Ramadan

Ramadan

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.

 
Loch Fyne

 

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In the late 1970s Johnny Noble, laird of Ardkinglas, and marine biologist Andy Lane succeeded in growing oysters in the waters of Loch Fyne.  From the humble beginning of a roadside stall by the shore, the venture grew and grew. Although smoked salmon has overtaken oyster production, Loch Fyne oysters are  eaten in restaurants throughout the land and even as far afield as Hong Kong. A group of businesses has developed based on the principles of good food, sustainably sourced and simply presented by people who care.  Andy Lynes interviewed Virginia Sumsion, Marketing Manager for Loch Fyne and niece of founder Johnny Noble.

 

 
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 to 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, is a truly inspirational initiative.  It is also a lot of fun!

Watch video

 

 
The Table Comes First

The Table Comes First

 

Adam Gopnik's The Table Comes First is a witty meditation on life and food.  It is subtitled Family, France and the Meaning of Food.  Jesse Thompson reads two extracts here.

You can also see Adam Gopnik in conversation with Fergus Henderson, who unwittingly gave him the title for his book, in our Watch section.

 
Kitchen Man 3

Paul Levy 4Salad dressing is Paul Levy’s latest topic. Growing up in Kentucky in the 1950s, salad dressing came ready made in bottles.  Memories of the different brands and styles available in bottled form hark back to a time when that vital ingredient, olive oil, was generally unavailable in the USA (or indeed the UK). A distant recollection of  a small tin of olive oil brought back from France by a rich aunt after a trip to Europe for the Festival of Britain in 1951 is among the many anecdotes he relates in this most entertaining podcast. There is more; he gives us his formula, and method, for achieving a first class salad. Enjoy!

Listen to Salad Dressing here

On the same topic:

Listen to Dumas on Salad, a reading from Alexandre Dumas’s Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine about an impoverished aristocrat, M. d’Albignac, who made his fortune in England on the strength of his salad dressings.

Watch a discussion on olive oil between publisher Anne Dolamore, author of The Essential Olive Oil Companion, and Charles Carey of The Oil Merchant.

 

 
It's Complicated

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Meryl Streep occasionally lets her hair down and when she does she's sexy and fun. Watch her teach Steve Martin how to make a chocolate croissant in It's Complicated.

 

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