Far be it from us to start gushing about high street supermarkets, and obviously other high street supermarkets are available, but everything Waitrose does comes with the implicit promise that it’s going to be a little bit nicer than the equivalent own-brand product you’d have got elsewhere. It’s a little present to yourself.
Its podcast, Dish, has that feel. The idea is that it’s a dinner party with a different famous type each time, and exactly the kind of unguarded, daft conversation which any decent dinner party usually degenerates into with the appropriate company and drinks. Hartnett, the Michelin-starred chef, wisely takes charge of the cooking to put together a different dish every time; Grimshaw does the glad-handing, sous-cheffing and sommeliering.
That isn’t to say that it’s over-polished or prim: hosts Nick Grimshaw and Angela Hartnett’s skill is in making each episode sound like you’re earwigging on their conversation with a famous friend having been sat next to them in a restaurant, or perhaps that you can hear their conversation floating through the kitchen window. Here’s where to start.
S1 E1: Nick and Angela
It’s an obvious place to start, but given that you’ll be spending a whole lot of time with Grimshaw and Hartnett from here on out it’s an essential grounding in their attitudes to food and where they’re coming from. This first dish is a pea and pancetta risotto, with a side of memories of Hartnett’s time being lambasted by Gordon Ramsey for making a hash of a terrine and sending butter flying everywhere from a stand mixer. “And as I’m cleaning down in my panic, I switched the freezer off,” Hartnett remembers. “So then I start melting the ice creams for lunch, everything.” It’s reassuring to know that even extremely good chefs have literal and metaphorical meltdowns when the pressure’s on. Plus: the insider knowledge of which famous people are famous enough to demand takeaway from Hartnett’s restaurant. Harrison Ford is a big yes, as are Cher and Claudia Winkleman. Sting’s touch and go.
S2 E1: Rylan Clark
Everyone’s favourite X Factor dud turned all-round presenting and chatting geezer is a national treasure in the making, and his visit to Hartnett and Grimshaw wanders typically quickly from the point and onto the many types of wildlife making themselves at home chez Clark. That includes a one-legged pheasant he found using his treadmill, and the snake which he found staring him down in the kitchen. Obviously he asked Instagram what to do.
“Half of them were saying, ‘It’s a grass snake, it’s more frightened of you.’ The other half were saying, ‘My dad’s a vet and it’s gonna kill you.’” Panicking, Rylan called his gardener to come and sort the snake out, which had gone missing again. “So I’m in a boiler suit I once wore on X Factor, tucked into a pair of UGG boots. And it was boiling as well, it was like 30, 40 degrees out. So he’s opened up the bi-folds. It was like Cilla Black’s ‘Moment of Truth.’”
He lived to tell the tale, clearly, and to wolf down the beer and burger Hartnett prepared for him.
S3 E7: Aisling Bea
The slightly luvvie-ish chat about how Aisling bumped into Grimshaw while he was getting a facial in Los Angeles – “gym-ed out, with his face absolutely pummelled and worked on” – soon turns into a deep dive into Bea’s extremely extensive knowledge of potatoes as they tuck into tuna niçoise and its natural counterpart, a nice whisky. If you’ve ever wondered exactly how to become a potato farmer, Bea has some sound but kind of gross advice: “How you do it is you just cut an old potato in half, let it dry out, and then – this sounds disgusting – its eyes will become its legs and then the eyes are to grow into a bit of soil, and then another potato comes out of the potato.”
To learn more about Angela and Nick, their love of podcasts, and the show read our interview in Issue 29 of the Pod Bible Magazine now!