Josceline Dimbleby


Josceline Dimbleby 2 Helen Garlick 2

Josceline Dimbleby visited Talking Of Food recently to record a reading from Orchards in the Oasis, her book of recipes, travels and memories.

Before the recording started, she talked to Helen Garlick about the book and their conversation ranged  from Josceline’s earliest food influences and cooking in a London bedsit to a shared love of American brown paper grocery bags and MFK Fisher.

Watch the interview here

Listen to Josceline reading from Orchards in the Oasis

News update:  A new and revised edition of Josceline Dimbleby's highly acclaimed Cooking for Christmas, originally published in 1978, is out now. 

Ella's Blog 3

Ella 1Pumpkin spiced latte


In this week's blog entry, Ella prepares for Halloween...

Read her latest post here

Kafka's Soup


Kafkas Soup


Mark Crick’s  Kafka’s Soup: A Complete History of World Literature in 17 recipes is a book often borrowed and seldom returned.  It is a joy to dip into this collection of literary pastiches for recipes written in the style of Raymond Chandler, Irvine Welsh, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, Homer, Chaucer and so on.

Here the author has chosen to read for us Quick Miso Soup à la Franz Kafka and Tiramisu à la Marcel Proust.  A third recipe, Tarragon Eggs à la Jane Austen is read by Annie Sedgwick.




The Table Comes First


Adam Gopnik, author and writer for The New Yorker magazine, came to London in late November for the UK launch of his new book. He credits Fergus Henderson for unwittingly giving him the title, The Table Comes First, and the two of them met up at St. John Hotel where the conversation ran from subjects as diverse as farting cows and the worrying proliferation of square plates in France...



WellbelovedThe reputation of the Steak Pie - that staple of traditional British cuisine - has become diminished.  More glamorous dishes make the headlines; more photogenic recipes are illustrated on television and scores of inferior, industrial pies occupy the shelves of supermarkets throughout the land.  

It is time to look beyond these brightly lit aisles and discover the true ingredients of the perfect Steak Pie: Experience, Care and Dedication.  

It is time to go to Deptford, South East London. 

 Watch video


Has Anybody Seen My Gal?

James Dean


Guess who made their first appearance, uncredited, in Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952)

From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 4

Occupation Recipes 1

"We're all quite well, but getting thinner
Not much for tea, still less for dinner
Though not exactly on our uppers
We've said 'Adieu' to cold ham suppers"

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2 seems a fitting time for the latest cookbook quote, an extract from the booklet  A Collection of Occupation Recipes by Lillie Aubin Morris published by Jersey Museums Service in 1994.  

The recipes themselves are indicative of the hardship suffered during the German occupation of the Channel Islands: limpet stew, pastry without butter, salad dressing without oil, plain flour blancmange, potato jelly. But it is the Introduction by Beth Lloyd that sets out some stark facts.


Please send in any suggestions for a quote to add to this collection, using the comments or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Jonathan Meades and Matthew Fort


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.


The GM Debates

One of the most contentious issues facing governments and the food industry is the subject of Genetically Modified Food. Argument has raged for years as to whether it should be banned or embraced. Scaremongering headlines such "Frankenfood" have sometimes drowned a more sober assessment of its risk and/or benefits. However, there is one thing both sides are agreed on and that is the growth of the world's population and the problem of feeding it in the future.

In order to understand in layman's language - in as much as it can be - the pros and cons of this deeply divisive subject, we invited experts from both sides of the divide to argue their case. A policy decision was taken by us that there was to be no editorial bias and so the debates are totally unedited.  They have been broken into parts for ease of watching as each one runs over an hour.  

To our knowledge, this is the first and only such series of debates and is intended to be a permanent record of an issue that affects us all.

Vivian MosesDiane Montague


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. Watch video

Peter MelchettJonathan Jones


Jonathan Jones, FRS, Professor of Biology at the University of East Anglia, head to head with Peter Melchett, Policy Director of the Soil Association. Watch video

Cathie MartinCharlie ClutterbuckRupert Read


A group of experts from both sides of the GM divide argue their case for best solving the impending world food shortage. They are: Professor Cathie Martin of UEA, Dr.Rupert Read of the Green Party and Dr. Charlie Clutterbuck of City University. Watch video

GM Food Debates Audio Broadcast


A wide ranging and informative discussion with Michael Summers, an independent consultant specialising in plant breeding and biotechnology. Listen to audio