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.

‘Terribly chic’: how to make chouquettes

I have become obsessed with the French idea of goûter, the time in the afternoon when French schoolchildren have a sweet treat to tide them over from the end of the school day until dinner. It’s just teatime, really, a pause for an afternoon snack – my kid has the same, but we don’t have

How to make ham and parsley sauce

Poor old parsley sauce. As someone who writes regularly about old-fashioned food, it often feels that we are living through a golden revival of vintage dishes. You can’t move for cookbook concepts pinned on comfort and nostalgia, or restaurants attempting to take the diner on some kind of Proustian journey. Whether it’s nursery food, school

How Linzer torte stood the test of time

Linzer torte has quite the claim to fame: some assert that it’s the oldest cake in the world; others that it’s the oldest to be named after a place. It feels churlish to split hairs, but those two assertions are quite different, aren’t they? In any event, it’s certainly very old. For a long time

Tricky but delicious: how to make the perfect pretzels

My husband is obsessed with pretzels. The joy that a slightly warm, soft baked pretzel brings him is disproportionate. And, unlike in Germany and the States, where soft pretzels are ubiquitous, they are hard to come by here. So, for a while I have been trying to perfect the pretzel. It has not been smooth

With Gennaro Contaldo

24 min listen

Gennaro Contaldo is an Italian chef, cookbook author and television presenter. He is also known as Jamie Oliver’s mentor and Antonio Carluccio’s travel partner on Two Greedy Italians. His latest cookbook Gennaro’s Verdure – which celebrates seasonal vegetables – is out now.  On the podcast he tells Liv and Lara about his upbringing on the Amalfi coast, what

The contradictory brilliance of Boston cream pie

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but perhaps you can teach it old tricks. When I embarked on making a Boston cream pie, I thought I knew it all when it came to sponge cakes. I’d creamed butter and sugar, using elbow grease and a wooden spoon or employing the horsepower

You are what you don’t eat

If asked to think about food preservation for a moment you might picture an aproned woman boiling oranges for marmalade in a large copper maslin pan; or vegetable scraps being turned into stock; or those recipes from wartime rationing using root veg in place of sugar; or even, with an eye to the modern, you

Olivia Potts

With Alex Jackson

28 min listen

Alex Jackson is the founder of Sardine and currently head chef at Noble Rot, Soho. His cookbook Frontières: the food of France’s borderlands is available now.  On the podcast, he tells Lara and Liv why the smell of chip fat reminds him of home, how his interest in cooking was ignited during time spent at university France,

‘Delicious, not glamorous’: how to make a pot roast

A pot roast is probably the antithesis of glamorous cooking. But that’s also sort of the point. For as long as we’ve been cooking meat, we’ve looked for ways to make the tougher cuts more tender and succulent. It’s the kind of cooking that every culture around the world has developed individually, a way of

With Thomas Robson-Kanu

29 min listen

Thomas ‘Hal’ Robson-Kanu is former professional footballer who was part of the Welsh team that reached the semi finals of Euro 2016, thanks largely to a memorable goal he scored against tournament favourites Belgium. He is also the founder of The Turmeric Co. On the podcast, Thomas tells Lara and Liv how his Welsh and Nigerian

Chelsea buns are the best of all buns

The Chelsea bun was first baked in the Bun House in Chelsea in the 18th century. It was a bakery which found particular favour with the Hanoverian royal family, as its pastries were reminiscent of those from whence they came. But these buns were for everyman: they were customarily bought by the poor on Good

With Professor Charles Spence

34 min listen

Professor Charles Spence is an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on how an in-depth understanding of the human mind will lead to the better design of multi-sensory foods and products. He is the author of several books including his most recent, Sensehacking: How to Use the Power of Your Senses for Happier,

How to (correctly) make a Cornish pasty

When it comes to traditional food, there is always regional pride to contend with. Many recipes are intrinsically connected to the area from which they have sprung: Pontefract cakes, Chelsea buns, Lancashire hotpot, Welsh rarebit. They represent heritage and tradition – edible history. You must tread carefully to avoid offending regional heritage, or just making

With Edward Stourton

25 min listen

Edward Stourton is a broadcaster who has worked as foreign correspondent for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN. He is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Program, and presented the Today Program for ten years. He has authored eight books including his most recent, Sunday: A History of Religious Affairs through 50 Years of Conversations

‘The perfect winter snack’: how to make flammekueche

There are times in the year that call for snacks. Rather than embracing the various diets and other forms of self-flagellation that sweep over us at the start of the year, we need every joy we can get during endless January, with its dark, short days and cold nights. Right now, we are in such

With Alexandra Collier

24 min listen

Alexandra Collier is a Melbourne-based writer who has written for theatre, screen and print. She is a MacDowell fellow and a recipient of the RE Ross Trust playwrites’ award. Her memoir Inconceivable, about her journey to becoming a solo Mum by choice, is out now.  On the podcast she tells Lara and Liv why restaurants are

With Philip Hensher

31 min listen

Philip Hensher is a novelist and regular contributor to The Spectator’s books pages. His books cover a variety of subjects and often deal with important historical change, such as the fall of the Berlin wall and the war in Afghanistan. His most recent novel is To Battersea Park.  On the podcast, he discusses how he developed an affection

With Michel Roux Jr

29 min listen

Michel Roux Jr. is an English-French chef and is the chef patron of Le Gavroche, the first restaurant in the UK to received one, two and then three Michelin stars. Earlier this year it was announced that Le Gavroche will close its doors in January.  On the podcast, he recalls how his father would hand