Has Anybody Seen My Gal?

James Dean


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

A Year in Chicken Soup - Bengali Chicken Curry

bangladeshchicken soup

A Year in Chicken Soup

A series by Hattie Garlick




Eid Mubarak! As I type, the smell of toasted spices and marinated meat sinews through the window, open to the cold air just a fraction of a gap. Below, small groups gather excitedly on doorsteps before disappearing within, behind warm lit windows that glow enticingly in the darkness.  (read on)




Mohsin Abbas, Director of Arts Versa and Ramadan Festival,  and Reza Mahammad of Star of India have a fascinating and enlightening discussion about Ramadan, what it represents to the followers of Islam and the thinking behind its discipline.

This is the first in a series of films about foods eaten at different religious festivals.

Ella's Blog 2

Ella 1Hello!

My name is Ella. I’m 15 years old, literature enthusiast, avid traveller, star gazer, Head Girl and above all, lover of all foods.

I find inspiration in the friendships food forms, how communities are interlinked by recipes and how a country's culture an be traced through its diet.

To me, the word food is full of colour and creativity; a main passion of mine is being able to explore the personality of a chef as expressed through their food.  The choice of flavours and presentation is a way of writing a novel without words, each individual interpretation telling a unique story.

I'm fascinated by food's place in popular culture and it is this fascination that I would like to share with you in this blog.

Here's my latest post.


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


Orchards in the Oasis


Josceline Dimbleby

At the age of seven, tired and bewildered after a long journey from England to Syria via Lebanon, Josceline Dimbleby caught her first sight of Damascus from the mountain road.   In the extract she has chosen to read from her book of recipes, travels and memories, Orchards in the Oasis,  the magic of her first impressions of her new home are vividly recalled;  the deep red mulberry-stained water in the pool, the sun-warmed apricots, the scented pastries that awoke a lifelong passion for food and flavour.

Listen here


Countryman's Cooking - W.M.W. Fowler


Willie Fowler's Countryman's Cooking was written for men.

W.M.W. Fowler joined Bomber Command in WW2, flew Lancasters, was shot down by the Germans and ended up in Stalag Luft 3.  When he returned to Cumbria after his release in 1945,  he took to farming mink, then daffodils, while rediscovering the delights of hunting, shooting and fishing, not to mention cooking, eating and womanising.  We have three extracts read by Rupert Baker to whet the appetite...

Claudia Roden


Claudia“She’s magical … she’s a doyenne … she’s the absolute first and last word on Middle Eastern, and indeed on Mediterranean cookery … and I don’t know any of the top chefs who she hasn’t touched.”

So says Allegra McEvedy, herself a top chef, broadcaster and writer. And who is she talking about? Claudia Roden.

In this unique film Claudia Roden talks of her early years in Egypt, leaving the country of her birth after the revolution in the 1950's, and why she started collecting recipes. Also Allegra McEvedy, Claudia's great friend, assesses Claudia's legacy and tells an anecdote that for her sums up Claudia Roden as a person.


Watch video

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