Rank #1: Paul A. Young, the UK's very own Willy Wonka
Listen again to our podcast from June 2019.
This week Sue and Ollie have got guests from both ends of the flavour spectrum: sweet chocolate and savoury noodles. The one thing they have in common is that both producers love to experiment with exotic flavours.
Master chocolatier Paul A Young makes a very welcome return to the show and he’s brought more of his incredible treats for Sue and Ollie to try. Although he’s seriously famous and renowned in the foodie world now, Paul has not been tempted to abandon his artisan roots.
Inspired by the sights, smells and sounds of European patisseries, Paul’s unique and mouth-watering chocolates are still manufactured onsite at his three London shops but no oompa loompas in sight. Sue can’t wait to give her verdict on the buttered toasted hot cross bun flavour…
Another familiar face returning to the studio is Damian Lee, the man behind Mr Lee’s Noodles. If you thought that noodles in a pot were just the preserve of students, think again. Mr Lee’s Noodles don’t contain the preservatives and ‘nasties’ like MSG and high salt and sugar levels that are found in many rival brands.
Damian talks about the challenges that his company has faced as a disruptor brand in the noodle space and how his noodles are now being served to the entire Australian Defence Force. He could even be about to attain the ultimate achievement of selling noodles to China!
Jan 18 2021
Rank #2: Robin Moxon on fish and Adam Byatt of Celebrity MasterChef
We’re talking meat and fish with two of the best in the food industry. Listen again to our podcast of August last year.
Robin Moxon of Moxon’s Fishmongers knows pretty much all there is to know about fish and the buying habits of the Great British public. Surprisingly, it seems that Brits are more adventurous with fishy flavours than Sue had realised – you’ll never guess the subject of Great British Chefs’ most popular Instagram post!
This kicks off a conversation about whether it’s difficult to cook fish at home and why people aren’t doing so much of it anymore.
If you like a bit of foodie TV, you’re bound to have seen our second guest at some point. Adam Byatt has appeared on the likes of Saturday Kitchen, Celebrity MasterChef and Great British Menu, but he’s not just a media man. His Clapham restaurant Trinity has one Michelin star and has won countless other awards, so he knows a thing or two about meat.
Sadly, the number of butchers in the UK has declined by 60% in the last 25 years. Yet it seems that in the meat world too, people are keen to break out of their comfort zones and try the weird and wonderful. Adam reveals his approach to getting the best out of food and even gives us some tips on the most underrated British produce – velvet crabs, anyone?
Jan 11 2021
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Rank #3: Calum Franklin and eating pies at the Holborn Dining Room
Listen again to our podcast of April 2019 to cheer us up in 2021.
Who ate all the pies? Not Sue, Holly or Ollie, because Calum forgot to bring any with him. The extraordinarily talented pie maestro, who is the Executive Chef at the Holborn Dining Room, breezed into the radio studios to talk all things pastry covered. The star of the short film The Geometry of Pie has opened the Pie Room at Holborn with a new menu dedicated to perfectly crafted pies. Sue just cannot contain her enthusiasm and reckons that steak and kidney pudding is probably the best dish in the whole world ever. Calum's 80,000 followers on instagram might well agree.
Pie could go with sprouts but we're not talking Brussels! Sprouts are seeds that germinate to become young plants after a few days and are extremely nutrient. They're great in salads, soups, pasta sauces, wraps and stir fries and are becoming increasingly popular. How do you use these type of sprouts? Ratna reveals all.
Jan 04 2021
Rank #4: Why English sparkling is so good with Gusbourne Estates
Listen again to our Boxing Day podcast from last year.
Only Sue and Ollie have managed to struggle into the studio today, with straining stomachs after the usual Christmas excess.
However, they’re never too full to enjoy some fresh flavours, so they’re delighted to extend a festive welcome to three fascinating guests.
Charlie Holland from Gusbourne Estate in Kent has brought in some of their fantastic sparkling wine to keep the party going, which sparks a conversation about the quality of English wines today. How do our home-produced sparkling wines compare with France’s output?
If you’re looking for less alcoholic alternatives to beer or wine, you’ll be glad to hear about Binary Botanical. Boasting a prosecco-like taste, this lower calorie table beer is gluten and sugar-free and suitable for vegans. Danielle Bekker joins the team to explain more.
For those who are still in the mood for a cocktail, Tipplesworth produce “fun, faff-free” products to make mixology a breeze. Their range of ‘just add spirits’ cocktail mixers are quick and easy to use. Frankie Snobel has brought in a hot cocktail for the team to try, plus she reveals the secret of a great espresso martini with a Canadian twist.
Dec 26 2020
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Rank #5: David Walker explains how you start a snail farm
Prepare for an education about the secret life of snails…by listening again to our podcast of December last year.
This week’s show is a very special edition because we’re meeting not one, not two, but three categories winners at the Future Food Awards.
Dorset Snails took the Farm to Fork crown when the judges were wowed by the incredible taste and texture of their produce. The company’s entire farming process also impressed the panel, so Sue, Ollie and Holly want to know more about this innovative firm.
David Walker is on hand to give us an insight into Dorset Snails’ methods and reveals some fascinating snail facts that leave our presenters speechless!
Astonishingly, half of the baby food packaging found in UK supermarkets can’t be easily recycled. Little Freddie stormed the Food Packaging category with their innovative pouches that can be effectively recycled and help to reduce parents’ carbon footprint.
Next, the team try out some vegan honey that’s been made from, wait for it – brown rice. Bee Approved won the Food Innovation category with its delicious honey alternative and the good news is, they’re thinking about launching a beer too!
Dec 21 2020
Rank #6: Sam Bilton and the fascinating food history of the UK
Listen again to our podcast from February.
Food history and writing are both under the spotlight this week, as two culinary wordsmiths share their very different outlets for gourmet expression.
Sam Bilton is a freelance food historian, writer and cook who also runs a supper club, Repast, where she showcases her modern interpretations of historical food. If you fancy a blast from the past, you need to get a seat at Sam’s table, but what is her own favourite gastronomic era? Her answer might just surprise you…
Once they’ve finished tucking into yesterday’s delicacies, Sue, Ollie and Holly welcome Zeren Wilson, acclaimed writer of Bitten and Written, which was crowned Best Food Blog at the 2019 Guild of Food Writers Awards.
After a lively discussion about the do’s and don’ts of negative restaurant reviews, Zeren’s experience in wine selling leads the team to explore the role of beverages throughout the ages.
While Sam and Zeren are no strangers to adding colour to their writing, Exberry has been doing that in a more literal sense for over 40 years. By using fruits, vegetables, edible plants and water, Exberry helps food manufacturers to make their products look amazing, the natural way. Paul Collins is here to tell us more about the company’s colourful history.
Dec 14 2020
Rank #7: An Infinite Session for the designated driver
Non-alcoholic drinks innovation means you can enjoy the party without the hangover. Listen again to our podcast of December last year.
It’s just two weeks to go until Christmas and Sue, Ollie and Holly are getting into the festive spirit. There’s talk of turkey versus chicken, the best Christmas breakfast and – most controversially – how early is too early to break out the alcohol?
Well, with the UK non-alcoholic drinks market on the rise, you might decide not to risk a Boxing Day headache at all. Innovators like today’s guests are working to offer drinks that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve been on Santa’s naughty list, just because you want to bypass the booze.
Ellie Webb is here to add a far-flung flavour to Christmas with Caleno, a tropical non-alcoholic spirit that balances exotic botanicals with citrus and spice.
Beer drinkers are becoming ever more discerning, but do you need to have the alcohol in order to enjoy great taste?
In the studio to contribute to the debate is Chris Hannaway from Infinite Session, a beer lover who wanted the freedom to enjoy both alcoholic and booze-free ales. Chris has brought with him samples of Infinite Session’s IPA, pale ale and pilsner varieties, to see if he can convince the team to down some alcohol-free pints this Christmas.
Dec 07 2020
Rank #8: Dr Sarah Jarvis and the best food programme ever made
Listen to the repeat of our podcast from January 2020. What is the greatest food TV programme ever?
It’s a family affair in the studio today, as the team are joined by Ollie’s sister, Antonia – who just happens to be a BAFTA award-winning producer who has worked on many of the UK’s top food and drink programmes.
She gives us some behind the scenes glimpses of life in foodie television, such as MasterChef: The Professionals and The Great British Menu. Plus, we hear from two other guests who are no strangers to the small screen. Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE is BBC Radio 2’s resident GP and has appeared on numerous TV shows, while Sally Bee is a well-known healthy cook for ITV.
So, what are the greatest TV programmes about food ever made? Opinions vary as Sue, Ollie and Holly share their personal favourites and discuss the heroes and villains of the genre.
Looking to the future of food programming, Sally and Dr Sarah certainly know where they would like the spotlight to rest. As members of the advisory team to Lo Salt – the all-natural alternative that has 66% less sodium than regular salt – Dr Sarah and Sally want to see delicious, healthy food getting more coverage in mainstream cookery shows.
Sally has survived five heart attacks, so she knows about the importance of raising awareness and feels that TV has a huge role to play.
Nov 23 2020
Rank #9: Sheila Dillon, legend of the airwaves
Renowned food journalist Sheila Dillon joins Sue for a very special show. Listen again to the interview from 19 December 2019.
Our host Sue Nelson is beyond excited for this very special, festive edition of The FoodTalk Show. She’s joined by legendary food journalist, Sheila Dillon, who has been presenting BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme for over 20 years.
Once they’ve finished sampling some tasty treats from Sheila’s native Lancashire, the pair get talking about Sheila’s remarkable life in food and the media. After starting out with a very public critique of her college’s unappealing dinners, Sheila’s career was driven by a passion for exploring the food industry and its impact on consumers.
Time spent in Finland and the US was followed by a return to the UK, where Sheila broke down more barriers in her pursuit of gender pay equality. Back in the 1970s, alongside some colleagues, Sheila brought a class action against her employers in publishing – and won.
After two decades on The Food Programme, the multi-award-winning journalist has some interesting thoughts on women’s rights, food trends of the future and a few pet peeves concerning food entertainment! She also shares her experience of using food to benefit her health after being diagnosed with bone marrow cancer.
Don’t miss this audience with a real food heroine – then go and have yourself a very Merry Christmas!
Nov 09 2020
Rank #10: Crazy about Kent
The team go gonzo for the Garden of England in this very special episode. We're playing this podcast again from September last year in support of all Kent food and drink businesses hit by COVID-19.
Sue’s adopted home of Kent is the focus of this week’s show, with two great guests who share her passion for the south east county.
First up is Amanda Cottrell who, alongside many other prestigious titles, is patron of both Visit Kent and Produced in Kent. After 50 years living in the Garden of England, she’s highly knowledgeable about the country’s produce and a true champion of local producers.
Sue decides to test her guests and co-presenters on Kent delicacies – who knows what Kentish rarebit or Canterbury tart is? – before Amanda shares her bounty of incredible cheeses from around the county. Oh, and just wait for her story about driving sheep across London Bridge…
Next we hear from Lee Desai from Dr Legumes, a Folkestone restaurant dedicated to plant-based food. Not only is the eatery part of the amazing foodie renaissance that’s taken the seaside town by storm, Lee also believes that food and education can bring communities together. Well, maybe we’ll go and check out his nettle pesto and pea ballotine, just to be sure!
Listen in to find out whether Suffolk-and-proud Holly has been sold on Kent by the end of the show.
Nov 02 2020