Reza's Roots

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REZA MAHAMMAD, owner of the famed Star Of India in Kensington, TV celebrity and much loved personality, talks about his father’s early struggles when he arrived as a stowaway in 1937. He and a handful of friends attempted to establish Indian cuisine in England and eventually succeeded in changing the eating habits of a nation.

Chateau Latif

Chateau Latif

 

Fulbright Scholar, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the City University of New York, Latif Jiji is also the only person known to grow, harvest and turn his grapes into wine in Manhattan! He resides on the upper East Side.

Leaving his native Baghdad in 1946, Professor Latif, a Jew, never returned to the country of his birth but continued the tradition of his father, who also grew wine.

This wonderfully eccentric idea has been the subject of TV interviews  and featured in newspaper articles as diverse as Time Magazine, New York Times and The New York  Post.

Soho Landmarks - Bar Italia

Bar Italia
The original London coffee bar. Opened in the middle of the last century initially to provide workers in the Soho area a place to eat after they finished work in the local restaurants, it went on to became a beloved institution.
Still family owned, it is now run by the grandsons of the original owner. Tony tells the story.

Soho Landmarks - Pizza Express

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Peter Boizot, MBE, is a Soho legend.  In 1965 he introduced the pizza to Londoners when he imported an Italian oven into the first ever Pizza Express in Wardour Street.  The popularity of the jazz club below his Dean Street pizzeria lead to the founding of the Soho Jazz Festival.  He fought the very successful Save Piccadilly campaign, was a founder member of the Soho Society and the Soho Restaurateurs Association and supported in no small measure Soho Housing Association.

We interviewed him about those pioneering days at his home in Peterborough.

Gulangyu Sesame Cakes
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The Ye family have been making award-winning sesame cakes for decades.  They are one of the specialities of Gulangyu Island where visitors and locals alike stop to buy them on a busy corner from a diminutive cart.

Prue Leith

Prue_Leith Fuchsia_Dunlop

"I'm not the best cook I know, I'm not the best manager and I'm not the best accountant. But I know a good one when I see one. I've been fantastic at delegation." So says Prue Leith during her conversation with Fuchsia Dunlop, herself a  highly respected cook, food-writer and authority on Chinese cuisine. In this absorbing conversation Prue tells Fuchsia how she left South Africa in the fifties to go to Paris and whilst there discovered that food meant more than just eating. She made another startling discovery; "You didn't have to be black to be a cook."

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!

 

TimH USA vlog 2012

TimH

Meet TimH. Film student, YouTube star, sometime editor for Talking Of Food... in his own words:

"I say stuff about things on the internet".

On a recent trip to USA, Tim reported on popular food culture in a series of 10 videos. Starting with Burger Culture and ending with Standing in Line, his take on pretzels, pizza, ice cream and fast food chains is delivered in his own very individual style - fun, quirky and informative.

 

Rude Health Packed

Camilla Barnard Tessa Stuart

Camilla Barnard, champion of all things oaty and purveyor of some very fine breakfast foods, got together with packaging guru Tessa Stuart to talk to us about the challenges of packaging… what messages does it send out, how does it behave on the shelf, does it grab you and do you grab it? 

For a start-up company, your packaging may be the only marketing tool you have...

Tieguanyin Tea
Tieguanyin Tea
A visit to Liu Shunli's teashop in Xiamen is a leisurely affair as he makes tea for tasting - not drinking - explaining the process and customs involved.  He talks about the properties of Tieguanyin Tea, one of China's most famous teas, grown in the plantations of Anxi.