The Food Programme
About this podcast
Investigating every aspect of the food we eat
About this podcast
Investigating every aspect of the food we eat
The Food Programme
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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. She 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 about what craft beer means today and to Martin Dickie and James Watt, the founders of Brewdog. Presented by Jaega Wise Produced in Bristol by Sam Grist
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.
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 www.bbc.co.uk/food.
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.
The Secret Life of Chocolate. Part 2: The future.
In the second of a two part chocolate special 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. Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio Bristol.
The Secret Life of Chocolate. Part 1: Origins.
In the first of a two part chocolate special Dan Saladino explores the origins of cacao, from the bean's journey from central America to Europe and the rise of the chocolate bar. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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, follows a festival food diary from a 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 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.