The Food Chain
BBC World Service
The Food Chain examines the business, science and cultural significance of food, and what it takes to put food on your plate.
Untold food stories: Rohingya and Uighur cuisine
The Rohingya people in Myanmar and the Uighur people in China are familiar to many of us through news reports. And usually their story is told by journalists in sombre voices reporting on the political situation or alleged human rights abuses. But in this episode, Rohingas and Uighurs themselves will tell us another story - about their cuisine. Because when you are far from home, feel your culture is under threat and you can’t get hold of the people you love the most on the phone, food can be a lifeline. Emily Thomas meets Mukaddes Yadikar and her husband Ablikim Rahman, who have opened a Uighur restaurant in London, and Rehana Zafa Ahmed and Abdul Jabbar-Amanula, a young Rohingya couple living in Chicago. They explain why their food is so important to them, and how the unique cultures that make their political situations precarious have also led to rich culinary traditions. (Picture: Mukaddes Yadikar pulling noodles. Credit: BBC)
High Stakes Cakes
What drives people to stake their livelihood on sponge? Three cake makers discuss the pressure and privilege of creating show-stopping centrepieces for major celebrations. From a perfect replica of a cow to a cake hanging from the ceiling, they reveal the engineering and money that go into some of the most formidable bakes. Emily Thomas meets Claire Ptak, owner of Violet Cakes, who made the cake at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, Pardeep Gill from Sweet Hollywood which specialises in wedding cakes for the Asian community in the UK, and Asha Batenga Jumba from Cakely Uganda in Kampala. Plus, we’ll hear some toe-curling stories of baking disasters. (Composite image: Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery icing the wedding cake of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle, Credit: Getty Images; Pardeep Gill standing with large wedding cake, Credit: Sweet Hollywood; Asha Batenga icing a cake; Credit: Cakely Uganda).
André Cointreau: My Life in Five Dishes
André Cointreau had a very privileged start in life, born into two illustrious French drinks dynasties - Cointreau and Rémy Martin. But his decision to buy a food business didn't go down well with the whole family. Unperturbed, he went on to become the chief executive of Le Cordon Bleu, transforming a small Parisian cookery school into a global culinary empire that has trained some of the world's most famous chefs. In this episode he tells Emily Thomas about his life through five memorable dishes. But despite his company teaching the virtues of classic French cooking techniques there's not a single soufflé to be seen. Instead he takes us all over the rest of the world, from Australian kangaroo meat to Korean kimchi. Find out what André Cointreau says about Le Cordon Bleu’s eye-watering fees, and why he never gets his hands dirty in the kitchen. (Picture: André Cointreau. Credit: BBC)
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