Enjoying food over the airwaves

Time constraints have meant this week’s been a bit of a foodie desert. There’s been some exceptions – a birthday meal at Dimitri’s on Deansgate (more detail on my Flickr site), a restaurant that never disappoints – but little cooking or exploring.
Instead my culinary appetites have been satisfied by two radio programmes.

While radio might not be the first choice for enjoyment of food, I find it can be a surprisingly good medium for conjuring up pictures and taste. As a listener you have less baggage to bring to a show than say, a television viewer, who could also be prejudiced by the images. Particularly if they involve celebrity chefs.

First up this week was Radio 4’s look at the work of the inspectors responsible for awarding Michelin stars in What’s the point of Michelin stars?
While Manchester may not have long to wait for its first city centre star if Michael Caines gets to work , the programme provided a fascinating glimpse into the concerns of the high-end chef and his/her audience.
The description of the restaurant critic as “waddling” to the next meal with his, presumably voluminous, trousers flapping made me simultaneously wince and smile.
It’s well worth a listen again here .
Finally the week ended with a Radio 2 interview with the Observer’s Jay Rayner who has just eaten the world apparently to write a new book. He told Steve Wright about his journey around the very best restaurants in the very best cities around the world.
While being deeply envious of someone who gets paid to undertake such a fantastic journey, I did also work up an appetite to visit Tokyo. Here he dined on many, courses prepared in the world’s smallest restaurant – just for him. Now that’s luxury. Price was never revealed.
The interview concluded with the self-effacing Jay having the good grace to concede that readers may learn little else from the book but how great his life is and how many doubts he has about that!
I may find time to read it myself in the coming weeks but in the meantime the listen again facility is here under Friday.
The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner


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