It’s 1pm on a Wednesday. The sun pours through the window behind me, highlighting the finger smudges on the screen of my iMac. To my left, a half-eaten Portuguese tart casts a shadow across my desk’s surface.
It’s 1pm on a Wednesday and I’ve already skipped lunch for the second time this week. Ironic, considering I instead spent those hours editing Set Meals, a food podcast founded and hosted by myself and my good friend (and fellow food enthusiast) Taylor Fawcett.
Set Meals is a food show rooted in authentic conversations surrounding mealtimes. It’s a concept born from our shared passion for good food and eating out—as well as a way to justify our frankly excessive Deliveroo habits.
Taylor and I both work in the creative industries: he as a freelance editor and I as a (self-professed) Jack of all Trades. Through our work, we’ve ended up eating everything from Michelin starred dinners with clients to absolutely harrowing chicken salads on set (see: Set Meals). Years of swapping tales of food wins and woes via WhatsApp voice notes began to pile up, leaving us searching for a new outlet to properly catalogue our ever pressing food thoughts. Coupled with the strong relationship I’d formed with the great people at Stakhanov over the past few years, Set Meals was born.
Each episode of Set Meals is no longer than 30 minutes and is split into two distinct halves: a news section and a restaurant section. At the top of our show, we update our audience on the various food ups and downs we’ve been subjected to that week: new KFC menu items, the future of food delivery tech, and so on. During this segment we ask questions and dissect the food world as we see it. The second half is our restaurant section, which is an account of a visit to a restaurant of our choosing. All varying in reputation and regard. This part of the show is dedicated to producing as honest a restaurant review as possible—no bullshit, no airs and graces, from ordering, to getting stuck in, to tipping (or not tipping, if things go badly wrong).
Although we don’t claim to be any sort of food experts, we do enjoy it immensely. And, coupled with our shared ability to edit, our understanding of creative narrative and having a good ear (and eye), we thought we were well served to make something we’d want to listen to over the pompous food media we’re all accustomed to. It also doesn’t hurt that we live in one of the greatest food cities on Earth and we fully intend to make the most of it!
And while podcasts are generally a strictly auditory experience, we believe that Set Meals’ visuals are just as key. Audio is great when it comes to clueing people in on a restaurant’s atmosphere, but visuals will sell them the dish. With that being said, we’ve treated our social channels as a food diary to be savoured alongside the show.