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Gilly Smith

Taste and the TV Chef: the launch party starts here

Click here to buy Taste and the TV Chef: how storytelling can save the planet

I used to be such a party girl, but since Lockdown I’m rather enjoying being a more virtual version of myself. Not only does it mean barely ever leaving home, it’s SO much better for the planet. So when it comes to launching my book, packing my Zoom room with some of the most interesting voices in saving the planet through food has been a delight. Click on the links below to join me. But first…

About the book

Taste and the TV Chef is the book I’ve been writing for the last 10 years and thinking about for the last 30. It tells the story of how TV taught us to eat, mainly in Britain although we pop over to America, Australia, Italy and Hungary to pick at the role of food in national identity there too.

From the tiny culinary revolution in 1980s Notting Hill to Britain’s obsession with food, I tell the story of the TV execs who fed us a whole new sense of self by making a meat and two veg kind of country lust over its food. A working subtitle which never made it to the cover was ‘How the Brits got to Wahaca’.

Featuring interviews with just about every player in this extraordinary feat of storytelling, both in front and behind the camera – Jamie Oliver, Nigella, Rick Stein just for starters, I ask if we can do it again, this time not just to look good in front of our peers but to save the planet.  If we are what we eat, a lesser known quote from the man who originally wrote that hackneyed phrase is perhaps more timely: ‘The destiny of nations depends on how they nourish themselves.’  

A romp through the chronology of TV food and a blasting wake up call to change our food system, I hope it will remind us that we all have the power to save our planet three times a day.

So, come and join me in two panel discussions to discuss what stories we need to tell to save the planet.

1 The Influencers

On Friday 18 September 12-1pm, food writer and social media star, Melissa Hemsley, Philip Lymbery, global CEO of at Compassion in World ,Farming Thomasina Miers, founder of Wahaca and champion of cooking from the earliest age and Jo Ralling, head of communications at The Food Foundation join Gilly to discuss influence as we consider how to change the way we eat to save the planet. Click here to watch

2. TV Chefs: Then, Now and Should Be

Olia Hercules, Tom Hunt, James Strawbridge, Romy Gill and Rukmini Iyer join me in a discussion about the influence of TV chefs then and now Click here to watch.

3. The Future of the Farm

And on Monday 21 September 12-1pm, landowner and owner of Glyndebourne Gus Christie joins heritage grains queen, sustainable farmer and recent cover girl of Observer Food Monthly, Abi Aspen Glencross, sustainable B&B host at Starnash Farmhouse and local parish councillor, Vicky Radtke and hyperlocal gourmet chef at Isaac At, George Thomas to discuss food, farming and the future of the planet. Click here to watch


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