6 Food Podcasts to Savour
6 of my favourite podcasts covering all things food and drinks. Funny, historical, informative — everything you could possibly need for a good food listen!
- Off Menu Podcast by Plosive Productions
Poppadoms or bread! Off Menu has fast become one of my favourite listens and for good reason. Comedians and foodies James Acaster and Ed Gamble bring pure joy to every episode, running through their guests’ ultimate menus in the restaurants of their dreams with the proviso that a guest could get chucked off air at any point during recording if they say the secret ingredient James and Ed have picked.
Restaurant genie James has served dream menus to everyone from chef and presenter Andi Oliver to actress Teri Hatcher with guest menus ranging from the delectable to the disgusting.
My one complaint (or should I say negative online review) is that they ask guests to pick between still and sparkling water when we all know that there is no place in this world for the abomination that is sparkling water.
You’ll love this if… you’re looking for food and restaurant recommendations with a big serving of laughter.
Episode pick — Ed & James were able to score their dream guest Ainsley Harriott for their podcast and it’s definitely been one of Off Menu’s best episodes.
2. Home Cooking by Samin Nosrat & Hrishikesh Hirway
This podcast was one of my favourite lockdown listens and brought together two people I never knew were friends — Samin Nosrat & Hrishikesh Hirway. I had seen chef Samin’s amazing show Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix and listened to Hrishi’s groundbreaking podcast Song Exploder so when the two came together for this podcast, I did a little dance of joy in my kitchen(I really did).
Although they haven’t released any recent episodes, you can dive into an archive of brilliant listens. In each episode Samin and Hrishi invite listeners to write in and ask their pressing food questions which they answer with lots of handy advice. I found this podcast surprisingly useful and very relatable, with lots of tips on how to use leftover ingredients and do some experimental cooking across different cuisines. What works particularly well for this podcast is that Samin is an experienced chef and Hrishi is a home cook, so it makes listening very accessible to all levels of foodie.
You’ll love this if… you want to try out new ways of cooking and make use of what’s left in your cupboard.
Episode pick — The episode Bean There, Done That with Josh Malina is packed with food puns
3. Comfort Eating with Grace Dent by The Guardian
This podcast is all about your guilty food pleasures and hosted by food writer Grace Dent. This podcast is like a girls night in with a bottle of wine and lots of gossip and Grace is always very candid and funny.
Grace’s guests have included author Bernardine Evaristo and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden.
You’ll love this if… you want a good podcast to listen to whilst you cook and have a glass of wine!
Episode pick — The episode with Derry Girls’ Siobhán McSweeney is a brilliant listen.
4. Racist Sandwich by Stephanie Kuo & Juan Ramirez
Can a sandwich be racist? Maybe! This podcast no longer has new episodes, but it was such an interesting listen and a unique premise when I first heard it that I thought it deserved a mention.
Racist Sandwich seeks to explore the relationship between food, culture, appropriation and mis-appropriation. It’s really grounded, honest, funny and easy to listen to and you really do learn lots of new things about world cuisine. It also takes on the food world and poses some really good questions about how things are currently being done.
You’ll love this if… like me, you’ve seen staple dishes from your country of origin become a newly discovered food-trend for hipsters!
Episode pick — Episode 11- Pho is the new Pho
5. Take a Bao by Jun & Tonic
This podcast with a catchy name focuses on Asian food — which actually is quite a wide range of cuisines and types of food, so lots to talk about! From durian fruit to dalgona coffee, your host Jun — a Malaysian engineer turned food writer — takes you on a journey speaking with local experts with Louis Theroux-level curiosity.
You’ll love this if… you want to know the whys… like why is rice such a staple food in Asia or why does tea have historical significance in China?
Episode pick — Episode #2: The Disappearing Coffee Houses of Malaysia is a great insight into the melting pot of cuisine in Malaysia.
6. Desert Island Dishes by Margie Nomura
If you’ve listened to BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, this is a bit like it, but with food, and if you love Discs, you’ll know it’s a winning format! Podcast host Margie Nomura trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork and since then has travelled the world as a freelance chef and event curator, with a notable mention of having cooked for The Queen! Margie brings her wealth of experience to the table (!) and deep dives into cooking in her interviews.
Margie has invited everyone from GBBO’s Nadiya Hussain and Chetna Makan to Tessa Cook, Co-Founder of the Olio Food App. The theme with her guests is that they are all involved in food in some way which makes it a bit different in tone to the other menu based pod Off Menu.
The only thing I can fault is that they missed a trick by not calling it Dessert Island Dishes!
You’ll love this if… you want to actually try making the food you’ve heard about. Margie has created some fabulous dishes inspired by what her guests have chosen and those recipes are listed on her website.
Episode pick — If you haven’t heard of Pasta Grannies, the episode with its creator Vicky Bennison is a great listen to find out more about the project as well as her food faves.
So there you have it — 6 courses — a veritable tasting menu of podcasts to get you started and be sure there will be a part 2 as food is one of my absolute favourite themes.