What's the big deal about fine dining?
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
3d ago
Noma – considered by some to be the ‘world’s best restaurant’ - has announced it will close in 2024. The news has prompted headlines around the world and a renewed discussion about the culture of fine dining, and whether it is sustainable as a business model. In this programme, Ruth Alexander asks ‘what’s the big deal about fine dining?’. Is it an industry that exists only for the very wealthy, or do its innovations and trends affect how we all eat? Ruth is joined by Pete Wells, restaurant critic for The New York Times, who ate at Noma in Copenhagen in 2018. Food historian Dr Rachel Rich at Le ..read more
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Why can’t my child swallow?
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
1w ago
To feed a child is fundamental to a parent, it’s instinct. But what if your baby can’t swallow? After receiving lots of emails to a programme we made on dysphagia – or swallowing difficulties – we were asked to explore the condition as it affects children. In this edition, Ruth Alexander speaks to parents Kelly Rose, in the UK, and Melanie and Sean Hoffman in Canada, about how they manage their children's conditions and their relationship with food; and to a doctor, Professor Hamdy El-Hakim, who is on a mission to ensure dysphagia is better understood. And we hear from the children themselves ..read more
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The ghost writers
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
2w ago
Who wrote the cook books on your kitchen shelves? For many celebrity chefs, a cook book, or several, is an obvious way to extend their brand. But if they don’t have the time or the skills to write one, they may hire a ghost writer or co-author to work with them. It’s not just writing, the work can involve project management, recipe testing, meeting deadlines and handling some big egos. Sometimes writers are credited on the cover of the book, sometimes in the introduction, sometimes not at all. In this programme Ruth Alexander meets two people who have worked as ghost writers on cookbooks. JJ G ..read more
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The opera singer's diet
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
3w ago
Opera is viewed as something of an endurance sport in the musical world. Hours spent on stage, in costume, doing a very physical job far away from home comforts can take its toll on the body if it’s not adequately fuelled. As Ruth Alexander discovers in this programme, diet is of paramount importance to a professional singer. Sopranos Rachel Nicholls and Lucy Schaufer, and Fred Plotkin - opera and food writer and friend of Luciano Pavarotti – share the secrets of the relationship between singing and sustenance, and what foods can help achieve a star performance. If you would like to get in tou ..read more
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Chefs who changed course
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Working as a chef can be creative and rewarding when people love your food, but it can also be demanding, requiring long and antisocial hours. In this programme we hear about the highs and lows of working in some of the world’s best kitchens, and why it ultimately isn’t right for everyone. Ruth Alexander speaks to three chefs who chose to leave the profession. Former head chef Philip Barantini in the UK is now a TV and film director, his film Boiling Point, released in 2021 is about a chef struggling to run a successful restaurant. Genevieve Yam left behind Michelin starred restaurants in New ..read more
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Cooking with love
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Why hold on to an old clay pot, a worn-out metal spoon, or a plain glass bowl? Earlier this year, we made a programme celebrating old and cherished cookware and received a huge response from World Service listeners. So, in this edition, Ruth Alexander hears your stories of the poignance that can be found in the most unassuming kitchen utensil, and explores a few other tales we’ve uncovered of cooking with love. If you would like to get in touch with the show, please email: thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk Producer: Elisabeth Mahy Researcher: Siobhan O'Connell ..read more
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A Ukrainian table at Christmas
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Ukrainian cookbook writer Olia Hercules reflects on why it's important to mark this festive season, and the traditional dishes she’ll be serving at the Christmas table in London this year. Ruth Alexander speaks to Olia and her Russian born friend and fellow food writer, Alissa Timoshkina, to discuss how these food traditions have developed and how relatives and friends will be marking Christmas in the war-torn country, ten months on from Russia’s invasion. Ruth also sits down with a Ukrainian family of refugees and their British hosts in Blackburn in the North of England to find out what will ..read more
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Hard to swallow
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Can you imagine what you would miss if you lost the ability to eat? Swallowing is something most of us take for granted, but around 8% of the general population are believed to experience some difficulty swallowing – known as dysphagia. In this programme, Ruth Alexander talks to one of the estimated hundreds of millions of people who have struggled with swallowing food and drink, and to those who are trying to make the condition better understood. She speaks to California-based Sonia Blue, who lost the ability to swallow after having surgery; chef Niamh Condon, in Cork, Ireland; and Professor ..read more
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Why does Africa import a lot of food?
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
2M ago
2022 has seen record food prices. Many African countries have been badly hit because they import their staples – wheat, rice and oil. A lack of infrastructure and capacity in some countries means that food grown in Africa is often not processed into packaged food products, instead those items are imported from outside of the continent. In this programme we speak to two women who run food businesses in Zambia and Ghana, to talk about the impact of rising food costs, and whether this year’s food crisis could be the impetus for Africa to be more self-sufficient. Ruth Alexander is joined by Monica ..read more
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Egg'onomics
The Food Chain | BBC World Service
by BBC World Service
2M ago
Eggs – a nutritious and affordable source of protein. Or they were. The cost of a box of eggs has been rocketing around the world. And in some places, where it’s long been common to start the day on an egg – supplies are under pressure. In this programme, Ruth Alexander explores the challenges egg producers are facing - including what can be done about the seemingly ever-present threat of avian influenza. She speaks to Amanda Mdodana, a poultry farmer in Mpumalanga, South Africa; Phillip Crawley, a poultry farmer in Leicestershire, UK; Mark Jacob, poultry and egg economist in Arkansas, US; and ..read more
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