BBC Bristol at Food Connections 2015

Celebrity chef Rick Stein, popular presenter Adrian Chiles, Celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner and wildlife presenter and cameraman Mike Dilger are among the stars lined up by the BBC to appear at Bristol’s Food Connections festival in May 2015.

Published: 26 March 2015
...we’ve come up with events which we think will appeal to people of all ages, from Mike Dilger’s ‘extreme meals’ and our debate with the farmers of the future, to our look at food programmes past and present and our tribute to Jane Grigson.
— Clare McGinn, Head of Radio & Music Production, BBC Bristol

As part of the city-wide food celebration, which runs from 1 to 9 May, the BBC will be hosting a number of different events celebrating the range of programmes made at its base in the city, including BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today, Costing the Earth, Word of Mouth and The Food Programme.

All 11 sessions with the BBC will take place in the Imax Theatre at Bristol Aquarium, at the heart of the Festival, and tickets are free. Many of the events will be recorded for later broadcast on national BBC networks.

BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Points West will be broadcasting about ‘Food Connections’ throughout the festival.

The BBC has a key role in Food Connections – the idea of connecting the city through its unique food culture under one big umbrella came from the BBC in 2012, inspired by the unique Bristol BBC partnership agreement. Bristol is the first city to have an official partnership with the BBC.

Clare McGinn, Head of BBC Radio & Music Production in Bristol, says "BBC Bristol’s partnership with the city of Bristol is something we really value. For the second Food Connections festival, we’ve come up with events which we think will appeal to people of all ages, from Mike Dilger’s ‘extreme meals’ and our debate with the farmers of the future, to our look at food programmes past and present and our tribute to Jane Grigson."

Bristol Food Connections will launch with the 15th BBC Food & Farming Awards. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held in Bristol, and attended by well-known chefs, broadcasters and food writers, including Awards host Sheila Dillon and Thomasina Miers, Valentine Warner, Angela Hartnett, Giorgio Locatelli, Richard Corrigan and many more. Follow @BBCBristolPR for live updates on winners as they are announced.

Full programme of BBC events:

Farming Today (BBC Radio 4)
Friday 1 May, 1200-1300
BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today is staging a special recording of the programme featuring the next generation of agricultural workers – young farmers, engineers, innovators and researchers. There will be an expert panel on hand to answer your questions on succession, the jobs market, training and the rural economy.

In the chair will be Farming Today and Countryfile presenter Charlotte Smith.

BBC TV’s Harvest – Take a look behind the scenes
Friday 1 May, 1430-1530
Meet the team behind BBC’s Harvest which returns to our screens this autumn. Harvest was critically acclaimed for shedding a light on British farming and its contribution to the nation’s food supply. There will be an opportunity to hear from the team about the impact Harvest made with growers, producers and consumers – and see an exclusive preview of the new series. Plus there'll be discussion on topical subjects ranging from sugar to cider as we find out what's affecting UK farmers and food production this year. This is a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes and find out what the new series promises.

BBC Food on TV – Past, Present and Future
Saturday 2 May, 1200-1300
From Fanny's Kitchen in the 1950s, where the redoubtable Fanny Cradock encouraged housewives to create flashy food at home, via Delia, Jamie and Heston to The Great British Bake Off which has earned Mary Berry national treasure status - UK food programmes are something we're really good at.

This session looks at the unique place it holds in British cultural life over the last 60 years and asks where next? It features actress, food ambassador and celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner; Pete Lawrence, Creative Director of Tigress Productions, who has worked with Nigel Slater, Nigella Lawson and many household names; and TV documentary maker and culinary coach Clare Brigstocke who’s worked with Claudia Roden, Mireille Johnston and Madhur Jaffrey.

Costing the Earth with Tom Heap (BBC Radio 4)
Saturday 2 May, 1500-1600
The politics of the environment and our food supply are vital for the future of the planet. Tom Heap hosts a debate for BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth asking if this election campaign has raised the issues that need raising. What specific commitments have the political parties made on nature? Where are the big ideas to tackle climate change? How can we secure our food supplies without wrecking the planet?

Tom Heap will put these challenging issues to a panel including philosopher Roger Scruton and Tony Juniper, former Executive Director of Friends of the Earth.

Word of Mouth with Michael Rosen (BBC Radio 4)
Saturday 2 May, 1700-1800
Have you ever wondered what the words raspberry, syllabub or toffee have in common? Did you know that pickle is a Dutch word but tomato, chocolate and chilli come from the Aztecs? Join broadcaster and children’s writer Michael Rosen on an adventure into language and food as he discovers how our favourite (and least favourite) dishes got their names in Radio 4’s Word of Mouth programme.

He’ll be joined onstage by writers and singers to entertain us with poems, songs and stories and he’ll be working with local schools to find out what makes the children of Bristol go ‘yum’ and ‘yuk’.

Simon Hopkinson – A Life in Food (BBC Radio 4)
Sunday 3 May, 1330-1430
Join top chef, former Egon Ronay inspector and food genius Simon Hopkinson as he shares his life story with Sheila Dillon for The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4. He’s considered to be one of the best cookery writers in the business and it all started with the infectiously warm and witty book ‘Roast Chicken and other Stories’.

One to One with Adrian Chiles (BBC Radio 4)
Sunday 3 May, 1530-1630
TV and radio presenter Adrian Chiles’s name may be synonymous with football, but his real passion is food. He likes nothing better than to cook up a storm in the kitchen for family and friends.

Adrian will be hearing inspiring tales from two extraordinary people with life changing food stories to tell. We will record two editions of BBC Radio 4’s One to One series for broadcast later in the year.

BBC Gardeners’ World Question Time
Monday 4 May, 1130-1230
Gardeners’ World is one of BBC television's best loved and most popular programmes and it is made in Bristol. The show’s horticultural brains work tirelessly behind the scenes to come up with clever ideas, top tips, sage advice and timely reminders to get the most out of your garden whatever the size or wherever it is. This is a unique opportunity to put your questions to some of the Gardeners' World team and get those green fingers twitching.

A tribute to Jane Grigson – BBC Radio 4 Food Programme Special
Monday 4 May, 1330-1430
The life, food and legacy of Jane Grigson – the self-taught cook whose books and journalism changed British food culture – will be explored in a panel discussion chaired by Sheila Dillon, host of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme. Her guests will include best-selling food writers Diana Henry and Geraldene Holt, who will talk about the contents of recently uncovered archive material. They’ll be joined by the award winning chef Shaun Hill who has worked his way through Grigson’s books and also cooked for her.

This event will be recorded for a special edition of The Food Programme to mark the 25th anniversary of someone who is being rediscovered by a new generation of cooks and writers.

Really Wild Food with Mike Dilger and friends from the BBC Natural History Unit
Monday 4 May, 1530-1630
Listen to the strangest collection of world food stories you’ll ever hear as naturalist Mike Dilger and some of the team behind the scenes at the BBC Natural History Unit share their weird, wonderful and downright disgusting tales of eating on location in some of the world’s farthest flung lands. With stories of eating krill burgers in the Antarctic to drinking goats’ blood in Ethiopia you may need an iron stomach to enjoy this menu!

In Conversation with Rick Stein – a BBC Radio 4 Food Programme Special
Wednesday 6 May, 1830-1930
Come and hear the inspirational chef, writer and broadcaster Rick Stein talk about his amazing “life in food” for BBC Radio 4 – a journey that has taken him from the seas of Padstow to the four corners of the world. In 1975, Rick and Jill Stein opened The Seafood Restaurant, a decade later he made his first appearance on national television and in 2015 he’ll be exploring the flavours of the Eastern Mediterranean in a new BBC series Rick Stein: From Venice to Istanbul.

The presenter of The Food Programme, Sheila Dillon, will take Rick and the audience on a 40-year culinary journey, with stories covering taste, travel and television.

All these events take place in the Imax Theatre at Bristol Aquarium

Tickets are free and limited to 4 per person per show. Tickets can be collected in advance or posted by sending an SAE to: Bristol Tourist Information Centre, E Shed, 1 Canons Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX. (Please note that SAEs must be received by 27 April 27 2015 in order to be posted in time). Please be clear about what show(s) you are booking tickets for. Email, go online at or call the Tourist Information Centre on 0906 711 2191 (calls cost 50p per minute plus network charges.) 


Notes to Editors

The BBC Bristol City Partnership was first formalised in 2009 to recognise and build on the decades-long relationship between the BBC and Bristol. The Partnership confirms the BBC’s commitment to Bristol, working to help create new opportunities and an environment in which creative entrepreneurship can thrive.