Food Programme

Food Programme

United Kingdom

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

Episodes

Let's Do Lunch  

What did you eat for lunch today? Whatever you ate, according to our recent national survey you took less than half an hour to do it. Twenty five minutes twenty four to be precise. We're living in an era of grab-and-go. It's a sector of the food industry already worth £16.1 billion pounds and which forecasts suggest could rise by more than a third by 2021. If we eat, we do so 'al-desko'... or maybe we don't eat at all. Whether you opt for sausage rolls or sushi, last night's leftovers or a just a latte, Sheila Dillon hears what the modern British lunch break says about us. And what it might suggest about where our midday meal is headed. She meets the thinkers and cooks who believe that in time poor Britain, it's perfectly possible to reclaim your lunch break. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury.

Citrus  

Sheila Dillon goes on a citrus journey, discovering vivid flavour possibilities and hidden histories. Joining Sheila are Catherine Phipps, food writer and creator of a new book 'Citrus - Recipes that Celebrate the Sour and the Sweet' out this week, Helena Attlee author of 'The Land Where Lemons Grow' and Michael Barker, Editor of Fresh Produce Journal. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Rich Ward.

Gumbo  

What can one single dish can tell you about America's history? One particular bowl of soup gives us an insight about the future of cultures that convene around it. Gumbo is eaten by nearly everyone in New Orleans, but its past speaks of the deep inequalities in American history that still resonate to this day. The BBC's Dan Saladino looks into the origins of this dish and discovers influences from Native Americans, slaves from West Africa, settlers from Nova Scotia, and European immigrants from Spain, France and Italy. Dan tries to track down the perfect recipe for one of Louisiana's most famous dishes, and discover how the politics of which food belongs to whom, is still at play, hundreds of years later.

Leah Chase: The cook who changed America  

Meet 94 four year old Leah Chase. For seventy years she has led the kitchen at New Orleans famous Dooky Chase restaurant. During her time she's hosted US Presidents, and civil rights activists, and music legends from Ray Charles to Michael Jackson. Her specialty is serving creole food specialties like gumbo, fried chicken and sweet potatoes. Dan Saladino sits down with Leah as she tells her story through the food she's cooked and asks whether a restaurant can change the course of a country.

Lancashire: My Food Roots  

Sheila Dillon returns to her food roots in Lancashire, meeting people doing and creating extraordinary things - from food producers, to cooks to campaigners. As nominations come in for the 2017 BBC Food and Farming Awards, celebrating people and businesses from all over the UK - Sheila is taking the opportunity to celebrate the county she grew up in, and is going on a road trip through the county of the Red Rose. Graham Kirkham makes an unpasteurised Lancashire cheese near Goosnargh that's now celebrated far and wide - but things were nearly a very different story. Ian and Sue Steel made an audacious offer to a coffee merchants that was founded in Lancaster in 1837. They're now running a business with their two sons, that's growing and thriving, and are guiding that deep history into a new caffeinated future. Every region needs a storyteller for its food, and for Lancashire that person is Nigel Haworth, respected chef based at the Michelin-starred Northcote - who opened a pub in the Ribble Valley in 2004 specifically highlighting local produce and local producers, which was truly groundbreaking at that time. Kay Johnson is a food campaigner who grew up in Lancashire, worked abroad, and came back to the county six years ago. Noticing a deep disconnect around food, she's working to reconnect people, food producers, and the fresh local produce of the region. Kay draws direct inspiration from a social reform movement that was involved with setting up the Sailor's and Soldier's Free Buffet that operated at Preston station during World War One. Sheila meets James Arnold, history curator at The Harris in Preston, on the platform to find out the remarkable story of what took place. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Rich Ward.

Introducing... The BBC Food and Farming Awards 2017  

The BBC Food & Farming Awards are back. Based on public nominations, the awards celebrate the unsung heroes of UK food and farming; From school cooks to chip shops, from cider makers to supermarkets, corner shops to carrot farmers. In the awards' 17th year, Giorgio Locatelli and Yotam Ottolenghi are part of a national appeal by chefs, cooks, food writers and food producers from across the country, calling on you to nominate the people who make food great where you live. And in 2017, the BBC Food & Farming Awards are going global. For the first time, the judges will be honouring someone who has changed the way the world thinks about food and farming. Let the search commence... Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury NB. The BBC Food & Farming Awards will open for public nominations on Sunday 15th January for 2 weeks, closing on Sunday 29th January. Details can be found at bbc.co.uk/foodawards.

Belfast: Creating a New Food Tradition  

In this series of four programmes broadcast over Christmas and the New Year, Sheila Dillon explores the link between tradition and food. Sheila ends the series by exploring the creation of a new food culture - in Northern Ireland. It started with the revival of the St George's market in Belfast - now in full swing, and hundreds of young businesses are now thriving. Sheila tours the market with chef Paula McIntyre and meets people with a new take on traditional Irish food. She catches up with butter and cheese producers who were in the vanguard of this new movement, and asks how you carry on innovating - and what they've learned on the way. And she travels to the island of Rathlin off the north coast of Ireland, to meet a family who are making an international business out of growing kelp, and exporting it to Japan. Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

Loch Fyne: Celebrating Food Tradition  

In this series of four programmes broadcast over the Christmas period, Sheila Dillon explores the link between tradition and food. Food can bind a community together, and give it new life. In this third programme of the series, Sheila travels to Loch Fyne to see how this rural Scottish community has preserved its food traditions, with recipes handed down for generations. She discovers how local food businesses have become international, working together to sell their fish in the Far East - despite the frustrations of poor broadband connections. And she eats dinner with a group of local food producers, feasting on mutton - a traditional dish for the Christmas holiday. Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

Wild Boar  

In this series of four programmes broadcast over Christmas, Sheila Dillon explores the link between tradition and food. For Christmas Day, Sheila celebrates The Wild Boar Feast - an ancient Viking tradition which still lingers on in Britain (think of 'pigs in blankets') and inspires our love of the Christmas Ham. Historian Eleanor Barraclough introduces Sheila to a stuffed boar's head in the cellars of Queen's College, Oxford, and explains about how the boar was at the centre of mid-winter pagan fertility rituals. In Cumbria, Sheila meets a field of wild boar and talks to farmer Peter Gott about the fearsome intelligence of his huge beasts. Scandinavian chef Trine Hahnemann reveals the huge importance of the Christmas boar in Sweden, and how to make a meatball sandwich for Boxing Day. And chef Giorgio Locatelli explores the passion for wild boar across Italy. With music from The Boar's Head Carol, the oldest printed carol in English, and recipes from Trine Hahnemann and Giorgio Locatelli. Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

A Passion for Cake  

In this series of four programmes broadcast over Christmas, Sheila Dillon explores the link between tradition and food. First, in the run-up to Christmas, she takes an irreverent look at baking - and the connection between baking and being a "Good Wife and Mother. She begins by visiting a "Clandestine Cake Club", which meets every month in a secret location. This month's location takes the theme of the Mad Hatter's tea-party; the members have risen to the challenge and the cakes are truly extravagant. The founder of the cake club, Lynne Hill, sets out her vision for a world brought together by sharing cake. Sheila visits a cake-decorating competition for teenagers, and talks to girls about the particularly feminine lure of cake. She meets a cultural historian of cake, Professor Nicola Humble, whose book on cake traces our current passion back to Elizabethan days, and who explains the long connection between women and cake. But we also have a perspective from a man devoted to cake, former Bake-Off winner John Whaite. He reflects on the connection between gender and cake, and introduces his alternative take on Christmas Cake. With cake recipes, both ancient and modern, for the website. Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

The Future of Cheese  

Dan Saladino finds out what the future holds for cheese, including the role of raw milk. It's a story of microbes, mystery, discord and symphony. Dan is joined by Bronwen Percival, cheese buyer for Neal's Yard Dairy and contributor to the new Oxford Companion to Cheese. Also featuring John Gynther from Arla Unika, cheesemakers Jonny and Dulcie Crickmore, food writer Patrick McGuigan, researcher Dr Mélanie Roffet-Salque from the University of Bristol, and epidemiologist Professor Tim Spector. Presenter: Dan Saladino Producer: Rich Ward.

Sisters' Feast  

'Pop-up' chef and food writer Olia Hercules, The Great British Bake Off contestant turned Youtube star Chetna Makan, Film academic come supper club hostess Dr Alissa Timoshkina and cafe chef / 'instagrammer' / writer Elly Curshen are among ten women from different food cultures coming together for the first time to cook a truly female feast. It's a 'pop-up' dinner hosted and put together in Bristol by Romy Gill and Kim Somauroo to raise money for international charity 'Action Against Hunger'. Sheila Dillon speaks to the 'Severn Sisters' as well as their guests, including former BBC Food & Farming Awards winning Shauna Guinn and Sam Evans, about what it means to be female in food in 2016. Also interviewed are Eleonora Galasso, Natasha Corrett, Rosie Birkett, Laura Field, Fiona Beckett and Xanthe Clay. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.

Cookbooks of 2016  

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.

Our Wild Spice Rack  

Sheila Dillon heads to Galloway, Scotland, to meet forager and wild food teacher Mark Williams - who claims to be able to match anything in our spice racks with flavours found in the wild, in the UK. Can he assemble a 'native spice rack'? What might a 'wild Scottish curry' taste like? Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Rich Ward.

Cooking clubs in Basqueland  

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.

Gavin and the Chinese Food Olympics  

Every four years, the most established names in Chinese cuisine pitch their skills against each other in an international competition which has become known as the Olympics of Chinese food. This year the World Championship for Chinese Cuisine was held in Europe for the first time in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Teams of chefs descend on the competition from around the world and compete for highly prized gold, silver and bronze medals. The pressure and the standard are high. In 2016, another first. The first UK based team are travelling to Rotterdam to take on the champions. Among them is 25 year old sous chef Gavin Chun. Gavin and his team are going for gold. Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury.

Pumpkins and Winter Squash  

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.

Terra Madre Part 2: A Global Food Gathering  

From ancient Egyptian bread to Native American food, Dan Saladino reports from Terra Madre.

Terra Madre Part 1: A Global Food Gathering  

Dan Saladino reports from Slow Food's global food event Terra Madre with stories from Africa. Terra Madre (aka Mother Earth) is probably one of the world's biggest gatherings around food. Thousands of farmers, cooks and producers travel from 140 countries and five different continents to congregate in the northern Italian city of Turin. Hundreds of thousands of people simply interested in food also travel from Italy and beyond to join in the spectacle; to watch events, join discussions and (importantly) experience the most diverse range of food and drink imaginable. The biannual event is organised by the international Slow Food movement to raise awareness about issues around food and drink and to celebrate the diversity of food cultures around the world. It is also a unique opportunity to hear inspirational stories of how people produce and cook food. Dan Saladino was there to collect as many stories as he could from around the world. Over two editions of The Food Programme he tells highlights from Terra Madre. In this first programme the focus is on Africa and features the story of three people who in their home countries are trying to make a positive change through food. The first comes from a village thousands of metres up within the highlands of south-eastern Ethiopia, Rira. There, honey producers use bamboo to create bee hives. They smoke the bark of a tree to "perfume" the hive and attract the bees. These long bamboo tubes are coated in leaves, sealed with animal manure and then placed 25m high up in trees among the rainforest canopy. In recent years the honey they collect has been sold to the producers of a honey wine in Ethiopia which is both traditional and popular. However the prices paid for this hard to get honey have been low. Terra Madre is an opportunity for producers around the world to meet and exchange ideas and over the years the Rira villagers have met honey producers from Macedonia, Brazil, Japan and Indonesia. From this "knowledge exchange" the Rira were able to set up a co-operative, improve the quality of the honey and sell it in Ethiopia's biggest towns and cities. This has meant more people are now able to make a real living from honey production and remain in the village (and important opportunity when the country is seeing large numbers leave rural areas and move to the cities). The second story comes from Uganda and is told by Edward Mukiibi who oversees Slow Food projects in the country. One of the most important involves the world's (and the UK's) most popular fruit, the banana. In Uganda 50 different varieties are used on a daily basis. Some are used to brew beers or distil drinks that feature in ceremonies. The banana we know well in the UK is the Cavendish, the variety that has dominated the global trade for more than half a century. The fungal, Panama disease, has had an impact on Cavendish plantations around the world leading to reduced production in Australia and Asia. In Africa, more Cavendish plantations are being established. Edward explains in the programme why he's now on a mission to save Uganda's traditional banana varieties and protect the country's biodiversity. The final story from Sierra Leone and is that of the experience of a child soldier who was involved in the violent civil war that tore the country apart in the 1990's. Ibrahim was abducted by the RUF rebel force at the age of nine. As he explains to Dan, he was involved in atrocities and had to fight against the government's forces in armed combat. For seven years he lived and fought with this rebel army. When he finally managed to escape he was rejected by his community. It became clear his return wouldn't would easy and forgiveness hard to win. In the programme Ibrahim describes how food and farming was the key to his eventual redemption. Presented and produced by Dan Saladino. Photo: Carla Capalbo.

The Apple: How British a Fruit?  

As apple fairs and celebrations are held all around the country, Sheila Dillon travels to an orchard in Devon for a conversation with drinks writer Pete Brown, who has just written a book about his two-year journey into all things apple: 'The Apple Orchard'. Sheila and Pete are joined at Otter Farm by its owner - food grower and writer Mark Diacono. From the Hoary Morning to the Bramley's Seedling to the Old Somerset Russet, from Kazakhstan to Paganism to the Garden of Eden - this is a celebration of a fruit with an incredible story to tell and with a unique place both in Britain, and the world. Please note: the podcast of this programme is a special extended edition. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Rich Ward.

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