Food double-acts: TV chefs
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
1h ago
What’s the secret behind the on-screen chemistry shared by some TV chef duos? The recent death of Dave Myers, one half of ‘The Hairy Bikers’ with Si King, has prompted this programme celebrating successful food friendships. Dave and Si made food shows and cookbooks that took their fans all over the world, and off-screen they were close friends. In this programme Ruth Alexander speaks to two chefs who have found success in food with a good friend. Ruth Rogers, co-founder of The River Cafe restaurant in London, talks about her partnership with the late Rose Gray, who died in 2010. Together they ..read more
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How to run a restaurant
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
1w ago
These are tough times for restaurants. If the pandemic's rolling lockdowns were not bad enough, independent eateries now find themselves caught on a conveyor belt of crises: inflation, labour shortages and high rents. That’s without mentioning the post-Covid agoraphobic “hermit consumer", who prefers to hunker down indoors than splash the cash on going out. The Food Chain investigates how restaurants can turn their fortunes around and make it all work. If the stats are to be believed 60% of restaurants fail in the first year, 80% after five. And yet despite the long odds many are still seduced ..read more
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The real Willy Wonkas
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
2w ago
Step inside the chocolate factory to hear the secrets of what it’s like to invent sweet treats for a living. Find out why chocolatiers think the raw material is like a “needy child”, but can also bring great joy to people’s lives. And hear the family story of the invention of one of the best-known British chocolate bars, with a trip to an archive of hidden stories from the confectionary industry – and some well-preserved sweets. If you would like to get in touch with the show, please email: thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk Presenter: Ruth Alexander Producer: Hannah Bewley (Image: Chocolate bars on a col ..read more
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Fasting and feasting
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
3w ago
Fasting has been a religious and cultural practice for thousands of years, why do people do it? What happens to your body when you fast? The Food Chain speaks to a British family breaking their fast during Ramadan, a woman in India completing a day long fast for Mahashivratri and explores why the practices around Lent have changed over the years. An expert on intermittent fasting talks us through what is happening to our bodies, and why it might have hidden benefits. In this programme, Rumella Dasgupta explores the tradition of religious fasting with what to eat and what not to eat in three ma ..read more
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Why we love dumplings
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Dumplings feature prominently in cuisines around the world. Some, like the Ghanaian kenkey, or the Irish dumpling, are balls of dough. But in many countries they’re filled with other ingredients. From the Russian pelmeni, to the Japanese gyoza, for centuries we’ve been putting meat, vegetables or cheese in small pouches of pastry, and making delicious snacks. So where did this idea originate? And are all these differently named dumplings connected? Ruth Alexander explores the history of this humble comfort food and hears how different dumplings are made. If you would like to get in touch with ..read more
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The fifth taste
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and... umami. Have you heard of the fifth taste? Umami, meaning ‘delicious flavour’ in Japanese, was discovered by a chemist in Japan in 1908 but it took nearly 100 years for it to be recognised as a fifth distinct taste. It is described by many as a savoury or meaty taste. In this programme Ruth Alexander learns about the chemist who first discovered umami, and the industrially produced version he created – monosodium glutamate, or MSG. It’s a food additive that’s been the subject of health scares, but today it’s one of the most tested additives in our food and cons ..read more
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The school cooks
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Three school chefs tell Ruth Alexander what it’s like serving up canteen food every day. Find out how they manage hundreds of hungry child customers, what pro tips they have for making vegetables seem delicious, and why they all find the job so satisfying. We hear from the USA, Liverpool in the UK and a school chef in the far north of Finland about the challenges of cooking mountains of meatballs, how to cope when the vegetable biriyani goes all over the ceiling, and why it’s one of the most rewarding – but probably overlooked – professions. If you would like to get in touch with the show, ple ..read more
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Is this ultra processed?
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Have you heard of ultra processed food? In 2010 a group of Brazilian scientists said we should be focusing less on the nutritional content of food, and more on the form of processing it undergoes. They created the Nova system, a way of categorising foods based on how processed they are. It identifies ultra processed foods as generally industrially manufactured, containing ingredients such as emulsifiers, stabilisers and other additives that would not be found in an average home kitchen. A growing body of scientific research suggests a link between this category of ultra processed foods and ill ..read more
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Table talk
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
2M ago
What do you and your family chat about at dinner? We eavesdrop on conversations over food all over the world, hearing about poetry, politics, what is on TV and how Morag’s leg is recovering. Whether you gossip or have more philosophical debates find out how integral good communication is while we are eating, often marking the only point in the day or week when a family gathers together. We learn why a matchmaker thinks a dinner date might not be such a good idea after all if you want the conversation to flow. And, psychotherapist Philippa Perry tells us how to keep the peace with the family ov ..read more
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Detroit's urban farmers
The Food Chain
by BBC World Service
2M ago
The city of Detroit in the United States has a lot of vacant space – as much as a quarter of residential, commercial and industrial sites lie unused today. In this programme Ruth Alexander meets the people who are growing food in their neighbourhoods, creating urban farms and community gardens where houses once stood. Mark Covington is the founder of Georgia Street Community Collective, and Tyson Gersh is the co-founder of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. Ruth learns why so much land stands empty from the city’s official historian Jamon Jordan. Jamon explains the role of the automobile i ..read more
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