Have You Heard? is where the Pod Bible team meet the people behind the podcasts you may not have heard of yet. Today we’re profiling a brand new food podcast with a twist. Bitter/Sweet is a beautiful podcast that explores food alongside mini memoir introductions. We spoke to host Natasha…
Tell us who you are and what your podcast is about – give us you elevator pitch!
Bitter/Sweet, is a six part podcast series, which explores how food connects us to our deepest memories. I introduce each episode with a personal story of my own before inviting the guests to share a profound moment in their lives, involving an evocative meal and share why it was so meaningful for them. They take us on an intimate journey into the fusion of flavours and layers of aroma, taste and texture that embrace that memory and brings their story alive. In one episode, restaurateur Jeremy King talks about how the generosity of an unexpected meal in France over 40 years ago had a profound effect on his life. In another episode, creative director Anna Burns recalls how a spicy bowl of noodles helped her to gain control over her life when she was a lost teenager in Cambodia.
Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?
I was excited by the medium, how intimate and immersive it could be and was inspired to create a podcast because of that. I was meeting people that I wanted to interview and this seemed like the ideal format for those conversations. I was also drawn to the idea that it could enable me to create something that represented how I saw and experienced the world, something that was unique to me.
This such a personal project, did having a team around you help bring the podcast together or was is difficult to share the work because of the personal connection?
It was a balance of both, sometimes it was tense and other times joyful! I love learning and I was privileged to work with people who have taught me a great deal about the craft of audio storytelling. I didn’t start with the intention of producing the project, in fact I did not know what a producer was or what they did. I became more involved in the process because it felt right to understand and shape the stories that I was a guardian of. My guests had entrusted me with their stories, given me time and offering up their vulnerabilities, the very least I could do was treat them with care, attention and tenderness. In terms of my personal stories the driving force for me was creating a body of work that was authentic, an opportunity for me to speak my truth and share that in the hope that someone could connect to it, feel it!
Were there any podcasts that inspired you?
I listen to a lot of podcasts but I was pretty adamant about not listening to food podcasts and any personal memoir or grief centred podcasts to avoid being influenced by their style and approach. It was important to me that I could hear my voice and remain authentic throughout and be guided by my intuition. I wanted to discover my style and remain true to that. There was a Transom episode with Micha Euceph that impressed me because of its insights about personal story narration and the space that was created with Arwen Nicks.
The revered music podcast Song Exploder is an inspiration for the project because it is deeply interrogative, immersive and compelling. It is also focused on a single narrative.
Who’s your dream listener for the show?
Someone who is thoughtful, reflective, interested in going deeper and experiences the nuances of each episode. Someone who just enjoys and feels the episodes, that can be anyone!
This is essentially a branded podcast, how did you balance the brand with the storytelling?
The brand is a distillation of the things that excite me; food, emotions and memories, now more so than ever! So I view this project as a continuation of the brand but perhaps a more personal and intimate expression of Miller Libertine.