Ep22 - From Christmas to New Year's Eve - Champagne, Prosecco and Cava

At Christmas-time and NewYear we drink more champagne, proecco and cava than ever and it seems perfectly acceptable to be cracking open bottles of bubbley before noon. Those bubbles can go straight to ones head…and what starts as giddiness…quickly moves into tipsiness…which is sure to end in headache if one too many glasses are enjoyed. We'll look at the roots of bubbly and how it became such a celebratory treat.

Read More

Ep20 - Gin & Sloe Gin - 12 Foods of Christmas

It's the mid point between Christmas and New Year…we might benefit from a break from the excesses that have been and may be yet to come. We also can't go cold-turkey from the excesses of non-stop food and drink so a gin and tonic or a bit of sloe gin is a welcome comfort. I never manage to get the timing right to pick sloes from the hedgerows where they can be foraged. The Sloe, or wild Plum, is the fruit of the Blackthorn found in the hedgerows. By autumn these small fruits are oval, blue-black and their sourness makes them perfect to cover with sugar and gin which by Christmas will have formed into a perfectly luxurious holiday tipple, sloe gin.

Read More

Ep19 - Christmas Chutney - Twelve Foods of Christmas

Capturing magic in a jar, sharing that with family and friends, creating new culinary moments and memories with family and friends and repeat.Today’s Christmas food is chutney. Since the last 12 Foods of Christmas episode featured cheese, it would seem only fitting that we follow that up with chutney. So there we have it, will you be enjoying chutney this Christmas? What are your favourite flavours?

Read More

Ep18 - Cheese - Twelve Foods of Christmas

It’s a perfect symphony of seasonality. Many cheeses  we enjoy at Christmas are coming into peak maturity around the holidays. What’s your cheese? British classics or continental cheeses? Do you go for the cheese board rather than pudding? At Christmas you can sample ALL the cheeses and ALL the puddings! It's a perfectly delicious puzzle when choosing ones plate of cheeses and pairing them w/chutneys, crackers, wines and ports. How cheese is good for us, more Ebenezer Scrooge and artwork by Floris van Dyck.

Read More

Ep17 - Oranges - Twelve Foods of Christmas

In the 5 or 6 weeks prior to Christmas is when clementines, satsumas, manderins and tangerines come into season and join forces to dominate the fruit bowl. Their flavours and essences appear throughout our food, drink and traditions throughout Christmas. Find out about the roots and origins of oranges and the differences between the easy-peelers. We'll learn about St. Nicholas and why we put oranges in stockings with help of Gentile da Fabriano and his painting, Three Gold Balls.

Read More

Ep16 - Mulled Wine - Twelve Foods of Christmas

It has lots of the familiar spices we associate with Christmas infused together in warmed wine, spirits, fruit and sugar. Walk in to a party from the cold and serving mulled wine and you’ll know instantly as it saturates your sense of smell and warms you up as it fills your belly. Since pre-history we have found ways to drink fermented beverages and we owe thanks to the Greeks and the Romans for specifically bringing mulled wine to Northern Europe and throughout the world. We'll discuss Circe, her role in the Odyssey and with Odysseus will be discussed as well as her appearance in Gioacchino Assereto's painting Circe Mulling Wine. I share my own tips and recipe for mulled wine and more.

Read More

Ep15 - Christmas Goose - Twelve Foods of Christmas

Goose - the squatted, more flavourful, dark meat alternative to their dry, white-melted fowl cousin the turkey. The custom and popularity of eating a goose during autumnal and winter harvest and holidays stretches from when they were domesticated by the Egyptians over 4000 years ago. This episode looks at traditions throughout the ages including the long-running Tavistock Goosey Fair, Michaelmas, the Smithfield's Market Christmas Eve Sale and the goose/turkey dynamic of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Read More

Ep13 - Cranberry Sauce - Twelve Foods of Christmas

These small, round, bright-red berries are more tart than sweet which makes them a perfect accompaniment to roast meat and dinners bringing a nice bright dash of Christmas red to ones plate. This week we look at how these North American fruits have become part of Christmas, gained status as a superfood and the many ways they can be enjoyed throughout the holidays and year-round.

Read More

Ep12 - Brussel Sprouts - Twelve Foods of Christmas

When I was little I was sure that someone with magical powers had shrunk cabbages into bite size portions. If you don’t think they taste delicious, you’re probably cooking them wrong! And if you’re just eating them at Christmas…well lots of people do but they deserve a place at the table beyond the Christmas holidays and sprouts are a £650,000,000 business with loads of varieties to try and inventive pairings and ways to prepare them. Artwork from Amedee Varin

Read More

Ep11 - Mincemeat - Twelve Foods of Christmas by Smy Goodness Podcast

Mincemeat and mince pies are markers of Christmas. Mincemeat is the filling baked inside pies and they originally contained dried fruit, spices, vinegar and meat when they first appeared in the 15th century. There’s the old wives' tale that you should eat a mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas for good luck in the upcoming year. Listen and see below for more information, tips and recipes.

Read More

Ep10 - Plates and Platters with Tim Parker of You'll Soon Know on NTS

This week I sat down with Tim Parker the Web Developer, Designer, DJ and host of the NTS radio programme You'll Soon Know. We discussed food and music memories, travel, design and how we approach and share all of the above.

Before my chat with Tim I look at the history of plates from our pre-history days as humans and their quick evolution from functional pieces to decorative, artistic and even space exploring items. The work of Judy Chicago, Chloe Wise, Dr Amanda Furman's The Ascent of Woman, the Voyager Golden records and more are discussed.

Read More

Ep9 - Anyone Sycophancy a Fig?

Figs reverence surely stems from their historic connection to our own agricultural journey and they are a symbol of abundance and important to ancient peoples, cultures, art, cookery and religions. They are symbols of fertility, wealth, youth and the brevity of life. This episode will look at the Greek etymology behind 'sycophancy' and the Roman Apicius' recipe for fegato. Artists discussed include Giovanna Garzoni, Albrecht Durer, Clara Peeters, Suzanne Valadon, Vivienne Westwood and Figs in Wigs.

Read More

Ep8 - Dumplings with Peiran Gong and Tongtong Ren of Chinese Laundry Room

This episode will focus on the Chinese dumpling, and look at how this ancient food is the epitome of a food so steeped in art, history and design that, when done properly, is a little edible works of art. I will focus specifically on jiaozi, guotie, zongzi and wonton dumplings and look at stories of the Silk Road, the Chinese physician Zhang Zhongjing, the poet Qu Yuan and how dumplings, family and festivals are always linked together. Then I will be talking with Tongtong (Tungtong) Ren and Peiran Gong - the owners and chefs of Chinese Laundry Room. We’ll discuss the originality behind both their restaurant and the path that has taken them from their native China to London. Art by Shaoqiang Chen, Qi Baishi, Nishikie.com, Yiying L and more.

Read More

Ep7 - Bunches of Grapes

Grapes are one of the first plants to be grown domestically by people and this cultivation cycle . One only needs to look at the symbolic, religious and cultural importance of grapes to get a small fathoming of what they must have meant to the early peoples who first fermented them to what they mean across the world today. We'll also look at the art of Zeuxis, Juan Fernandez El Labrador, Louise Moillon, Luca Forte, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alfred Steiglitz and Grimanesa Amoros.

Read More

Ep6 - Ice Cream w/Tara Esperanza of T.O.I.C. - Tara's Organic Ice Cream

A look into the art, history and design of ice cream and celebrate this food that is so connected to our pleasure senses. Tara Esperanza of Tara's Organic Ice Cream and I chatted about ice cream, food culture, memories, trends and the artistry of food. You can find T.O.I.C. at their two California shops (Oakland & Berkeley) and an offering of over 173 flavours which are made with limited availability or seasonal ingredients. 

Read More

Ep5 - Pancakes & Creativity w/Aimee Furnival of Another Studio

This week I'll be looking at pancakes and chatting to Aimee Furnival, Founder and Director of Another Studio. Another Studio is a craft-design practice creating original products for the desk, home and workplace. At the heart of their studio is the notion that a creative idea combined with playful material exploration will result in brilliant designs. Aimee and I made pancakes together and chatted about creativity, similarities between cooking and design processes and how design affects the items that surround us in our kitchens and dining rooms and as we prepare and share our meals. This episode will look at how and why the flat, round pancake is universally enjoyed across the world in different variations and how this has been represented in art, history and design. There are artworks and stories from Rembrandt, Heironymous II, Tiger Tomato and stories of the first cookbook aimed at a medieval female audience and the background of the Aunt Jemima trademark.

Read More

Ep4 - Canapés w/Diana Pinkett of Vegan Peasant Catering

This week I will be discussing the history of canapes, where they come from, their purpose and how these bite size foods have always been functional and ways to express creativity. I am joined this week by Diana Pinkett who with her partner Adrian Smith form Vegan Peasant Catering. She shares with me their vision and how travel has played such an important part in their 100% plant based canape and food bowl catering company. As well as images of Vegan Peasant Catering there are also featured artworks from Lizet Dingemans and Kate Jenkins, as well as some Smy Goodness canapes.

Read More

Ep3 - The Magical Lemon w/Hardeep Singh Kohli

This week it's all about the magical lemon and I sat down with comedian, chef, journalist, broadcaster and my dear friend Hardeep Singh Kohli to talk about his professional take on lemons. As usual in the interviews for the podcast, personal memories came to mind and as usual with Hardeep we had lots of laughs throughout our conversation. You can find Hardeep on Twitter and Instagram. Thanks so much Hardeep for appearing on the podcast and being such a good friend.

Below are images of some art and design elements relating to lemons which were mentioned in the podcast. These include Claude Monet, Francisco de Zurbarán, Joseph Beuys, Karan Singh, Philippe Starck, Jif lemons. There are also some images of my lemon curd and pudding creations.

Read More