There was big excitement at the cottage when I learned that Spices, one of the Foodtalk documentaries that I presented for Newstalk, is a nominee for the 2010 Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards! These awards celebrate the very best in international food publishing and broadcasting. With a total of 700 entries across 21 categories, now whittled down to 181 nominations, it is a true honour to make it this far. Spices is nominated in the best food/drink radio programme category alongside six other programmes from Australia and America.
The programme, which was presented by Kevin Thornton and myself, featured Carmel Somers of the Good Things Café in Durrus together with Green Saffron‘s Arun Kapil. Spices was just one of the six programmes in a documentary series that was first broadcast on Newstalk from December 2010 to January 2009 and produced by Soundsdoable, a small, inspirational independent production company. Gents, I love your work!
I was fortunate enough to be involved in the Foodtalk series from an early stage. Together with Soundsdoable, I worked on putting the pieces together during the non-summer of 2008 and spent that golden autumn driving around the country to interview amazing people about the food that they love. That was occasionally stressful – sometimes journeys took far longer than anticipated! – but also a fascinating learning experience and enormous fun.
We also spent two incredible days in Kevin Thornton’s kitchen, recording the sounds of him cooking: cream boiling, knives sharpening, the sizzle of frying tuna, the crunch of a lobster shell being penetrated by a knife. It was like having a personal cooking class from the best chef in the country, with the added benefit of getting to eat the finished product. Noisettes of venison, flambéed with Madeira? Yes please!
The recordings gathered together, my producer got to work and I have to credit him with having the vision to produce such an amazing finished piece. He wove the interviews with the people featured, evocative introductions that I wrote and recorded, chats between myself and Kevin and the sound of Kevin’s kitchen with beautiful original music into a dream-like, seamless whole. I loved working on this series, getting to talk to many amazing people and – always important – getting to eat the very best food.
Fingers crossed for Monday, 3 May, when the results will be announced at an awards ceremony in Adelaide.