Antonio Carluccio

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The charismatic and much loved  Antonio Carluccio cannot easily be pigeon-holed.  Not a chef, yet so much more than a cook; not a businessman by his own admission,  yet he is the originator of the highly successful Carluccio's brand.

His passion for good, simple and flavoursome cooking, not to mention a great love of mushrooms, has inspired countless millions who have seen his television series and read his books on Italian food and life.

In this interview he talks about his earliest memories of food and shares anecdotes of his family and childhood in war-time Italy as well as the birth of Carluccio's.   And by the way, there are even some English dishes he loves!

 

 
Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll
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Agnes Jekyll (1860-1937) was the supreme hostess:  her house was described as "the apogee of opulent comfort and order without grandeur, smelling of pot-pouri, furniture polish and wood smoke".  Helen Garlick reads a few of her favourite extracts...
 
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.

 

 
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Title says it all... or does it? 

Which meaning of the word is the first one you think of?  Here's a short vox pop introduction to the subject. 

To be continued...

 

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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.

 
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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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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Marguerite Patten

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"Marguerite Patten gave me my first inspiration to cook."  so says Gary Rhodes.
"I had decided to do this lemon sponge for Sunday lunch one day. I remember turning it out at table and seeing everyone drool as this intense smell of lemon filled the room and the thick lemon sauce dripped down over the sponge."
Nigel Slater writes of happy hours spent lost in her 'Cookery in Colour' as a boy.
They were not the first and nor will they be the last to be inspired by this extraordinary woman.

Our full interview with Marguerite includes contributions from Brian Turner, Valentine Warner and her daughter, Judith Patten.

 

 
Jonathan Meades and Matthew Fort

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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.

 
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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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.

Listen here