Audio Content
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.




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.

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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.

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Life Is Meals

Life Is Meals


Screenwriter, novelist, award winner, journalist, playwright… just a few of the words that describe the literary careers of James and Kay Salter.  They are also responsible for one of the most delightful musings on food in print, Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Day Book published by Knopf.

Whether writing about Peanut Butter, The Sandwich, Samuel Johnson's appetite for good eating or The Siege Of Paris this quirky collection is unequalled in its information, erudition and utter originality.

Extracts from the book are read by their son, the actor Theo Salter.  Enjoy!

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.

Relish: My Life on a Plate - Prue Leith

Prue Leith has led an extraordinarily rich and varied life.  Born in South Africa, she left for France as a young woman, worked as an au pair and studied at the Sorbonne.  But it was in London that she enrolled at the Cordon Bleu and became a caterer. She opened Leith's restaurant in the swinging sixties and it quickly established itself as the place to be seen.  Her clientele included all of the movers and shakers of the day. Six years later came the cookery school which still bears her name.  Successful business woman, newspaper columnist, government advisor, novelist, she also sustained a happy marriage and raised two children.

Here, for the very first time, Prue can be heard reading extracts from her autobiography.

Relish: My Life on a Plate is searingly honest, tender and very funny.


Panis Angelicus




César Franck's Panis Angelicus (Celestial Bread), sung by Mezzo-Soprano Olivia Shrive, was recorded at the Basilica of Sainte Clothilde in Paris. It was at this church that Franck became organist in 1858, a post he held until his death in 1890.





"Done, finished, you lose it!"



The experiences of a young trainee cattle market auctioneer from 1954 to 1960;  a unique memoir of a bygone time.


The author, John Shrive, reads  "In the Beginning",  relating his first encounter with Store Pigs... and more.





Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll - No.2



Agnes Jekyll's gift for friendship and organisational skills made her an excellent hostess.

Helen Garlick reads three more extracts from Kitchen Essays, published in The Times in 1922, in which Lady Jekyll passes on 'some of the wit and wisdom of her clever and imaginative housekeeping'.

Dumas on Food
Alexandre Dulmas

Alexandre Dumas, best known for such classic novels as The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and Man in the Iron Mask, wanted to be remembered for a far more esoteric book.  Food was his real passion in life and his Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine was the one book the great novelist cared about.  Mark Hilton reads extracts from Alan and Jane Davidson's translation,  Dumas On Food.
The Perfect Egg - Aldo Buzzi


"Scholarly, playful, idiosyncratic and witty, Aldo Buzzi's The Perfect Egg is an excursion into the food that has obsessed, provoked and intrigued the author through his life."


Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll

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...
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...

Edward Trencom's Nose - Giles Milton


Edward Trencom has bumbled through life, relying on his trusty nose to turn the family cheese shop into the most celebrated fromagerie in England.

Author Giles Milton has chosen two extracts to read.