Media

Writing my blogs has meant that I have had the chance to appear in the media from time to time. It’s always great fun – and a great honour – to be asked to take part in projects.

If you need to contact me directly, email me at neil@britishfoodhistory.com

2022

In February I appeared on the Channel 5 show Secrets of the Royal Palaces where I cooked the infamous Coqz Heaumez, an edible sculpture of a gallant knight riding his steed into battle, made from a roast chicken and sucking pig. it was fun and also bizarre, presenter Kate Williams was a great sport. Catch the episode here on Channel 5‘s streaming site, My5.

In March was lucky enough to contribute to an excellent article about one of our most beloved cookery books, The Be-Ro Book, on CKBK. It was written by Ramona Andrews. Annie Gray and Roopa Gulati also contributed. Read it via this link.

In April I was invited onto the excellent Table Talk podcast to discuss the dark history of sugar, including the evolutionary adaptations humans have acquired to keeping eating it and thinking about it! Catch the episode wherever you find your podcast, or follow this link. Here’s a short excerpt:

May 2022 was a landmark date for me with the publication of my first book, A Dark History of Sugar, published by Pen & Sword History. It’s available from all good bookshops, on Kindle, or direct from me (signed of course). I’ve been blown over by all of the great reviews & ratings it has received so far; and if you have bought a copy, I doff my cap to you.

I have been talking about sugar lot this year, so I was very pleased to appear on Cassidy Cash’s podcast in May, This Shakespeare Life, to talk about one of my favourite topics, that forgotten fruit, the medlar.

Then in June, I popped up on the Well Seasoned Librarian podcast to talk about sugar, as well as many other things such as the American’s opinion of British food, and how I have come to have a “career” in food and history.

With August came the fourth season of the British Food History Podcast, which started its run with the fabulous Felicity Cloake to discuss Britain’s traditional breakfast foods:

Later on in the very same month, I appear on Lubber’s Hole podcast to talk about Georgian food, dining and manners:

I was involved in some behind the scenes work for a Radio 4 programme called One Dish. The premise of the show is host Andi Oliver interviews a special guest who brings along with them their favourite food, hence the name, One Dish. My role was to research each dishes’ history and science, and a little bit of scriptwriting too. So far it has been well received since it started in August 2022. You can listen to the series on BBC Sounds now by following this link.

In September I got the opportunity to talk about one of my favourite topics, puddings, on the Bread and Thread podcast. It was fun to go through the complex history covering the evolution of the pudding from its intestinal origins:

In October I was a guest on the fantastic Delicious Legacy podcast, talking about all things sugar. Although I touched on the dark history, host Thom asked a lot of questions about its not-so-dark origins, which no one has asked me about thus far.

I was honoured at the beginning of November to be the guest on Sam Bilton’s new podcast Comfortably Hungry, talking about Bonfire Night, gingerbread, sugar, treacle and parkin. Alessandra Pino was also a guest which brought an interesting gothic element to discussions. Both Sam and Alessandra have appeared on my podcast, so check those out too!

2021

The British Food History Podcast season 3, December 2021-present. At the very end of 2021, I started up the third season of the podcast with a Christmas special all about Christmas pudding, an interview with Emma Kay about her book A Dark History of Chocolate and a great chat with Allesandra Pinto about food in gothic literature.

Atlas Obscura, September 2021. I helped out with a great article by Reina Gattuso in the excellent Atlas Obscura; it was all about Virginia Woolf and her excellent skills as a baker of cottage loaves. Check out the article via this link.

Amazing Christmas Cakes and Bakes, December 2021. Channel 5 were keen to film a Christmas special for their cakes and bakes show ready for Christmas 2021, however they put it out early on their streaming service My5. Check it out here. I talk about Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding, Christmas food adverts of the past and lots of other things too.

The British Food History Podcast season 2, July-August 2021. In the summer I brought back my podcast (with some minor re-branding). Guests and topics included, Gingerbread with Sam Bilton, Forme of Cury with Dr Christopher Monk, and eels with Andrew Kerr, Elver Dave & John Wyatt Greenlee. Check out the podcast via link.

2020

Wonderful World of Cakes, November-December 2020. I became the resident food historian on this show on Channel 5, and it covered alot of subjects. Aside from sticking my twopenneth in on the topics covered, I also made some traditional recipes and broke the world record for the largest Jaffa Cake. Here’s a link to the show’s page on the Channel 5 website.

Monkman and Seagull’s Genius Adventures, June 2020. I was asked to reproduce some of the dishes served up at the infamous nineteenth century Dino Dinner celebrating the first dinosaur sculptures displayed in Crystal Palace Park. Here’s a link to a clip of the scene.

Vice Magazine: A Brief History of the Humble Chip Butty, March 2020. Burger King now do a ‘Fries Sandwich’ and they think they are geniusus or something. I helped out with this article looking at the history of the proper chip butty.

British Food: a History Podcast Season 1 – Lent, February to April 2020. The first season of my podcast went out covering a huge variety of subjects from the Forme of Cury, to bean-to-bar chocolate making. Amonst others, I also interviewed the Bishop of Manchester David Walker and Professor of Zoology and writer Matthew Cobb. Click this link for the podcast page.

Monkman and Seagull’s Dino Dinner (BBC)

2018

Britain’s Most Historic Towns, April 2018. I was asked to cook up some mediaeval food for presenter Alice Roberts as part of the Norman Winchester episode. I cooked up a delicious eel pie from Britain’s oldest cook book The Forme of Cury. Here’s a link to the full episode.

2015

In 2015 I was asked by The Telegraph newspaper to take part in a cookery competition for food bloggers. Have never competed, I was pretty nervous at first, but in the end I did alright, coming second! The videos, articles and most of my recipes from the competition can be seen via this link.

Later in that year, I took part in a two-part Jane Grigson tribute special edition of BBC Radio 4‘s The Food Programme, where the life and influence of my food hero Jane Grigson was discussed. The episode was filmed in front of a live audience as part of Bristol Food Connections Festival. To listen to the episode, follow this link.