Treuille, who first opened 'Books for Cooks' in 1983 shares with the team a recipe from his book of 2021. Produced by Natalie Donovan in Bristol.
Nov 21, 2021
Best Shop or Market of the Year: Meet the Finalists
Leyla Kazim visits 2021’s Best Shop or Market finalists in the 20th BBC Food and Farming Awards – a food co-op, rural farm shop and city market which are going the extra mile to support local food production and their communities. We meet the teams behind these three outstanding retailers, which are providing boundary-pushing models for the future by trying to create alternative food networks. Nearly 20 years ago Jed and Emma set about rearing their own meat to supply them and their friends and family as an experiment after becoming increasingly frustrated with the quality of the meat available from the supermarkets. This has now developed into a farm shop, Blue Tin Produce, selling their own free range pork & rare breed Dexter beef alongside produce from the surrounding Chiltern Hills including fresh English veg, their free range eggs, farmhouse baking, jams, jellies, chutneys and many other goods. Falmouth Food Co-op started as a food hub selling groceries with the aim of making good food available to all and supporting local non-industrial farmers. This developed into a kitchen to celebrate their community and feed those who need help. They have recently started a new project – Love Land, a community field where they aiming to grow their own food sustainably and get local people to get more involved in the growing of their food. Headed by chef and grower Joe Fennerty, Food Circle York runs a food market for local producers all specialising in organic, regenerative and sustainable food production, and facilitates direct links between producer and consumers. Joe’s aim is to create a viable alternative to the current food system. In the nominations, people called Joe a catalyst and inspiration for change in York. Presented by Leyla Kazim and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Nov 14, 2021
COP26: The Case for Cattle and Pigs.
Less but better? With the COP26 climate summit underway Dan Saladino looks at how meat and dairy can play a positive role for the future of people and planet. Produced by Dan Saladino.
Nov 07, 2021
Veg Invention: The stories of new kinds of fruit and vegetables
Seed breeders spend whole careers in search of that perfect fruit or vegetable, and some even come up with their own completely new designs. Think Tenderstem, Cotton Candy grapes, or a new type of cauliflower that's just started being sold: Caulishoots. In this programme, Leyla Kazim finds out what goes into creating these new varieties, what breeders, growers and supermarket buyers are looking for, and how they end up on our plates. She meets veg-inventor Jamie Claxton from Tozer Seeds, who came up with the Kalette (a cross between a brussel sprout and kale), while Ross Geach from Padstow Kitchen Garden explains why he enjoys experimenting with new varieties and getting them introduced to diners at Jack Stein's restaurants. Leyla also looks to the US where chef Dan Barber has set up an organic seed company to bring breeders, chefs and farmers together to design new, better varieties. While Lane Selman in Portland, Oregon tells us how her 'Culinary Breeding Network' is working to both give breeders more feedback, and is educating the public about the new types of fruit and veg on offer. Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Oct 31, 2021
A Personnel Problem: What's the solution to hospitality's staffing crisis?
The hospitality sector has a problem: it just can't get the staff. Businesses from bars to hotels are facing a massive worker shortage, as job vacancies in the sector hit their highest levels since records began. Last month, in an open letter to the government, various hospitality professionals warned that the sector was “close to imploding” because of acute labour shortages. And the cracks are showing, as outlets still struggling post-lockdown are forced to resort to a skeleton staff: reducing opening hours or even closing altogether. While some blame the pandemic and others point to a drop in EU workers after Brexit, figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest the industry was struggling to find and retain staff even before these events. So what’s at the heart of this crisis – and more importantly, how can we fix it? Sheila Dillon assembles a panel of hospitality insiders to find out: talking to Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the national trade organisation UKHospitality; Sarah John, the founder and director of Boss Brewing, a craft brewery based in Swansea; and Niall McKenna, chef and owner of James Street & Co restaurant group in Belfast, comprising two restaurants and a cookery school. We also hear from chef and restaurateur Angela Hartnett on how kitchen culture is changing for the better; and Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn - co-founders of the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry, Wales - tell us about their decision to close permanently because of staff shortages. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol
Oct 24, 2021
Follow the Money: Investor power and the Future of Food
Dan Saladino finds out how groups of influential investors are using the trillions of dollars they control to shape the future of food. It's argued that it is their decisions, not those of governments which will determine if we can solve the biggest challenges we're facing, from climate change to obesity. These funds, including our savings and pensions, are invested in the global food system. This money makes it possible for fast-food chains to expand, for supermarkets to grow and farming businesses to survive. How that money is allocated, and which food businesses are now seen as carrying too much risk, is an increasingly important factor in deciding how we will farm and eat in the future. Dan Saladino meets Jeremy Coller, a Chief Investment Officer who controls billions of dollars of assets about the power of investors. In 2016, Coller has set up the FAIRR Initiative (Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return), a source of data and analysis of business performance in the meat industry. Coller, a vegetarian, argues that future global risks such as pandemics and climate change are being increased by factory farming. Instead of waiting for governments to act, he believes networks of investors, and their decisions on meat based businesses (from processors to burger chains), entirely based on risk, will transform the food system. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Oct 17, 2021
Best Food Producer of the Year: Meet the Finalists
What does it take to bring home the title of Best Food Producer in the Food and Farming Awards 2021? This year, Sheila Dillon and chef Angela Hartnett visit a local nose-to-tail butchery, a community cooperative farm and an enterprise employing ex-offenders to make delicious pasties and pies. H.M.Pasties was set up by Lee Wakeham to ‘bring out the good inside’ by employing ex-offenders like himself to make and sell handmade Cornish-style pasties and baked goods to customers across Greater Manchester while adding real social benefit to the community. Locally sourced meat, nose-to-tail eating and artisanal butchery are the terms that define Lizzy Douglas’s The Black Pig, whose philosophy is to use only naturally-reared, free range meat to support the local economy and supply customers with fantastic quality Kentish produce. Growing with Grace is a farm dedicated to supplying sustainably grown produce to local people and businesses. Growing in nearly two acres of glasshouses, they pride themselves on producing the best quality organic vegetables, salad, and fruits in the region using a community supported agriculture model. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Robbie Armstrong
Oct 10, 2021
Oz Clarke: A Life Through Wine
Oz Clarke, the popular man of wine, has enjoyed success in wine writing and broadcasting for four decades. First appearing on our screens on BBC2’s Food and Drink in the 1980s, he helped lead a wine drinking revolution in Britain. Visiting Oz to share a glass or two from his collection, Jaega Wise hears about his varied career and lifelong passion for wine, as well as how he’s never been afraid of introducing controversy into the wine world. Oz also shares his thoughts on the natural wine movement and how the industry will need to adapt to climate change. We also hear from fellow wine critic Jancis Robinson on Oz’s impact on our wine drinking culture; and we visit winemaker Emma Rice at Hattingley Valley to hear how the English wine industry is faring, which Oz has long been a cheerleader for. Presented by Jaega Wise and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Oct 03, 2021
Prue Leith: A Life Through Food
She might be best known as the colourfully clad host of the Great British Bake Off, but Dame Prue Leith's accomplishments during her six decades in the food industry are vast and varied. She's enjoyed success as a cook, restaurateur, businesswoman, broadcaster, campaigner, food writer and novelist; and in conversation with Sheila Dillon, on a balmy summer afternoon on the terrace of her Cotswolds home, Prue shares the lessons she's learned from her career so far. We also hear from Prue's niece Peta Leith, a pastry chef and food writer with whom she recently collaborated on the book 'The Vegetarian Kitchen' - and from Dr Rupy Aujla, the NHS GP who started the Culinary Medicine UK programme teaching doctors to cook, and creator of the podcast 'The Doctor's Kitchen' linking better health to good cooking and eating, who is Prue's co-host on the television series ‘Cook Clever, Waste Less’. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol
Sep 26, 2021
High Spirits: A story of vodka
Vodka is a spirit with a rich cultural history in a host of European countries including Russia and Poland, where it’s been distilled for centuries. In the west, it's traditionally been considered either a base for other flavours, or something to be knocked back as quickly as possible. But the recent craft spirits boom has seen more distillers experimenting with vodka, showcasing the subtle flavours of base ingredients or trying out quirky botanical additions; and now, a growing vodka fan club is eager to prove it has more to offer than some might think… Jaega Wise sets out to learn more about the most neutral of spirits - visiting 2021 BBC Food and Farming Awards finalist Black Cow Vodka in Dorset to hear about distilling with milk, and trying some food pairings courtesy of local chef and restaurateur Mark Hix. She also visits Ognisko Polskie, one of London's oldest Polish clubs, for a masterclass in tasting with Ognisko Restaurant director Jan Woronieki, also the founder of vodka brand Kavka; and Veronika Karlova, a drinks writer and consultant, chair judge for the World Vodka Awards and founder of We also hear stories of slightly different vodka ventures from Arbikie Distillery in Scotland and Bakon Vodka in the United States – and get the mixologist's perspective, courtesy of Norwegian bartender Monica Berg: a founder of the non-profit industry discussion hub P(OUR) and co-owner of the London bar and restaurant Tayēr + Elementary. Presented by Jaega Wise Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol
Sep 19, 2021
Buckfast: the Transformation of Scotland’s Most Controversial Drink
Shedding its associations with street crime and violence, Buckfast is now drunk in upmarket cocktail bars, trendy restaurants and hipster haunts. Jaega Wise visits Glasgow to hear about this transformation, and finds out what a wine produced by monks in Devon can tell us about modern Scotland. Jaega speaks to a comedian about his complicated history with the drink, enlists help from a criminologist to understand Buckfast’s rebirth, and finds out what the fortified wine tastes like as a pizza and cocktail ingredient with a sceptical chef. A former police chief inspector explores the legacies of problem drinking, and she hears from the chief executive of an alcohol awareness charity about the dangers of scapegoating a single brand. She visits a drinks lab experimenting with Buckfast in north London, tracks its evolution, and asks if terms like class appropriation and gentrification apply to this much-maligned bottle of tonic wine. Presented by Jaega Wise. Produced by Robbie Armstrong.
Sep 12, 2021
Stirring Up Stories: The Business of Food PR
Leyla Kazim finds out how food companies and restaurants use PR agencies to get us thinking about the meals they want us to buy. From talking teabags to weird breakfast combos, social media has become a way for brands to show us their personalities. In this episode we speak to those behind the stories, find out where they came from, and why they work to keep brands relevant. In hospitality, as restaurants reopen, PR agencies faced with contract cancellations at the start of the pandemic are now being called on to get people back through the doors. They don't use stunts, but publicising the stories of those involved and their recipes can be as effective in drumming up interest. Leyla meets hospitality PR expert Gemma Bell, who was involved in encouraging restaurants to take part in the Eat Out to Help Out Campaign, she says the way they communicate about restaurants over the past 10 years has really changed - and it's no longer just about getting good restaurant reviews. Plus we hear from one of London's first food influencers @onehungryasian about the role he plays in promoting restaurant businesses, and young food campaigner Dev Sharma tells Leyla how he hopes fast-food brands won't shift their marketing campaigns completely to PR once the laws change on advertising junk food to children. Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Sep 05, 2021
Tastefully Worded: Exploring food in language
Can you have your cake and eat it? Do you have bigger fish to fry? Are you seduced by food imagery in literature, and lured into rash purchases by the purple prose of food packaging? This, then, is the programme for you! Sheila Dillon is joined by author, poet and presenter of Radio 4's 'Word of Mouth', Michael Rosen, to discuss the origins and impacts of food language: from the everyday idioms that hark back to ancient dietary habits, to the seductive language of advertising. Exploring food language in various forms, they hear from Dan Jurafsky, a professor of linguistics and computer science at Stanford University and author of ‘The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu’; Melissa Thompson, a food and drink writer who runs the recipe sharing project Fowl Mouths, and advocates for the promotion of black and minority ethnic voices in the food industry; and Dinah Fried, author of ‘Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals’. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol * * * The literary excerpts featured in this programme are from: - Chocolate Cake by Michael Rosen (from his YouTube channel) - Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare - Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams - Hot Food by Michael Rosen
Aug 29, 2021
The Story of the Digestive: From grain to biscuit.
Dan Saladino tells the story of one of Britain's oldest and most popular biscuits, the digestive. He follows the story from a farmers wheat field to a food factory in London. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Aug 22, 2021
Flour to the People.
Dan Saladino finds out how farmers, millers and bakers are reclaiming wheat, flour and bread in Scotland. When flour ran out during the pandemic the project came into its own. Produced and presented for BBC Audio in Bristol by Dan Saladino
Aug 15, 2021
Andrew Wong: A Life Through Food
“It’s about trying to paint pictures – of different places, different moments in time, throughout China’s past.” Andrew Wong grew up helping out in his parents’ Chinese restaurant in central London, convinced that he would never work in hospitality himself. But the “magic” of the industry drew him in – and today he’s chef-patron of a restaurant on the very same site as his parents’ place, but totally transformed. In the decade or so since its launch, A.Wong has built a reputation for lunchtime dim sum, with an evening menu showcasing imaginative interpretations of regional and historical delicacies: from ‘Barbecued Forbidden City Sweetcorn with Wagyu Beef Meat Paste and Truffle’ to ‘Toasted Sweet Potato with Salted Black Bean Sauce, Black Tapioca and Liquorice Soy’. It’s also the first Chinese restaurant outside Asia to have earned two Michelin stars. Jaega Wise visits the Pimlico restaurant to find out how Andrew’s fascination with China’s food heritage has inspired this unique dining experience; one that seeks to bring to life a rich and diverse culinary culture. We also hear from cook and food writer Fuchsia Dunlop, who specialises in Chinese gastronomy and has written six books on the country’s cuisine; and Dr Mukta Das, a research associate for the Food Studies Centre at London’s SOAS University, focusing on Chinese food and culture – who collaborates with Andrew to dig into dishes and delicacies from the past. Presented by Jaega Wise Producer by Lucy Taylor in Bristol
Aug 08, 2021
Catering in Care Homes
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought into focus the lives of older and disabled people living in care homes like never before. From the start of the first lockdown, there were fears about food being in short supply, and then later came the reality of lockdown, with residents spending days alone in bedrooms, and video-calls and ‘window visits’ becoming the only means of contact with loved ones. In this programme, relatives share their anxieties about the catering on offer to elderly parents, about the quality of food, and how well trained care staff are at getting meals from plates to mouths. Sheila Dillon hears how some care homes are tied into buying food from certain catering companies, and discovers the average care home now spends £4 a day on food per person. In Hertfordshire, Sheila meets an organisation called Hertfordshire Independent Living Service which is being funded by the NHS to improve nutrition and hydration in care homes – it offers training and accredits those that are doing particularly well. While in the Surrey Hills, Birtley House care home has been growing vegetables to be used in the kitchen for several years, its chef explains how it helps keep the menus interesting and the residents healthy. GBBO judge Prue Leith, who recently carried out a review for the Government into hospital food, says money must be spent on providing better training for care home staff. A chefs course specifically for those working in social care has been set up, but so far only one college is offering it. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan Reporting from Carolyn Atkinson
Aug 01, 2021
The Great Food Reset?
Dan Saladino finds out why a UN summit to transform the global food system has become so controversial. It has generated 2500 ideas for change but also a boycott by protesters. In 2019 the UN's Secretary General António Guterres highlighted ways in which the global food system was breaking down: hundreds of millions of people going hungry, billions more overweight or obese and tonnes of food being wasted. These problems were also obstacles in the way of reaching the 2030 target for the Sustainable Development Goals which includes zero hunger. This year's food systems summit was designed to find solutions to these problems. This week in Rome the ideas generated by the millions of people who have engaged in the process will be set out ahead of the summit in New York in September. But the involvement of some of the world's biggest food corporations has led to concerns over the direction of the summit, and of the global food system itself. Produced and presented for BBC Audio in Bristol by Dan Saladino.
Jul 25, 2021
Plate of the Nation: Second Serving
Could we kick-start a major transformation of our food system, in just three years? That's the ambition of the National Food Strategy, the first independent review of our food policy in nearly 75 years, commissioned by the government in 2019 and authored by Henry Dimbleby - who published the second and final part of the report this week. Food-related problems have been stacking up in the UK for a while: inequality, poor diets, a boom in costly bariatric diseases, the environmental impact of food production, the resilience of the overall system - the list goes on. But now we could be at a turning point, as the country starts to emerge (hopefully) from months of restrictions with fresh perspectives and priorities, and seeks to reposition itself post-pandemic and post-Brexit. Now, Part 2 of the National Food Strategy has set out a framework for transforming our food system. So how exactly does it propose we do that? Sheila Dillon digs into the detail of the report, speaking to Henry Dimbleby (co-founder of the restaurant chain Leon and co-author of the 2013 School Food Plan) about the strategy's focus and recommendations; and inviting listener feedback for a future episode. The programme also features questions from Caroline Keohane at the Food and Drink Federation, Martin Lines from the Nature Friendly Farming Network, and Jeanette Orrey: a former dinner lady turned school meals campaigner and co-founder of Food for Life. And we revisit previous guests Nutritank - a student organisation campaigning for better nutritional education for medics - and Social Bite: a project supporting Scotland's homeless through social enterprise cafés. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol
Jul 18, 2021
Drinking Culture: The women calling out sexism in the alcohol industry
Over the past year, women working in different parts of the drinks industry have been sharing their stories and experiences to try to change the way women are treated. Most recently people working in craft brewing have been sharing their stories on social media - saying enough is enough. In this episode, Jaega Wise speaks to some of those about how we have got here - and what needs to change. She meets Charlotte Cook, an experienced brewer who says the most important thing now is to believe the stories, as some are being silenced by UK libel laws. Professor Chris Land from Anglia Ruskin University explains how certain workplaces can create unhealthy cultures, while bartender Nichola Bottomley says she was inspired to speak out after years of harassment working in pubs and bars. In the US, Victoria James, who was named the country's youngest sommelier at 21, tells Jaega about her book Wine Girl, and how it went on to inspire other women working in wine to come together to speak out, eventually leading to a number of resignations. Becky Paskin, journalist and co-founder of Our Whisky, talks about the repercussions she faced after calling out sexism in the whisky industry. While Brad Cummings, co-founder of craft beer company, Tiny Rebel tells Jaega what is changing at his business, after it was called out by former employees online. UKHospitality, which represents businesses in the industry says it's been working hard to tackle these issues and continues to work with members to promote a zero tolerance approach to harassment in the workplace by either fellow employees or customers. Presented by Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan Photo Credit: Laura Hadland of
Jul 11, 2021
Unpacking the Great British Picnic
In a country where weather is notoriously fickle, how has the picnic become such a beloved institution? Jaega Wise rolls out a blanket and invites a group of al fresco aficionados to share their picnicking expertise over a spot of lunch outdoors. Joining her in the picturesque setting of Windsor Great Park on the edge of Berkshire are Robert Szewczyk - head chef at Cumberland Lodge, the park's residential conference centre, which provides picnic lunches for the famous Ascot races nearby; Kate Bielich - founder and chef at Konoba, a Manchester-based private caterer that, during the pandemic, launched home meal kits and picnic hampers; and Max Halley from Max’s Sandwich Shop in North London, who recently released 'Max's Picnic Book', teaching people to "picnic like a boss!" Over lunch, the group discusses the British love of eating outside, and reflects on how the pandemic has forced us to embrace al fresco dining - driving more adventurous portable eating options. Jaega also hears from food historian Polly Russell from the British Library, who helps unpack the history of the picnic, its strong social and cultural connotations in the UK, and how our approach to picnicking has evolved in recent decades. Presented by Jaega Wise Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol Featuring excerpts from: - ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame; read by Michael Bertenshaw and produced for Radio 4 by Karen Holden. - ‘A Passage to India’ by E.M. Forster; adapted for radio by Tanika Gupta, produced and directed for Radio 4 by Tracey Neale, and featuring the voices of Penelope Wilton as Mrs Moore, Shubham Saraf as Dr Aziz and Jonathan Firth as Fielding.
Jul 04, 2021
Cyrus Todiwala: A Life Through Food
From Mumbai childhood to pioneering London chef, Mr Todiwala's Life Through Food; a story involving the legendary dish Bombay Duck and an important connection with Freddie Mercury. After years spent cooking in India, first at the prestigious Taj Mahal hotel and then in Goa, Cyrus Todiwala moved to London with his wife Pervin and created one of the most influential south Asian restaurants in the UK, Café Spice Namaste. With an emphasis on authentic regional classics including lamb dhaansaak and Goan prawn curry, for twenty five years Café Spice helped reshape Britain's understanding of Indian food. Cyrus and Pervin tell the story of how it all happened, why they were forced to close the original restaurant in 2020 and how it's being reborn and reinvented in another part of east London. An important driving force in Cyrus's life (and his cooking) is his faith (Zoroastrianism) and his identity (as a member of India's Parsee community). He explains how they have both shaped his outlook on life and his work as a chef. Produced and presented for BBC Audio in Bristol by Dan Saladino.
Jun 28, 2021
The Medical Field: Why student doctors are getting out on farms
The Food Programme first met Iain Broadley and Ally Jaffee in 2017, when they were studying medicine in Bristol. The pair saw a disconnect between the rise of diet-related diseases, and the training they received around nutrition - with some students getting as little as eight hours of compulsory nutrition education during their entire time at medical school. So Ally and Iain founded Nutritank, an organisation championing better nutritional education for healthcare professionals, which earned them the Pat Llewellyn New Talent trophy at the 2019 BBC Food and Farming Awards. Today Nutritank's active in more than 20 medical school societies across the UK, and has been part of a working group charged with finalising a new nutritional curriculum for medical schools, due out this autumn. Now, they're piloting a scheme taking student and junior doctors out on farm visits - in a bid to better educate future healthcare professionals about food production and nutrition, so that they in turn can better advise their patients. So could it work? Sheila joins them on a farm visit to the Great Tew Estate in Oxfordshire, to find out. She also speaks to Kate Henderson from the estate's farm team, Liz Lake and Caroline Drummond from Linking Environment and Farming, and Dr Glenys Jones: a registered public health nutritionist and deputy chief executive of the Association for Nutrition. Presented by Sheila Dillon; produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Jun 20, 2021
Eat Your Art Out: How Art Makes Us Eat
Eating with our eyes is no new concept, but can visual art itself inspire or alter the way we eat? and can food be used to help more people appreciate art? Jaega Wise meets artist, curator and gastronomy enthusiast Cedar Lewisohn to see his collection of artist's cookbooks, and hears how influential they have been. At Tate Modern, the idea of wanting to eat like an artist has been taken a step further with the restaurant offering menus inspired by exhibitions. Head chef, Jon Atashroo tells us some of the stories that have gone into the dishes. The concept of creating food inspired by the stories of artists lives and works has been picked up by museums worldwide. During lockdown, while many people have been getting more adventurous in their kitchens, galleries have been using recipes inspired by artists to bring a slice of their culture into people's homes. Jaega has a go at making a Mango-Pineapple Mezcal Margarita inspired by the work of Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo from the "Cooking with LACMA" series. Hear how she gets on in full at the end of this podcast. And the artists using their medium to influence change in our food systems. Turner Prize nominees 'Cooking Sections', tell Jaega how their exhibit at the Tate Britain has influenced the institution to stop serving farmed salmon. Presented by Jaega Wise. Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan. Mango-Pineapple Mezcal Margarita: Makes one cocktail. Ingredients: 50g Tajín (seasoning) 1 lime wedge 2 tablespoons fresh mango (a chunk) 2 tablespoons fresh pineapple 3 Mint leaves 1 to 2 sugar cubes * 30ml Lime Juice (or juice of 1 lime) 15ml Orange Liqueur 45ml Mezcal
Jun 13, 2021
Tom Kerridge: A Life Through Food
Tom Kerridge is probably best known as the first chef in the UK to be awarded two prestigious Michelin stars for food served in a pub, not even a year after opening 'The Hand and Flowers' in Marlow in Buckinghamshire in 2005. Then he was in his early thirties; Known, in the business, for his hard work ethic and hard partying. Today, he's given up the booze and the partying, but as Sheila Dillon finds, he's as driven as ever with a string of restaurants, a food festival company, a catering company, a TV production house, a shelf full of cook books and many BBC food TV series' to his name. Not to mention advocating on a national level for the hospitality industry and working with footballer Marcus Rashford to do his bit to end child food poverty. In line with Tom's latest BBC TV series 'Saving Britain's Pubs with Tom Kerridge', Sheila finds that the democratic environment of the pub has shaped Tom's life and his career in hospitality. And hears why these important community spaces need investing in at all costs. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Jun 06, 2021
India's Covid Crisis: The Food Story
Dan Saladino looks at covid's impact on food in India and the heroic efforts underway to feed communities. Lockdowns and job losses have disrupted access to food in this country of 1.4 billion people. A further 400,000 covid cases are being reported on a daily basis and 300,000 deaths have been recorded so far. For much of the world the pandemic has primarily been seen as a health crisis, accompanied by significant economic pressures. In India however, the impact on the food system has been considerable. Among the most vulnerable are the daily wage earners and labourers who go from pay check to pay check. When India went into a sudden lockdown in March 2020 many lost their income overnight and also their ability to purchase food. Meanwhile, millions of migrant workers left cities across India to travel back to their villages. This also resulted in people experiencing food shortages and hunger. Chhavi Sachdev, a journalist and broadcaster based in Mumbai joins Dan to report on food stories from the pandemic, from people who survived lockdown in some of the city's most densely crowded slums to home cooks who took it upon themselves to feed people in need. The London based Indian chef Asma Khan describes how she has been trying to send food supplies to a village close to her family's home. Although it's an agricultural area, food supplies have been running low and some people have been at risk of starvation. Bhawani Singh Shekhawat of Akshaya Patra, an organisation that provides hot meals to millions of school children in India each day, explains how the pandemic initially disrupted their ability to provide food, but also led to them innovating and finding new ways of feeding even greater numbers of people. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
May 30, 2021
Socially Distanced Dining: Indoor restaurants reopen again
As hospitality businesses in most parts of the UK are allowed to resume serving customers indoors this week, Leyla Kazim heads to Padstow to meet a couple who have moved their restaurant out of town in order to adapt to the new rules. Prawn on the Lawn in Padstow is a fishmonger with a small restaurant, which can typically fit around 22 diners, but only 12 with social distancing. Owners Rick and Katie Toogood have now relocated the restaurant into a marquee on a nearby farm, where all the restaurants vegetables are grown by Ross Geach from Padstow Kitchen Garden. Over the past 15 months since the first Coronavirus lockdown forced hospitality to shut down, many businesses have had to adapt to keep going. Some restaurants started selling takeaway, others did 'heat at home' boxes, or meal kits. Many have used the Government furlough scheme, taken advantage of rent holidays, government grants and loans. For some, it's not been enough. Research from CGA and AlixPartners suggests there are now nearly 10% fewer restaurants to choose from than before the pandemic, while analysis from The Local Data Company for The Food Programme suggests certain types of cuisine fared better than others in staying open. During the programme we meet Oskar Ali, the owner of Falafilo Island, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Newport, which shut down after Christmas because of financial pressures. We also hear from restaurants and cafes around the UK that have been adapting to keep going, including Contini's in Edinburgh, Hangfire in Barry, Fodder in Downpatrick, and Chutney Ivy in Leicester. Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
May 23, 2021
Pure umami: should we learn to love MSG?
Monosodium Glutamate is probably one of the most contentious ingredients in modern food. Increasingly there have been calls to tackle the stigma attached to it especially as this has been linked to Chinese restaurants and people with East Asian heritage. In this programme Leyla Kazim aims to demystify MSG. She looks into where it came from, what it is and how it became so demonised. Professor Lisa Methven from the University of Reading explains the taste science behind how and why we like MSG. David Gott from the Food Standards Agency clarifies what the science says around the health issues associated with it. Historian of Science Dr Sarah Tracy tells Leyla about the complicated history of MSG. MiMi Aye and Huong Black from the MSG Pod talk about their experiences with MSG and coach Leyla on how to use it in food. Alison Cheung and Marina Lai’s families both own restaurants in London’s Chinatown, Plum Valley and Lotus Garden. They talk about how they want to confront the decades long stigma Presented by Leyla Kazim Produced by Sam Grist in Bristol
May 16, 2021
1971: A year that changed food forever?
Dan Saladino asks if the year 1971 was a turning point for how the world eats? It was a year of contrasts: McDonalds increased the portion sizes of the beef burger it served with the launch of the Quarter Pounder, meanwhile one of the best selling books of 1971 was full of vegetarian recipes, 'Diet for a Small Planet' by Frances Moore Lappe, which argued hunger could be eliminated from the world if we stopped eating meat and embraced plant-based diets. In the UK the food industry was innovating like never before and creating new types of processed foods and supermarkets were expanding across the country. Some embraced these changes, whereas others reacted to them, a split that was reflected in the publication of two important books that year. Delia Smith's 'How to Cheat at Cooking' offered tips on how tinned convenience foods could be used to create quick and delicious dishes, whereas, Jane Grigson's Good Things, was a celebration of slower, seasonal and more traditional cooking. Senior staff writer at Bon Appetit magazine Alex Beggs argues 1971 was a turning point for food and explains how social changes and economic forces helped transform the way people ate in the United States (from the opening of the first branch of Starbucks to cups of instant noodles going on sale). Food historian Polly Russell explains how a similar process was also underway in the UK and how we can see the legacy of that transformation in our food today. Dan also speaks to Professor Tim Lang about the importance of the Concert for Bangladesh, organised by George Harrison to fight famine in south Asia. He also catches up with Frances Moore Lappe to ask what 'Diet for a Small Planet' can tell us about food and our world fifty years on. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino
May 09, 2021
The Joy of Heat
The chilli revolution of the past decade has made the UK a nation of chilli-jam lovers, and windowsill spice-growers. But our desire for the fiery kick of heat-giving food goes back centuries. What is it about us that makes us crave the pain and pleasure of chilli, wasabi, and horseradish? In this programme Sheila Dillon investigates our love for the hot stuff, speaking to chefs, growers, and researchers who are taking heat to new, extravagant heights. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Melvin Rickarby
May 03, 2021
A Nominations Celebration
The BBC Food and Farming Awards are back for their 20th edition, ready to celebrate the people across the UK who are changing lives for the better, through food and drink. Marking the official opening of nominations, Sheila Dillon chats to this year's head judge, chef Angela Hartnett, about how the hospitality industry's coped over the past year - and the brand new awards categories up for grabs. Because although it's been a time of incredible stress and hardship for many in the industry, there have also been staggering displays of imagination, generosity and creativity; which is why this year's awards will focus on the people and businesses who’ve gone above and beyond during the pandemic. Nominations are open until just before midnight on Monday 17th May. For more information on how to nominate for the 2021 BBC Food and Farming Awards, visit: Presented by Sheila Dillon; produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Apr 25, 2021
Lab-grown meat: How long before it's on a menu near you?
The first lab-grown beef burger was cooked and eaten in London in 2013. Since then more than 15 types of meat have been re-created by food scientists - including lamb, duck, lobster and even kangaroo. Last year, Singapore became the first country in the world to approve the sale of a cultured chicken nugget - so how far away are we in the UK from seeing cultured meat on the menu? The companies producing lab-grown meat say it is the answer to many of the world's problems; deforestation, factory farming, antibiotic resistance and carbon emissions. Sceptics say it is too expensive, highly-processed and any 'green' credentials have yet to be proven. In this programme, Sheila Dillon speaks to some of those at the forefront of developments, and asks if lab-grown meat is the fix the meat eating world has been asking for? Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Apr 19, 2021
The Urban Growing Revolution
Planting and growing food has had a massive boost during the pandemic - and that hasn't been limited to those with gardens. Right across the country, people have been making the most of balconies, rooftops, even window boxes to get their green-fingered fix, as increasing numbers of us enjoy the benefits of interacting with nature and having a hand in producing our own food. Hot on the heels of her own spring planting project, Leyla Kazim explores stories of food being grown in cities: from individuals re-purposing tiny outdoor spaces during lockdown; to community garden projects providing fresh food and mental health support; through to innovative urban farms offering ideas for our future food security. Leyla speaks to writer and YouTube gardening sensation Huw Richards; Dr Jill Edmondson from the University of Sheffield, who's collecting data on national growing habits; and a range of first-time growers who've been following her tutorials on social media. She also hears from Woodlands Community Garden in Glasgow, and the Grow Cardiff city growing project - and heads to Stockport rooftop garden The Landing with chef Sam Buckley from Where The Light Gets In and Jo Payne from Manchester Urban Diggers, to find out just how valuable a green space for growing food in the heart of a city can be... Presented by Leyla Kazim; produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Apr 11, 2021
The Magic of Mussels (And Their Troubled Trade)
Dan Saladino finds out how Brexit could wreck plans to turn the mussel into a mainstream food. They're good for our health and the environment so why are producers facing ruin? From their base in Lyme Bay in South Devon Nicki and John Holmyard grow mussels out at sea. Their pioneering farm, once completed, will be the largest of its kind in European waters, capable of producing ten thousand tonnes of mussels each year. Since January however, they haven't been able to harvest the shellfish which they mostly sell into to Europe. Following Brexit a dispute between the government and the EU has meant the export of much of the UK's live bivalve molluscs (oysters and cockles as well as mussels) has ground to a halt. Dan explains what lies behind this trade dispute and the devastating impact its having on the industry. Exports into the European Union are essential to mussel farmers in the UK because we eat so little of the shellfish we produce. So why do these bivalves matter? Mary Seddon, a mollusc expert, explains why this source of food was so important to our ancestors and also describes the environmental benefits mussels bring to our coastline. Belgian food writer Regula Ysewin (pictured) reveals why it was Belgium that fell in love with mussels and also provides a guide to cooking them. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Apr 04, 2021
Food, James Bond’s food
We don’t often see James Bond eating in the films, but in the novel food is almost as important as espionage, cocktails, sex, villains and travel. As many await the release of the new Bond film, we want to take your taste buds on a journey, to the flavours that were so unimaginably exotic when these books were written in the 1950s and 60s. Tom Jaine, former restaurateur and editor of The Good Food Guide, came of age when the Bond books were written. He remembers sneaking a copy of Casino Royale from his parents’ book group and being transported by it’s exoticism. The food was completely beyond the imagination for a post-war generation who were newly out of rationing. We meet Edward Biddulph, archaeologist by day, Bond enthusiast by night who has written Licence to Cook, in which he recreates the meals in the Bond books. Edward teaches Sheila how to make Bond’s most iconic dish - scrambled eggs. Biographer Andrew Lycett explains how the appetites of Ian Fleming made it into James Bond’s own tastes. And food journalist Clare Finney connect with the desire to be transported on a culinary adventure when the world around you is rather drab. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Emma Weatherill
Mar 28, 2021
Food in Lockdown: One Year On
A year after the UK was first put into lockdown, Sheila Dillon catches up with some of those who have been keeping the nation fed. If you listened to news reports, you might have thought getting food in lockdown was all about supermarkets and delivery slots, but as we have been hearing during the past year, it has been quite a bit more complicated than that. Coronavirus and lockdown has reset our minds to local and opened our eyes to how widespread hunger is in Britain. In this episode, Sheila brings together the Chief Executive of the UK's largest and longest-running food redistribution charity, Fareshare; the owner of a Rhondda convenience store who during the year has started a new online-delivery business; a London cheesemonger who has seen producers alter and adapt for a changed market; and she meets a pastry chef who has given up the restaurant business to deliver cakes and treats from her home. So what have we learned during this past year about our food supply chains, and how are we doing things differently? And how much of what has changed will last forever? Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Mar 21, 2021
The Barrel Effect: Why Oak casks have stood the test of time.
Brewer Jaega Wise looks into the history of the oak barrel, and hears how despite their shape, sizes and names having barely changed in hundreds of years, their use for flavouring drinks really has. There are an estimated 25 million casks in Scotland, mostly filled with Scotch whisky. Although their contents could not be more Scottish, the casks themselves are generally not. We find out why most in fact originate in the United States, and from one State in particular.. Kentucky. Jaega speaks to Scottish distillers about why they use second-hand casks for maturation, how different varieties of oak can impart different flavours, and why some are keen to get more Scottish oak casks in use. She meets beer brewers, who are using oak to create new flavours for a new generation of drinkers keen to try alternative flavours. And she hears why English wine makers might prefer to age in oak compared with vintners in warmer climates. Plus as the number of coopers in the UK starts to creep up again after years of decline, Jaega meets one of William Grant and Sons' newest recruits. Dylan Carter worked as a chef before being furloughed during the Covid pandemic, and has recently successfully become an apprentice cooper. Presented by Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
Mar 14, 2021
Genome editing and the future of food
Dan Saladino looks at the future role of genome editing in food and farming. A public consultation is underway on technologies such as CRISPR. What could it mean for farmers and consumers? Unlike transgenic technologies (in which DNA is moved from one species to another), genome editing can be used to create changes to the DNA of plants and animals within a species. Helping to explain how the technology works is a plant biologist working at Cold Spring Harbour in the United States, Zach Lippman. He's using CRISPR to create new types of tomato plants, some of which are higher yielding, more compact and better suited to urban agriculture. Meanwhile, Dr Mike McGrew, a molecular biologist based at the Roslin Institute in Scotland describes how genome editing might help result in future breeds of chickens that are completely resistant to avian influenza, a serious problem for all forms of poultry production. The public consultation has been prompted by the UK government's desire to change the legal status of genome editing. At present, because of a decision by the European Court of Justice back in 2018, the technology is as strictly regulated as all other forms of genetic modification. Brexit makes it possible to diverge from the EU's position. Lawrence Woodward of the campaign group Beyond GM has concerns over the process. For such a powerful technology, one that could potentially transform the future of food and farming, he argues we need a much bigger public debate. Farmer Guy Watson of Riverford Organic and Philip Lymbery of Compassion in World Farming both fear the technology will result in more intensive, industrial forms of production. Gideon Henderson, DEFRA's Chief Scientific Adviser gives his response. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Mar 07, 2021
School Food: Re-imagined
What is the current school meal model, how well is it working and how has the pandemic highlighted existing problems and created new ones? More importantly, given the very public problems that have cropped up in recent months, how can the system be improved and made more sustainable and resilient? Sheila Dillon brings together a panel of school food visionaries to re-imagine the way we provide meals to pupils across the UK, and consider whether and how we could change the system for the better. They are Jeanette Orrey - a former dinner lady and winner of the BBC Food and Farming Awards Cook of the Year, now a school meals campaigner and co-founder of Food for Life, an organisation focused on transforming school food and food culture; Nicole Pisani - a former head chef at Yotam Ottolenghi’s London restaurant NOPI, now a school chef and co-founder of the organisation Chefs in Schools, bringing together chefs and teachers to change attitudes to school meals and food education; and Christina Adane - a food poverty activist and chair for the Youth Board of BiteBack2030, a youth-led movement on a mission to fight child obesity and give young people access to healthy food and lifestyles. The panel also hear from past programmes that featured schools doing something special around food provision: St Winnow’s School in Cornwall, Logie Primary School in Moray and Washingborough Academy in Lincolnshire. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Lucy Taylor Photo: Washingborough Academy's Chef Michael Richardson prepares meal boxes for delivery during the pandemic (2020).
Feb 28, 2021
Everything Stops For Tea.
The past 12 months have been tumultuous for us all. But imagine, for one second, how it would have been without a cup of tea? In the first three months of lockdown, we spent an additional £24 million on tea and coffee according to research firm Kantar. And despite tea trends diverging from the traditional cuppa over the years, the UK and Ireland remain two of the top tea drinking nations per capita, in the world. In this programme Jaega Wise looks at the connections we've built over tea, and why it plays such an important role in our lives. From the intricately performed traditional Japanese tea ceremony, courtesy of Camellia Flower Teahouse in Kyoto. To the significance, and potentially health giving ritual, of a brew between friends as uncovered by Newcastle University's Dr Edward Okello. And she focusses on a tea ritual of a very different kind - the art of tea tasting with Twinings Master blender Rishi Deb. Presented by Jaega Wise. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Feb 21, 2021
Charles Campion: A Life Through Food.
The writer Charles Campion, who passed away recently, was an obsessive collector of food stories. With the help of Jay Rayner, Cyrus Todiwala, Nigel Barden, Mark Hix and Angela Hartnett, Dan Saladino finds out why. Charles had first worked in advertising, then became a chef in his own hotel-restaurant and eventually turned to food writing. He made numerous appearances on The Food Programme and was a longstanding judge in the BBC Food and Farming Awards. As Jay Rayner explains in this edition, 'the food world will be all the poorer for him not being in it.' Produced and presented by Dan Saladino. Photo credit: Dominick Tyler.
Feb 14, 2021
Cooking Blind
Amar Latif, entrepreneur and presenter, became the first blind contestant on BBC One's Celebrity MasterChef in 2019. During the series he inspired viewers, sighted, blind and partially sighted, as well as the MasterChef judges with this recipes and flair for flavours. Amar is one cook speaking to Sheila Dillon about his culinary inspiration and his rejuvenated enthusiasm for cooking. Sheila also speaks to double world champion, Paralympic Gold medal winning tandem cyclist, lifetime home cook and healthy food blogger Lora Fachie MBE about what role cooking has played in her life and career. And blind writer Simon Mahoney explains why he was inspired to write his first cookbook when he taught himself to cook after his wife, "his eyes" passed away. Sheila hears food stories and kitchen inspiration for aspiring cooks, whether sighted or blind. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Feb 07, 2021
Flavours of Home: The refugees forging new lives through food
COVID-19 may have pushed it from the front pages, but the refugee crisis rages on around the world, fed by war, famine and political persecution; and that’s before you even factor in a global pandemic. In this programme, Sheila Dillon explores the remarkable stories of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK, forging new lives and careers through food. She hears from Josie Naughton, co-founder and CEO of refugee aid organisation Choose Love; Chernise Neo and her team at Proof Bakery in Coventry, an artisan bakery that trains and employs refugee women; Jess Thompson, the founder of Migrateful - a social enterprise where asylum seekers and refugees teach cooking classes, passing on dishes from their homelands - and one of their teaching team, Ahmed Sinno; and catches up with Chef Imad Alarnab, ahead of the opening of his London restaurant. Rebuilding your life in a different country, learning a new language, integrating into a new community: none of this is easy. But cooking and sharing food can offer some rare common ground, bringing people together no matter where they're from. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor
Jan 31, 2021
All at Sea? Fishing after Brexit
Dan Saladino finds out what the Brexit deal means for the fishing industry. Some exports and logistics companies have seen problems along the supply chain into Europe. Is this just a glitch or a long term issue? With the UK now outside of the EU's Single Market and Customs Union, new border controls are in place and a new system for exporting goods is in place. One exporter working under this new system is David Noble whose business is based on the Scottish west coast. He describes the delays he has experienced and the extra costs he has encountered. The company which moves most of the UK's fish across Europe is called DFDS. The head of their 'cold chain', Eddie Green explains the range of factors that disrupted fish exports, from confusion over paperwork to IT system failures. Dan also looks at some of the longer term questions being posed by the Brexit deal, for example, how much extra fish do we now have access to? To answer this Dan has some help from Radio 4's More or Less team who not only examined the stats behind the UK's new quota regime but also explained the calculations in a sea shanty (lyrics were by Kate Lamble, to a traditional tune, arranged by Freda D’Souza and mixed by James Beard. The singers were David Denyer, Sophie D'Souza, Will Ashcroft and on bass Moose). The UK's exclusion zone is also on the agenda. It had been expected to be set at 12 miles but in the Brexit deal it stands at six miles from the coast. People from the industry explain why this is a big issue for them. But what about the role of British consumers? Can our eating habits help shape the future of the post-Brexit industry? Chef Mitch Tonks explains why we need to eat a more diverse range of fish to help our fishers. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jan 24, 2021
What to Eat to Save the Planet?
As scientific evidence grows showing an urgent need for us to reduce the environmental impact of food we eat, Sheila Dillon looks for practical ways we can change our diets. From increasing UK investment in plant protein, to producing meat differently; from embracing veganism to counting carbon. She speaks to chef Tom Hunt, author of 'Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet'; farmer Ed Dickson of 'Wild By Nature'; British pulse entrpreneur Nick Saltmarsh of 'Hodmedod'; food writer Hattie Ellis and Edwin Bark, CEO of plant based meat manufacturer 'Plant & Bean'. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Jan 17, 2021
BrewDog: Punks grown up?
BrewDog to a lot of people are almost synonymous with 'craft beer.' They are everywhere from supermarkets to off licences and have their own chain of bars across the country and abroad. They also have tens of thousands of loyal fans who have invested in the company through their 'equity of punks' scheme. They have generated a fair amount of controversy and infuriated some in the beer world. But no one can deny the huge impact they have made on the way we drink in this country. In this programme, brewer Jaega Wise investigates the phenomenon of BrewDog, how from humble beginnings they have helped craft beer become a British staple through brash and controversial marketing and taking huge risks in business and beer. Founders James Watt and Martin Dickie, who have just published a book BrewDog: Craft Beer for the Geeks, talk about their 13 years running one of the most exiting but controversial drink brands in the UK. She also talks to some if the investors in the 'equity of punks' scheme (EFPs) about why the company has become an important part of their lives, to the beer writer Pete Brown about his new book Craft: an Argument. Presented by Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Sam Grist
Jan 10, 2021
Inside the World Food Programme
Dan Saladino tells the inside story of Nobel Peace Prize winners the World Food Programme. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jan 04, 2021
Loving the Leftovers
Christmas is over, everyone’s eaten too much – and yet, there’s still a mountain of leftover goodies, from the turkey to the cheese board, from the veggies to the fruit cake. So how can we make the most of festive leftovers? And for that matter, leftovers at any time of year? Because this isn’t just about reducing the 4.5 million tonnes of food that UK households waste every year, it can also be a route to some seriously delicious dishes… Sheila Dillon gets creative in the kitchen while finding out more about the leftovers ethos from cook and author Melissa Hemsley, food-loving writer Bill Buford, and author and journalist Debora Robertson; along with tips for up-cycling the remainders of festive feasts from School of Wok's Jeremy Pang, Gardeners' World's Frances Tophill and BBC Food's Emily Angle. Presented by Sheila Dillon; produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol. Pictured: BBC Food's Ultimate Festive Cheese Toastie from Sarah Cook. Find the recipe at
Dec 27, 2020
Christmas Cooking: The 2020 Edit
Christmas will be different this year, but it doesn't mean it should be any less delicious. Sheila Dillon is joined by cooks who know about cooking for Christmas. She pays food writer Nigel Slater a socially distanced festive visit to talk about one of his favourite seasons in the kitchen. Baker, writer and doctor Tamal Ray, who cooked his family Christmas dinner solo for the first time in 2019, shares his learnings and gives advice for last minute Christmas desserts. Brothers and co-founders of 'Original Flava' Craig and Shaun McAnuff share memories of Christmases past and their ideas for festive party drinks. While writer Kate Young, author of "The Little Library Christmas" speaks to Sheila about making new culinary traditions and embracing the downtime the festive period can provide. And in a year where get-togethers might just look a little bit different, outdoor cook and BBQ expert Genevieve Taylor proves the cold isn't an excuse not to keep cooking al fresco and designs a full Christmas dinner for the fire. With a few days to go before the big day, and whatever's on the menu this year, The Food Programme and friends guarantee a bit of Christmas cheer. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio Bristol.
Dec 20, 2020
The Secret Life of Chocolate. Part 2: The future.
Sheila Dillon is joined by baker and chocolatier Selasi Gbormittah and chocoholic comedian Sue Perkins to celebrate the present and future of the British chocolate bar. They look to a new generation of UK bred 'Willy Wonkas', chocolate makers large and small, from South East London to West Wales. And Sheila tracks down one major chocolate player disrupting the international market with its bold designs, flavours and business model focussed on ending child slavery in cocoa production. The last of a two part chocolate special of The Food Programme. Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio Bristol. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 2020.
Dec 13, 2020
The Secret Life of Chocolate. Part 1: Origins
Dan Saladino explores the origins of cacao, from the bean's journey from central America to Europe and the rise of the chocolate bar. The first of a two part chocolate special of The Food Programme. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 2020.
Dec 06, 2020
Cookbooks of 2020
Whether it's a recipe book full of mouthwatering meals, a deep dive into the science of what we eat or a collection of must-try cocktails, books about food and drink have the power to educate, entertain and enthrall - all in the comfort of your own home. And this year, that's been more important than ever! The Food Programme's presenting team - Sheila Dillon, Dan Saladino, Leyla Kazim and Jaega Wise - gather for their annual book summit, sharing their favourite titles of 2020 and hopefully giving some festive gift inspiration along the way... Plus tales from Iceland's 'Jolabokaflod' Christmas book tradition with Christopher Norris, this year's food and drink book sales chart with The Bookseller's Tom Tivnan, and a first book launch for former BBC Food and Farming Award winners, The Seafood Shack... Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol. Featured books include: - Spoon-fed by Tim Spector - Nose Dive by Harold McGee - Root Stem Leaf Flower by Gill Meller - Borough Market: Edible Histories by Mark Riddaway - The Rangoon Sisters: Authentic Burmese Home Cooking by Amy Chung and Emily Chung - Community Comfort: Recipes from the Diaspora compiled by Riaz Phillips - Free the Tipple by Jennifer Croll - Wine from another Galaxy: Noble Rot by Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew - How To Drink Without Drinking by Fiona Beckett - Red Sands by Caroline Eden - Oats in the North, Wheat from the South by Regula Ysewijn - Eat Like The Animals: What Nature Teaches Us About Healthy Eating by David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson
Nov 29, 2020
What’s the deal with "chlorinated chicken"?
What do we mean by chlorinated chicken? Why is it such a bad thing? What exactly are the UK standards that we’re so keen to promote and protect? To what extent can shoppers afford to prioritise animal welfare over price? And will the government keep its pledge not to undercut our food producers? Using “chlorinated chicken” as a starting point, Charlotte Smith considers the questions around a future trade deal with the US - and others - on the British food sector. She speaks to Cath Elliston from the youth-led movement BiteBack about its ‘Save Our standards’ campaign – and asks US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue why we should import US poultry. Charlotte discusses current UK poultry production standards and how we compare to other countries with Dr Siobhan Mullan from Bristol Veterinary School, and visits Gloucestershire farmer Charles Bourns, who sees a growing market for higher welfare chicken. We also hear from the Centre for Retail Research’s Professor Joshua Bamfield on consumer purchasing trends, and get more detail on our trade deal options from Emily Lydgate, a senior lecturer in law at the University of Sussex and deputy director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. Presented by Charlotte Smith, produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol.
Nov 22, 2020
Raymond Blanc: The Lost Orchard
Raymond Blanc has spent decades growing an orchard at Le Manoir. An orchard Raymond has planted with 2500 rare trees from in the hope of saving lost and endangered varieties. He explains to Dan Saladino why the orchard might end up being his greatest legacy, a story he has captured in his book, The Lost Orchard. He also selects five different apples that help tell his life story. Dr Joan Morgan, the world's leading pomologist, described as the 'Queen of Apples' helps to tell the stories of the varieties Raymond has chosen. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Nov 15, 2020
University Challenge: How students and universities are managing meals during the pandemic
Universities have become big business in the UK in recent decades - educating around 2.3 million students, with an annual operating expenditure of over £37 billion at the last count. But since the start of this academic year, we’ve heard massively mixed reports on how universities are coping; not least, with managing food provision. In a term when COVID-19 has put new and unexpected pressures on existing frameworks the response from institutes has been hugely varied, from teams rising to the challenge and delivering innovative meal solutions, to “disgraceful profiteering". The situation's prompted student petitions, protests and even rent strikes. So what has this unprecedented clash of virus, education and money taught us about the UK’s centres of learning – and what lessons have they learned, to help things run more smoothly next year? Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Nov 08, 2020
Nadiya Hussain: A Life Through Food
It's been five years since Nadiya Hussain left the Great British Bake Off tent victorious, inspiring and instilling confidence in wannabe bakers across the UK. In that time, Nadiya has presented eight TV series and a one off documentary and written 11 books. No surprise then that as a child Nadiya was academic, loved exams and says that in everything she's done in her life since, she has always strived to be the best she can possible be. Leyla Kazim sits down for a conversation with the baker from Luton who has become one of the UK's most beloved TV cooks to ask about her teenage years, her family life and the discrimination she's faced making her way in a majority white food industry. Along with her friend and fellow baker Tan France, she reflects on the significance of her winning the Great British Bake Off all those five years ago. Presented by Leyla Kazim. Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Nov 01, 2020
Eat Your Way to Power: Food and Politics on the Campaign Trail
Food can tell us a lot about our politicians, at least that seems to be what we think. We love to see them eat and we obsess about what goes in their mouths. It can be a high-wire act. Do it right to prove that you are just like your voters but do it wrong and you are a slob, a phoney or a weirdo. In this week’s food programme Sheila Dillon investigates the power of public eating in political campaigning. We talk to Trump’s former communications Director Anthony 'The Mooch' Scaramucci about the president’s love of fast food and why he communicates so well through what he eats. Ed Miliband’s former advisor Ayesha Hazarika tells us why photos of him eating a bacon sandwich had measurable effect on the 2015 General Election. We also talk to James Beard winning photo journalist Gary He about his time with some of the Democratic Candidates taking photos of every single thing they ate. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Sam Grist for BBC Audio in Bristol
Oct 25, 2020
Faith, Fasts and Feasts: The role of food in Jewish celebration
This year’s autumn run of Jewish holy days has been like no other; but even with coronavirus-related restrictions in place, food and community has remained at the heart of celebrations for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Leyla Kazim hears from a socially distanced Sukkot meal in North London hosted by Rabbi Daniel Epstein and his wife Ilana - founder of the Jewish food and heritage organisation Ta'am - along with their son Jacob, and their guest: long-term friend and comedian Rachel Creeger, whose anecdotes about her family's passion for traditional dishes have played a key role in her stage act. Leyla also receives a festival food diary from Rabbi Dovid Lewis and his family in Manchester; chats to singer-songwriter Jessie Ware and her mum Lennie about how they brought Jewish food culture to the table in their Table Manners podcast and new cookbook; and gets some insight into how traditional fare is getting healthier with food writer Judi Rose. Through stories of food, family and feasting, Leyla discovers how Jewish communities in the UK are adapting festivities to the current climate, and the modern world. Produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Oct 18, 2020
English Pastoral: James Rebanks on the future of food.
Dan Saladino visits shepherd and writer James Rebanks whose farm in Cumbria spans three generations. What does can that history teach us about where food and farming go next? In his latest book English Pastoral: An Inheritance James Rebanks provides an insiders account of the seismic changes to farming from the 1960s to the present day. Farming became brilliantly productive, he argues , but ecologically destructive. He explains how Cumbria's landscape was transformed by more intensive agriculture, and what we can do now to bring life back to the soil, to natural habitats and still the produce the food we need. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Oct 11, 2020
Taking the Biscuit: How a long-life ration became the quintessential British comfort food
Biscuits aren’t just a classic accompaniment to a cuppa: they’re also somehow an edible comforter - very often providing a link to childhood, to family, to happy memories. And of course, giving that all-important sugary pick-me-up. All of which goes some way towards explaining why, over just one month of lockdown, the UK spent an extra £19 million on biscuits, according to market research firm Kantar; and why baking biscuits helped keep so many of us sane during what's been a tough year. But there is more to the humble biscuit than comfort. This is a food that helped shape wartime rations, that was front and centre of Britain's factory revolution, that formed the basis for an industry that employed thousands and shaped neighbourhoods - and today, remains a key component of the UK's food manufacturing and trade sectors. So what's the secret to their success? Sheila Dillon finds out. Produced by Lucy Taylor for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Oct 04, 2020
Wheat Revolutions
Dan Saladino tells the story of wheat from the domestication of wild grasses in the Neolithic Revolution through to the controversial Green Revolution of the 20th century.
Sep 27, 2020
Kitchen obsessives: Why aim to cook the perfect dish?
March 2020. Supermarket shelves were bare, restaurants and takeaways were closed, schools and workplaces closed. Perhaps it's no surprise then that all around the world, people started getting creative in the kitchen. But as Leyla Kazim finds in this programme, some cooks took lockdown cooking to a whole new level. Warwickshire cook Dan Fell made headlines for sharing his 'perfect' fried chicken recipe after spending 18 months testing it. In New York, journalist and chef Bill Buford became obsessed with cooking the perfect roast chicken. And journalist Kate Ng spent her days emulating the perfect crimps on her Grandmother's curry puffs. It seemed we'd become culinary perfectionists in our own kitchens. For Leyla Kazim, lockdown was all about baking the perfect sourdough loaf. In this programme she wants asks why so many of us became obsessed with creating the perfect meal, and what the quest for perfecting a dish says about us. She speaks to long standing recipe obsessives food writer Felicity Cloake and 'obsessional' Youtube cook Alex. Presented by Leyla Kazim. Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Sep 20, 2020
The Ice Cream Van: A Celebration.
Dan Saladino and his dad Bobo (a former ice-cream man) talk Mr Whippy, 99s and Screwballs. Together Dan and Bobo (who also used to work in restaurants) have explored the wonders of pizza, and looked at the rise of 'Spag Bol,' Now they turn their attention to the history, science and magic of ice-cream on wheels. Featuring John Dickie (author of Delizia and The Craft) and Polly Russell (British Library) on the history of ice cream. Graphic novelist Matthew Dooley (who drew the image for this edition) talks about his book Flake, a drama set in the world of ice-cream vans. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Sep 13, 2020
A different kind of S.W.A.T team: Food in Lockdown
In 2019, Romy Gill met Randeep Singh, CEO of NishkamSWAT (Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team). 10 years previous, Randeep and his colleagues had a moment of realisation. More than 200 people in their immediate local community were living without a home. They were hidden from normal life, living beneath bridges or in refuse collection rooms. Together, they decided they could do something to help them, and they begun a project cooking hot meals and sourcing food donations. But they didn't stop there. NishkamSWAT was only in it's infancy. More than a decade on, Randeep and his central team now co-ordinate a fleet of vans, and more than 1000 volunteers, who gather several times a week to provide food and drinks, health services and support at locations across the country and the world. The project comes from the Sikh concept of 'Langar', a volunteer run kitchen found in Sikh temples, and inspired by the message of Guru Nanak. But this is food for anyone who needs it. Then in March 2020, Covid-19 struck and the UK went into lockdown. Suddenly the number of people out on the streets increased, with many people who'd been working in hospitality suddenly out of work. So how have Randeep and his 'different kind of SWAT team' managed to keep running the food service which so many have come to rely on? In this programme, we hear Romy Gill cooking with volunteers, and serving people in central London last year. And Randeep tells how his team have managed to keep their food service going under challenging circumstances. Romy also speaks to chef Ravinder Bhogal of Jikoni restaurant, one of the chefs inspired to help. Presented by Sheila Dillon with Romy Gill. Produced by Clare Salisbury. A BBC Audio Bristol production for Radio 4
Sep 07, 2020
Sitopia - a land with food at its centre
Prime Minister Carolyn Steel joins Sheila Dillon for this special edition of The Food Programme from the year 2030. Sheila discusses the prime minister’s rise to power after Britain saw food shortages and riots in the 2020s and what it is like to now live in Sitopia - a land with food at the centre of everyone’s lives. After meeting the prime minister in the Rose Garden, which is now a bounteous vegetable garden, Ms Steel and Sheila take a walk around London to see the radical changes to the country. She meets Chris Young from the Real Bread Campaign to hear about how the banning of industrial bread has created thousands of jobs in bakeries. Sheila holograms with Stephen Ritz, founder of The Green Bronx Machine, to hear how his pioneering work inspired the prime minister to turn school playing fields into gardens and classrooms into kitchens. And they speak with ‘agriwilding’ farmer Rebecca Hosking to see how nature and farming now coexist. Back in the Rose Garden Sheila interviews the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Patrick Holden - who in 2020 was the chief executive of The Sustainable Food Trust - to question him on how Britain can afford to live in Sitopia without a substantial raise in taxes. Prime Minister Steel explains how the Good Food Revolution all began after her book ‘Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World’ was published in 2020. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Emma Weatherill
Aug 30, 2020
Plate of the Nation
This year has already been a big one for food-related events and announcements - from the impact of Covid-19 and panic buying stripping supermarket shelves, to high-profile campaigns around school holiday hunger, to the government's plan to tackle obesity, to the recent launch of Part One of the National Food Strategy. So what does all this mean for the UK's food future? Sheila Dillon is joined by industry experts, to discuss how our food system could and should change in future, and answer questions from listeners and special guests about what those changes might mean and involve. The panellists are Helen Munday, chief scientific officer for the Food and Drink Federation and President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology; Dee Woods, a food educator, co-founder of Granville Community Kitchen and member of the Food Ethics Council; and Chris Elliott, Professor of food safety at Queen's University Belfast and founder of the Institute for Global Food Security. Sheila also speaks to Henry Dimbleby, author of the National Food Strategy, about the first instalment. Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Aug 23, 2020
Food and the legacy of slavery
Jaega Wise and Dan Saladino investigate the hidden story of slavery in our food. Between the 17th century and into the 19th, twelve million enslaved Africans were transported to the Caribbean and into the rest of the Americas. Their work transformed industries, including tobacco and cotton, but it was their agricultural labour that made the biggest impact on the world. The modern food system as we know it would not exist without the centuries of the brutal slavery put in place by European powers. The food we eat today, our palates and even the shapes of our bodies, are all a part of the legacy of slavery. And the biggest commodity of all was sugar. Jaega and Dan tell this story with the help of James Walvin, a writer and academic who has spent fifty years researching the role of slavery in making the modern world. Walvin argues that we still haven't acknowledged this fact, and to move forward we will need to come to terms with this history. The most tangible part of lives is in what we eat and drink; tea, coffee, chocolate, all were ingredients made possible with slavery and all were bitter products made palatable with the sugar of slavery. Dan also speaks to Michael Twitty, author of the Cooking Gene, and as an African-American cook, someone who has recreated the lives of enslaved people working in kitchens on plantations. Produced by Dan Saladino. Photo by Johnathan M. Lewis
Aug 16, 2020
How Consumers Saved Our Cheese
Many UK cheese makers depend on supplying restaurants and hospitality. They faced ruin when lockdown struck but were saved by consumers buying tonnes of cheese in just a few weeks. In this programme, Sheila Dillon meets those behind the campaign that saved British cheese makers, as well as those who benefited. She finds out why cheese is more than just a delicious treat, and asks 'what now' for the industry. A BBC Audio production, presented by Sheila Dillon and produced in Bristol by Heather Simons.
Aug 09, 2020
Return of the Restaurant?
Slowly but surely, restaurants are emerging from the coronavirus lockdown, introducing us to a new world of dining out, with added hygiene and distancing measures. But some outlets aren’t able to open safely yet - some may never open again. And although small, independent outlets might seem like the most obvious victims of this crisis, no business is immune to the effects of Covid-19; as we've seen from the slew of recent closures announced by established high-street brands. There has been government support for hospitality businesses in the shape of grants, for those who can access them; the staff furlough scheme; the dine-in VAT cut; and the new ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ meal discount scheme that launches this month. But with the situation still precarious, will it be enough? Today, Sheila Dillon finds out how Britain’s £130-billion hospitality industry is managing its post-lockdown come-back. We hear from Tanya Gold, food critic for The Spectator Magazine, on the reality of distanced dining; Mark Lewis from the benevolent charity Hospitality Action discusses the influx of requests for support they've seen in recent months; and Vernon Mascarenhas from fruit and veg supplier Nature's Choice talks about how the pandemic has permanently changed the supply sector. We also follow the fortunes of the north London Nigerian tapas restaurant Chuku’s, as sibling founders Ifeyinwa and Emeka Frederick gear up to the big reopening. A BBC Audio production presented by Sheila Dillon and produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Aug 02, 2020
Julian Metcalfe: A Life Through Food
Slowly, the hospitality industry is easing itself out of lockdown: but the sector has been hard hit - particularly those high-street outlets seen in towns and cities across the country, offering quick lunch options for a legion of office workers who are no longer around... In a sector that was already struggling, with slow business hitting chains such as Jamie's Italian and burger brand Byron, what will it take for these brands to not only survive coronavirus, but thrive long term? Who better to ask than a man who's been instrumental in shaping the nation's high-street fast food offerings: Julian Metcalfe. Sheila Dillon speaks to the co-founder of international food retailer Pret A Manger about entrepreneurship, his on Asian-inspired brand itsu, staying creative during lockdown - and what he sees as his mission to offer healthy, affordable fast food on the high street. Presented by Sheila Dillon, produced by Lucy Taylor.
Jul 26, 2020
Food and Mood: how eating affects your mental health
One silver lining of lockdown is that it has brought talk of mental health, particularly depression, into the general conversation. And what is becoming increasingly evident is the role that food has in warding off depression and anxiety. Professor Felice Jacka is the leading expert in the link between mental health and nutrition and is the president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. She discusses the wealth of research which demonstrates the link between diet and the growth of the hippocampus. Many people found that cooking helped boost their mood in lockdown - evident from the shortages of baking ingredients on our shelves. Writer and comedian Katy Brand tells Sheila that she finds cooking gives her a sense of control and helps alleviate stress. Kimberley Wilson is unusual among chartered psychologists because she also holds a masters degree in nutrition. When her clients come to her with depression and anxiety one of the first things she does is talk to them about what they eat. She thinks that although we have readily accepted the idea that we need to eat good food to look after other organs in our body, we are reluctant to see the connection to our brain’s health. So if food is proved to be central to improving our mental health, how come GPs are unlikely to talk to you about it? Sheila talks to Dr Rupy Aujla, from the Doctor’s Kitchen, about why good nutrition is too often overlooked in the medical profession. And Romy Gill discusses mental health struggles with fellow chefs Ellis Barrie and Anna Haugh. Chefs spend all day cooking for other people but all too often fail to feed themselves good food. In lockdown chefs have had a moment to reflect on the pressure of a professional kitchen and the impact this has on their mental health. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Emma Weatherill
Jul 19, 2020
Child Food Poverty: What next after the Government's U-turn on Free School Meals?
Last month, footballer Marcus Rashford wrote an open letter to MPs calling for them to continue funding free schools meals during the summer holidays. He called for support to a petition started by teenage campaigner Christina Adane, and within hours, the Government responded. All children eligible for free school meals in term time in England would benefit from the ‘Covid summer food fund’. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would also continue with voucher programmes. But funding would stop, Boris Johnson confirmed, after the summer. So what then? In this programme, Sheila Dillon is joined by two young campaigners on child food poverty Jani Clarke and Shane Robinson who've been hearing from young people across the UK with first-hand experiences of food poverty in their communities. They explain how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected home life and access to nutritious food. And why they are working with food campaigning charity The Food Foundation to demand more action from the UK government in their updated Right2Food charter. Sheila also asks actor and campaigner Dame Emma Thompson on why she's calling for the Government to listen to these young people. Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement Debbie Weekes-Bernard explains how the pandemic has affected opportunities for families living in food poverty, and journalist Louise Tickle describes the potential long term impact on children’s' access to education and opportunities should food poverty figures rise in the UK. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Jul 12, 2020
Is it harder to make it in the food industry if you’re black?
The Black Farmer thinks we’re at another #MeToo moment in world history following the death of George Floyd and the protests and discussions about racism it has sparked. For presenter Jaega Wise, it’s the first time in her life she has experienced race being talked about so frankly across society. She talks to three people who have been at the forefront of the conversation: Melissa Thompson who runs the food and recipe project Foulmouths, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones who runs the brand The Black Farmer, and Riaz Phillips - author of Belly Full, a book about Britain’s Caribbean food. All three have spoken out about diversity in the food media, hospitality and the supply chain in the last few weeks and Jaega hears their experiences and opinions on being black in Britain’s food industry. Presenter: Jaega Wise Producer: Tom Bonnett Picture courtesy of Samer Moukarzel
Jul 05, 2020
Rethink: The Food Dimension.
As part of the BBC's Rethink series Dan Saladino asks how we can create a better food future for all in a post-Covid world. Among a cast of experts and activists offering their visions of the future are Microbiome expert and geneticist Professor Tim Spector focuses on diet, nutrition and the lessons learnt during the pandemic. Community cook Dee Woods addresses concerns over poverty and how disadvantaged communities can get better access to food. Produced by Dan Saladino.
Jun 28, 2020
Why The Corner Shop Has Come Into Its Own
Remember March? Before the UK lockdown. Remember desolate supermarket shelves? Toilet rolls, eggs, flour nowhere to be found? Where did you turn? Chances are you may have hit the jackpot in your local corner shop. Sales in corner shops and independent grocers were up by 63 per cent in the three months to May according to industry analysts Kantar. For many small grocery shops, business has never been better. But as Sheila Dillon finds out, that's gone hand in hand with exceptionally long hours, miles and miles driven to cash & carries, finding new local suppliers, entrepreneurial social distancing solutions, and alot of community support. In this programme Sheila checks in with the people running corner shops across the country, and with their customers. She hears from Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing, whose local shops inspired them to write 'The Cornershop Cookbook'. And Babita Sharma, author of 'The Corner Shop: The True Story of the Little Shops - and Shopkeepers - Keeping Britain Going' talks about her experience of growing up 'behind the counter'. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Jun 21, 2020
Seed Stories from the Lockdown
Dan Saladino meets some of the people who turned to seeds and grew food in the lockdown. As well as supermarket panic buying, seed sellers also saw huge spikes in sales. Seed producer David Price describes how, as lockdown approached, orders from customers increased by around 600 per cent. The impact Covid-19 has on food supplies explains some of this. Many farmers who supplied restaurants had to quickly start growing different types of food which they could sell into markets that hadn’t been shut down. Veg box schemes were also seeing unbelievable levels of demand and needed access to more seed to ensure future supplies. Lockdown also meant that people gardens were spending more time in them and perhaps experimenting by planting seeds to grow food for the first time. Seed producers became aware that many customers were being motivated by a desire to become more self-sufficient and escape the growing supermarket queues. With the help of gardener and writer Alys Fowler Dan finds out more about our changing relationship with seeds and the power and autonomy seed saving provides. Phil Howard, Associate Professor at Michigan State University explains how the global supply of seed now rests in a small number of corporate hands. In Bristol, Dan meets people who are striving for a new form of food independence during the pandemic, and beginning to grow their own. Another seed producer Fred Groom of Vital Seeds argues that more of us should be saving seeds, growing food and helping to save diversity. He's setting up an online course this summer as a way of recovering some of these lost skills (to find out more go to For decades, helping to keep the seed saving flame alive in gardens and allotments have been various communities around the UK who have continued to rely on them for fresh food. Among them are people who arrived from the Caribbean in the 1950s. Dan meets two inspirational Jamaican growers, Mr Brown and Leon Walker, both are evangelical about the power of seeds to shape our lives. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jun 14, 2020
How food on film is the secret ingredient to storytelling
Leyla Kazim meets Bend it like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha, OBE to hear how she uses food to bring her films to life and hears from Nathalie Morris of the British Film Institute about how breakfasts and arguments over butter tell the story in Phantom Thread. With all this food on screen, inevitably we’re left wanting to eat it. Leyla discovers the people painstakingly recreating recipes like writers Olivia Potts and Kate Young with their TV dinners and the YouTube phenomenon Binging with Babish, who gets millions of views for revealing how to make dishes from TV and film’s biggest hits - like the ram-don noodles from Oscar-winning film Parasite. Featuring clips from: Bend it Like Beckham, directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Gurinder Chadha, Guljit Bindra and Paul Mayeda Berges with production companies Kintop Pictures, Bend It Films, Roc Media, Road Movies, Filmproduktion What’s Cooking? Directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges for BeCause Entertainment Group Phantom Thread, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson for Production companies Annapurna Pictures, Ghoulardi Film Company and Perfect World Pictures. Binging with Babish: Ram-Don from Parasite – produced and presented by Andrew Rea YouTube channel Maangchi video ‘Jjapaguri with steak (aka "Ram-don" from the movie Parasite)’ American Beauty, directed by Sam Mendes, written by Alan Ball and produced by Jinks / Cohen Company Presenter: Leyla Kazim Producer: Tom Bonnett
Jun 07, 2020
Why Eat Wild Meat?
Dan Saladino looks at the legal and illegal global trade in wild meat. After links have been made between the Covid-19 pandemic and wild animal populations, there have been calls for a complete ban on the hunting, trade and consumption of wild animals. As Dan explains, this would be a mistake and could even lead to greater risks to human health and livelihoods. Most food cultures still feature wild animals, from deer, rabbit and game birds in northern Europe, to cane rats, porcupine and antelope in Africa. Much of this is legal and sustainable, however, in an increasingly globalised world, a parallel and unsustainable illegal trade has been flourishing. Because of its illicit nature hard figures are hard to come by, but the illegal wild animal business is put at around $10bn a year; below the gun and drugs trade but on a par with international people trafficking. Current thinking is that the Covid-19 outbreak originated at a so called 'wet market' in Wuhan in China; the virus is believed to have spread from bats, through other wild or domesticated animals packed together in a market and then passed onto humans. Because of this scenario, there have been calls from health professionals and politicians for a complete ban on the wild meat trade. Everyone agrees that the wild animal markets need to be reformed and current bans on the illegal trade should be enforced. However as Dan hears from EJ Milner-Gulland, Professor of Biodiversity, University of Oxford, who has spent thirty years working on animal conservation, this blanket approach is far too simplistic and could create more harm than good. There are communities around the world still dependent on wild animals for their food security and economic well being. A blanket ban would do serious harm to many already vulnerable populations. Professor Milner-Gulland also explains that there is blurring between wild animals used as food and those used as medicine, which has created a complex supply chain that also blurs the legal status of these animals. What we also need to be focusing on, she argues, is the impact of our own industrial food system on biodiversity and future risks of pandemic. This is a point echoed by Professor Andrew Cunningham, an expert in animal diseases at ZSL. He also explains the long history of zoonotic diseases such as measles, small pox and mumps as they jumped from animals to humans, in some cases thousands of years ago, and then moved around the world as humans travelled and traded. The Chinese food expert Fuchsia Dunlop explains that although the wild meat trade is a big issues in China, live animals have been disappearing from markets in towns and cities in recent decades as the country modernises. To provide an insight into how important wild animals are to the identities and food security of some cultures Dan Saladino speaks with Alyssa Crittenden, based at the University of the Nevada, Las Vegas, an expert on one of the world's last remaining hunter gatherers, the Hadza. Nature, their environment, including wild animals and their meat, are essential to the survival of the Hadza in their remote part of Tanzania Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
May 31, 2020
Last Orders: Does coronavirus spell boom or bust for Britain’s drinks sector?
Alcoholic drinks are not just big business in Britain - they are an essentially social business. Whether it's hitting your local with colleagues after work, raising a reception toast to newly-weds or selecting a favourite bottle to accompany dinner at a special restaurant, those traditional opportunities to buy and sell alcohol have been all but wiped out under lockdown. As Jaega Wise discovers, pubs, bars, restaurants and the drinks producers who supply them have been some of the hardest hit by virus control measures. But at the same time, alcohol sales have soared in recent weeks: retailers have enjoyed a boom in online orders, as have the producers and venues who've been able to adapt and target this new, stay-at-home market. So what does this mean for the British drinks sector in the longer term - and, once we're allowed to meet mates down the pub again, just how significantly will the UK's social landscape have changed? Presented by Jaega Wise, produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
May 24, 2020
Joe Wicks: A Life Through Food, through lockdown
When Joe Wicks, the personal trainer, started making Instagram videos in his kitchen in 2014, he couldn't have imagined he'd become author of the second biggest selling UK cookbook of all time. He built a social media brand with millions of followers, nay disciples, on Instagram and YouTube who came for the quick healthy recipes and online fitness workouts. And then, just as he was about to embark on a tour of UK primary schools, the Coronavirus pandemic swept the world and the UK. We were told to stay at home. Schools closed. Overnight, Joe came up with an idea. What if he could keep P.E lessons running from people's front rooms? In this programme Sheila catches up with 'The Body Coach' to hear how the huge spotlight on him during lockdown has affected him and his family. And there's a chance to listen again to what happened when Sheila and Joe cooked together in 2019. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced by Clare Salisbury.
May 17, 2020
The Kitchen Front: How wartime food strategies influenced our eating ethos
Making do, digging for victory, the hedgerow harvest, the garden front: food and farming was front and centre during the Second World War, with hearty phrases like these encouraging the population to pull together and do their bit for the national diet. Now, 75 years after Victory in Europe was declared, we’re hearing similar language in political speeches and across the media, as we “wage war” against coronavirus, in a country under lockdown. The rhetoric might be extreme – but as Sheila Dillon discovers, there are lessons to be learnt from the wartime eating ethos; particularly in this current climate of store-cupboard cooking, making do and reducing food waste. In fact, the war years marked a period when British diets and health actually improved. They also paved the way for agriculture’s Green Revolution, the expansion of processed and industrially produced edibles, and the drive towards cheap and plentiful food for all. As the UK marks a VE Day anniversary like no other, Sheila Dillon hears how the food legacy of WWII has influenced our modern diets - and considers what lessons we could still learn from the wartime eating ethos. Presented by Sheila Dillon; produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
May 10, 2020
Sheffield: A story of a city through its food
Leyla Kazim finds the independent spirit of Sheffield’s self-employed ‘little mesters’, who once combined to power the city’s steel industry, is now being channelled into new models for how food and drink can shape the future of cities. To guide her through the city’s story, artist Pete McKee and musician Richard Hawley tell Leyla what food was like in Sheffield when they were growing up, what’s changed and how a bottle of table sauce called Henderson’s Relish has become iconic. She has pie, chips and peas and a few drops of ‘the black stuff’ with Kane Yeardley who runs pubs and bars in the city, roasts coffee and brews beer with his company True North. Jules Gray from Hop Hideout bottle shop talks about striking out to move to run a bar, Matt Bigland who owns the city’s Cutlery Works food hall talks about the regeneration happening north of the city centre and Professor Vanessa Toulmin and Tim Nye sit down for a coffee at Marmadukes café near the famous Crucible Theatre to explain why the future of Sheffield’s independents could be opening up in the heart of the city. Presenter: Leyla Kazim Producer: Tom Bonnett Picture: Meat 'N' Tater Pie by Pete McKee
May 03, 2020
Bonus Podcast: More from Sheffield's Pete McKee and Richard Hawley
Hear an extended version of the interview with artist Pete McKee and musician Richard Hawley from the programme Sheffield: A Story of a City Through It's Food. Picture: Meat 'N' Tater by Pete McKee
May 03, 2020
Covid-19: The Food Waste Dimension.
Dan Saladino investigates how the coronavirus crisis has not only resulted in vast amounts of food being wasted but also saved and redirected to feed people in need. The global food system has been exposed to levels of disruption not seen since World War II. According to Andre Laperriere, of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Covid-19 has led to levels of food waste in developed economies increasing from around 30 per cent to 40 per cent of everything that's produced, distributed and consumed. Many farmers in Europe and north America have been unable to harvest their crops, supplies of food inside restaurants have been left uneaten and dairy farmers have had to dispose of millions of litres of milk. However, Covid-19 is also leading many people to rethink supply chains, reinvent national food systems and innovate. Dan hears about some of these ideas now being put into practice. He finds out how 'Disco Soups', online events that are taking place around the world combining cooking, music and dance is saving tonnes of food going to waste (and providing fun and social interaction). Meanwhile, specialist cheesemakers around the UK are exploring new ways of selling their cheese after restaurants, pubs and cafes were closed for the lockdown. One solution is a forthcoming British Cheese Weekender. This free online event will see cheese makers and experts present tastings and tutorials. The nation is being encouraged to buy cheese from small scale producers and eat along. This way it's hoped hundreds of cheesemakers at risk of going out of business can be saved. Dan also speaks to Tristram Stuart, the food campaigner and author of Waste: Uncovering The Global Food Scandal, about his efforts over two decades to stop good food being wasted and hears how some of the ideas and networks created during that time could provide answers to how we can create a more sustainable food system in the post Covid-19 world. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino. For more information on the British Cheese Weekender go to the Academy of Cheese website: and for information on setting up your own Disco Soup find out more from the Slow Food Youth Network: and look for the Step-by-Step guide.
Apr 26, 2020
Love In The Time Of Corona: Stories of community support through food
Every day, with the UK on 'lock-down' as part of government measures to halt the spread of Covid-19, we're hearing inspirational tales of community groups and volunteer services springing up to help others - very often, through food. Over the course of this programme, Sheila Dillon and Dan Saladino - chatting remotely from their respective lock-down locations - hear from just a small selection of the incredible community efforts going on across the country, supporting the most vulnerable during the outbreak: from delivering essentials to the ill and the elderly, confined to their homes; to providing meals for hospital staff working long shifts in Intensive Care Units; to supporting children missing out on their regular free school dinners. This episode is not only a recognition of the ingenious solutions being found - but also looks at how these local strategies, developed in response to a national crisis, could help change our food system for the better in future. Presented by Sheila Dillon and Dan Saladino, and produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Apr 19, 2020
Takeaway transformed: Inside the food delivery revolution
Stepping into a 'dark kitchen', Sheila Dillon explores why takeaway apps are changing food culture and explores how delivery is offering a lifeline under lockdown and diversifying to help people in need. She hears stories from restaurants turning to delivery to stay in business and the people dropping groceries at people's doors and getting food to those who don't have a home. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Tom Bonnett
Apr 12, 2020
In a special programme - recorded online from self-isolation - Sheila Dillon explores the new art of cooking in lockdown. As we all get used to spending more time at home, what better opportunity for an expedition into our kitchen cupboards? What lurks at the back behind the mountains of stockpiled pasta and tinned tomatoes? And how to feel confident using only the absolute basics - from a tin of beans to a bag of flour. Sheila masters Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp to join some of our favourite chefs and home cooks in their own kitchens, to see how they're passing the time in quarantine. Mary Berry is keeping herself busy with gardening and jigsaws. Baker Richard Bertinet is getting used to making loaves at home after closing his beloved cookery school (luckily, he's got plenty of flour to keep him going). Food writer Felicity Cloake is taking the opportunity to sort out her freezer - and makes a dramatic discovery. And author Lola Milne is embracing the creepily perfect timing of her new book, 'Take One Tin: 80 delicious meals from the storecupboard'. Sheila talks to Dr Rupy Aujla about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet during this challenging time. And we share recipes from the kitchens of Britain as Food Programme listeners send in tips for simple, back-of-the-cupboard cuisine. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Anna Jones.
Apr 05, 2020
Eating After Cancer: Can rebuilding relationships with food help cancer patients with their recovery?
One of the unexpected side-effects of dealing with cancer can be how it impacts relationships with food and eating. The various treatments can take away both appetite, and the ability to eat and enjoy food - which has a knock-on effect on the patient's health, social life and wider wellbeing... Sheila Dillon knows this better than most: eight years ago, she was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma, and has experienced firsthand what it's like to lose the ability to enjoy a good meal, because of illness. This is an issue that hasn’t always been given due attention, by medics or patients – but a shift is underway: there’s growing recognition that people with cancer not only need nutritious food, but also that the pleasure of eating can actually aid their wellbeing and recovery. Under self-isolation in the coronavirus outbreak because of her 'immuno-compromised’ status from being on maintenance chemo, Sheila delves into the stories of people recovering from or living with cancer, who have been forced to readdress their relationship with what and how they eat; as well as the researchers and cooks pioneering new, food-based solutions. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Mar 29, 2020
Coronavirus and Food: Your Questions Answered
As the government updates its plans for coronavirus, Dan Saladino answers your food questions.
Mar 22, 2020
Covid-19: The Food Dimension.
Dan Saladino tracks the origins and impact of coronavirus within the global food supply chain. Where are pressures being felt and who's making decisions about feeding Britain? The spead of Covid-19 around the world isn't just proving to be a challenge for public health and economies, it is also proving to be one of the biggest tests faced by the global food system. With around fifty per cent of the UK's food supplies coming from overseas and our dependence on a complex and interconnected food system Dan investigates where the pressures are being exerted and how the government and retailers are responding. Concerns are growing for food banks, charities dependent on surplus food and the most vulnerable in society. Dan also hears from people who have had to feed themselves during the lockdowns in China and Italy. He also speaks to Professor Andrew Cunningham, an expert in zoonotic diseases, about the origins of coronavirus within the food supply chain. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Mar 15, 2020
Is the Pasty Really Cornish?
In the week that Cornish people celebrated their Patron Saint St Piran, Dr Polly Russell & Sheila Dillon ask why the pasty remains an emblem of Cornishness for people around the world. There would have been a time when pasties were eaten all over the UK, but the PGI protected Cornish pasty has persevered in Cornwall. Today the Cornish Pasty Association estimate that on it's own, production of Cornish pasties is worth around 20 per cent of the value of the county's food and drink industry. In this programme we hear what the pasty means to people in Cornwall, and all over the world; Because when Cornish miners emigrated away from the UK in the 19th century, they took their pasties with them. At 2020's World Pasty Championships, we meet pasty makers from as far as the USA, Argentina, Jamaica, and closer, from Kent, Sheffield and Bristol. We hear from Bridget Galsworthy de Estavillo, who has helped to reconnect Mexican paste (pasty) makers with their Cornish heritage in the mountain communities of Hidalgo. And we ask what the Cornish pasty says about a new generation's sense of regional/national identity. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Mar 08, 2020
Lights, Camera, Reaction: Life after Great British Bake Off with David Atherton
What's it like becoming a celebrity overnight? Bake Off Winner David Atherton talks fame, food and post-GBBO freak outs with presenter Leyla Kazim and shares stories and gets some advice from Masterchef winner and Wahaca co-founder Thomasina Miers.
Mar 01, 2020
A Tale of Two Fish: Salmon, the wild and farmed
Dan Saladino investigates the possible extinction of wild Atlantic salmon within 20 years. Dan travels from the River Spey on Scotland's east coast to fish farms in the west in order to plot the decline of one species, the wild salmon, and the rise of another, farmed salmon. From a population that was close to ten million, wild Atlantic Salmon numbers are now down to below two million. It's cousins further south, the wild Pacific Salmon hasn't seen declines of anything close to this. The author of the ground breaking food books on Salt and Cod, Mark Kurlansky has now turned his attention to the decline of the wild salmon and tells Dan some of the factors that are causing the crisis, from the pollution and dam building in the 19th century, to overfishing on the 20th and the effects of climate change on the oceans in the 21st century. Because the fish goes from being a freshwater fish to becoming an ocean going one, salmon provides, Kurlansky argues, the perfect barometer for how we how humans are treating our our planet, both the land and the oceans. Mark Bilsby of the Atlantic Salmon Trust adds his concerns about the impact the salmon farming industry is having on the wild fish population, from the huge numbers of sea lice that can radiate out from farm pens, containing thousands of fish, out the sea, infecting wild salmon. Escaped fish are also a problem he says. Earlier this year, more than seventy thousand farmed salmon escaped from one pen because of storm damage, Bilsby says events such as these are resulting in a weakening of the salmon's gene pool as the domesticated (and genetically different) farmed fish is now breeding with the wild species. Rory Campbell and Ian Roberts of Mowi, the world's biggest producer of farmed salmon explain the changes they are making in order to make their industry more sustainable and how schemes such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council are helping to bring lice levels down and improve welfare standards. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Feb 23, 2020
What Is Making My Child Fat? Part 2: The Debate and Your Questions.
When Professor Dame Sally Davies left her role as Chief Medical Officer for England in Autumn 2019, she didn't go quietly. Instead, she published a strongly titled, independent, 96 page report 'Time To Solve Childhood Obesity'. "The Government ambition" she wrote "is to halve childhood obesity by 2030 – in England, we are nowhere near achieving this. Yet, if we are bold, we can." What followed were a plethora of recommendations for Government bodies, local authorities, schools, researchers, the NHS, the private sector and more. In the second of two programmes, Sheila Dillon invites an expert panel into the studio to discuss the issues, possible solutions and to answer your questions on child obesity related health and disease. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced by Clare Salisbury.
Feb 16, 2020
What Is Making My Child Fat? Part 1: Finding Solutions to the UK’s Child Obesity Issue
When Professor Dame Sally Davies left her role as Chief Medical Officer for England in Autumn 2019, she didn't go quietly. Instead, she published a strongly titled, independent, 96 page report with a rallying call: 'Time To Solve Childhood Obesity'. "The Government ambition" she wrote "is to halve childhood obesity by 2030 – in England, we are nowhere near achieving this. Yet, if we are bold, we can." What followed was a plethora of recommendations for Government bodies, local authorities, schools, researchers, the NHS, the private sector and more. In the first of two programmes, Sheila Dillon meets the young people at the heart of this issue. She asks them what they think needs to change for them to lead healthy lives in the future and walks to school with 14 year old Dev Sharma to ask what he thinks can be part of the solution. She meets individuals, schools and organisations trying to make sense of the complex issues surrounding child obesity and asks what really needs to change before we see a reduction in levels of child obesity in the UK. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced by Clare Salisbury.
Feb 09, 2020
Mary Berry: A Life Through Food
Sheila Dillon speaks to a veteran of the British food scene; a writer and television presenter who has made cooking – in particular baking – accessible, and achievable, for millions: Mary Berry. In a candid conversation over exemplary lemon drizzle cake, Mary talks us through her life through food: from the challenges of forging a culinary career as a woman and a mother in the 1960s, to learning how to handle celebrity in her seventies. With the new series of Best Home Cook, Mary is continuing her quest to educate people of all ages about the joys of cooking. But, as Sheila discovers, this ambitious cook is also a huge advocate for women in the industry - as Mary shares tales of her own struggles to carve out a niche in the culinary world, challenging female stereotypes and sexual harassment in the kitchen… Over the course of the programme, Sheila gets some insight into ‘the real Mary’ from her long-term collaborator and cookbook co-author Lucy Young - as the renowned TV judge discusses careers highlights to date, including Bake Off, becoming a style icon and meeting Royalty; as well as opening up about trials she has faced in her lifetime, including the tragic death of one of her children.
Feb 02, 2020
The Physicist In the Kitchen
Can a grounding in science help us become better cooks? Dan Saladino speaks with chefs Heston Blumenthal, Raymond Blanc, food writers Harold McGee and Niki Segnit to find out what a little chemistry and physics can do for our kitchen skills. Each of these chefs and cooks have been influenced by a lecture delivered to the Royal Institution in 1969 delivered by an Oxford professor of physics, a Hungarian called Nicholas Kurti. In his talk, titled, "A Physicist In The Kitchen," Kurti came up with the memorable quote, "I think it is a sad reflection on our civilisation that while we can and do measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus, we do not know what goes on inside our soufflés." He believed that food and cooking were such important features of human life they deserved greater attention from science, and that likewise, that cooks should better understand the science that unfolds when we mix, heat and chill ingredients. The lecture and the quote inspired chef Raymond Blanc, who in the 1990s made a television series with Nicholas Kurti, and whose own cooking was transformed by working with the physicist. Heston Blumenthal was also inspired. He was among a group of chefs who attended a series of food and science workshops held in Sicily and founded by Kurti. It set him on a voyage of scientific discovery and some of the most experimental cooking seen and tasted in the UK. Dan caught up with Heston as he was researching a new menu for the restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, at an exhibition at the Ashmolean. New scientific techniques are revealing how people in the ancient city were eating and cooking before Vesuvius erupted. From this research the Dinner team have created a menu featuring ancient varieties of spelt flour served with butter, and crafted to resemble lava rock. As well as the role of science in creative restaurant cooking, physics and chemistry have been at the heart of the work of food writers Harold McGee and Niki Segnit (author of The Flavour Thesaurus and Lateral Cooking). They explain how learning about copper ions and flavour molecule can transform a dish. To explain who Nicholas Kurti was, Professor of Physics, and Radio 4 presenter Jim Al-Khalili sheds light on Kurti's career and shares his own thoughts on the role of science in the future of our food. Presented by Dan Saladino. Photograph: Emily Jarrett Photography
Jan 26, 2020
Yes We Can: What do the tins we eat say about the UK?
Baked beans, tinned pies, corned beef, creamed tomato soup, plum tomatoes, ackee, pineapple chunks and condensed milk. Our store cupboards are bursting with tins of food, they provide comfort, cheap family meals, quick lunches and easy dinners. Maybe even a sure stock of ingredients as Brexit edges closer. Yet over the years, the UK market is dwindling. Stats show young people are less interested in tinned fruit and fish. And then there's the image problem. Tinned food has a reputation in the UK it's struggling to shake off. Cheap, unhealthy. Fine for those making do with tiny budgets, not if you can afford the fresh equivalents. As Madrid born Patrick Martinez found out first hand when he set up a bespoke tinned fish company in Liverpool, we have a funny relationship with tinned food in the UK. A relationship quite unlike our continental neighbours. We deeply love these foods, but we might not admit our affection openly. In this programme Sheila Dillon speaks to food writer Jack Monroe about the politics of tinned food and why she thinks we ought to cook and love the tinned foods lurking in our cupboards. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Jan 19, 2020
Pints of progress: The brewers changing attitudes to learning disabilities
Brewer and broadcaster Jaega Wise visits breweries where a progressive approach to employing people with learning disabilities is pouring away preconceptions. Helping tell the story is Michaela Overton, a brewer at Ignition in Sydenham, South London, a brewery founded to create meaningful work for people with learning disabilities, which has gone from glorified homebrew to running two taprooms selling their beers. In this programme, we follow their collaboration with London brewer Gipsy Hill to make a beer as part the Social Brew Collective. Jaega joins in the project teams up with Spotlight Brewing in Goole in East Yorkshire. There she meets Neil, Michael and Kev and Ric who are making beers with names like Undiagnosed and Spectrum to raise awareness of learning disabilities. Spotlight and Ignition are a taste of change to come but Jaega finds opportunities like these in the food industry are hard to come by for most people with learning disabilities so she meets Mencap's Natalie Duo to talk about her work training potential employers in the changes they can make to create a more accessible workplace. Presenter: Jaega Wise Producer: Tom Bonnett
Jan 12, 2020
Could eating microalgae be the next big thing?
Sheila Dillon enters the murky green and bright blue world of microalgae and cynobacteria to meet the people who believe humble pond scum could be the secret to securing food for the world's growing population. She visits YeoTown Kitchen in West London where Mercedes Sieff serves up a platter of brightly coloured delights and then meets Andrew Spicer, CEO of Algenuity, who is exploring how microalgae could be an egg replacement of the future. Somehow, their conversation leads Sheila to make a green Victoria sponge. Away from the kitchen, Sheila tells the story of Saumil Shah who is growing spirulina on rooftops in Bangkok and Simon Perez who has been inventing hot dogs, crisps and salad dressings from spirulina in Copenhagen. She hears from one of the world's leading algae scientists, Professor Alison Smith, Head of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge, and nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert before finding out from Dr Gisela Detrell how microalgae could feed astronauts on missions to Mars. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Tom Bonnett Photograph: Space10
Jan 05, 2020
Is The Dinner Party Dead?
Cast your mind back to the days when as a child you’d be pushed into the backroom with the TV on a Saturday night whilst your parents ‘entertained friends’ in the dining room. Three courses, nibbles. If you were a child of the 70s, prawn cocktails and stroganoff. In the 80s, parents made vol-au-vents and devilled eggs, black forest gateaux slaved over all day. (Course you’d make do with cheese on toast before your mum got changed.) Today it doesn’t happen like it used to. Homes are built without dining rooms, that’s if you can afford your own place anyway. We’re too frightened of the elaborate dishes cooked by TV chefs that we prefer to meet up with friends over Sunday roasts or bottomless brunch. Yes we might have people over for food, but it’s shared out in the kitchen, or eaten on knees in-front of the TV. So are we in a post-dinner party era? Or should we invest in a decent table cloth and be proud about entertaining the people we love? Leyla Kazim speaks to New Yorker and author of 'Nothing Fancy', Alison Roman who is not mourning the dinner party. Instead, Alison gives her ultimate guide to having friends over for food, complete with a 'washing up' dance party. British podcast host and writer Alexandra Dudley defends the glitz that only comes with a proper party and shares some simple hacks. And best-selling author Josceline Dimbleby describes how the way she cooks for friends has changed since she released her first cookbook in 1976. Presented by Leyla Kazim. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Dec 29, 2019
Michel Roux Jr: A Life Through Food
Sheila Dillon visits London restaurant Le Gavroche, to speak to renowned chef Michel Roux Jr about food, family and festive inspiration. Michel Jr is the second generation of the Roux family to run the Mayfair restaurant, which was started by his father Albert and his uncle Michel. When he took over the kitchen nearly 30 years ago, he fought to put his own stamp on the style – and write the next chapter of the family’s food story. Michel kicks off in the kitchen, cooking two dishes that have special importance to him: Soufflé Suissesse, his father’s decadent cheese soufflé creation that diners won’t allow to be taken off the menu; and roast quail with potato fondant and mushrooms, a dish that he loves and often cooks at home for the family. Over the course of cooking and eating the meal, Sheila asks Michel about his life, his love of food, his inspirations and drive – as well as the pressure that come with being part of a dining dynasty. They also discuss how he’s dealt with the challenges in his life: from the pay scandal of 2016, when Gavroche employees were found to be earning below minimum wage – to his regret over never quite managing to achieve a work/life balance. They’re later joined by Michel’s daughter Emily, who now has her own restaurant in London with her husband Diego Ferrari, and who has a fresh perspective on the industry and how her family have shaped her career. The programme also hears from one half of the team who originated this dynasty: Albert Roux shares his take on his son’s success. Presented by Sheila Dillon, produced by Lucy Taylor.
Dec 22, 2019
The Sugar Plum Shift: Exploring the ballet world’s changing approach to food, nutrition and body image
Sparkling lights, twinkly music, frothy tutus and perfectly pirouetting dancers: what could be more magical – and festive – than ballet? This is an art-form that’s been revered over generations, romanticised by books, magazine and movies… but it hasn’t always had the best of reputations when it comes to health and well-being. Ballet dancers are ethereal, elegant, poised – and were, traditionally, often tiny. Over the years, around the world, there have been stories of ballet dancers having unhealthy diets, eating disorders and mental health issues. In more recent decades, the ballet world has recognised this – and a shift is well underway, in attitudes towards food, eating, diet and nutrition… one that’s seen the big ballet companies employing dedicated nutritionists and strength training coaches, training their dancers like professional athletes. The evolution of the art-form has seen ballet become more demanding - and as a result, the ideal ballet body image has shifted to strong, lean and toned; meaning dancers need to be on top of their diet and nutrition, in order to perform. Today, the industry says its focus is on education, and building positive relationships with food and body image right from the start of a dancer's career. So how far has the industry come - and what more could yet be done? Sheila Dillon dons her tutu and ventures into the world of British ballet, to ask: does playing the Sugar Plum Fairy still mean sacrificing any hint of a sugar plum? Presented by Sheila Dillon, produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor. PICTURED: Yasmine Naghdi, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, dancing Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. ©ROH, 2017. Photographed by Bill Cooper. * * * Special thanks to The Royal Ballet for letting us attend and record their rehearsals for Coppélia, featuring dancers Laura Morera in the role of Swanilda and Bennet Gartside as Dr Coppelius - with coaches and former Royal Ballet dancers Leanne Benjamin and Stephen Wicks, accompanied by pianist Kate Shipway. Also thanks to the staff and students of Elmhurst Ballet School for letting us watch and record one of their dance classes, taught by Gloria Grigolato and accompanied by pianist Dominic Mason.
Dec 15, 2019
Cookbooks of 2019
Pinch of Nom, Charred and East are among the titles up for discussion as Sheila Dillon and guests gather in Hay-on-Wye to review 2019's best cookbooks. Featuring Cerys Matthews, Lia Moutselou and The Bookseller's Tom Tivnan. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced by Clare Salisbury.
Dec 08, 2019
Eating Animals Part 2: A Meat Q&A.
Dan Saladino, Sheila Dillon and a range of experts ranging from climate scientists to beef producers answer your questions on meat eating and the future of farming and our diets. Featuring questions on methane, scientific trials of more carbon friendly beef, the impact of rice in climate change, the nutritional benefits of grass-fed meats and the value of traditional diets. Among the contributors are Dr Michelle Cains, a Climate scientist at the Oxford Martin School, Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers Union, Professor of Epidemiological Genetics at Kings College London, Patrick Holden, The Sustainable Food Trust, Tara Garnett of the Food Climate Research Network and environmental campaigner George Monbiot.
Dec 01, 2019
Eating Animals Part 1: The Future of Meat
Dan Saladino finds out why tensions are running so high over animal vs plant based diets. In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030. Coming under greater focus were sources of CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions linked to our food; cows and sheep. For some the science was enough to justify ever greater calls to reduce meat and dairy consumption and rein in the global livestock population. To others, the focus on meat has become too simplistic and driven by ideology. So, who's right and what should the future of meat look (and taste) like? In the first of two programmes Dan asks a number of experts to explain their different points of view. Author (and vegetarian) Jonathan Safran Foer argues that saving the world starts at breakfast and we should all be avoiding meat until the last meal of the day. That way he believes we can begin to bring our consumption of meat under control. Morten Toft Bech, the founder of The Meatless Farm which makes plant based beef alternatives, explains why he set out to help replace animals in the food system. Professor Frederic Leroy of Brussels University in Belgium has been monitoring the meat debate of recent years. He's concerned about the tendency to lump together vastly different production systems, good and bad, to create an anti-meat narrative. Dairy and meat farmer Simon Fairlie describes a possible solution, an approach he calls "default meat". In part two, the following week, it's over to the programme's listeners and their questions on the future of meat. Presented and produced by Dan Saladino.
Nov 24, 2019
The Food Programme at 40: Looking Forward (Part II)
Andi Oliver, Rick Stein and Yotam Ottolenghi join Sheila Dillon at the BBC Radio Theatre to celebrate 40 years of The Food Programme and ask what changes the next four decades might bring to the way we eat and drink. Together with restaurant critic for The Guardian and MasterChef regular, Grace Dent and food blogger and presenter Leyla Kazim, they’ll traverse the food trends which have shaped our eating in and eating out, and face questions from listeners from all over the country. From fad diets to food fraud, from the scandals which have shocked us to the cook books we reach for in our flour-coated, milk-spattered kitchen time of need; the highs and lows of 40 years in food and drink. The Food Programme was commissioned in 1979 as a six-part radio series fronted by Derek Cooper. Join in as we share the food stories which have helped make the series the place on BBC Radio 4, for hungry minds across four decades. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury. (Part II of II)
Nov 17, 2019
The Food Programme at 40: Looking Back (Part I)
Andi Oliver, Rick Stein and Yotam Ottolenghi join Sheila Dillon at the BBC Radio Theatre to celebrate 40 years of The Food Programme and ask what changes the next four decades might bring to the way we eat and drink. Together with restaurant critic for The Guardian and MasterChef regular, Grace Dent and food blogger and presenter Leyla Kazim, they’ll traverse the food trends which have shaped our eating in and eating out, and face questions from listeners from all over the country. From fad diets to food fraud, from the scandals which have shocked us to the cook books we reach for in our flour-coated, milk-spattered kitchen time of need; the highs and lows of 40 years in food and drink. The Food Programme was commissioned in 1979 as a six-part radio series fronted by Derek Cooper. Join in as we share the food stories which have helped make the series the place on BBC Radio 4, for hungry minds across four decades. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury. (Part I of II)
Nov 10, 2019
Smoke and Celebration: Exploring Bonfire Night food traditions
Autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – when the air is perfumed with bonfire smoke, sweet crisp apples are weighing down orchard branches, and root vegetables are plump and ready for picking beneath the soil. It’s a time of year when a whole new palette of British produce is ripe and ready to turn into pies, pickles, chutneys, cakes, jams and stews: hearty comfort food to warm and nourish as the weather turns colder. Autumn is also a season for festive gatherings: with Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night leading swiftly into the frenzied run-up to Christmas, providing plenty of opportunity to eat, drink and be merry - and on November 5th in particular, food traditions abound across the UK; from regional specialities to family favourites. In this programme, Sheila Dillon heads to North Yorkshire, to gather round a fire with Michelin-starred chef Tommy Bank; cook and food writer Meera Sodha; and chef and restaurateur Andrew Nutter. Together, they keep the autumn chill at bay with a bonfire feast – whilst sharing stories of their seasonal food memories.
Nov 03, 2019
Brexit: The Tomato's Story. What can one food tell us about the future?
Dan Saladino uses the story the tomato to examine the impact of the new Brexit on food.
Oct 27, 2019
Could a food project from India solve the UK’s holiday hunger problem?
As many UK schools break for half term, chef Romy Gill and Sheila Dillon focus on our national problem with holiday hunger. Earlier this year, a UN special rapporteur found poverty in the UK to be "systematic" and "tragic". The Work and Pensions Committee published a separate report suggesting that while poverty rates are much higher in households where no-one works, almost one in 10 households with children where all adults work full-time are in poverty. In the school holidays, food budgets are stretched even further. Now a charity from India, who regularly feed 1.76 million school children, says it can help. In this programme, Romy visits a holiday club in Croydon in South London where Akshaya Patra are working with local groups and trialling a new way of providing school meals. Could the organisation's success in India help solve a UK holiday hunger crisis? Presented by Sheila Dillon and Romy Gill. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Oct 20, 2019
Joe Wicks: A Life Through Food
When Joe Wicks, the personal trainer, started making Instagram videos in his kitchen in 2014, he couldn't have imagined he'd become author of the second biggest selling UK cookbook of all time. Today he is a phenomenon. He's built a social media brand with millions of followers, nay disciples, on Instagram and YouTube who come for the quick healthy recipes and online fitness workouts. Yet, Joe tells Sheila Dillon, somewhat modestly, "I'm not really great at cooking..." In this programme Sheila visits Joe at home in London to find out what drives his ambition and enduring popularity. They talk cooking, parenthood, and how his own fame has affected his whole family. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Oct 13, 2019
The Return of Zing: How to Get Sour Back into Your Life.
Dan Saladino explores the taste and temptations of sourness, from our evolution to the way we cook and eat. A story of puckering pickles, science, fermentation and edible ants. It's only in recent times that we have understood how and why we experience the sensation of sourness. The leader in the field is EMILY LIMAN, Professor of Biological Sciences at University of Southern California in the USA. She explains the recent discoveries about what happens when we put something sour in our mouths. Forager Miles Irving takes Dan on a wild walk through a field in Kent in search of sources of sourness from insects to red berries. Chinese food expert Fuchsia Dunlop whose new book Sichuan Cookery, focuses on the food of southern provinces explains the role of pickles and vinegars. In the studio Mark Diacano gives a guide to bringing more sour back into your life with lessons in piccalilli making and a beginners guide to kombucha. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Oct 06, 2019
Food Additives, Part 2: The Debate
In the second part of The Food Programme's focus on additives, Sheila Dillon takes a closer look the myths and realities around these extra ingredients and their roles in our everyday diets - through addressing questions and comments from listeners. She's joined by a panel of food aficionados as well as an audience of industry professionals and interested listeners, at the BBC's New Broadcasting House in London - to discuss a range of points raised by listeners and audience members. The panellists are: - Dr Helen Crawley, a dietitian and public health nutritionist, who currently manages and coordinates the First Steps Nutrition Trust: an organisation focusing on the need for expert, independent information and support for good childhood nutrition; - Ralph Early, a food scientist, a Trustee of the Food Ethics Council and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. He was formerly Professor of Food Industry at Harper Adams University and has also worked in the food industry itself, primarily in the dairy sector. - Helen West, a dietitian "on a mission to cut through the untruths and nonsense in the world of nutrition"; she’s also co-founder of The Rooted Project: a community that says it aims to make evidence-based nutritional information accessible to all. - And Sanjay Kumar: a chef hailing from Calcutta, who trained in Oxford under Raymond Blanc and has worked in kitchens around the world – but now runs a cookery school, teaching people of all generations to cook and eat better, on a budget. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Lucy Taylor.
Sep 29, 2019
Food Additives, Part 1: Sherbet and other E number experiments
From Vitamin C and fruit-flavoured sherbet, to the chemicals adding flavour to ultra-processed foods - Sheila Dillon delves into the world of food additives, to learn about the impact E Numbers have had on modern diets. Sheila meets with food scientist and entertainer Stefan Gates, for some entertaining and surprising E Number experiments in his lab-kitchen... She also hears more about the background to food additives from Stacey Lockyer at the British Nutrition Foundation; and explores some of the impacts, questions and controversies around these added extras, with gut microbiome expert Professor Tim Spector, and science policy professor Erik Millstone. Following this introduction to the world of additives, The Food Programme invites listeners to get in touch and share their questions and thoughts on these ingredients, ahead of a panel discussion on the role of additives in our everyday lives, taking place in front of a live audience next week. Presented by Sheila Dillon; produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Sep 22, 2019
Island to Island: The journey of Mauritian cuisine
Mauritius recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence from the UK – and since that day in the 1960s, tens of thousands of islanders have made the UK their home; bringing with them a unique, diversely influenced cuisine that seems to enthral eaters from the first bite. For those with Mauritian heritage, food - and the very act of coming together to eat with friends and family - is an almost sacred part of life; a tradition packed with love, laughter and lip-smacking dishes. So why hasn't Mauritian food made more of an impact on the UK food scene, over the decades? And is that now starting to change? Food and travel writer Leyla Kazim sets out on a journey to explore her own Mauritian heritage and the island’s growing culinary influence within the UK, learning more about a cuisine that has diversity and family – particularly matriarchs – at its very heart. Leyla meets with pioneering cooks Selina Periampillai and Shelina Permalloo, two women who learned classic recipes handed down over the generations, who are proving that the second generation of Mauritians in the UK are determined to earn their cuisine the recognition it deserves... She also learns more about the diverse history of the Indian Ocean island and its multicultural influences - and hears the moving tale of Clancy Phillippe, a Mauritian living in Australia who was inspired by his wife to introduce traditional Mauritian fare to the world. Presented by Leyla Kazim and produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Sep 15, 2019
Ice Cream Nation
We might like the occasional 99 in the rain in the UK, but not for us the piled high gelato cones of Italy, the tubs of sweet American sundaes, nor the eiscafes of Germany and Austria. Right? Yasmin Khan is on a mission to prove you wrong. In this programme Yasmin (Ice cream fanatic) uncovers the UK’s rich but lesser known ice cream culture, taking a trip down memory lane to visit people making ice cream in places where she's lived. She’ll hear about our overlooked regional specialities like the ‘lemon top’ of Redcar near Middlesbrough. And she’ll hear how our sweet tooth is driving a new market for high street dessert parlours and struggling dairy farms. She’ll find how our love affair with ice cream all goes back to hundreds of years of immigration, from the Swiss Italians in the 19th century to young entrepreneurs today. It’s not an ice cream renaissance, because our love of ice cream has never disappeared. (And also there is nothing wrong with a 99 in the rain.) Presented by Yasmin Khan Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Sep 08, 2019
Taste the Music and Dance
Dan Saladino reports from the Taste The World stage of the world music festival Womad. In 2006 a director of the festival Annie Menter had the idea of asking musicians if they could tell food stories from their home country and cook a dish linked to their food culture. More than a decade on it's become a format that used at Womad events all over the world, providing fascinating and delicious insights into the connections between food and music and the evolution of dishes around the world. Find out what happens when you mix Turkish psychedelia with dumplings and what a Yoik served with Sami bread involves. The artists and their food. Anandi Bhattacharya (Bengal, India) Chicken Rezala. Nimba, (West Africa), Fish in peanut sauce Rura (Scotland) Cullen Skink and Mince and Tatties. Marja Mortensson (Norway) Sami stew with Sami bread. Baba Zula (Turkey) Manti beef dumplings Maija Kauhanen (Finland) Blueberry Pie. Presented and produced by Dan Saladino.
Sep 01, 2019
Jamie Oliver: A Life Through Food Part II
On the anniversary of TV series 'The Naked Chef', Jamie Oliver talks to Sheila Dillon about two controversial decades dominating food on our TV screens and online, our home cooking, and dining out. In a two-part programme, Jamie describes being propelled into the limelight as 'The Naked Chef'. The charismatic young line chef given an unexpected TV pilot. His decision not to aim for Michelin stars, but to open a training restaurant for young people who wouldn’t have considered a career in catering. From writing his best-selling books, mainly into a dictaphone due to his Dyslexia, to his relationship with the UK press, and his successes and failings working with a succession of UK governments to get the UK eating healthier. Sheila also speaks to Instagram chef Joe Wicks, Netflix chef Samin Nosrat and members of Jamie’s inner team on the influence of the highest grossing British food writer of all time. This is the second part of two programmes on Jamie Oliver's Life Through Food. Part one was broadcast on Sunday 18th August 2019. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury
Aug 25, 2019
Jamie Oliver: A Life Through Food Part I
On the anniversary of TV series 'The Naked Chef', Jamie Oliver talks to Sheila Dillon about two controversial decades dominating food on our TV screens and online, our home cooking, and dining out. In a two-part programme, Jamie, arguably the UK’s most successful food entrepreneur, reveals where it all went wrong with ill-fated restaurant chain 'Jamie's Italian’; the restaurants were supposed to disrupt mid-market dining, but after more than a decade, the chain collapsed in May. He takes Sheila back to his childhood home, above his dad's Essex pub restaurant where his life in professional kitchens began, clearing up fag ends and polishing urinal pipes. Cooking, the only thing he was “any good at” would propel him into the restaurant scene of 1990s London, and eventually onto our TV screens. This is the first part of two programmes on Jamie Oliver's Life Through Food. Part two will be broadcast on Sunday 25th August 2019. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury
Aug 18, 2019
Why did the chicken cross the road? How food became more than a comedy punchline
Food has been larking about in comedy since Charlie Chaplin first slipped on a banana skin and made bread rolls dance: but somewhere along the way, it's evolved from the slapstick sidekick to a much more significant comic entertainer... From the disastrous duck at Fawlty Towers, to Fleabag’s calamitous catering efforts – via wry dinner ladies, caravan fry-ups, comedic fried chicken shops and dark food-blogger satire – food has come a long way, baby. It’s no longer a simple prop, but a much-loved theme at the very heart of modern entertainment. In between performances at the renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe, comedian and creative cook George Egg takes us on a journey down the Royal Mile and through the history of culinary comedy; discovering that, as with so much humour, the power of food lies in its normality. And that it’s this everyday appeal that allows food, and comedy, to conjure up safe settings in which to address much bigger issues. Presented by George Egg, produced by Lucy Taylor. Featuring clips from: I'm Alan Partridge: 'A Room with an Alan' Created and written by Peter Baynham, Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci; performed by Steve Coogan. Victoria Wood as Seen on TV: ‘Waitress’ Written by Victoria Wood; performed by Julie Walters. The Return of Mr Bean: ‘Steak Tartare’ Created and written by Rowan Atkinson, Richard Curtis and Robin Driscoll; performed by Rowan Atkinson and Roger Lloyd-Pack.
Aug 11, 2019
The Search for Esiah's Seeds
Dan Saladino tells the story Esiah Levy who shared seeds and changed lives. It all started with a squash. Soon after he started to grow his own food he cut open a particularly delicious variety and discovered hundreds of seeds inside. He felt compelled to share them with people so they could enjoy the same experience. So began a mission to encourage anyone who would listen, where ever they lived, whatever their background, to grow their own food. In his spare time and using allotments and his mother’s garden he grew food, built a seed bank and sent seeds around the world through . He created a project called SeedShare to distribute the varieties he selected, from corn to pumpkins, tomatoes to beans to fellow gardeners around the world, He also made friends with other seed savers including Vivien Sansour, a Palestinian woman who had created a seed library to save disappearing crops on the West Bank. When Esiah Levy passed away suddenly and tragically young at the beginning of this year, Vivien set out to find out what had happened to the seeds he had shared and who had planted them. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Aug 04, 2019
The BarbeQ'n'A
Rain or shine, the British barbecue is a summer tradition: and we want to help your al fresco feasts go with a bang! Sheila Dillon calls on Genevieve Taylor - a food writer, food stylist and presenter with an affinity for the outdoors that’s led to books including How to Eat Outside, The Ultimate Wood Fired Oven Cookbook and most recently Charred: a guide to vegetarian grilling and barbecue. She's also the host for today's programme, with a garden packed full of more barbecues and outdoor ovens than your could shake a sausage at. Joining Sheila and Genevieve for some flame-grilled fun are Christian Stevenson, otherwise known as DJ BBQ: a presenter and barbecue fanatic with a YouTube channel boasting more than 175-thousand subscribers, whose latest publication - The Burger Book - came out earlier this year; and Samantha Evans, one half of the barbecuing duo The Hang Fire Girls: a pair of friends who took a road trip across America in 2012 which fired their enthusiasm for US-style barbecue, and who now run the hugely popular Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry, Wales. They've also written The Hang Fire Cookbook: Recipes & Adventures in American BBQ. Their mission today isn't just to create a fabulous, inspirational barbecue feast, but to answer all our listeners' grilling questions and help banish boring barbecues for good! Helping them out with a bit of specialist advice are the American author Harold McGee, who wrote the renowned book 'On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen'; the London-based chef, restaurateur and food writer Yotam Ottolenghi; and Jack Adair Bevan, an award-winning food and drink writer, co-author of The Ethicurean Cookbook and more recently author of 'A Spirited Guide to Vermouth: An Aromatic Journey with Botanical Notes, Classic Cocktails and Elegant Recipes'. Presented by Sheila Dillon; produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Jul 28, 2019
Good Enough for Granny: What's so special about the food our grandmothers cook?
We asked you to tell us stories of meals you remember your grandmothers making. Now Sheila Dillon asks why these dishes - whether delicious or otherwise - stick with us into adulthood. Food writer Alissa Timoshkina shares her Grandparents Siberian recipes which provide the essence for her book 'Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen'. Blogger Ann Storr reminisces about her grannie's high standards at the table. And we hear from people trying to preserve age old recipes, before they disappear for good. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Jul 21, 2019
Is There A Perfect Diet Just For You? The Future of Personalised Nutrition
Dan Saladino takes part in a gruelling nutrition study to work out what to eat. Founded by Professor Tim Spector "Predict" is one of the biggest food and diet studies ever devised. A technological revolution means it is now possible to monitor large groups of people as they eat food. With this accumulation of 'big data' and the use of Artificial Intelligence it's also becoming increasingly possible to personalise nutritional advice. Dan spends two weeks on the study, being tested and scanned as he eats specially formulated muffins, drinks and meals, all designed to test his response to fats and carbs. At the end of the tough eating regime, Tim Spector gives him some good and bad news about his relationship with different foods. Dan also speaks to Professor Eric Topol, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute in California and the author of Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. He believes this more individualised approach to nutrition will soon create the biggest shift we've seen in modern medicine. In the future our phones, watches and smart speakers will be providing increasingly detailed information about how and what we should eat. To get even more of his own personalised nutrition advice Dan has his gut microbiome tested by a company called Atlas Biomed. The microbiome is the collection of trillions of bacteria inside all of us that we now know exerts a big influence on our health. The lead researcher at Atlas Biomed Dmitry Alexeev tells Dan what (or perhaps who) is inside his gut and what this might mean for his future health. Presented and produced by Dan Saladino.
Jul 14, 2019
Playing with Food: The world of video game gastronomy
Dan Saladino embarks on an epic quest into a world of food-filled computer games, to find out how and why foraging, cooking and eating have become such important components of the genre. Food has taken on a major role in many modern games - not only in terms of beautiful, Instagram-worthy designs bringing dishes to life on screen, but also food-related quests and story-lines - and even game-based recipe books inspiring players to cook their favourite on-screen meals. And even if you don't play these games yourself, the technology behind such virtual vittles could have a significant impact on how and what we eat in future. In between battling monsters in huge open-world fantasy adventures such as Elder Scrolls Online, and trying to beat the clock in the cooperative kitchen-based stress-fest Overcooked 2, Dan speaks to games enthusiasts and developers to find out more. He even finds time to do a little game-inspired cooking himself... Presented by Dan Saladino. Produced by Lucy Taylor.
Jul 07, 2019
Can Anyone Learn To Cook? - A Life Through Food with Samin Nosrat
Netflix chef and author of 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat', Samin Nosrat says anyone can learn to cook delicious food. Samin shares a life of food memories with Sheila Dillon. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Jun 30, 2019
Baking in the Nordics: The Bread Adventures of Chef Magnus Nilsson
Magnus Nilsson takes Dan Saladino on a Nordic baking tour. For a nearly a decade Magnus, who is one of the world's most celebrated chefs, travelled through the region (which includes Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and the Faroe Islands) and reached an important and controversial conclusion. He argues that the Nordics has the most diverse and the deepest baking culture in the world today. His research resulted in a hefty tome, The Nordic Baking Book (Phaidon), full of more 700 of the thousands of recipes he discovered when he visited cooks in their homes. Why the world's most diverse baking culture? Magnus's reasoning is that because the region covers such a vast geographical area and its population is spread out across remote villages, information spread slowly historically. This includes recipes and so a huge amount of diversity can still be found in these isolated pockets. When it comes the depth of the baking culture, Magnus points to the fact that fresh yeast is so ubiquitous in the Nordic countries, you can often buy a packet from a newsagents or convenience store. I also has some dramatic climatic extremes, as summer starts to arrive in one area, there can be snow and ice in another. This means that while wheat can be grown in one location, only barley, rye or oats might only be possible in another. Again, this adds to the richness of its baking culture. To illustrate this Magnus takes Dan to a communal oven set in a remote farmhouse in northern Sweden to show how families gather once or twice a year to make flatbreads with barley and rye, a speciality of an area called Jamtland. Meanwhile, another kind of diversity is flourishing in the region's fields with the rediscovery and revival of ancient grains. Farmer Fintan Keenan describes some of the old (but new) varieties; what they taste like and why they might prove to be important for all of our food futures. Presented by Dan Saladino.
Jun 23, 2019
The BBC Food & Farming Awards 2019: Second Course
The winners of the BBC Food & Farming Awards 19 are revealed at a ceremony in Bristol. In part two, Jamie Oliver reveals the winner of the inaugral Pat Llewellyn New Talent award. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Jun 16, 2019
The Food & Farming Awards 2019: First Course
The winners of the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2019 are revealed at a glittering ceremony in Bristol. In the first course of the 2019 awards story, Sheila Dillon is joined by food industry experts including Angela Hartnett, Matt Tebbutt, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Andi Oliver - to celebrate the cooks, shop keepers, farmers, producers, entrepreneurs and food pioneers who make up this year's finalists. The first instalment of our awards coverage features Best Food Producer, Best Drinks Producer, Best Street Food or Takeaway and Best Shop or Market. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor
Jun 16, 2019
Ten Good Things
With days to go before we learn who the winners are of the 2019 BBC Food & Farming Awards Dan Saladino looks at the remaining food and drink ideas on this year's shortlist. Drinks writer Alice Lascelles guides us through the drinks makers; an experimental brewer from Leeds, a distiller based on the east coast of Scotland and a cider and perry producer from Herefordshire. Genevieve Taylor describes the street food offer this year, including a pie shop team who bake in the shadow of Liverpool FC's Anfield Stadium and a fish and chip shop in Nottingham run by a former chef. Barney Desmazery explains the finalists in the inaugural Pat Llewellyn Award set up to recognise young talent in the food world, including two young doctors working to increase the amount of nutrition training in their profession and a young entrepreneur who has devised an ingenious solution to food waste in restaurants. Presented by Dan Saladino.
Jun 10, 2019
Faith, Fasting and Feasting – A Ramadan Special
As Ramadan 2019 draws to a close, many British Muslim reach the culmination of a month of fasting during daylight hours. But that doesn't mean that food is forgotten. On the contrary... In this programme, food writer Yasmin Khan celebrates the social, cultural and culinary rituals of Ramadan, the most holy month in the Islamic calendar. She speaks to comedian Tez Ilyas about celebrations with family and friends and a very memorable 'Happy Eid cake'. And in Bristol, Yasmin joins thousands of people coming together for a 'Grand Iftar', a vast street party of Muslims and non-Muslims, who have come together to share a meal with their neighbours once the sun goes down. Presented by Yasmin Khan Produced by Clare Salisbury
Jun 02, 2019
An Education: Life lessons through food
Genevieve Taylor sets out to meet a few of this year's BBC Food and Farming Awards finalists, and hear how learning about food has changed their lives for the better. The first stop is Liberty Kitchen - a finalist in the Best Street Food or Takeaway category. This social enterprise operates at Pentonville Prison, where inmates produce a diverse range of 'street balls', including classic Italian meatballs, macaroni cheese balls and veggies balls; these are then sold at London street food markets. Genevieve visits the bustling prison kitchen with founder Janet Boston, before checking out the Liberty Kitchen stall at Leather Lane market in Clerkenwell - and hears overwhelming praise from current and ex-inmates involved in the scheme, who say it's giving them hope of employment post-prison. Next up, Genevieve checks in with Food and Farming Awards judges for the Cook of the Year category: Jeanette Orrey, co-founder of the educational initiative Food For Life, and Paula McIntyre, a cook, food writer and lecturer. They've been to the Moray region of Scotland, to visit finalist Logie Primary: a rural school with just 28 pupils. Although it's small, this primary school’s making a mark with a food-focused social enterprise that’s teaching pupils food and kitchen skills, and at the same time bringing together the local community. The school's older pupils launched the Cup of Joy Community Cafe two years ago, using vegetables grown in their school allotment and eggs from the school chickens; today, it's not only teaching them valuable nutrition and life skills but providing a hub for this rural community. Our final stop is London, where the judges for this years’ Pat Llewellyn New Talent Award - Ben Adler, whose late wife Pat inspired the award; and Barney Desmazery, food editor at large for BBC Good Food magazine - have been to Ealing to join the team behind Fat Macy’s supper club: a dining experience with a difference… The kitchen and front-of-house team are all homeless people currently living in hostels. The founder Meg Doherty launched the project three years ago, as a way to give people in temporary accommodation an opportunity to learn new skills, while earning enough money to get them back into the housing system. Presented by Genevieve Taylor; produced by Lucy Taylor.
May 26, 2019
Stranded! How to eat on a desert island.
Dan Saladino arrives on a beach for a Robinson Crusoe experience. Will he be able to survive on wild food? Chef Gill Meller and foragers John Wright and Monica Wilde lend their expertise. This castaway coastal feast is something of a tribute to the 300th anniversary of the publication of Daniel Defoe's novel, a story itself inspired by the experience of a Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk who in 1705 survived for four years on a remote and uninhabited island in the Pacific. Selkirk survived on wild cabbages, shellfish and goat meat, Dan and his forager friends try and recreate something of the sailor's desert island menu. But during their expedition an unexpected guest arrives on the beach, a real life, modern day Robinson Crusoe. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
May 19, 2019
What makes an excellent food producer?
What does it take to produce delicious food of the highest quality in the UK in 2019? This year, it was the turn of chef, food writer, BBC TV presenter, and this year's head judge in the BBC Food and Farming Awards Angela Hartnett to find out. In this programme, Angela and Sheila Dillon spend a day with each of the finalists in the Best Food Producer category. Together, they visit three farms, in Cornwall, Herefordshire and Cumbria. Among the dedicated people they meet are Tanya the 'Duck Dabbler', a woman whose expertise in duck rearing are sought far and wide, Ed the 'first-time' farmer, working slowly and sustainably in the Black Mountains, and Martin whose dedication to making cheese extends even to the starter cultures themselves. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury
May 12, 2019
Feeding the High Street: Are food shops the answer?
At a time when shops are closing across the country, we visit three food retail businesses that are bucking the trend. Levenshulme Market in Greater Manchester, A Small Good Thing in Bolton and Squash in Liverpool are all making a positive impact in their communities Sheila Dillon meets entrepreneur John Timpson to find out what this could tell us about the future of our high streets. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Siobhan Maguire
May 05, 2019
How reassuring are food assurance labels?
Food assurance labels come in all sorts of forms, appearing on all sorts of ingredients available from shops across the UK. Their logos promise certified standards in a range of production attributes - from environmental impact to animal welfare to safety to chemical usage. But how well are these schemes understood? What does the general public really want to be assured about? How much impact can assurance labels have, in a world where we're eating more and more processed food? And what could such schemes contribute to a post-Brexit UK food system? Sheila Dillon is joined by an expert panel to discuss some of the questions around food assurance labels: Dr Siobhan Mullan, a Senior Research Fellow in Farm Animal Science at the University of Bristol Veterinary School, who's currently helping to develop a new food standard, the Global Federation of Higher Animal Welfare Assurance; Erik Millstone, a Professor of Science Policy at the University of Sussex, whose work focuses on how we structure our food system; and Phil Brooke the Research and Education Manager at the animal welfare lobbying organisation Compassion in World Farming - which has an ongoing 'Honest Labelling' campaign. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Lucy Taylor
Apr 28, 2019
Top Banana: The Future of the World's Most Popular Fruit
Dan Saladino meets the scientists working on the future of a truly global food, the banana.
Apr 21, 2019
How to Start a Food Revolution: The Food Adventures of Claus Meyer
Can you reinvent a food culture? Dan Saladino meets a man who did, Denmark's Claus Meyer, the co-founder of Noma, one of the world's most influential restaurants. From there he went to Bolivia and set up a restaurant to rescue lost foods of the Andes and Amazon, and onto New York where he founded a cooking school in a neighbourhood with some of the worst levels of food related illness in America. So what is he now doing in Newport, South Wales. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino. (Photo: Stephan Gamillscheg)
Apr 15, 2019
Tipping Point: Time to Rethink the Service Charge?
Should you leave a cash tip or is card just as good, do you prefer a service charge or would you get rid of tipping altogether? Sheila Dillon finds out when she meets the co-founder of Hawksmoor Restaurants William Beckett to talk about our attitude to tipping in the UK and how it varies from city to city. Peter Davies of WMT Accountants describes how high-profile scandals have dented our trust in tipping and Alex Wrethman of the Charlotte Group of restaurants explains how that could be hurting businesses now. Sheila then draws on examples from the US where Saru Jayaraman is President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centre. Jayaraman explains how the system in many states has forced workers to rely on tips to earn the minimum wage and been a cause of poverty and sexual harassment. We hear from the poet Jan Beatty about waiting tables in the US for 15 years and then look at one of the most forward-thinking tipping models in the world, dreamed up by restaurateur Danny Meyer who founded New York’s Union Square Cafe and Gramercy, and ask whether it could be rolled out in the UK. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Tom Bonnett
Apr 08, 2019
Life of Pie
One September Ella Risbridger tried to kill herself. She survived and left the hospital thinking about making a pie. When she got home, her partner persuaded her to make the pie, and it set Ella on a course to teach herself to cook. And in teaching herself to cook, she has taught herself to live. This is a programme about pies. The pork pie of Pete Brown and his ‘soon-to-be-wife’ Liz’s first date in Barnsley market. The pies that Julie Jones made with her mother which helped to keep her calm after a dementia diagnosis. Pies crafted by chef Calum Franklin, inspired by the surroundings of his London childhood, and pies creating a new future for young Preston businessman Robert D'Orville. Sheila Dillon travels to hear these stories, and uncovers a pie story of her own. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Mar 31, 2019
Would you let a robot cook you dinner?
Robots are building burgers, stretching dough in pizzerias and cooking up a media storm. Soon, they could deliver our groceries, invent recipes using machine learning and cook in our homes with arms dangling down either side of our stoves. But should they and what will this mean for the future of everyone that works in the food industry? Sheila Dillon talks to the inventor of the Moley Robotic Kitchen and the chef who taught it to cook crab bisque, MasterChef winner Tim Anderson. Find out how Tim felt being immortalised in cyber cooking history, how IBM and McCormick Flavour Solutions could be concocting a recipe for your next meal and hear whether The Guardian journalist John Harris and restaurant workers' rights activist Saru Jayaraman think robots are ushering the end of work for millions of us or could be liberating us to a life of more fulfilling careers. Producer: Tom Bonnett
Mar 24, 2019
Delicious and Endangered: The Story of Bluefin Tuna
Dan Saladino travels from Brixham to Tokyo in search of Bluefin tuna. In recent months there have been more sightings of the endangered fish in British waters but does that mean we can eat them? The Bluefin is the rarest, most valuable and at risk of the seven tuna species found around the world. Found in three main stocks around the world, in the Pacific, Southern and Atlantic Oceans, some populations of the fish have declined by more than 97 per cent. The vast majority of these large, fast and magnificent predators end up being auctioned in Japan where they are prized by sushi chefs. Dan looks at the past, present and possible future of our relationship with the Bluefin Tuna, hearing how its numbers fell into decline in the latter half of the twentieth century and why there are hopes for its recovery in years to come. He travels to Tokyo to witness the tuna auctions at which some single fish have fetched prices as high as £2.5 million and finds out what led to its appeal in Asia. Chef Mitch Tonks describes his own experience of Bluefin, both as a fish he's watched hunting along the UK's southern coast and as a food he's eaten in Japanese sushi bars. Professor or Marine Conservation Callum Roberts explains how we should react to the increased sightings in the Atlantic, and a police investigator describes how criminal networks are also targeting the Bluefin trade. For the fascinating tale of how Bluefin tuna came to be so important in Japanese food culture Dan talks to Trevor Corson, author of The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice. Presenter: Dan Saladino
Mar 17, 2019
A different kind of S.W.A.T team
10 years ago, Randeep Singh and his colleagues had a moment of realisation. More than 200 people in their immediate local community were living without a home. They were hidden from normal life, living beneath bridges or in refuse collection rooms. Together, they decided they could do something to help them, and they begun a project cooking hot meals and sourcing food donations. Their volunteer base grew and by 2012, they'd helped many of the people off the streets. But they didn't stop there. Nishkam S.W.A.T (Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team) was only in it's infancy. A decade on, Randeep and his central team now co-ordinate a fleet of vans, and more than 1000 volunteers, who gather several times a week to provide food and drinks, health services and support at locations across the country and the world. The project comes from the Sikh concept of 'Langar', a volunteer run kitchen found in Sikh temples, and inspired by the message of Guru Nanak. But this is food for anyone who needs it. In this programme, chef Romy Gill cooks with some of the volunteers, and becomes part of the S.W.A.T team serving people in central London. She hears how volunteers have gravitated towards the project, inspired by the difference the project is making, and meets people coming to eat. Presented by Romy Gill. Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Mar 10, 2019
Why is CBD on everyone's lips?
CBD Gummies, CBD croissants, CBD coffee, CBD pesto, CBD beer... CBD is everywhere. Presenter Charlotte Smith tells the story of how this oil from cannabis that doesn’t get you high is becoming the biggest buzzword in food and drink from its beginnings in the US with the legalisation of medical cannabis through to the proliferation of products on the market today that claim to help with everything from pain to public speaking. Can it live up to the hype? Charlotte heads to the UK's first cannabis-infused restaurant, Brighton's Canna Kitchen, to try it for herself. Producer: Tom Bonnett
Mar 04, 2019
The Secret Life of Spaghetti
Dan Saladino looks at our long and tangled relationship with spaghetti. Both carbs and meat are under scrutiny and Mintel, which monitors consumer behaviour around the world, says we're eating less pasta. With that in mind Dan explore the past, present and future of a much loved British classic, Spaghetti Bolognese. Food historian Polly Russell uses the British Library's archives to help plot Britain's love affair with pasta, and goes in search of some of the earliest references and recipes for 'spag bol'. The food writer Daniel Young of Young and Foodish takes Dan on a tour of spaghetti history with lunch at The River Café, not the world famous restaurant but a traditional British café of the same name run by an Italian family who arrived in London in the 1950s. Spag Bol has been on their menu for nearly half a century. Meanwhile Dan's dad Liborio, who arrived in the UK in the mid 1960s finds out if his Britalian style spaghetti Bolognese sauce has enough to impress Giorgio Locatelli. The historian, John Dickie, author of Delizia, explains how making a television series for Italian television, Eating History (for SBS Food), led him to the world's first ever pasta factory. Dan also visits Italy's biggest pasta factory, owned by the Barilla family, where miles of the 'Spaghetti No.5' shape flows off the production line. Jacob Kennedy, chef and owner of Bocca di Lupo, together with Daniel Young, help Dan stage a pasta pop-up event at which the authentic Tagliatelle al Ragu Bolognese is pitched against a 1960s style Spag Bol. Have British eaters become too sophisticated for the home grown and will they vote for authentic Italian tradition instead? If this programme doesn't make you want to sit down to a big bowl of pasta and ragu, nothing will!
Feb 25, 2019
Should I boycott palm oil?
You will have heard of palm oil... but do you really know why? Possibly the things that come to mind are orangutans, deforestation. Perhaps you know that most of it is grown in Malaysia and Indonesia? Maybe you were aware of the frozen food specialist Iceland's very public decision to avoid using it in it’s own brand products? In this programme Sheila Dillon delves into the complicated world of palm oil. She hears how the fat made from the fruit of the oil palm has become the world's most used vegetable oil. She speaks to environmentalists, and food producers about the environmental and social impacts the growth of the industry is having worldwide. And hears why avoiding palm oil completely might not be the simple solution that it sounds. We're making this programme, because so many of you have written to us asking whether you should avoid palm oil, so we help to shed some light. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury
Feb 17, 2019
Curry house crisis... where are the women?
The British Asian restaurant sector says it's suffering the consequence of major staff shortages. Many high street takeaways and curry houses are facing closure. While restaurants search for a solution, some are questioning whether enough is being done to encourage women into traditionally male dominated kitchens. And whether if they could, this might be part of the solution. In this programme Sheila Dillon meets pioneers of British Asian cooking. Chef Romy Gill MBE, one of the first Indian women to own and run her restaurant 'Romy's Kitchen' near Bristol. Winner of BBC One's Masterchef Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, whose multi-faceted career takes in cheffing, food writing, raising children and working as a doctor. Asma Khan, soon to be the first British restauranteur on the Emmy nominated Netflix series 'Chef's Table'. Takeaway chef Salina Ahmed, finalist in the British Takeaway awards for her cooking at 'Sizzlers' in Winchester. And Rakesh Ravindran Nair, Group Development and Training Chef at the Cinnamon Club in London. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Feb 10, 2019
Who are the new generation shaking up the food system?
Who are the new voices pushing for change in the food system? Sheila Dillon hears from Alice Thompson of Social Bite, a charity that distributes over 100,000 hot drinks and meals to Scotland’s most vulnerable people every year from its sandwich shops and every Monday afternoon they invite people experiencing homelessness to their restaurant Vesta for a free sit-down two-course meal. Sheila also meets Ben Adler who was the husband of TV producer Pat Llewellyn who made stars of the Two Fat Ladies and Gordon Ramsay and launched Jamie Oliver's TV career. Pat died of metastatic breast cancer in October 2017 and we hear from Jamie Oliver about his memories of Pat and what made her so good at nurturing new talent. To honour the impact Pat had on the food industry the Food and Farming Awards is launching a Pat Llewellyn New Talent Award. It will see Ben and his co-judge Barney Desmazery, Senior Food Editor at BBC Good Food, on the search for fresh voices in the food system who could be campaigners, innovative cooks and people taking a different approach to a food or drinks business. To understand more about the types of people they might be looking for they met one of the strongest but lesser-known voices in the food system today. At Where The Light Gets In restaurant in Stockport they met founder Sam Buckley who is taking a new approach to every facet of running a restaurant with unflinching principles when it comes to responsibility for his staff and for the environment. We also hear from last year's Food and Farming Awards winner Kimberley Bell and our Future Food Award judges entrepreneur William Kendall and the Oxford Cultural Collective's Don Sloan meet Safia Qureshi who is building an alternative to disposable cups with her business CupClub. Producer: Tom Bonnett
Feb 03, 2019
What does a no-deal Brexit mean for our food?
With just over 60 days before we're set to leave the EU Dan Saladino gathers thoughts along the food supply chain, from farmers and retailers to exporters and so called "preppers", on the prospects of a no deal Brexit. The likes of the British Retail Consortium, which represents the major supermarkets, and the Food and Drink Federation, which speaks on behalf of the biggest processors and producers in the UK have voiced their concerns that a "no deal" and more disruptive Brexit could mean significant delays importing food into the UK. For this reason their members have been stockpiling supplies to prevent disruption for customers. However, as farmer Guy Watson explains, we are entering the so called hungry gap, meaning that by March 29th we'll be supplying very little of our own fruit and veg. Businesses such as his, the Riverford box scheme, will instead be depending on fresh produce brought in from Italy and Spain. He believes more than four days of disruption could wipe out his profits, and two weeks of delays could bankrupt the business. Meanwhile other members of the farming community believe we should stay focused on the idea that food benefits will come from Brexit, whilst others are convinced trading under World Trade Organisation terms will provide us with plenty of new options for imports. Dan travels along the supply chain to hear a range of different views on what the next few weeks might hold as farmers, food producers and retailers wait for the stalemate in Westminster to end.
Jan 27, 2019
The one where we talk about deep fried Mars Bars
Deep frying our food is a fast efficient way of cooking and it's not new.The ancient Greeks staged comedies involving frying pans. The Romans fried fish in copious amounts of oil. But these days deep frying often gets a bad press. British chip shops compete to create ever more outrageous deep fried dishes. Deep fried chocolate orange anyone? American state fairs hold extreme deep frying competitions involving butter and cookies. And in the west of Scotland the 'munchie box' is a fearsome thing to behold. Rachel McCormack explores different cultures' approach to deep frying asking why in Britain it's often regarded as unhealthy and lower class, whilst in Italy and Spain fritto misto has its place in a balanced healthy diet. Producer: Maggie Ayre
Jan 20, 2019
Feeding the Falklands
Would you buy a pineapple for £15? The Falkland Islands provides much of the squid we eat in Europe. And they can produce more lamb and beef than they could possibly eat. But some food - like fruit - is not so easy to get hold of. Gerard Baker meets islanders to discover how a remote community meets the challenge of providing a varied diet. Producer: Chris Ledgard
Jan 13, 2019
Dog's Dinner
Premium pet food has become big business. In the past year, loving dog owners in the UK spent 379 million pounds on posh nosh for their pooches. What's more, more and more of us are seeking out humanised doggie dining experiences as well... Accompanied by her faithful canine co-host Gertie - a five-year-old rescue dog who is totally Zen until the postman calls - Sheila Dillon asks whether this is this new dog food focus is in our pet's best interest - or whether we're simply imposing our own food values on our canine companions? Sheila visits Butternut Box - a food box delivery service creating nutritionally balanced meals delivered to the door, for dogs; hears from Glossop butcher John Mettrick who's launched a side-line making raw pet food; learns what goes into a high-end brunch for pampered pooches, at M Restaurant in London; and meets Agnes, a vegan dog-owner who's dog has also been vegan for nearly a decade. Produced by Lucy Taylor.
Jan 07, 2019
Weak, small and free: How no and low alcohol is finding power without strength
As people cut down and cut out booze, no and low alcohol drinks are pouring onto the market. Brewer Jaega wise explores this show against strength that's shaking up alcohol sector. Jane Peyton from the School of Booze puts on a tasting session at London's first no alcohol bar Redemption and there Jaega and Jane meet Laura Willoughby and Jussi Tolvi, founders of a mindful drinking movement called Club Soda. Jaega heads to Small Beer where they're reviving the tradition of weak beers that before water purification were drunk by everyone, even school children. She visits Nirvana, a low alcohol and zero alcohol brewery in Leyton, East London, and talks bubbling apothecary with Ben Branson from non-alcoholic spirit, Seedlip. Producer: Tom Bonnett
Dec 30, 2018
Nigella Lawson: A Life Through Food
"I am not a chef. I am not even a trained or professional cook. My qualification is as an eater." So writes Nigella Lawson in the preface to her first book 'How To Eat', published 20 years ago. In this programme, Nigella shares the food memories, the dishes and flavours which have shaped her life. Being taught to cook by a mother with eating disorder, balancing a career in journalism with cooking for young children, what food means when you lose those closest to you, and how navigating a rise to food-icon status sometimes feels like joining the circus. When food writer Diana Henry read 'How To Eat' for the first time, it was on a rainy afternoon after the birth of her first child. Nigella's recipes got Diana back into the kitchen and when she said so in a recent article, she realised the electric influence Nigella has had on home cooks all around the world. Now Diana joins Nigella at home in the kitchen to talk life, death, and roast chicken. Marmite sandwiches to 'Steak Mirabeau', grouse to goose fat to Christmas "goddess". This is Nigella in her own words. Presented by Diana Henry Produced by Clare Salisbury
Dec 25, 2018
The Changing World of Chocolate
Presenter Charlotte Smith puts down her beloved Kit Kat to discover a world of rich, bitter and often rather pricey chocolate as she explores how small producers and big manufacturers are adapting to demands for less sugar and less dairy but hopefully not less fun. She asks what this means for growers and for us when we pick up a bar for a pick me up.
Dec 16, 2018
Sweet Chestnuts
Rachel Roddy and Sheila Dillon share their love of Sweet Chestnuts and find out how they're for so much more than just roasting over an open fire. Like a lot of people Rachel's first memories of Chestnuts is as stuffing for turkey, but when she moved to Rome in 2005 where there was a Chestnut seller on every corner she embraced Chestnuts as an ingredient. She and Sheila discuss the soups, cakes and stews that are made using Chestnuts and how for one restaurant-owner they're a hero ingredient which saved a population from starvation. Fabio Parasecoli, Professor of Food Studies at the New York University explains why Chestnuts were so important to the Italian region of Abruzzo and how he still makes his Grandmother's Chestnut and Chickpea soup on Christmas Eve. Martin Crawford of the Agroforestry Research Trust in Dartington sells 750Kg of Chestnuts a season and explains why he would like UK producers to challenge the imports from Italy, France, Portugal and increasingly, China, and Simon Melik from Besana UK gives an overview on the industry. Producer: Toby Field
Dec 09, 2018
Cookbooks of 2018
Sheila Dillon is joined by cook and food-writer Chetna Makan, Tom Tivnan from The Bookseller’—the book industry’s bible, and Kate Young who won the Guild of Food Writers Blogger of the Year award in 2017 discuss the cookbooks of 2018. The list includes books by Diana Henry, Caroline Eden, Thom Eagle, Bosh!, Yasmin Khan and Snoop Doggy Dogg. They also discuss the inspiration for writing a book, how the books are produced, and the role social media plays in deciding who gets a book deal and how the books are produced and marketed. Rachel Roddy also gives her favourites of the year. There are also nominations from Mitch Tonks, Olia Hercules, Russell Norman, Bee Wilson and Paula McIntyre. Producer: Toby Field
Dec 02, 2018
The Food and Medicine Debate
Food as part of a prescription for health and wellbeing. What has gone wrong with our diets in the UK and how are doctors and experts trying to redress the balance to get us well again. Sheila Dillon and a group of food, diet and medical experts continue the discussion with contributions from Dr Rangan Chatterjee, BBC's Doctor In The House, Professor Tim Spector author of the Diet Myth, Henry Dimbleby who drew up the School Food Plan and Dr Rupy Aujla, founder of the Dr's Kitchen. Producer: Maggie Ayre
Nov 25, 2018
The Big Carb Debate
The Food Programme invites a panel of four to discuss the merits of a low versus high carbohydrate diet. Following up on the issues raised in discussing the government's dietary advice in the Eatwell Guide a panel including Duane Mellor of the University of Coventry, Fiona Godlee of the British Medical Journal, Dr Trudi Deakin and Anthony Warner aka the Angry Chef try to answer some of the questions and bust some of the myths about carbohydrates. Producer: Maggie Ayre
Nov 18, 2018
Cambodia's Forgotten Food
Food writer, chef and presenter Genevieve Taylor tells the story of how Cambodia’s cooking history was almost lost in the genocide that saw millions die in the mid-1970s. While food from its neighbours Thailand and Vietnam was spreading all over the world, Cambodia’s finest dishes were side-lined or lost. In the UK, there are just three restaurants focussing on Cambodian cuisine. Now, slowly but surely its traditional dishes are making a comeback. Genevieve goes to Cambodia in search of the ingredients that make up its distinct flavours and in the UK she talks to Y Sok who runs two Cambodia restaurants in Marple and Altrincham, she meets Simon and Kamya Allen from the Khmer Kitchen in Somerset and she hears the story of Longteine de Monteiro, a chef who fled the Khmer Rouge regime and set up Cambodian restaurants in France and the US.
Nov 12, 2018
How Instagram changed food
How Instagram changed food - with journalist George Reynolds and Anissa Helou, the author of Feast. Plus @pleesecakes reveals the secrets to 147k followers in just 18 months; @felicityspector on whether she's an influencer or not; top chefs at Aquavit on why Instagram is a window onto the world; and @wildfoodcafe on just keeping it real. The photo above was taken by Matt Inwood who runs masterclasses on taking better photos on your phone. The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde
Nov 06, 2018
May Contain Nuts
Following the recent high-profile cases involving food allergy deaths, Bee Wilson investigates whether labelling needs to go further to protect allergy sufferers. Bee asks if the growing number of people suffering from food allergies could be due to our diet and finds out how food production and labelling might change following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who had a severe allergic reaction to Sesame after eating a baguette from Pret a Manger. Bee speaks to Michelle Berriedale-Johnson and Professor Chris Elliott about the state of current food regulations and the frustrations of the 'May Contain...' label. Dr Adam Fox and dietitian Lucy Upton talk through the probable causes of food allergies and why they're increasingly prevalent in young people. Bee visits Vita Mojo whose use of digital menus offers their customers pinpoint accurate information about which potential allergens are in which dish. Kerrie Foy describes the shock of discovering that her daughter Bluebell may have a peanut allergy and describes how it's turned their lives upside down. Producer: Toby Field
Oct 28, 2018
A Vintage Year for Homegrown Wine
After the summer heatwave, Master of Wine Susie Barrie meets winemakers bringing in what could be a watershed harvest for homegrown wine. On a tour of the south of England she visits Peter Hall who's been making wine for 40 years in his isolated Breaky Bottom vineyard in East Sussex. Just down the road we visit sparkling wine makers Nyetimber and Ridgeview, we get a lesson in winemaking from Sarah Midgley at Plumpton College and then to Frazer Thompson of Chapel Down in Kent and Patrick McGrath of Hatch Mansfield in Ascot who helped Champagne Taittinger plant vines in the UK.
Oct 21, 2018
The C Word
Foxwhelp, cat's head, sheep's nose, hen's turd, yellow willy .... did you know there are over 200 varieties of cider apple? Jaega Wise of Wild Card brewery knows her beer and hops, but not so much her apple types. With cider production in full autumnal flow, Jaega visits three very different cider makers - Gospel Green, Westons and Pulpt - to discover that there is no such thing as the typical cider drink. With cunning insights from the moustachioed ciderologist Gabe Cook, this is the programme for everyone who has tried a little scrumpy but really needs a refresher course. The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde
Oct 14, 2018
How to Feed a Fresher
It’s fresher’s week, and all over the country students are settling in to their new digs, frantically buying kettles, figuring out the microwave settings and stocking up on beans. Or are they? We all know the stereotypes about what university students eat – it’s all burnt toast and ready-meals, late night take-aways and instant ramen, right? Well, perhaps not. When chef and food writer Lope Ariyo was at university, she adored cooking. Whether it was keeping herself fuelled for late-night study sessions, or rustling up a big warming dinner for her and her housemates, cooking and eating were a huge part of the university experience. Now, Lope is taking a look at what this year’s freshers are eating, how they learn to cook, and dispelling the myth that they’re all permanently teetering on the brink of food poisoning. Presented by Lope Ariyo, and produced in Bristol by Emily Knight.
Oct 07, 2018
The Meat-Free Meat Movement
Meat-free meat is having a moment. As more and more people move to a plant-based diet the range of steaks, burgers, hams - almost any meat product you can think of is available without the meat. Usually when we think of vegan and vegetarian dishes we expect them to be relatively healthy. Are these foods healthy? Are they trying to be? Vegan cook and YouTube star Rachel Ama tries to find out as she visits Club Mexicana, where the meat is meat-free. She goes to Zionly Manna Rastafarian vegan restaurant, run by Jahson Peat; she finds Renee's vegan Caribbean kitchen and the Deli Jerk Centre at Notting Hill Carnival; she talks to CEO of Quorn Kevin Brennan, Caroline Chin of Loon Fung Oriental Supermarket in Chinatown and nutritionists Laura Thomas and Helen Ford. Producer: Tom Bonnett
Oct 01, 2018
Stories for a harvest moon
Stories of harvest from around the UK to celebrate the autumn equinox and the passing of the summer. Presented by Andi Oliver Produced by Siobhan Maguire and Clare Salisbury
Sep 25, 2018
Rowley Leigh: A Life Through Food
Rowley Leigh, to many the "godfather" of modern British cooking tells his story to Dan Saladino. Along the way he cooks the perfect omelette and shares the secrets of great pasta. After dropping out of university at the end of the 1960s, Rowley Leigh says he was a young and lost soul. Desperate for cash he applied for a job cooking burgers and immediately fell in love with restaurants and kitchens. It took him to Le Gavroche and an apprenticeship under the Roux brothers. Armed with that classical training and a curiosity for British ingredients and flavours he helped launch the British food renaissance of the 1980s. In Kensington Place he created one of the most talked about dining rooms in British restaurant history. He is also a writer and so he takes Dan Saladino through some of the recipe highlights of his two decades worth of columns at The Financial Times. Expect the perfect omelette, some great spaghetti and one of the simplest vegetable dishes you could probably add to your own repertoire. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Sep 16, 2018
The carnivore's guide to meat and fire
Meat, drink, fire and bands - every year top chefs gather in London for a hearty celebration that has become a carnivore's delight. Tim Hayward arrived fork in hand to see if there is any substance to the Meatopia craze. Lennox Hastie, 'Lord Logs' Mark Parr and the Hang Fire Barbecue Girls are among the names he interviews, while Genevieve Taylor reveals how easy it is to cook on fire back home. With music from Charlie Mingus, Wendy Rene and Fats Waller. The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.
Sep 11, 2018
Label This!
Sheila Dillon investigates the world of food and drink labelling; what has to go on, what doesn't, how we got here - and where things might be going. A complex legislative framework has built up over many years in the UK - Sheila looks at the shape of today's labelling regulations, seeks to demystify some of the terms, and asks where things might mislead or confuse. On her journey Sheila goes down a rabbit hole, reveals some labelling surprises - and makes use of a time machine. Her guide is Vitti Allender, who teaches food law at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The programme also features author and professor of religion Alan Levinovitz, Sue Davies who advises on food for the consumer rights organisation Which?, professor of food safety at Queen's University Belfast Chris Elliott who wrote a high-profile report on the UK's horsemeat scandal, Investigations Manager at the Advertising Standards Authority Jessica Tye, and wine importer and writer Doug Wregg. The podcast and Monday broadcast of this edition also features Dan Charles, food and agriculture correspondent for NPR, on the controversy around the labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the USA. The podcast is an extended version of this programme. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Rich Ward.
Sep 02, 2018
Seeds: a 400-million-year-old food story
Dan Saladino and food historian Polly Russell share stories of seeds as told at this year's Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. From the link between amaranth and cannibalism to edible acorns. Founded in 1981 the Symposium takes a theme and invites scientists, anthropologists, historians, cooks and food enthusiasts to deliver papers and share experiences on the topic. This year they chose one of the biggest subjects possible, seeds. Using the Oxford Botanic Garden's "Plants That Changed The World" display as their backdrop, Dan and Polly have selected six speakers to provide insight into the past, present and future of seeds, from politics to pleasure and from culture to cooking. Professor Simon Hiscock, Director of The Oxford Botanic Garden, starts of by explaining what a seed is and when they first appeared in earth history. Over millions of years biodiversity has meant we've so far identified 400,000 different plants. Elinor Breman of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank explains why a team of seed hunters have been travelling to the most remote parts of the world in search of seeds. As Elinor explains, a fifth of these seeds are at risk of becoming extinct and need to be stored safely for the future. All seeds have a story to tell and one of the most intriguing (and disturbing) is told by food historian David Sutton, "Amaranth: Food of the Gods, or Seed of the Devil?". Meanwhile Steve Jones of the Washington Bread Lab describes his efforts to bring deliciousness back to wheat. Produced by Dan Saladino. Presented by Dan Saladino & Polly Russell.
Aug 26, 2018
There's More to Mangoes
There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of varieties of mango. Some creamy and sweet, some a bit hot, some like pineapple and some that are just a bit bland. Unfortunately it's the latter that are usually peeled, chopped and potted for us on supermarket shelves. In this programme, Sheila Dillon and Romy Gill meet Monica Bhandari to talk about the breadth of mangoes that we could all be delighting in and they hear from Chef Allen, a Florida-based chef known for using mangoes in his fusion cooking, BBC Gloucestershire radio presenter Primrose Granville-McIntosh describes her lifelong infatuation with mangoes and BBC Asian Network presenter Noreen Khan explains the mango ban that shook Britain's mango-loving communities.
Aug 19, 2018
Shetland - A Food Homecoming
Sheila Dillon visits Shetland to meet the people transforming Shetland's food culture by reinventing traditional dishes as well as creating new food initiatives. Social media is playing a huge part in promoting a vibrant, young food scene that is attracting entrepreneurs as well as bringing back those who may have left the islands as teenagers. Jonathan Williamson left to manage the food hall at Fortnam and Mason but came home in his late 20s to build and run Cafe Fjara on Lerwick harbour. Akshay Borges from Mumbai answered an ad for a trainee chef at the Scalloway Hotel nine years ago. He has been here ever since and is now launching his own restaurant the String bringing food, music and art together. Traditional skills like fishing and meat production are thriving too. A career in food was never on the agenda for 29 year old Chris Wright who worked different jobs in his early twenties before following his dream of becoming a butcher. He blogs about the meat dishes he prepares in addition to his day job at Anderson's Butchers in Lerwick. Elizabeth Atia is the UK's most northerly food blogger and one of the few who makes a living from it. She says being Shetland based gives her blog -Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary- a USP in the blogging world. Many restaurants on Shetland get their vegetables from Transition Turriefield run by Penny Armstrong and Alan Robertson. They have nurtured the barren land on their croft since returning to Shetland fifteen years ago, building poly tunnels and enriching the soil to grow a variety of seasonal vegetables which they sell to customers through a box scheme. All of them stress the importance of social media in spreading the word about Shetland's renewed food culture and its high quality fresh local produce. Producer: Maggie Ayre.
Aug 12, 2018
Keep It Sticky: The Extraordinary Story of Chef Marcus Samuelsson.
Harlem based chef Marcus Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia, adopted in Sweden and made his reputation in New York City. He tells Dan Saladino his extraordinary story through food. The third of The Food Programme's 2018 season of African food stories. Marcus's restaurant, The Red Rooster is part of a success story that has seen the 46 year old chef become a major television personality, a cook for Presidents and a major influence of the food scene in the US. But on the restaurant's menu, if you know the story behind some of the delicious dishes, an incredible life story is also being told. A pasta dish from Ethiopia captures an early life being born in a mud hut in a tiny east African village where everyone had berbere spice, coffee and the grain tef in their store cupboards. This was the world Marcus left at age of two after he, his sister and mother contracted TB and had to make a 70 mile trek to a hospital in the capital Addis Ababa. Macus and his sister survived, their mother died. They were adopted by a Swedish couple, and Marcus grew up with two passions, football and food. His grandmother Helga taught him to cook and forage. This is why on the menu of his Harlem restaurant is a dish called Helga's meatballs. After a brutal apprenticeship and training in restaurants across Europe, Marcus travelled to New York City, narrowly missed being caught up in the attack on the Twin Towers and 9/11 and realised his life had to take a different path. That's why he ended up in Harlem. Dan Saladino hears his life story, from Ethiopia to New York. Presented and presented by Dan Saladino.
Aug 05, 2018
Music and Food: Sounds Delicious!
Dan Saladino explores the relationship between tunes and taste with Andi Oliver on the link between Sam Cooke and roast chicken and chef Stephen Harris on food and The Buzzcocks. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jul 29, 2018
Richard Corrigan: A Life Through Food
Richard Corrigan's is a story of Ireland, the story of a turning point in British food culture and the story of a deep connection to the land and its produce. But most of all it is the story of a man committed to his principles in a notoriously unforgiving industry. He is a rare voice of authenticity from the kitchen and one of our most important chefs. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Siobhan Maguire.
Jul 22, 2018
Birmingham's Beloved Balti
For food writer Yasmin Khan, the Balti conjures up family meals out in her childhood home of Birmingham where she would regularly tuck into deep bowls of the city's most iconic dish -- richly spiced chicken or lamb, that she scooped up with freshly made warm naan breads. In it's heyday, the Sparkhill area of Birmingham was saturated with Balti restaurants, so much so that it became known as the "Balti Triangle", a place which defined Birmingham's food scene and became one of the few parts of the UK where working class, immigrant, food was celebrated. Since then, the Balti has grown in reputation as one of Britain's truly regional dishes, so much so that a bid was made, albeit unsuccessfully, to give it protected EU status. Now, Yasmin heads back to Birmingham to explore what this uniquely British-Pakistani dish means to a new generation of people growing up in the so-called 'Balti Triangle'. What she finds is a community with strong bonds and deep pride, that continues to come together around a deep love of food. Presented by Yasmin Khan Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Jul 15, 2018
Cycling and Food: Fuelling the Peloton
To celebrate the start of the Tour de France, cycling presenter and former racer Rebecca Charlton takes you behind the scenes at one of the world's biggest bike events to find the race is on in the kitchen to fuel riders who need to eat up to 8,000 calories per day for three weeks straight. She learns about Chris Froome's nutrition plan with Olympic coach and now Team Principal at Team Sky, Sir Dave Brailsford, she joins chef Sean Fowler as he cooks for the Groupama FDJ team as they fight for a place on the podium and she hears how the author of the Grand Tour Cookbook Hannah Grant had to battle to get her meals on the table in some of the worst kitchens imaginable.
Jul 08, 2018
Unedited: Sheila Dillon's interview with Prof. Louis Levy of Public Health England
This week's programme about the Eatwell Guide featured an interview with Prof. Louis Levy from Public Health England. This is the unedited version of his interview with Sheila Dillon.
Jul 03, 2018
The Eatwell Guide
Sheila Dillon questions whether the government's Eatwell Plate that's issued to the medical profession and used as public guidance for a balanced diet could actually be harming us. An increasing number of medics are abandoning the plate because they say it still promotes dangerously high levels of starchy carbohydrates and processed foods that contain high levels of the sugars that cause many of today's chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra author of the Pioppi diet is campaigning to change the official advice and says that a healthy diet and lifestyle are the key to reducing disease and the need for medication, but he says that vested interests from the food and pharmaceutical industries make some of these healthier choices more difficult to achieve. Dr David Unwin is a GP who has seen a huge spike in patients presenting with Type 2 Diabetes since he began practicing forty years ago. He advises lifestyle changes that include abandoning the Eatwell Guide and cutting out the starchy carbohydrates, processed foods and sugars and has seen a reversal of the disease in a significant number of patients. Sheila also visits Tameside Hospital in Greater Manchester which is overhauling its canteen food and vending machine produce to reduce processed carbohydrates and sugary drinks and snacks. In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the NHS the hospital will go completely sugar free on July 4th. Is it time to revise the Eatwell Guide and what will it take to do so? Producer: Maggie Ayre.
Jul 02, 2018
What's Eating The Restaurant Trade?
Grace Dent, restaurant critic and broadcaster asks what's going wrong in the restaurant trade. With hundreds of small and large food outlets closing their doors, some say the restaurant business is in crisis, yet many argue that as an industry its contribution to the British economy is vastly overlooked and underrated. Recorded at Bristol Food Connections in front of an audience, Grace chairs a discussion with guests, Russell Norman restaurateur and TV presenter, broadcaster, critic and restaurant owner Tim Hayward, West Country chef and restaurateur, Romy Gill and chef proprietor Cyrus Todiwala OBE to find out what ails the restaurant scene and how it can be remedied. Producer: Maggie Ayre.
Jun 24, 2018
BBC Food and Farming Awards 2018: Second Course
Sheila Dillon presents the people and the stories behind this year's Food and Farming Awards. Hear the winner of this year's Derek Cooper Outstanding Achievement Award, join Adam Henson and Charlotte Smith as they go in search of the farmers in the running to win Countryfile's Farming Heroes Award 2018 and hear who became this year's Food Chain Global Champion.
Jun 19, 2018
BBC Food and Farming Awards 2018: First Course
Andi Oliver, Alex James and Matt Tebbutt join Sheila Dillon for a night once dubbed 'the Oscars of the food world'; the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2018. The night that the country's best loved chefs, cooks and food writers gather to celebrate unsung food heroes. Farmers, community cooks, shop owners, food and drink producers; You nominated them in your thousands. Now, at the Food and Farming awards ceremony in Bristol, the winners are revealed. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Jun 19, 2018
Street Food 2018
As part of the BBC Food and Farming Awards Nigel Barden and Tom Parker Bowles met an amazing array of street food vendors. In this programme Nigel tells the finalist's stories and visits KERB market in Camden to hear how the industry is rapidly evolving across the UK. First they meet Manjit Kaur and Michael Jameson from Manjit's Kitchen in Leeds. Manjit and Michael started by doing home deliveries of vegetarian traditional Punjabi food and now have a permanent home in Kirkgate market as well as a horsebox they use to serve across the country. The Bees Country Kitchen in Chorley is run by Sarah and Mike Bryan. The Bees serve a huge array of dishes from Chorley Market including vegan and healthy meals. They have a huge commitment to using local produce and serving their community. The Old Granary Pierogi in Herefordshire is run by Emilia Koziol-Wisniewski, husband Piotr and brother Jacek Koziol. They talk about the difficulty they had as immigrants coming to this country and starting their business selling traditional Polish food when hardly anyone knew what it was. Nigel also talks to Mark Laurie from The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) about how the industry has changed even in a short amount time as well as what we can expect in the future. Presented by Nigel Barden Produced in Bristol by Sam Grist.
Jun 11, 2018
The Mothership of Brewing: Beer and the Belgians
Dan Saladino and drinks writer Pete Brown find out why Belgium beer is so influential.
Jun 03, 2018
Life-changing Food
From prisons to research chefs, Sheila Dillon and chef Romy Gill hear how food is used around the country to transform lives. As judges on the 2018 BBC Food & Farming Awards, Romy Gill and writer Kathleen Kerridge visited three finalists in the UK - Helen Boyce who cooks with inmates at Hydebank Wood College and Women's Prison in Belfast, the Welcome Kitchen and Cinema in London where Rose Dakuo cooks for refugees, asylum seekers and the general public and Sam Storey, a research chef in Newcastle working with head and neck cancer survivors who have been left with altered eating difficulties. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced in Bristol by Caitlin Hobbs.
Jun 01, 2018
Food Stories From Syria (3)
Europe's migrant crisis is far from over. Already in 2018, the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) estimate that more than 24, 475 people have arrived in Europe by sea. 609 people are dead or missing since January*. The conflict in Syria is now into its 7th year. With an ongoing backdrop of war and violence, and more people arriving into Europe from Syria and elsewhere, Sheila Dillon wants to hear how people fleeing the crisis are living, eating and using food to tell the stories of the journeys they have made. In summer 2017, she travelled to Greece to speak to people living the migrant crisis every day. In Greece, Sheila spends a day with a man who since arriving in the country has volunteered all his time to coordinating a vast network of volunteers distributing food to thousands of migrants and refugees in Northern Greece. She travels to refugee camps, meeting people distributing and receiving the food donations which supplement any support payments. In a remote, coastal refugee camp, she meets a teenager with his mind firmly set on travelling to the UK to reunite his family with his father. Sheila hears how the family cook and eat every day, how they found food during their journey to Greece, and asks whether the family ever make it to the UK. And in London, Sheila meets a chef from Damascus who has found a way back to cooking the food he was once famous for in his own city. She hears how he is spreading the message and raising money for people who have stayed in war-torn Syria. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury * UNHCR figure last updated 7th May 2018.
May 20, 2018
Japanese Whisky: A Beginners Guide
Dan Saladino goes on a journey through the history, culture and flavours of Japanese whisky. Why and how has this nation taken a drink so strongly associated with Scotland and made it their own? In 2001, the drinks world started to pay attention to Japanese whisky after one if its distillers scored top marks in an international whisky completion. In the years that followed, the awards and the global attention for Japanese whiskies continued to grow. Critics have described some Japanese whiskies as the "work of genius" and, just last year, one whisky produced by a small, new-wave distillery in the north of the country was voted the world's "Best Single Cask Whisky". With the help of whisky writer and author of the award-winning 'Way of Whisky: A Journey Round Japanese Whisky', Dave Broom, Dan asks: what lies behind the rise and rise of Japanese whisky and who are the people who helped make all this global recognition possible? The story has its origins in the 1860s when a recently opened up Japan started to forge close trading links with Scotland, paving the way for whisky imports. Once the taste for the spirit developed, distillers and chemists within Japan started to work on ways of producing a home-grown version of the drink. A breakthrough came in 1919 when a young student called Masataka Taketsuru travelled to Scotland, worked inside some renowned distilleries, married a Scottish woman and returned home with the secrets behind Scotch. Another pioneer, Shinjeero Torri, would put that know-how to good use and create the Suntory distilling empire and brands such as Yamasaki and Hakushu. Taketsuru would go on to found another respected and award winning whisky brand, Nikka. After record whisky sales in Japan throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the industry fell into decline for the next quarter of a century, with drinkers switching to other spirits and beer. A range of factors lie behind the recent whisky revival and boom, ranging from Japanese innovations in fermentation, distillation and barrel aging as well as the drink that brought whisky to the attention of a younger generation - the High Ball, a mix of whisky and soda. As Dave Broom also explains, the resurgence has encouraged a new generation of distillers to enter the whisky world, including Chichibu, an operation run mostly by people in their twenties, now winning awards. To explore the unique flavours on offer in Japanese whisky, Dan travels to the Highlander pub in Craigellachie, Scotland, where he meets landlord Tatsuya Minagawa and samples a "next to impossible" to find bottle of whisky. Recommended reading: Dave Broom: The Way of Whisky - A Journey Through Japanese Whisky. Dominic Roskrow: Whisky Japan - The Essential Guide To The World's Most Exotic Whisky Brian Ashcraft: Japanese Whisky - The Ultimate Guide to The World's Most Desirable Spirit Stefan Van Eycken: Whisky Rising Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
May 14, 2018
The BBC Food & Farming Awards 2018: Finalist stories
You know their names, now Sheila Dillon helps tell the stories of the finalists in the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2018. For the last month, our judges, including Tim Hayward, Andi Oliver, Tom Parker-Bowles and Romy Gill have travelled the length and breadth of the UK to meet this year's finalists. In this programme, our judges meet a Northern Irish farmer who went from never trying salami to producing award winning charcuterie in a year. They visit a local deli and cafe owned by a fisherman who has spent his life catching eels and salmon on the Severn. And speak to the founders of a brewery devoted to making great tasting beers with less than 0.5% alcohol. In the first of two editions of The Food Programme, we celebrate our BBC Food and Farming Awards 'school of 2018'. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Apr 30, 2018
Is There a Place for Salt?
Salt has long been prized, but in recent years it has become, for many, something to be avoided: to reduce or even eliminate. At the same time, there are new salt making businesses popping up all over the UK, celebrating salts with - they claim - unique characteristics due to their location and methods of production; they are salts of a place. In this edition of The Food Programme Sheila Dillon asks if there is a place for salt - in our kitchens and on our plates. Featuring chef and writer of 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' Samin Nosrat, lexicographer and etymologist (and Dictionary Corner resident) Susie Dent, Senior Health Correspondent for online news site Julia Belluz, salt makers Alison and David Lea-Wilson, and the chef and author of 'Salt is Essential': Shaun Hill. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Rich Ward. The reading of 'Sugar and Salt' in the podcast and Monday's broadcast is by Vicky Coathup.
Apr 22, 2018
The Sugar Tax: A (Short) History
Dan Saladino looks behind the headlines of the newly introduced sugar tax.
Apr 15, 2018
Northern Ireland: Food at a Crossroads
Sheila Dillon travels from the border to Belfast to learn why Northern Irish food has blossomed in recent years and what leaving the EU could mean for producers.
Apr 15, 2018
The Power of Food: Parabere Forum
Dan Saladino reports from Parabere Forum, with five life changing food stories. At the annual gathering for women working in food Dan finds unexpected and inspirational stories. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Apr 01, 2018
Doctor's Orders: Getting Tomorrow's Medics Cooking
The NHS is at crisis point. Despite the diet books, the fitness videos, the health bloggers, in 2016, Public Health England estimated that Illness associated with lifestyle costs the NHS £11 billion every year. But are we missing something obvious? Could we bring down the cost to the taxpayer, reduce pressure on the health system, with simple advice on what we should eat and drink when we go to see our GP? A growing group of medical professionals think so. Meet the doctors demanding better training on food and nutrition for students at medical school; Dr Rangan Chatterjee (BBC One's Doctor In The House), Dr Michael Mosley, (BBC Two's Trust Me I'm a Doctor) and Dr Rupy Aujla (The Doctor's Kitchen) and many more, all believe that if tomorrow's doctors were taught more about nutrition and diet, it could have a transformative effect on the health of the UK. In this programme Professor Sumantra Ray, doctor and founding chair of NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health describes a decade of work which could soon see widespread training for trainee doctors. And Sheila Dillon meets the students taking the conversation about food and health into their own hands. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury Photo credit Neil Macaninch (above).
Mar 25, 2018
The Future of Bread
Dan Saladino talks to Modernist Bread author, Nathan Myhrvold, about one of the biggest bread research projects ever undertaken, which involved the baking of 36,000 loaves. Nathan Myhrvold has spent his life trying to understand how things work, he's been a post doctoral fellow researching quantum theory with the late Stephen Hawking, he went on to work as the chief technology officer at Microsoft working directly with Bill Gates and then....... he turned his attention to food. In 2011 he published Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, which explored the history, science and techniques of cooking, including the world of Modernist cuisine, in which chefs continue to push the boundaries of the kitchen. Now he's turned his attention to bread. The research for Modernist Bread goes beyond the production of a book, new ideas about bread history are introduced (the first baker could have lived 100,000 years ago), myths are dispelled (French baguettes and Italian Ciabatta are not as traditional as we think they are) and techniques explained (why kneading might often be a waste of time and a squeeze of pineapple juice can work wonders for dough). Dan and Nathan discuss bread history, correct some falsehoods and ponder on the need for a Modernist bread movement (and Nathan also explains which loaf out of the 36,000 they baked is his favourite). Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Mar 19, 2018
African Food
It's a matter of course that in January, food writers, critics and chefs try to predict the food trends of the year ahead. And if you trawled the columns in 2018, no doubt you would have found 'African food' among them. For Zoe Adjonyoh, restaurateur at Zoe's Ghana Kitchen in London and author of cookbook of the same name, this is a difficult term. Africa is the second biggest and most populous continent in the world and its 54 countries are home to a plethora of localised and regional cuisines. Yet, so many of these cuisines have failed to make a mark in mainstream restaurant culture internationally and in the UK, can a new interest in promoting African flavours help us to discover more about them? This programme is Zoe's guide to getting to know African cuisines becoming more available in the UK. She meets British chefs and cooks exploring their African heritage through food, and asks them the worth, or worthlessness of the term 'African food'. The first of The Food Programme's 2018 season of African food stories in Britain. Presented by Zoe Adjonyoh Produced by Clare Salisbury.
Mar 11, 2018
Eat to Run, Part 3
Dan Saladino meets the runners convinced low or no carbs is the way to peak performance.
Mar 09, 2018
The Big Pig Roadtrip
Tim Hayward embarks on the big pig road trip to meet some of the people who devote their lives to rare breeds of British pigs. He speaks to Adam Henson, best-known as a presenter on BBC One's Countryfile, about why pigs like the Gloucester Old Spot and Tamworth are important to the heritage of the UK, and explains the work his late Father Joe did to keep these breeds alive. Two of Adam's Tamworth pigs became the starting point for brothers John and Nick Francis who came to pig-keeping fresh out of university and now produce meat for a number of Michelin-starred restaurants. Robert Buttle gives Tim slices of artisan charcuterie which he produces from his Large Blacks and Oxford Sandys and explains why pork of this quality needs to be treated like the finest steak. Tim also meets the next generation of pig keepers at Holme Grange School in Berkshire and discovers that showing pigs is not as easy as it looks. Producer: Toby Field.
Mar 04, 2018
Comfort food for dark days
Sheila Dillon celebrates the power of food to comfort us in hard times, especially during these dark days of the year. Dumplings, marshmallows, chicken soup, fried chicken, curried goat: all the things we long to eat when we're sad, or sick, or homesick. She talks to Antarctic explorers about the food they miss from home, and eating marshmallows at the South Pole; to teenagers in a Fried Chicken shop; to homesick Polish emigres eating proper Polish dumplings, and to a class of eight-year-olds about what their parents cook for them when they're sick. Chef Raymond Blanc goes into an almost mystical trance as he remembers the puddings his mother cooked for him as a child and their trembling caramel; he confesses this is what he craves now when he's sick. Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner reveals the secret of "Jewish penicillin", or chicken soup; Dr Rupy Aujla reflects on what you might call the culinary placebo effect; and Reggae singer Levi Roots explains about the consoling power of curried goat. Not forgetting Jill Archer's famous flapjacks - the Food Programme presents a comfort feast for February! Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Elizabeth burke.
Feb 18, 2018
The Vegetable Yoda: Charlie Hicks
Sheila Dillon and Dan Saladino pay tribute to greengrocer extraordinaire, the late, great and encyclopaedic Charlie Hicks with help from Jamie Oliver, Gregg Wallace and Raymond Blanc. Many radio listeners will remember Charlie Hicks as a co-presenter of BBC Radio 4's Veg Talk series, in which listeners phoned in to speak to two great experts of fresh produce. Charlie was a 4th generation, Covent Garden market fruit and veg man, but he was so much more including a great cook, a food scholar and broadcaster. Charlie, along with Gregg, helped changed British food culture in the 1980s and 1990s. They supplied London's top chefs with fresh produce and helped introduce new flavours and varieties to British tables. Food fashions spread as chefs influenced supermarkets who then made relatively obscure ingredients such as rocket, artichoke and baby beets popular with domestic cooks. The series Veg Talk, which ran from 1998 to 2005 attracted all of the UK's top named chefs including Jamie Oliver (who described Charlie as a "Vegetable Yoda" and "the Chef's Secret Weapon", Angela Hartnett, Michel Roux Jnr and Cyrus Todiwala. The programme gave Charlie a platform to share his knowledge and expertise of fruit and vegetables, as well as his sharp sense of humour and unique banter with his co-presenter Gregg. Charlie Hicks passed away in January and all parts of the food industry mourned his loss. Dan and Sheila tell his food story and explain why he made such an impact on British food culture. Produced by Dan Saladino.
Feb 11, 2018
The World Service Cookbook
When the BBC World Service's Language Services moved into New Broadcasting House in central London, different services would take it in turns to host a 'Meet-Your-Neighbour' event to introduce themselves to other parts of the BBC. People started bringing in food that reflected their country or region. Other people took up the mantle and an idea was born. Three years on and this extraordinary collection of recipes has been compiled into a truly global cookbook, available for staff to download. But this is just more than a collection of recipes - this is food that connects the journalists, correspondents, managers and producers to their homes, and provides a cultural bridge between themselves. Sheila Dillon meets Paula Moio who describes how a fish stew - Calulude Peixe - epitomises long Saturday afternoons in Angola when friends and family come to put the world to rights over long lunches, and how on moving to London a Saturday afternoon could be a poignant and emotional time. Sadeq Saba discusses the flavours of North Iran and why nothing can dampen down the Iranian's love of food. Lourdes Heredia gives Sheila a tour of the fifth floor before unveiling an incredible selection of salsas that has colleges from the African and Middle Eastern sections arguing about which country produces the hottest chilies. BBC Urdu presenter Aliya Nazki talks quinces and Kashmiri food, and Dmitry Shishkin is joined by his daughter Masha to explain how there's a lot more to Russian cooking than meets the eye. Producer: Toby Field.
Feb 04, 2018
Britain's Secret Saffron Story
Saffron is one of the world's most evocative spices, shrouded in myth and mystery and conjuring up images from the ancient Silk Road. Often seen as 'expensive', 'complicated' or perhaps for a special occasion, for British food writer Yasmin Khan, the spice was a store cupboard stable. Because of her mother's Iranian heritage, as a child she ate it almost every day. Later, Yasmin's love affair with saffron inspired her to travel across Iran, documenting the country's rich culinary heritage in her book 'The Saffron Tales'. On her journey she learnt that the saffron crocus was cultivated in Iran by the 10th century BC and today has multiple uses in perfuming a variety of Iranian dishes. But she also made another discovery, that saffron has a unique and mysterious British history, that brings this magical spice, much closer to home. In this programme, writer Pat Willard, chef Charlie Hodson, botanist Dr Sally Francis and community grower Ally McKinlay help to unfold an almost forgotten British saffron story, one that captivates and entrances everyone that comes into contact with it. Presented by Yasmin Khan Produced by Clare Salisbury.
Jan 28, 2018
What Delicious Future?
Dan Saladino looks at ideas that could make an impact on our food future featuring America's Impossible Burger, a Sardinian maggot infested cheese and mussels being grown in downtown Copenhagen. Most people are aware of the challenges that lie ahead linked to predictions of population growth peaking at 9bn by 2050 but who is coming up with ideas of how we can feed more people with a finite amount of land, water and other resources? Dan looks at three ideas that provide an insight into work underway to find solutions. The expert on the science of cooking Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, tells the story of The Impossible Burger, a decade long endeavour, based in California, to find a plant based replica of beef and burger patties. Impossible Foods was founded by a bio-chemist Professor Patrick Brown. Because he was approaching the problem of rising global meat consumption from outside of the food industry he was forced to ask some very basic questions, most important of which was "why does meat taste like meat"? One of the answers Pat Brown discovered was a molecule called heme. He also knew heme could be found in plants. The outcome of years of work and millions of dollars of investment is The Impossible Burger. It's aimed not at vegetarians or vegans but meat lovers and has been designed to have the meaty, bloody juiciness of a real burger. Harold McGee describes the science behind the burger and the experience of eating one. By the way, listen out for the traditional Sardinian music "Su Cuntrattu de Seneghe" performed by Antonio Maria Cubadda who is from Seneghe town. The next future food story has its origins in Sardinia and a cheese called Casu Marzu. As the cheese ferments a fly called the Cheese Skipper is attracted by the aromas being released and lays its eggs inside the cheese. The larvae then hatch and start to digest the proteins and turn a hard textured cheese into a soft one. The cheese is then eaten while the wriggling maggots are still alive within the cheese. A researcher working for the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation's Edible Insect project, Afton Halloran went in search of the cheese as a rare example of a European food involving edible insects. In Sardinia she met a chef Roberto Flore . They eventually married and since, have travelled the world in search of other examples of edible insects that could provide a clue to future foods. They tell Dan the story of the cheese and the conclusions they've reached so far when it comes to the potential of insects in feeding the world. The final story comes from Copenhagen where Joachim Hjer is attempting to get people in the city to grown their own mussels in the heart of the city. In the studio with Dan is Dr Morgaine Gaye, a "Food Futurologist" who explains which of the three stories she believes will be the one to watch in 2018. Presented and produced by Dan Saladino.
Jan 21, 2018
The BBC Food & Farming Awards 2018: The Search Begins...
Where are the cooks changing the lives of their communities? Which food shops or markets make shopping a more unique experience? Who is making the UK a more delicious place through food and drink? Rick Stein, Giorgio Locatelli, Angela Hartnett, Yotam Ottolenghi and this year's head judge Andi Oliver join Sheila Dillon to launch 2018's search for the best in UK food, drink and farming; the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2018. Sheila celebrates the impact of previous award winners and reveals the expert panel of judges who'll crown the Food and Farming Awards 'Class of 2018'. But it all begins with your nominations... Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury NB. The BBC Food & Farming Awards will open for public nominations on Sunday 14th January for 2 weeks, closing on Monday 29th January. Details can be found at
Jan 14, 2018
The sudden proliferation of porridge is there for all to see, across the country. Café chains like Pret, Starbucks, McDonalds; instant tubs on offer in your local supermarket; on the train, even. Sheila Dillon explores the current fashion for porridge, and meets the "porridge pioneers" who have ridden the sticky porridge wave and created booming porridge businesses. She eats breakfast with Alex Healy Hutchinson, founder of the Covent Garden porridge restaurant 26 Grains; she tours the Edinburgh factory of Stoats Oats, a business which started from a mobile porridge van at rock festivals and is now on track for a turnover of £10 million. She hears from contestants from all over the world at this year's Golden Spurtle International Porridge Championship, and she talks to the Harvard scientist who published the largest study about the health benefits of porridge. (Yes it certainly is good for you.) Finally, back in her kitchen Sheila convenes her own porridge championship with Jamaican chef Levi Roots, Scandinavian chef Trine Hahnemann and Scottish chef Shirley Spear. Whose porridge will taste best? And which Bob Marley song has a verse about cooking porridge?
Jan 07, 2018
The Champagne Underground
Champagne sceptic Dan Saladino travels to the French region in search of the mavericks of fizz. These wine producers are part of a movement that's causing many to re-evaluate the world's most celebrated bubbles. For many, including Dan, champagne is a drink purely of fun and celebration, a glass of bubbles most often enjoyed standing up; popping a cork has played a part in countless moments and memories of joy. But to others, it's also increasingly being treated as a serious wine, that as with the world's best bottles, can offer a sense of place, and that behind the fizz champagne can also be a wine of "terroir". Dan is taken on a road trip through the Champagne region to meet a movement of small scale, vineyard driven "grower champagnes" by award winning wine writer Dan Keeling of the magazine Noble Rot. Influenced by the approach more often found in Burgundy and Bordeaux they're using specific vineyards to produce great wines that just happen to have bubbles. As wine merchant Robert Walters, author of Bursting Bubbles: A Secret History of Champagne and The Rise of the Great Growers explains in the programme champagne was a product of the scientific and industrial revolutions. Initially an unwanted accident in winemaking in the 18th century, this sparkling wine became a popular novelty feature across Europe. However it would take 200 years to master the bubbles. The complex process of secondary fermentation of wine in bottles needed a huge amount of technical innovation and capital investment. From stronger glass bottles to muselet (the wire cage that helps to hold the cork in under great pressure), better understanding of fermentation and skills such as riddling, disgorgement and dosage all needed to be mastered and funded. This explains why champagne production fell under the control of the big houses, the "Grand Marques" e.g. Krug, Dom Perignon and Bollinger. These brands, also known as negociant houses, typically buy in grapes and wine from thousands of growers throughout the Champagne region and then make a blend in their house style. Dan and Dan visit Krug, one of the most prestigious Grand Marques, to hear how this model works. Meanwhile, from humble beginnings in the 1990s, a small group of growers have taken a different approach. They've decided to stop selling their grapes to the negociant houses and produce their own champagnes that are very much the product of their vineyards. Dan Keeling takes Dan on a tour of some of the best "grower champagnes" to see if this can convert a bubble sceptic into a lover of fizz. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino. Additional reading; Bursting Bubbles: A Secret History of Champagne and The Rise of the Great Growers - Robert Walters. Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers and Terroirs of the Iconic Region - Peter Liem.
Dec 31, 2017
Sheila Dillon's Christmas Dinner
Sheila Dillon invites some special guests, friends old and new, to come and share a festive meal. Before they start to arrive, Nigel Slater drops by to help Sheila prepare. Each visitor will bring a dish, or a drink, that for them captures something unique of the flavours and spirit of the season. Knocking on Sheila's door are: Giorgio Locatelli, Angela Hartnett, Anna Jones, Pete Brown, Neil Borthwick and Yotam Ottolenghi. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Rich Ward.
Dec 24, 2017
The World's Most Popular Cheese: The Story of Cheddar
Dan Saladino reports on the past, present and future of what's thought to be the world's most widely produced and consumed cheese, Cheddar. Dan also meets producers who are trying to discover what cheddar might have tasted like more than a century ago, using some of the earliest known Cheddar recipes. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Dec 18, 2017
We have a national passion for crisps. Every week, on average, each person in Britain eats 4 bags of crisps - a staggering 240 million bags a week. This is a good moment to look more closely at crisps, since this year they celebrate their bicentenary. It's 200 years since the eccentric Dr William Kitchiner published "The Cook's Oracle", a best-seller in its day, with the first recorded crisps recipe. But quite what made them such a part of British life it's hard to say. In search of answers, Sheila Dillon is allowed a rare visit to the Walkers crisps factory in Leicester to meet people whose job it is to taste crisps all day long. What new flavours are in the pipeline? She hears from schoolchildren about why they insist on crisps in their lunchbox, and from twenty-somethings spending a wild Friday night at a "bottomless crisps party" in a Birmingham bar with all the crisps you can eat. She meets Charles Spence, Professor of Psychology at Oxford, who won an "Ignobel Prize" for his "sonic experiments" with crisps, and talks to Dr Sara Lodge, historian of the crisp, who believes crisps are a symbol of proud British individualism: the individual bag of crisps is on a par with other national icons like the mini or the red telephone box. More disturbingly, Sheila discovers from investigative reporter Joanna Blythman what is actually in crisps and what this gargantuan national consumption might be doing to our health. Producer Elizabeth Burke Presenter Sheila Dillon.
Dec 10, 2017
Cookbooks of 2017
It's that time of year when Sheila Dillon and special guests take a close look at the food, cookery and drink books of 2017. Joining Sheila are the food writer Bee Wilson, and the Features Editor at the book trade magazine The Bookseller, Tom Tivnan. Expect tales of literature, simplicity, deliciousness... and a deep dive into the idea of 'comfort'. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Rich Ward.
Dec 03, 2017
Food on the Edge (A Food Story Mix-Tape)
Dan Saladino is at Food On The Edge, a gathering of people with food stories to tell; from a Black Panther breakfast to a chef convinced her emotions could be detected in her food. Held in Galway, the west of Ireland each year chef JP McMahon invites fellow cooks, chefs and restaurateurs to take to a stage and for 15 minutes share a food story of experience. Over two days more than 40 different stories from countries as diverse as Japan, Italy, Bolivia and Australia are told. Dan selects a handful of the stories that made an impact on him during his time at Food On The Edge. The first story is of how a Syrian kitchen came to be set up in Amsterdam. Tens of thousand of Syrians arrived in the city during the peak of the recent refugee crisis. Among them was a photographer, fashion designer, fitness machine repair man and a lawyer. Together they ran a kitchen in the Salvation Army centre where they were being housed, aiming to feed their fellow refugees with food from home. After spotting an appeal for help on Facebook, Dutch chef Jurriaan Momberg visited the kitchen to see if he could help teach them to cook. What he discovered were some of the greatest culinary talents he'd encountered in his career. It led to the creation of a pop-up restaurant which caused a sensation in Amsterdam. But all good things comes to an end and in the programme Jurriaan explains why one day he walked into an empty kitchen. Another story comes from Oakland California. It was there in 1966 that the radical political movement The Black Panthers were created in response to police violence against black communities. By 1969 what had first looked like a militia, promoting armed resistance, the organisation had also created a series of social programmes. The most successful of which was a breakfast programme set up to feed black children who were often going to school undernourished and hungry. Chef Saqib Keval of the People's Kitchen Collective, a group of cooks, historians and researchers who tell stories through food, explains why he's brought the free breakfasts back to California. Meanwhile Chef Matt Orlando of the Copenhagen restaurant Amass reveals some of the kitchen experiments he's been undertaking to convert so called "waste food" and by-products into delicious meals. He explains the ingenious way flavours and nutrients inside used coffee grounds can be released to make a meal. Irish chef Domini Kemp took to the stage to express her frustration of how, based on her own experience of cancer treatment, the medical profession neglect the power of food in conversations about prevention, recovery and long term health. Finally, New York chef Elise Kornack tells the story of how a mental breakdown led her to become convinced that her own powerful emotions were being transferred through her cooking and onto her customers. Like a scene from the book and film, Like Water For Chocolate, she believed every mouthful of food she was serving would result in diners sensing what was unfolding in her troubled mind. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino. Additional recording in Oakland, California by Meradith Hoddinott.
Nov 27, 2017
Young and Vegan
The number of young people turning vegan is rising. Grace Dent meets some of the people opening vegan eateries and finds out how creatives are using social media to further the "vegangelical" cause. Grace goes to the Hackney Downs Vegan Market to speak to Jay Brave who argues that adopting a vegan diet is as much about personal autonomy and challenging the status quo as it is an ethical step. He delivers a few bars of 'Vegan Shut Up', his parody of Stormzy's 'Shut Up' released on World Vegan Day, and tells Grace why veganism is becoming big in the London grime scene. She also speaks to Sean O'Callaghan AKA Fat Gay Vegan who set-up the market and has seen its popularity grow, and gives his reaction to the mainstream restaurants who are falling over themselves to come up with vegan menus. Ian Theasby and Henry Firth from Bosh! create simple and imaginative vegan recipes which are filmed and broadcast to over 1.4m Facebook users. Toby Field visits them at their studio to find out what fuels their idea to create plant-based options and to ask why they keep out of the argument around the ethics of veganism. Maria Rose has just opened a vegan cafe in Barnstaple and explains how it's slowly creating a more enlightened scene in North Devon. So is this just a trend that's fine for the hipster herbivores of Camden, or can it gain traction across the country and start a food revolution? Producer: Toby Field.
Nov 19, 2017
With Catalonia in the midst of a political crisis, Sheila Dillon travels to the region just as they self-declared independence and discovers how the spirit of the region and its people are very much reflected in their passion for food.
Nov 13, 2017
The Art of Fermentation - A Masterclass
Dan Saladino gets a practical masterclass with the world-renowned teacher and author of 'The Art of Fermentation' - Sandor Ellix Katz. Presenter: Dan Saladino Producer: Rich Ward.
Nov 04, 2017
More Problems with Poultry?
Following years of reporting on UK chicken scandals, Dan Saladino looks at investigations now underway by The Food Standards Agency and MPs into practices at supplier 2 Sisters.
Oct 30, 2017
How We Eat: 4. Eating as a Family
In this final programme of the series How We Eat, Sheila Dillon explores eating as a family, the reality and the myth. As working hours increase and with both parents working, it becomes more and more difficult to sit down together with the children for meals. Separate meals, often in front of the tv, are more the reality in Britain today. But in this programme Sheila meets two families who believe that there is nothing more important than eating together. The Parker family have two children of their own, but they have also fostered dozens of children, some with special needs. Crucial to the success of their extended family, they believe, is the fact that they sit together every night at six o'clock round the table to eat. Sheila Dillon joins them to find out why this structure is so important to the children they look after. She visits too the Brooks family, who sit down together every Friday night for the Jewish Friday night dinner. Emma Brooks married into Judaism and found it strange at first; she reflects on the demands but also the benefits of this ritual meal. So what exactly can family meals do for us? Sheila talks to best-selling child psychologist Steve Biddulph whose books ("Raising Boys", "Raising Girls") are in 4 million homes, and finds out why he thinks eating together is crucial if you want to solve conflict and raise happy children. He gives his top tips for successful family meals. But many people, Sheila included, remember dreadful family rows over the childhood dinner table. With historian Chris Kissane, the programme explores whether the family dinner, like the perfect family itself, has always been more of a myth than a reality.
Oct 23, 2017
How We Eat: 3. Eating By The Rules
Increasing numbers of people in Britain seem to eat according to very clearly defined rules, from fashionable Clean Eaters to religious believers to professional sportspeople. In this third programme in the series How we Eat, Sheila Dillon talks to them about the rules they follow and why, sometimes, rules make life not only easier but more enjoyable. She meets vlogger Madeleine Shaw, an Instagram Star with 275,000 followers, whose 12-point eating philosophy includes the rule "Don't Eat Anything Beige". She talks to followers of the ancient Jain religion, who believe it's deeply wrong to eat root vegetables or anything raw. If they break the rules, there is a complex system of atonement. She visits a slimming class to discover the pleasures of eating according to a clearly defined plan and why iced Chelsea buns are evil. And she talks to professional athletes, a jockey and a boxer, about how they eat when they know that their entire livelihood depends on not gaining a single pound.
Oct 16, 2017
How We Eat: 2. Eating with Strangers
What happens when you share a meal with strangers? What chemistry fizzes around the table, what bonds are formed, what happens next? In this programme Sheila Dillon talks to people who believe that eating with strangers is the greatest pleasure in life, and to people whose lives have been transformed by those meals. She visits the largest Sikh temple in Europe, where hundreds are fed every day for free, and hospitality to strangers is a sacred religious duty. She meets the woman who started the supper club movement in Britain when she began inviting people into her small flat for dinner. She talks to an unlikely couple - with a 60 year age gap - who formed a firm friendship thanks to the charity the Casserole Club. And she visits the Glasgow couple who met as strangers at a supper club for singles - and knew after that first dinner that they were destined to share the rest of their lives together. It was his table manners that did it.
Oct 09, 2017
How We Eat: 1. Eating Alone
How we eat says so much about us. Where we come from, our family background, our feelings about our bodies even - our appetite for all kinds of pleasure... There was a time when how we eat was mostly about class, but whether you called it "tea" or "dinner" or "supper", there were still fixed conventions about when and where we ate, and what we ate. These days the certainties, the boundaries, have been broken up. How do we eat now? Well, differently, as this series reveals. This first programme of How We Eat explores the pleasures and pitfalls of eating alone. As one in three households in Britain is now a single-person household, increasing numbers of people ARE eating on their own. Do we eat differently when we eat unobserved? How do people of all ages, from students to widowers, adjust to suddenly having to cook for themselves? Sheila Dillon investigates the booming business of ready-meals for one, and hears embarrassing confessions about secret snacks: such as people who shut themselves in the utility room to gorge on chocolate, pretending they're doing the laundry. She visits inspirational cookery writer Anna del Conte, who's in her 90s, to talk to her about the delicious meals she makes for herself now that she's a widow. She goes to a cookery class at a hospice. She talks to students who admit to living on alcohol and crisps. And she meets a man who cooks fresh meals to share with his dog.
Oct 02, 2017
The BBC Food & Farming Awards 2017
Sheila Dillon presents the highlights of this year's awards with Giorgio Locatelli
Sep 26, 2017
Future Food
Seaweed, hydroponics and seeds. Dan Saladino meets the 'Future Food' finalists in the 2017 BBC Food and Farming Awards, and asks what their stories tell us about the future of what, and how, we all eat. Presenter: Dan Saladino Producer: Rich Ward.
Sep 18, 2017
Zero Compromise: A (Georgian) Natural Wine Story.
Dan Saladino travels into the Caucasus in search of "zero compromise" natural wine makers. He finds them in Georgia, thought to be the birthplace of wine, and home of the qvevri.
Sep 11, 2017
Feast Like a Georgian: A Food Guide to the Caucasus.
Dan Saladino travels to a Georgia, considered to be an undiscovered food and drink gem at the heart of the meeting point between Europe and Asia. Food writer Carla Capalbo, author of Tasting Georgia: A food and wine journey in the Caucasus guides Dan through a supra, a traditional feast. Georgia, a country the same size as Scotland, south of Russia and north of Turkey, has one of the oldest, richest and, to many of us, unknown food and drink cultures in the world. On the silk and spice routes, for centuries, it was a battleground between Persian, Turkish and Russian empires. In the 20th century, Georgia, birthplace of Stalin, became part of the Soviet Union until its independent in 1991. Throughout generations of conflict and hardship Georgia's food culture has endured. It can claim to be the birthplace of viticulture and wine making and when it comes to dining experiences, it has one of the most sophisticated and emotional dining experiences in the world. Dan experiences a supra, a traditional Georgian feast, in which an array of dishes are woven around a series of polyphonic (many voice) songs, amber wines and heartfelt toasts given by a tomada (toast master). Produced and presented by Dan Saladino. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Sep 03, 2017
Salt Fish
Once a cheap dish to feed workers, salted cod has been preserved by cooks around the world who serve it to celebrate: On Sundays, at Carnival, at Christmas. It's an ingredient which has played a part in the forming of empires, fuelled armies and cured hangovers. Sheila Dillon meets cooks and hears the enduring and surprising stories of cuisines shaped by salt fish. She asks why some of the best new British chefs are choosing to include saltfish on their menus. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Aug 27, 2017
Chef Stress
Dan Saladino investigates current pressures on chefs and the darker side of the restaurant kitchen. From breakdowns to addictions, is it a profession with more problems than most? Dan hears from a range of chefs who open up about the way their chosen profession has affected their lives, including Mark Hix, Rene Redzepi, Matty Matheson, Paul Cunningham, Shaun Hill and Philip, who works through an agency cooking in the kitchens of pubs, chains and restaurants on our high streets. Giving an over view is Kat Kinsman, a journalist who came out about her own experiences with depression when she was working for CNN in the United States. After meeting a succession of chefs who spoke to her in confidence about their own mental health problems she set up a website "Chefs With Issues". She's now head from thousands of chefs around the world who have spoken out about the impact the restaurant world and kitchen life has had on their mental health. Mark Hix talks about his friend, the late chef Jeremy Strode who took his own life after decades of cooking in Sydney. Jeremy had invested much of his time raising awareness of mental health issues and had supported a suicide prevention charity, RUOK. Mark opens up about the impact Jeremy's death has had on him, as well as the wider pressures facing people in the hospitality industry. Chef Paul Cunningham, describes how he woke up one Sunday afternoon and realising he couldn't move his left arm. A stress related blood clot was the cause and he ended up spending five weeks in hospital recovering. He describes the addictive quality of kitchen work, and also the stresses and strains it can bring. Penny Moore, Chief Executive of Hospitality Action, the benevolent organisation set up in 1837 to provide help for people working, or have previously worked in the hospitality industry, explains that the hospitality workforce of more than 3 million, has higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse. The main issues they also deal with is bullying and harassment in the workplace. Penny believes a culture shift is underway in the industry with chefs, including Sat Bains, reducing working hours and opening times to improve the work-life balance of staff. Philip, a 63 year old agency chef describes his working life in the kitchens of pubs and restaurant chains, saying a just-in-time work culture is making the profession a tougher one to survive in. Shaun Hill, the celebrated chef at the Walnut Tree Inn in Abergavenny provides a reminder of why so many people love to work in kitchens and why he's loved spending his working life in restaurants.
Aug 21, 2017