Ella's Blog

Ella 1Hello...

My name is Ella. I'm 15 years old and have just been made Head Girl. My passions include literature, travel and, above all, food in all its forms. Through food, friendships are formed, and a country's culture can be traced through its diet. Discovering a new recipe is like opening a present, full of anticipation coupled with a fervent hope that it will not disappoint.

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

Here's my first post.

 

 
A Year in Chicken Soup - Ghanaian Nkatenkwan

chicken soup right

A Year in Chicken Soup

Ghanaian Soup 2

 

GHANAIAN NKATENKWAN


Join Hattie Garlick at Hackney's Ridley Road market to find the ingredients for her latest recipe, a soup so substantial that, as you can see above, it was served with knife and fork... (read on)

 
Five Easy Pieces

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One of the truly great food scenes in modern cinema. Jack Nicholson somehow manages to be both patient, sarcastic and frightening all at the same time.

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

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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...

 
Olive Oil

olive oil 1How much do most of us really know about olive oil?

Television chefs extol the virtues of using extra virgin olive oil and are there on the supermarket shelves promoting their brand-named oils. But do we ever think about the qualities, flavours and varieties of olive oil or whether the colour matters?

When two old friends and connoisseurs get together and the conversation turns to their favourite subject, the talk becomes endless, winding in and out of anecdotes as they share their depth of knowledge.

Watch video

 Anne DolamoreAnne Dolamore and Charles CareyCharles Careyolive oil 6

 

 
Claudia Roden

Allegra

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

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.

 

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

INTRODUCTION TO GM:

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

GM FOOD DEBATES (HOLT)

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

GM FOOD DEBATES (NORWICH)

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

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