On Twitter last week, I saw a tweet inviting people to the recording of a new cookery show on Radio 4. Having been to the recording of Radio 5 show a little while ago (it was the last ever Richard Bacon evening show), I thought it might be a fun way to spend a Tuesday evening. So, off I duly trotted to Whitechapel, with my map in hand, in search of Wilton’s Music Hall. Perhaps it says something about me, that the only history I knew of Whitechapel involved Jack the Ripper, rather than any cultural or foody heritage, but I came away at the end of the evening richer for my time spent there!
Wilton’s Music Hall is an extremely unimposing location; you can walk past it, thinking nothing of it. Indeed, even the bar area isn’t that exciting. The Music Hall bit, where the recording took place was beautiful however and very surprising. If you haven’t been, I recommend a visit.
On arrival, we had to complete two forms – one included a question we would like to put to the panel and the 2nd was a questionnaire loosely based on Valentine’s Day. The questions would be put to the panel and those from the questionnaire would be weaved into the discussion. When would we throw out food in our fridge? What were our favourite aphrodisiacs? What would be the next trend in baking?
Around 7 o’clock we went through some health and safety notices and then the panel was introduced. Jay Rayner would be overseeing the proceedings and the panel comprised: Henry Dimbleby, Angela Malik, Rachel McCormack and Peter Barram (apologies if I have Peter’s name down incorrectly – I have spelt it 3 different ways in my notes!).
Jay took us through the start of the questionnaire – the findings on what we would like our partners to cook for us on Valentine’s Day. I had made an error in completing my questionnaire, which I will never make again. In addition to ticking a box, I wrote something down. I can’t remember exactly what I wrote, but if you tune into the show, Jay will read it out. It was something like ‘None of the above – I’m single’. Everyone howled with laughter. I joined in, so as not to draw attention to myself, but the shame. Note to self, when filling in anything for a radio show, tv show etc, never write anything down when you can just tick a box!
Well, the recording carried on and it was entertaining and interesting. I learned that we shouldn’t keep tomatoes in the fridge as it renders them tasteless. (Incidentally I still have tomatoes in my fridge, but as I can’t bring the taste back, they may as well stay there!) Cheap saffron can taste of soap, or even bleach and some people are unable to taste it. Eating a hot curry isn’t always a good idea as its molecules can chemically attack your nerves. Fortunately most of the damage is repairable, but not the most pleasant thought!
More episodes of ‘The Kitchen Larder’ will be recorded over the country in the next few weeks and if there’s one near you, I recommend going along. I’ll be listening to the broadcast on the i-player, seeing how much of what was recorded makes the final show (I suspect my ‘I’m single’ comment will!). The series starts on Radio 4 on 7th February at 3pm, with the Valentine’s Special on 14th February (also at 3pm).
My one disappointment from the show is that when we completed the questionnaire the last question ‘what is the next trend in baking’ wasn’t answered. Perhaps they ran out of time, or perhaps no-one knows and the cupcake is here to stay!