Cooking the Books with Gilly Smith
Season 21, Ep. 4
This week, Gilly is off to find Christmas – and a whole lot more - in Africana, the debut cookbook from the new voice in pan African food, Lerato who whisks us off on a tour of the latest obsession in culinary cultures.
Melissa Thompson: Motherland
Season 21, Ep. 3
This week, Gilly is with the queen of the Fowl Mouths supper club, BBC Good Food contributor, co-director of the British Library Food Season and now, author, Melissa Thompson.Her debut cookbook, Motherland is the story of the Jamaica that was her father’s family home. As she traces its history through its food, she uncovers the stories of its people, its struggles and its resourcefulness - as well as its delicious food.
Tim Anderson: Japaneasy: Bowls and Bento
Season 21, Ep. 2
This week, Gilly is with chef Tim Anderson who holds a unique position as cultural commentator on Japanese food culture in Britain. He's a chef, a Masterchef winner, the author of six books on Japanese food and a regular on Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, yet he grew up in Wisconsin. Gilly digs deep to draw a line between the dots as they discuss his latest book Japanesy: Bowls and Bento.Through Cooking the Books' four food moment format, Tim explains his love of conbini, the Japanese convenience store where all of life can happen, and how to recreate it in your own home.
Sylvie Bigar: Cassoulet Confessions
Season 21, Ep. 1
This week, Gilly meets travel writer, Sylvie Bigar whose article about the rich history of the South West French cassoulet inspired a personal investigation into her often toxic family history and her own love affair with food. Cassoulet Confessions is a food memoir which takes us deep into where a love of food can come from, however dark the path.A New Yorker brought up in a 'mini Downton Abbey' on Lake Geneva, Sylvie's story is of class, nostalgia and dysfunctional family life. As we follow her across the history of both family and what she finds under the crust of the mystical cassoulet, we get a tale of two sittings – the folklore and status of the cassoulet itself, and a potent dish of family secrets and hidden heritage.
Prue Leith: Bliss on Toast
Season 20, Ep. 12
This week, Gilly's with Prue Leith to talk about her new book Bliss on Toast which elevates the simplest of pleasures into the most delicious meals.Her journey in food makes her look like a gourmet version of the Bisto kid, sniffing her way from her Michelin restaurant in London’s starched 60s through, to taking on the catering at British Rail, through Leiths School of Food and Wine to Bake Off, aged 82. And she’s written 12 cookbooks and 7 novels. Gilly asked her to put her novelist hat on and take her back to the Paris of the late ‘50s where she was an au pair, and ask that young woman what she thinks of her latest book.
Tamar Adler: An Everlasting Meal
Season 20, Ep. 11
This week, Gilly is slowing right down for a meditation on cooking and eating in An Everlasting Meal by former chef at Chez Panisse, Dan Barber’s researcher and Vogue journalist, Tamar Adler. The book which first came out in 2011 has clear echoes of Tamar’s hero, MFK Fisher with its poetic message of resilience and personal power, and its gentle humour is particularly resonant in these challenging times. Her former boss, Alice Waters writes in the introduction: ‘It’s a beautifully intimate approach in cooking as a narrative that begins not with a list of ingredients or a tutorial on cutting an onion but with a way of thinking. It’s a book to sink into and read deeply’.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: Good Comfort
Season 20, Ep. 10
This week Gilly is talking the culture and politics of food with Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall. His latest River Cottage book, Good Comfort is about tweaking our favoruite recipes with healthy extras, saving the pennies and losing a few pounds. It’s also about food memories and generations of family recipes, rooting those cottage pies and weekend pancakes in who we are. And as we navigate our way through a douuble whammuy of climate and obesity crisis, it couldn’t have come at a better time. But as we chatted on the day Liz Truss was just about to step down at PM, I suggested that he cou;dn’t have known that the cost of living was going to add to those massive challenges
Vicky Bennison: Pasta Grannies
Season 20, Ep. 9
This week, Gilly is talking about Italy through the stories of its Pasta Grannies with Vicky BennisonVicky won a James Beard award in 2020 for her first Pasta Grannies book based on the super homey Youtube series which has won the hearts of millions of viewers. Her work in international development in countries like Russia, South Africa, and Kazhakstan has given her an anthropological lens through which to look at the role of the nonna.She introduces us to four of the Pasta Grannies through her food moments, and explains why their stories tell so much more than how to knead the dough.And if you fancy learning to cook, Leiths is offering a discount for Cooking the Books listeners. To get 10% off the Essentials online course that Gilly has been doing over over the last 6 months, go to leithsonline.com/courses/essential-cooking Click ‘enrol’ on course page and apply the code: GILLY10 at checkout
Extra Good Things: From the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen
Season 20, Ep. 8
This week, Gilly is at the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen in North London. This is the hub where the Ottolenghi books and recipes are born to talk, and Gilly's here to talk about Extra Good Things, the latest book after Shelf Love from the OTK stable.Gilly chats to Noor Murad and the team of international chefs and writers who make the magic happen: Gitai Fisher, Verena Lochmuller, Chaya Pugh, Jens Ferdinand and Clodagh McKennaNoor is the lead guitarist in this fabulously international band and the voice in Extra Good Things which sets out to future-proof our cooking with pickles, sauces and pastes to flavour bomb our leftovers. With the climate and cost of living crises forcing us to build our resilience skills, it couldn’t come at a better time.And if you fancy learning to cook, Leiths is offering a discount for Cooking the Books listeners. To get 10% off the Essentials online course that Gilly has been doing over over the last 6 months, go to leithsonline.com/courses/essential-cooking Click ‘enrol’ on course page and apply the code: GILLY10 at checkout