Cover image of The Food Programme
(136)

Rank #43 in Food category

Arts
Food

The Food Programme

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #43 in Food category

Arts
Food
Read more

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

Read more

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

iTunes Ratings

136 Ratings
Average Ratings
107
15
4
6
4

Diverse Subjects, Skip the Vocal Fry

By FacebookAppsAreLame - Jul 05 2019
Read more
Interesting variety of subjects. I enjoyed the topics on chefs, blue fin tuna. The interview questions are great open-ended ones. I had to skip some of the 2018 episodes because host, a British woman, tends to have this intolerable dragging vocal fry.

Love it

By Suanknits - Apr 01 2011
Read more
I love this podcast! Totally enjoyable

iTunes Ratings

136 Ratings
Average Ratings
107
15
4
6
4

Diverse Subjects, Skip the Vocal Fry

By FacebookAppsAreLame - Jul 05 2019
Read more
Interesting variety of subjects. I enjoyed the topics on chefs, blue fin tuna. The interview questions are great open-ended ones. I had to skip some of the 2018 episodes because host, a British woman, tends to have this intolerable dragging vocal fry.

Love it

By Suanknits - Apr 01 2011
Read more
I love this podcast! Totally enjoyable

Listen to:

Cover image of The Food Programme

The Food Programme

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

Kitchens of Power

Podcast cover
Read more
Why is cheese essential when the German Chancellor comes for dinner?

Dan Saladino explains why a plate of food shouldn't be taken at face value in this special episode of the Food Programme, made in collaboration with the Food Chain on The World Service. This week we enter an arena usually hidden from public view; the kitchens behind the most powerful people on the planet, where politics, policy and diplomacy are the main ingredients.

For millennia, international relations have been massaged by the chefs working inside palaces and state kitchens and their food might have influenced some of the biggest decisions in history. Dan meets Gilles Bragard, the founder of the world's most exclusive culinary club, Le Club des Chefs Des Chefs, which brings together 20 people who cook for Heads of State. Gilles shares some food secrets, including President Putin's food security protocols.

We visit the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace, where in 16th century England, wine fountains and roasted meats were cooked to help Henry VIII impress and intimidate foreign dignitaries. The White House kitchen, is perhaps the most influential in the modern era and Sam Kass, former chef and close friend to the Obamas, explains how policies were cooked up in State kitchens.

Professor Stephen Chan of London's School of Oriental and African Studies tells the story behind Robert Mugabe's lavish feasts. David Geisser, a former Vatican Swiss Guard, provides insights into the culinary preferences of Pope Francis and finally, we hear from a journalist in Brussels who has witnessed some recent and dramatic EU meals, including the former British Prime Minister David Cameron's last supper with European leaders.

Producer: Emily Thomas.

Jul 29 2016

27mins

Play

Coffee and the God Shot. The Drinks Menu

Podcast cover
Read more
Dan Saladino journeys into coffee's past, present and future. He discovers a world of new flavours, far from his formative espresso experiences in Sicily - and finds that things are more precarious than they may seem. Are we living in a golden age of coffee?

Behind every cup of coffee is a story - or rather many stories. A whole chain, from people to processes, all of which make a difference to the taste and experience.

Featured in the programme are Stephen Leighton - roaster and founder of Hasbean, James Hoffman - author of 'The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing', Barista Claire Wallace - Winner of the 2015 Scottish Aeropress Championships, Professor Robert W Thurston - coffee shop owner and Senior Editor of 'Coffee - A Comprehensive Guide', Alejandro Martinez - Coffee Grower in El Salvador and Sarada Krishnan - Director of Horticulture at the Denver Botanic Gardens and coffee scientist..... and Joe of Brew in Bristol who makes Dan's espressos when he takes a break from The Food Programme office.

The podcast of this programme features extra material, including coffee businessman Kenfe Bellay on the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony and a new coffee story from the Ark of Taste.

Producer: Rich Ward.

Sep 06 2016

42mins

Play

School food: An uncertain future

Podcast cover
Read more
In 2013, The School Food Plan was published aiming to revolutionise food in schools across England, and to show countries around the world what providing good food in schools could look like. Out of the policy came 'universal infant free school meals', dubbed by the Government as "good news" for any family with small children at infant school. A £600 million commitment to giving children a hot meal at lunchtime.

But in this programme, one of the authors of the School Food Plan says the Government failed to listen to the advice it asked for. Now thousands of primary schools across England face funding cuts which could see them struggling to provide school lunches to tens of thousands of pupils.

Sheila Dillon hears how a Government report on funding food in small schools was never published and asks what the future holds for school food across the UK in an uncertain political climate.

Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.

Jul 10 2016

28mins

Play

Cookbooks of 2016

Podcast cover
Read more
Sheila Dillon and guests discuss the year's food and cookery books - focussing on debut food books.

Joining Sheila in the studio is cook, gardener and writer Jojo Tulloh, journalist and food writer Alex Renton, and the Features Editor at the trade magazine The Bookseller, Tom Tivnan. There's also tales of cider, science and rogueishness with drinks writer Henry Jeffreys. Also offering up her 2016 choices - is food loving BBC 6 Music DJ, Cerys Matthews.

Presenter: Sheila Dillon
Producer: Rich Ward.

Nov 28 2016

28mins

Play

Pumpkins and Winter Squash

Podcast cover
Read more
Sheila Dillon and special guests discover a delicious world of pumpkins and winter squash.

It's Halloween time, and pumpkins are making their annual appearance in windows and on doorsteps. But these winter squash are part of a fascinating family of fruit (yes, fruit - not vegetable) with huge culinary potential that many feel uncomfortable around. This programme aims to change that. Sheila invites chef, restaurateur and squash-lover Romy Gill to her kitchen, where they're joined by Neil Munro - manager of the Heritage Seed Library at Garden Organic (formerly the Henry Doubleday Research Association). To help with the deeper history, they enlist the help of Ken Albala, Professor of Food Studies at the University of the Pacific in California.

Presenter: Sheila Dillon
Producer: Rich Ward.

Nov 01 2016

28mins

Play

Diet and Dementia

Podcast cover
Read more
For the 850 thousand families in the UK living with dementia, the simple daily practise of eating a meal can escalate into a dreaded challenge. Spurred on by a listener's personal experience, Sheila Dillon meets people living with dementia to ask how their relationship with food has changed.

American food writer Paula Wolfert has written award winning books on the food of the Mediterranean. In 2012, she was diagnosed with a form of dementia and after careful research she transformed her daily diet. As Paula prepares to release what will be her final book, Sheila speaks to her about what food means now. Sheila also meets James Ashwell, a young entrepreneur whose online business venture was inspired by caring for his mother who loved to cook.

Sheila hears from Professor Margaret Rayman, who heads the nutritional medicine course at the University of Surrey. Her book 'Healthy Eating to Reduce the Risk of Dementia' draws on hundreds of academic papers into nutrition and the brain. And in an area which still requires so much research, Sheila speaks to an American academic embarking on what could be the 'gold standard' study into how what we eat affects the development of dementia.

Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced by Clare Salisbury

Photo credit: Alison van Diggelen.

Oct 03 2016

48mins

Play

Cooking clubs in Basqueland

Podcast cover
Read more
Spain's Basque region exerts a powerful influence on global cuisine, Dan Saladino finds out why. Heston Blumenthal and writer Harold Mcgee provide insights into this food culture.

Nov 14 2016

28mins

Play

Is There a Place for Salt?

Podcast cover
Read more
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 vox.com 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

28mins

Play

An Archive for Food

Podcast cover
Read more
In the British Library there is an archive of life story sound recordings which tells the true story of how our food has changed over the past century. Until now, this collection has been accessible only by visiting the British Library. Now, for the first time, the 'National Life Stories project' is being made public online. Featuring hundreds of voices, and thousands of hours of interviews, it is one of the most comprehensive and revealing resources we have on food in the UK. Contributors range from chefs like Shaun Hill and Albert Roux, to biscuit factory managers, from butchers to apple growers.

In this edition, The Food Programme is collaborating with the British Library to bring you highlights from the 'National Life Stories' archive. Historian Polly Russell picks voices which shed light on hidden parts of the food industry, from restaurant kitchens to the high street. And in recounting these histories to today's chefs, restaurateurs and shop owners, she finds how working in British food has changed.

Presented by Sheila Dillon with Polly Russell & Barley Blyton
Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.

Jun 05 2016

29mins

Play

Brexit: The Tomato's Story. What can one food tell us about the future?

Podcast cover
Read more
Dan Saladino uses the story the tomato to examine the impact of the new Brexit on food.

Oct 27 2019

28mins

Play

Comfort food for dark days

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Roger Protz: A Life Through Beer

Podcast cover
Read more
From being tucked under the pub bar stool as a baby to getting into Fleet Street pubs underage, Roger Protz's passion for beer began early. He's spent 40 years on a mission to celebrate and protect brewing traditions - writing about brewing and beers including over 20 editions of the Good Beer Guide. Arguably what he was writing about then is what many hold important today - in both food and drink. His passion and excitement about innovation and new flavours hasn't waned. He took Sheila to one of his favourite local pubs to try some new local ales before sharing more about his life and career.

His writing saw him forge a path to parts of the world where few were travelling - including hunting out beers and brewers in Czechoslovakia before the fall of the Iron Curtain, his eyes were opened to Belgian beers and tastings through France, and across to the USA, all of which he shared with his readers.

Roger has also worked for the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) since the 70s helping bring real ale back from the brink of extinction as a threatened minority drink to a thriving British craft industry. His work has also seen him fighting to help save pubs - to put it simply, 'no pub, no ale'. But his opinions haven't been without controversy and while he celebrates the rise of the microbrewers, CAMRA is now asking its members on whether it should remodel itself and embrace all beers and beer drinkers.

Presented by Sheila Dillon.
Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.

Aug 15 2016

28mins

Play

The Pizza

Podcast cover
Read more
Dan Saladino charts the rise, fall and rise of traditional Neapolitan pizza. He's joined by Daniel Young whose "Where to Eat Pizza" lists 1700 great pizzerias around the world.

A common theme in the book, Daniel argues, is that after decades of competition from less authentic rivals, the Neapolitan style pizza is making an impact on restaurant scenes across Europe, Asia and north America.

Professor John Dickie, the author of Delizia: The epic history of the Italians and their food, explains the birth of the Neapolitan pizza in the 18th and 19th centuries on the streets of Naples, then one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

What emerged was a pizza that was quickly cooked at high tempertaures and was soft and moist enough to be folded and eaten on the streets.

The current renaiisance of the pizza can also be seen in the UK. Dan meets some of the pizzaioli (pizza chefs) who have taken a centuries old food and taken it to new heights.

Presented by Dan Saladino.

Mar 21 2016

27mins

Play

Japanese Whisky: A Beginners Guide

Podcast cover
Read more
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

31mins

Play

Ferment

Podcast cover
Read more
Fermentation is one of our oldest methods for preserving food. All around the world people have been transforming food with the help of microbes for thousands of years. The problem is, this simple method has had an identity crisis. We tend either see it as a fashionable fad, or a strange science. But there are people who want things to change. So in this programme Sheila Dillon meets 'The fermenters'. Ukranian food writer and chef Olia Hercules, who grew up with fermented foods; Roopa Gulati, using fermentation to explore her Indian heritage; entrepreneur Deborah Carr, whose fermentation business is going from strength to strength; and seasonal chef Tom Hunt who is putting seasonal ferments back on his restaurant menu. In 2016, It's time to rethink fermentation.

Mar 14 2016

28mins

Play

Cooking for Poldark

Podcast cover
Read more
As the much-anticipated new series of Poldark returns to our screens, most eyes will be on Aidan Turner but behind the scenes a raft of experts has worked to ensure each setting is as accurate to the time as possible - including the food. The Food Programme was given special access on set to see the effort that goes into recreating the fantastic feasts that marked so many social functions in the Georgian era and were a marker of class and wealth.

Food Stylist Genevieve Taylor is used to creating wonderful images of food for cookery books and adverts but in her first period drama she faced a new set of challenges - researching the typical foods available at the time and how they were served, how to recreate them, which 'cheats' to use all before transporting the food to set intact, dressing the scene and preventing the crew from stealing the goodies.

She invites us into her kitchen and to the secret set locations for an insight into the detailed effort made - but it's not easy. From sourcing obscure fruits, to whipping up dishes under a gazebo, balancing tiered cakes on wobbly dishes to turning out jellies in front of a whole crew - can she impress Ross Poldark, the Directors and the audience?

Presented by Genevieve Taylor and Sheila Dillon
Produced by Anne-Marie Bullock.

Sep 12 2016

27mins

Play

The Joy of Eggs

Podcast cover
Read more
We were once told 'Go to work on an egg' but health warnings later saw us cut the number we eat. As the US Dietary Advisory Committee drops its advice on restricting egg consumption Sheila Dillon asks if we're falling back in love with the egg. Similar limits in the UK were lifted several years ago after evidence suggested their cholesterol did not have a significant effect on our blood cholesterol after all.

The amount we eat in the UK is now continuing to rise and the trend for keeping hens at home or in community projects has seen many people collecting their own too. Sheila Dillon asks if the humble egg is breaking free of a tarnished reputation and proving itself to be a versatile protein provider worth celebrating.

She hears reports from US where yolk-dodgers have demanded white-only 'heart healthy omelettes' and similar concoctions while in Silicon Valley a 'solution' to the egg has been created in a plant protein based alternative which they claim can mimic many of the egg's functions.

But back in the UK she finds a more celebratory atmosphere - a major retailer has begun supplying guaranteed double yolkers, Neil Rankin, founder of 'Bad Egg' Restaurant has kept his supplier in steady business while Genevieve Taylor found her hens laid so many she had to create new recipes to use them all.
Has the egg been given too much of a bad rap and is now breaking free and what does the future hold?

Presented by Sheila Dillon and Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.

Apr 05 2015

28mins

Play

Barbecue

Podcast cover
Read more
From the 'slow and low' tradition of the American south to the village of Llantwit Major in South Wales, Dan Saladino explores the revival of one of the food world's most misunderstood words; barbecue.

A world away from the burnt burgers and charred sausages of the British barbecue experience, the 'barbecue belt' of the Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee to Texas captures a story that goes beyond food. From politics and class to race and gender: barbecue has become a vital American institution.

A cooking technique requiring endless patience, effort and care, Dan Saladino talks to some of barbecue's biggest enthusiasts about how their modern approach is shaping our oldest form of cooking.

Producer: Anna Miles.

Jun 11 2015

28mins

Play

Salt, Pepper... and Seaweed?

Podcast cover
Read more
Highly regarded for its health benefits, people living by the shore have been eating seaweed for millennia. In Ireland, it was part of a prehistoric diet, and taken to ward off illness. In New Zealand, seaweed was a Maori delicacy. In Iceland, it was served daily, dried with fish, butter and bread. And seaweeds in many forms continue to be a major part of day to day cooking in China, Japan and Korea.

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, the harvesting of seaweed for food is worth upwards of 5 billion US dollars every year.

Yet many of us still associate the greens with Asian food, or experiments in haute cuisine.

But now a new generation of wild food entrepreneurs, are asking us to change our habits, and to rethink seaweed as something that can be enjoyed in every meal, for every occasion.

Sheila Dillon hears stories of finding food from the sea. People harvesting and cooking with seaweed. And as seaweed enters the mainstream, she hears how age old harvesting traditions, could be under threat.

This programme includes the fifth instalment from the Ark of Taste series.

Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.

May 26 2015

28mins

Play

Porridge

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Eating Animals Part 2: A Meat Q&A.

Podcast cover
Read more
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

29mins

Play

Eating Animals Part 1: The Future of Meat

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

The Food Programme at 40: Looking Forward (Part II)

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

The Food Programme at 40: Looking Back (Part I)

Podcast cover
Read more
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

32mins

Play

Smoke and Celebration: Exploring Bonfire Night food traditions

Podcast cover
Read more
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

29mins

Play

Brexit: The Tomato's Story. What can one food tell us about the future?

Podcast cover
Read more
Dan Saladino uses the story the tomato to examine the impact of the new Brexit on food.

Oct 27 2019

28mins

Play

Could a food project from India solve the UK’s holiday hunger problem?

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Joe Wicks: A Life Through Food

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

The Return of Zing: How to Get Sour Back into Your Life.

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Food Additives, Part 2: The Debate

Podcast cover
Read more
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

42mins

Play

Food Additives, Part 1: Sherbet and other E number experiments

Podcast cover
Read more
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

29mins

Play

Island to Island: The journey of Mauritian cuisine

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Ice Cream Nation

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Taste the Music and Dance

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Jamie Oliver: A Life Through Food Part II

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Jamie Oliver: A Life Through Food Part I

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

Why did the chicken cross the road? How food became more than a comedy punchline

Podcast cover
Read more
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

30mins

Play

The Search for Esiah's Seeds

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play

The BarbeQ'n'A

Podcast cover
Read more
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

41mins

Play

Good Enough for Granny: What's so special about the food our grandmothers cook?

Podcast cover
Read more
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

28mins

Play