Journalism and Podcasts

Over the years, I’ve written for a wide range of publications in the U.K. and U.S., mostly about food. I’ve gathered together just a few of my pieces here. I'll also try to add a few podcasts and radio programmes where I've made appearances.

Radio Shows and Podcasts

THE SECRET OF COOKING ON BBC WOMAN’s HOUR

Cooking did help, but not to the extent of curing a broken heart’. I enjoyed talking with Nuala McGovern about The Secret of Cooking on BBC Woman’s Hour and how cooking helped me stay sane after my husband left. I talked about how the act of getting up in the morning and making pancakes for my son helped even on days when I’d spent the evening before crying. We also talked about why cooking can sometimes feel SO hard and some of the approaches that can help to get your spark back in the kitchen or just make it much simpler (baking tin paneer jalfrezi is one of my answers). Our conversation starts about 46 minutes into the programme if you want to listen to it.

The New Yorker Online

Pieces for The Guardian (open access)

Comfort Cooking

This piece, which is one of the most personal I’ve ever written, went through a number of different headlines in the print and web editions of The Guardian

How We Lost Our Sensory Connection With Food

How Ultra-Processed Food Took Over Your Shopping Basket

This piece is going to be reissued as an archive podcast for Guardian Long Read in May 2023. It’s one of the articles that meant the most to me, because the evidence is now clear that ultra-processed food – a term coined in Brazil over a decade ago – is the key driver of diet-related ill heath around the world, something I also write about in my book THE WAY WE EAT NOW. Yet the majority of people couldn’t say what ultra-processed food even is. The danger is partly that the term can sound very science‑y and technical when really what we are talking about is simply most of what is now sold as food’. So I felt I responsibility to get this piece right and to explain UPFs in a way that was engaging and readable. It went through many drafts before I was even half happy with it.

OFM Awards 2019: Lifetime achievement – Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden is one of my all-time heroes so it was wonderful to get the chance to write about her.

The Financial Times

My pieces for the FT have mostly been about the joy of certain ingredients, from pears to watercress to nutmeg to sardines to blood oranges to dried mint. I especially love writing this kind of piece.

Why Nutmeg is So Precious

I got some pleasing feedback from readers for this piece, with some people writing to tell me that after reading it, they had restored nutmeg to their kitchens for the first time in years.

The pear is the prince of fruits. You just need to know when to eat them

Dried mint. The unsung hero of herbs.

The London Review of Books

Some of my pieces for the LRB have been about food but many have been on other subjects such as biography, film, music and history.

The Irreplaceable

A review of two excellent books about palm oil.

Too Specific and Too Vague

(a review of The Philosophy of Curry by Sejal Sukhadwala)

It Isn’t the Lines: Paul Newman’s Looks

Like a Bar of Soap: Work, Don’t Play

A review of a new biography of the educator Maria Montessori. I knew almost nothing about her life before I began researching the piece and was fascinated to learn that contrary to what I had always believed her central idea was not learning through play but the concept that children are natural born workers.