Olivia Potts

Olivia Potts

Olivia Potts is a former criminal barrister who retrained as a pastry chef. She co-hosts The Spectator’s Table Talk podcast and writes Spectator Life's The Vintage Chef column. A chef and food writer, she was winner of the Fortnum and Mason's debut food book award in 2020 for her memoir A Half Baked Idea.

How doughnuts took over my life

For almost a decade, doughnuts ruled my life. When I first began baking professionally, I fell into doughnut-making. It was entirely my own fault: after graduating from culinary school, I decided the best thing I could do to improve my pastry skills was to bake regularly. So I knocked together a product and price list

Olivia Potts

No nonsense in the kitchen

I rather bristle at newspaper column collections. They strike me as a bit lazy, a cheat’s way of getting another book under the belt, often just in time for the gift-giving season. When it comes to Rachel Cooke’s Kitchen Person, however, I have to eat my words. It draws from the 14 years of monthly

With Celia Walden

17 min listen

Celia Walden is a journalist, novelist and critic whose most recent novel, The Square, is out now. On the podcast she tells Lara and Liv why lentils are her ultimate comfort food, explains the joys of a buttered scotch pancake and discloses her husband Piers’ signature dish, ‘spaghetti Morganese’. 

With John Nichol

35 min listen

John Nichol is a former RAF Tornado navigator who, during the first Gulf War in 1991, was famously shot down, paraded on television and held prisoner by Saddam Hussein. John wrote movingly about his experience in his first book, ‘Tornado Down’, and has gone on to write fifteen more best-selling books. His latest, ‘Eject, Eject’, is out now.

Glorious and nostalgic: how to make corned beef pie

A few weeks ago I was at the super-market juggling a toddler, several heavy bags and, it transpired, no pound coin to insert into a trolley. A kind employee came to my rescue: on her key ring was one of those little keys you use to open tins of corned beef, which she deftly inserted

With Ewan Venters

37 min listen

Ewan Venters is the former chief executive of Fortnum & Mason and is now the CEO of Artfarm and Hauser & Wirth. Ewan is launching Artfarm’s first London venture combining food, drink and art which will also mark the revival of the historic Mayfair landmark, The Audley. Presented by Olivia Potts.Produced by Linden Kemkaran.

The timeless beauty of a French apple tart

There is, as the saying goes, more than one way to skin a cat. The same could be said – although rather more appealingly – about the number of ways to make a French apple tart. French apple tarts are ubiquitous in their home country but, despite the umbrella name, no two recipes are the

With Diana Henry

41 min listen

Diana Henry is a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning cook, food writer and author of 12 books including the classic cookbook ‘Roast Figs, Sugar Snow’, which has just been updated and re-released twenty years after it was first published. Diana also writes for newspapers and magazines, and presents food programmes on TV and radio. On this podcast

My two tips for perfect aubergine parmigiana

In the middle of an unpredictable Indian summer, here is a recipe from sultry southern Italy which is suitable for the changing seasons. While aubergine parmigiana (or parmigiana di melanzane) was born of hot Italian summers, it is also perfect for autumn, as the days shorten and darken. There is inherent comfort in the hot,

With Philip Khoury

22 min listen

Philip Khoury became the head pastry chef at Harrods in 2018. He made it his mission to pioneer the creation of plant-based desserts, calling it the ‘last frontier’ of vegan cuisine. He’s just written a book ‘A New Way to Bake’, which came out on 31st August 2023, and which focuses on creating masterpieces out of vegan

India’s century: Sunak’s plan for a new Indo-Pacific alliance

35 min listen

This week: In his cover piece for the magazine, The Spectator’s political correspondent James Heale writes that the PM’s visit to New Delhi for the G20 Summit next week could be a defining moment in the special relationship between Britain and India. He is joined by Shanker Singham, former advisor to UK Secretary of State for International

Tarte tropézienne, the glamorous dessert named by Brigitte Bardot

Is there a more glamorous piece of pâtisserie than the tarte tropézienne? Born in the inherently chic Saint-Tropez, named by Brigitte Bardot on the set of a film before becoming such a cult favourite that it  graces virtually every bakery on the French Riviera, the tarte tropézienne has star quality. But for some reason, it’s

With Sir Nicholas Mostyn

40 min listen

The Hon. Mr Justice Mostyn was a British high court judge who left the Bench just a few weeks ago. Nick Mostyn enjoyed a long and distinguished career and earned the nicknames ‘Mostyn Powers’ and ‘Mr Payout’ after winning vast sums for ex-wives in high-profile divorce cases. Recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he went on to form

Fish and chips: the fast food that made me

The last meal my parents had before I graced the world with my presence was fish and chips, so I like to think it forms part of my origin story. Growing up on the coast, fish and chips featured in all its forms: bags of chips clutched on windy beach walks; takeaway fish suppers brought

Olivia Potts

With James Dreyfus

22 min listen

James Dreyfus is an actor, best known for his roles in TV sitcoms The Thin Blue Line and Gimme Gimme Gimme. James also appeared in the film Notting Hill and has a long and distinguished stage career. On the podcast, James talks about his early memories of food living between France and America; some of the catering throughout his acting

Pavlova: the crumble of summer

Whenever I tell someone that I’m making a pavlova the response is the same: sheer joy. Even the most fervent pudding-denier struggles to resist a slice of pav. It makes sense – fragile, crisp meringue with a tender, mallowy centre, soft waves of cream and some kind of fruit is such a brilliant combination. You

With Ebru Baybara Demir

23 min listen

Ebru Baybara Demir is a Turkish chef with a big dream; to introduce tourism to Mardin, a municipality in the Kurdish region of Turkey. It was a brave decision as Mardin is a city beset by terror-related security issues, boasting very little local agriculture and dealing with huge border problems due to the war in