Anne Dolamore, Independent Publisher

In the often depressingly formulaic world of food publishing one name stands out as a beacon of individuality. The idiosyncratic publishing house Grub Street publishes books on two subjects: military history and food. The food side is run by the feisty and single-minded Anne Dolamore who has proved that with persistence and guts it's possible not only to survive but actually thrive in the shark infested waters of big publishers - and in the process win countless awards.

In this funny, dynamic and telling interview Anne talks of the pros and cons of being an independent publisher, her criteria for choosing what to publish (surprising yet makes perfect sense), the people she admires, the writers she wishes she had published and the future of cookery books.

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Soho Parish School

Soho Parish SchoolA thriving primary school in Soho's Great Windmill Street, Soho Parish School is a success story.  And no better example of its success is its food. 

An enlightened head teacher, governors and parents seized the opportunity to break away from a long-term local authority contract and start producing school meals in-house.  With Anita Coppins in charge of the new kitchen, the uptake rocketed from less than 30% to 95%.

Together with Margot Henderson's yearly fundraising event, The Soho Food Feast, now a major highlight of London's food scene, this is a truly inspirational initiative.  It is also a lot of fun!

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A Landlady’s Diary - Part 9

landladys diary

 

 

In the latest entry in A Landlady's Diary, Zara G meets Yoshi and intoduces some spice into his culinary life!

 

 

 

 
Julyan Wickham and Matthew Fort

Kensington PlaceKensington Place opened in 1987. The first of its kind, it was to be highly influential in the future of restaurant design in Britain.  It's glass facade brought the city into the restaurant;  it was uncompromisingly loud, buzzy and open to the world. 

The architect was Julyan Wickham who talks to Matthew Fort about the challenges of restaurant design.  The conversation ranges widely over issues of architecture and the restaurant scene.  Riveting stuff.

 
GM Foods Debate (Audio Broadcast)

GM Food Debates Audio Broadcast

The GM Foods Debate continues...

In a wide ranging and informative discussion, Michael Summers, an independent consultant specialising in plant breeding and biotechnology with more than 40 years international experience in the sector, talks to John Shrive about plant breeding and genetic modification.

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GM Foods Debate (London)

Vivian MosesDiane MontagueINTRODUCTION TO GM

Here is the first of a series of interviews and debates on genetically modified (GM) foods.

Agricultural journalist and author, Diane Montague, interviews Vivian Moses, Visiting Professor of Biotechnology at King's College London, and the resulting discussion sets out what GM is and what the major issues are. It is a fitting introduction to the discussions which will follow.

Next up will be Professor Jonathan Jones, FRS, head to head with Peter Melchett, Policy Director of the Soil Association.  We will follow up with  a round-table discussion with Professor Cathie Martin of UEA, Rupert Read of the Green Party and Dr. Charlie Clutterbuck of City University. As a policy to ensure no editorial bias, the debates are unedited. They have been broken in parts but that is purely for ease of watching as each one runs over an hour. So, anyone looking for quick soundbites should go elsewhere.

To our knowledge this is the first and only such series of debates and is intended to be a permanent record of something that affects each and everyone of us.

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From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 2

Delightful food

Here's one I found lurking at  the back of the shelf in its ragged and foxed dust jacket - Delightful food by Marjorie Salter and Adrianne Allen Whitney, published by Sidgwick and Jackson in 1957 and costing 25s.  English titles stand out amongst the French;  Dry Curry Cavalry Club, Coldstream Eggs and Sauce Tintagel, for example, and some wonderfully evocative footnotes - more of those later.

But the real gem for our Cookbook Quote is the foreword by Noël Coward in which he reveals that he took up cooking in 1956.  And what fun he had with his new hobby - the evening the Oven Blew Up and more. Oliver Messel did some extraordinary illustrations in modern day Arcimboldo mode, one of which is posted under the Coward extract here.

Please send in any suggestions, using the comments or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to add to this embryonic collection.  Come on, you must have something from the back of the shelf!

 

zee, 4th June, 2013

 
School Dinners

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Everyone has a memory of their school dinner - and it's not always about the dreaded tapioca pudding! There are some people who actually liked them.

 
Jonathan Meades and Matthew Fort

MeadesFort 

The collective knowledge and wit of Matthew Fort and Jonathan Meades make this conversation one to savour! The iconoclastic Jonathan Meades is often considered to have been the best of all food critics during his tenure at the Times, and is still regarded by many as supreme.  Meades airs his trenchant and outspoken views about today's chefs and the food scene generally. He cites RADA,  "the Sandhurst for chorus boys", where he trained as an actor, as the place which instilled in him a lifelong discipline and, one suspects, his disdain for the pretentious.

 
Food Scavengers

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Ever wished that you could cut down on your food bills? Artist and activist Spring Exprit (Eugenia Beirer) may have the answer. Call it Dumpster Diving, Skipping or even Freeganism - on the face of it “food salvage” is simply the practice of retrieving and eating food that others have thrown away. But it goes much deeper than that, calling in to question the workings of the entire capitalist economy. Oh, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun too.

Hattie Garlick visited New Covent Garden Market with a group of novice scavengers to learn the tricks of the dumpster diving trade. Click More below to watch her video.