Investigating every aspect of the food we eat
The BBC Food and Farming Awards 2021 - First Course
The winners of the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2021 are announced at a ceremony at London's Broadcasting House.
Cookbooks of 2021
What are the books that the presenters of Radio 4's The Food Programme have been relishing this year? You are about to find out.
In this episode, Sheila, Dan, Jaega and Leyla get together at 'Books for Cooks' in London's Notting Hill to share their favourite titles; the ones that have made them think, that have inspired them to get creative, and have simply filled them with joy.
We also catch up with The Bookseller's Tom Tivnan to hear how publications and sales have been this year, food writer Signe Johansen shares her knowledge and experiences of ghost-writing in the cookbook world, and Eric Treuille, who first opened 'Books for Cooks' in 1983 shares with the team a recipe from his book of 2021.
Produced by Natalie Donovan in Bristol.
Best Shop or Market of the Year: Meet the Finalists
Leyla Kazim visits 2021’s Best Shop or Market finalists in the 20th BBC Food and Farming Awards – a food co-op, rural farm shop and city market which are going the extra mile to support local food production and their communities. We meet the teams behind these three outstanding retailers, which are providing boundary-pushing models for the future by trying to create alternative food networks.
Nearly 20 years ago Jed and Emma set about rearing their own meat to supply them and their friends and family as an experiment after becoming increasingly frustrated with the quality of the meat available from the supermarkets. This has now developed into a farm shop, Blue Tin Produce, selling their own free range pork & rare breed Dexter beef alongside produce from the surrounding Chiltern Hills including fresh English veg, their free range eggs, farmhouse baking, jams, jellies, chutneys and many other goods.
Falmouth Food Co-op started as a food hub selling groceries with the aim of making good food available to all and supporting local non-industrial farmers. This developed into a kitchen to celebrate their community and feed those who need help. They have recently started a new project – Love Land, a community field where they aiming to grow their own food sustainably and get local people to get more involved in the growing of their food.
Headed by chef and grower Joe Fennerty, Food Circle York runs a food market for local producers all specialising in organic, regenerative and sustainable food production, and facilitates direct links between producer and consumers. Joe’s aim is to create a viable alternative to the current food system. In the nominations, people called Joe a catalyst and inspiration for change in York.
Presented by Leyla Kazim and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.
COP26: The Case for Cattle and Pigs.
Less but better? With the COP26 climate summit underway Dan Saladino looks at how meat and dairy can play a positive role for the future of people and planet.
Produced by Dan Saladino.
Veg Invention: The stories of new kinds of fruit and vegetables
Seed breeders spend whole careers in search of that perfect fruit or vegetable, and some even come up with their own completely new designs. Think Tenderstem, Cotton Candy grapes, or a new type of cauliflower that's just started being sold: Caulishoots.
In this programme, Leyla Kazim finds out what goes into creating these new varieties, what breeders, growers and supermarket buyers are looking for, and how they end up on our plates.
She meets veg-inventor Jamie Claxton from Tozer Seeds, who came up with the Kalette (a cross between a brussel sprout and kale), while Ross Geach from Padstow Kitchen Garden explains why he enjoys experimenting with new varieties and getting them introduced to diners at Jack Stein's restaurants.
Leyla also looks to the US where chef Dan Barber has set up an organic seed company to bring breeders, chefs and farmers together to design new, better varieties. While Lane Selman in Portland, Oregon tells us how her 'Culinary Breeding Network' is working to both give breeders more feedback, and is educating the public about the new types of fruit and veg on offer.
Presented by Leyla Kazim
Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
A Personnel Problem: What's the solution to hospitality's staffing crisis?
The hospitality sector has a problem: it just can't get the staff.
Businesses from bars to hotels are facing a massive worker shortage, as job vacancies in the sector hit their highest levels since records began. Last month, in an open letter to the government, various hospitality professionals warned that the sector was “close to imploding” because of acute labour shortages. And the cracks are showing, as outlets still struggling post-lockdown are forced to resort to a skeleton staff: reducing opening hours or even closing altogether.
While some blame the pandemic and others point to a drop in EU workers after Brexit, figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest the industry was struggling to find and retain staff even before these events.
So what’s at the heart of this crisis – and more importantly, how can we fix it?
Sheila Dillon assembles a panel of hospitality insiders to find out: talking to Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the national trade organisation UKHospitality; Sarah John, the founder and director of Boss Brewing, a craft brewery based in Swansea; and Niall McKenna, chef and owner of James Street & Co restaurant group in Belfast, comprising two restaurants and a cookery school.
We also hear from chef and restaurateur Angela Hartnett on how kitchen culture is changing for the better; and Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn - co-founders of the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry, Wales - tell us about their decision to close permanently because of staff shortages.
Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol
The content varies and is always interesting: from chefs to ( unknown to me) countries and cultures, to the problems of feeding Syrian refugees with a strong food culture. I love them all! Great commentary and insightful interviews
thoughtful and insightful
Always worth a listen
I really enjoy the variety of topics, the thoughtfulness of content and the articulate, interesting and knowledgeable presenters