19 posts categorized "Podcasts"

23 August 2010

Podcast with Nathan Myhrvold

image from www.silverbrowonfood.comIt is fairly clear that I was sceptical of the merits of Nathan Myhrvold's Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.  After the fact, I thought I should probably give Nathan the right to reply and asked him if he'd do an interview with me, which he graciously accepted. You can listen to the interview below.  It's also available in iTunes.

Having spoken to him and read the new excerpts I'm more convinced.  I understand what he's trying to do and it's a massive task: it's codifying a particular method of cooking, from soup to nuts.  He knows it's a risk, but credit to him, it's a risk that he's taken on entirely himself, even setting up his own publishing company.

I do still have an issue with the price, which is now at $500 on Amazon, compared to $421.87 when I wrote my original piece two weeks ago.  I accept Nathan's argument that restaurant meals are easily that expensive and the pleasure is fleeting, whereas this will be around forever.  However, restaurant meals at that price are meant to be rareified and I can't overcome my inherent bias that books are meant to be democratic and accessible to all.  At that price they're certainly not, and I can't imagine many cash strapped British libraries are going to put in their orders anytime soon.

The level of research that has gone into the book is clearly outstanding.  Particularly interesting was learning more about the content of the book.  I was pleased with the passion with which he spoke of the coffee chapter and delighted to hear that James Hoffman of Square Mile Coffees had consulted on the chapter and praised it so highly.  I also think the way they've thought about recipes is very clever, see page 6 of this pdf for more - it's an example of the way they approached the whole task with a blank sheet of paper.

I did feel a bit guilty when I asked Nathan if in the water chapter they'd dealt with it as a drink.  There is a pause after I ask the question and he admits that is something they forgot.  Hopefully, Nathan was not reminded of Dr Johnson as I fleetingly was.

Finally, before we get to the main event, I really have to apologise for the appalling sound quality.  I need to sort out a more sophisticated way of doing these podcasts.

Link to mp3 of Nathan Myhrvold podcast
Anthony Silverbrow - Silverbrow on Podcasts

02 December 2009

David Sax podcast

As flagged yesterday, I got to speak to David Sax tonight and you can listen to the podcast below. 

He is undoubtedly committed to the cause of saving the deli and his recipe isn't so complex: stick to doing the basics of deli food and do it better than anyone else.  Whether that is sufficient to overcome the almost non-existent margins in serving sandwiches stuffed a foot high with expensive meat, is questionable.

Nonetheless, it's tempting to give it a go.  Which is why I want to make special mention of Daniel Young, a man similarly on a mission who will be selling freshly made latkes tomorrow at Covent Garden Market.  He's a mensch, go and support him.

Returning to my interview with David, I should apologise to him and you for the pretty piss-poor sound quality.  Blame Skype.  Next time I won't do a skype-to-skype call for these purposes.  Thankfully though he sounds better than I do.

Link to mp3 of Shaun Hill podcast
Anthony Silverbrow - Silverbrow on Podcasts

01 December 2009

Forthcoming podcast with David Sax, Save the Deli

I'm interviewing David Sax tomorrow, author of Save the Deli, the blog and book

He is a man posessed by the delights of pastramis, knishes, kishkas and the like.  He is a man who can spot the best schmaltz at a 100 yards and have talmudic discussions about the best rub for pastrami. 

I hadn't fully appreciated what a US phenomenon deli actually is.  It is about old world, Eastern European Jewish cooking rather than kosher food per se, an important distinction and one I want to talk to him about more tomorrow.

I've found his single-minded crusade fascinating and sobering.  I've long held a dream of opening up a deli and his account is a helpful reality check.

12 August 2009

Shaun Hill interview & podcast

I had intended that I'd record my interview with Shaun, write it up and just put snippets of our chat as recordings on the site.

However, I enjoyed the call so much, and he's so brilliantly frank about himself and other chefs, that I've decided instead to leave it in his voice, not mediated by me at the keyboard and let you listen to our chat in its entirety.  

A couple of apologies up front: the sound at my end is a bit rubbish and I waffle at the start, but I think I pick up the pace eventually.

I was intrigued to learn about the history of the iconic Walnut Tree.  I hadn't realised that Corbin and King were once involved, nor the truly dire consequences of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. I was sadly oblivious until tonight of Bill Baker, However, I was heartened to hear Shaun is keen to continue writing.  (Although The Merchant House Cookbook is sadly out of print, you can get it from the ever excellent Gardener & Cook.) 

I was also particularly pleased to hear that he hasn't changed his guiding principle that restraint and simplicity of execution are essential and his views on the science of food.

He lays into the odd person as well, which makes for entertaining listening if nothing else.

I haven't done a podcast for a while, so as a quick reminder, you can listen to it either on the site or in iTunes, where you can subscribe to this and previous podcasts.

I just hope it lives up to expectations.

Link to mp3 of Shaun Hill podcast
Link to Silverbrow on Food on iTunes

05 August 2009

Shaun Hill interview postponed

Unfortunately I've had to postpone my interview with Shaun until next Wednesday - I've had a real life/non-blog issue cause a clash.  All being well, it will definitely be next week.

31 July 2009

Forthcoming interview with Shaun Hill

Image of Shaun Hill, chef

I'm very excited to be able to say that next week I'm interviewing Shaun Hill, chef of the revered Walnut Tree. 

He's something of an icon for me.  I think of him as the father of great British food, his brothers in arms including Rowley Leigh, Alistair Little and Simon Hopkinson, his bastard children Marco Pierre White and Fergus Henderson.

Please let me know if you've got any questions you think I should ask.  The interview is taking place on Wednesday.

06 August 2007

Claudia Roden podcast

I was delighted to be able to speak tonight to Claudia Roden. She is an exceptionally friendly and gracious lady who has a fantastic knowledge and love of the food she writes about.

Listen to the podcast to learn about Claudia's next book on the food world's favourite country; to hear what happened when Irish and Jewish cuisines mingled the East End and why I can thank the marketing nous of doyens (sic?) Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson for one of my favourite cookbooks.

Click below to listen.