Features & Stories

‘Cooking the Books’ podcast featuring Parwana and Seafood Shack

We know you love cookbooks. And we know that you enjoy hearing about the people, places, and stories behind the books at least as much as you love cooking the recipes within them. Which is why we think you will love the ‘Cooking The Books’ podcast.

Each week, Brighton-based food journalist Gilly Smith invites a food luminary onto her show to define, discuss, and detail four defining moments from their book. It’s a great listen.

We’ll be teaming up with Gilly from time to time, so asked her for the lowdown…

Connecting the dots

“‘Cooking the Books’ is about connecting the dots. It’s for food lovers who want to hear something more profound about the way we live,” Gilly explains. “For every episode, I choose authors who have something powerful to say about food and then I get them to talk about sustainability, or about a strong connection to a food memory. Everything is utterly delicious and totally delightful – but it’s also completely inspiring at the same time.”

Interviewees have included Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage talking about their book Flavour; Felicity Cloake on her two-wheeled tour de France outlined in One More Croissant for the Road; Kirsty Scobie and Fenella Renwick on their award-winning book The Seafood Shack; groundbreaking American chef Dan Barber on his food manifesto The Third Plate – the list goes on.

Gilly talking food with Yotam Ottolenghi

Gilly talking food with Yotam Ottolenghi

Gilly had been pondering the idea for the podcast for some time, but it nearly didn’t happen. “People had been encouraging me for ages, but I didn’t think I could. I thought that in order to do a podcast and get traction, you had to be ‘someone’. As a journalist, to put yourself at the center is a real leap. But then I went and bit the bullet…”

Melissa Hemsley was her first big interview and, since then, other top names have followed. ‘Cooking the Books’ has just celebrated its first birthday by hitting a global ranking which puts it in the top 10 per cent of all podcasts.


Bringing good things together

From time to time, ckbk and ‘Cooking the Books’ will be working together to give a combined offering: something auditory, something visual – and recipes to cook in your kitchen, too.

“It’s a really lovely way of bringing it all together,” says Smith, and we couldn’t agree more.

Listen to the ‘Cooking the Books’ episode with the pair behind The Seafood Shack for a flavor…

The latest ‘Cooking the Books’ episode, released on 25 March, features Afghan food writer Durkhanai Ayubi, author of the brilliant new book, Parwana.

Parwana will be available on ckbk from early April, so watch out for more stories and recipes.

Special offer for Cooking the Books podcast listeners - get 25% off ckbk Premium Membership