Friday, 18 January 2008

On hearing my foodie heroes speak

I was listening to a podcast on the BBC this lunchtime and one thing leading to another, as it does, discovered Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. Knowing it was the BBC, the very name conjured up visions of matriarchs, all smelling of lavender and violets, sitting around discussing the proper way to grow petunias, knitting patterns, oh, and plum jam (on which topic the film Calendar Girls offers some humourous enlightenment).

It wasn't all that bad, and while not exactly hip, the programme's Food and Cooking section does have lots to offer food junkies in need of a hit. And so it was that I heard for the first time the voices of two of my biggest foodie heroes (Nigel Slater, Diana Henry), and one (Anissa Helou) who is almost certain to join their ranks when I finally relent and purchase her book Modern Mezze.

Knowing them only by their written words, I was surprised by how un-posh Nigel sounded, and how down-to-earth-Irish Diana did. Diana, especially spoke nothing like I imagined she would. After all, it was her Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons, and its Mediterranean/Middle Eastern bent, that started this cooking quest to begin with. (And whose latest book, Roast Figs, Sugar Snow, has promised to deliver very soon, just 3-5 weeks after the ordering; how am I supposed to wait so long!?)

Actually, they both sounded like the sort of friends you’d want to have over for eats round the table for hours and hours. I’m sure they’d be just as good company as the have been in print, even if they sound nothing like they do on the page (g).


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