Christmas with Angela Harnett & Nick Grimshaw
The renowned chef and popular radio presenter teamed up last year to co-host hit podcast Dish, in which Angela Hartnett steps away from her restaurant Murano to cook for a special guest each week – while Nick Grimshaw keeps the conversation flowing. The dynamic duo talk festive essentials, dream interviewees and what not to eat on air…
What food did you grow up eating?
My mum is a great cook, so we had a lot of home-cooked meals growing up. It was rare that my mum did instant, but I loved butterscotch Angel Delight and occasionally she’d buy us Tizer. We used to get school dinners and they were really good as well. I was lucky.
My brother took my mum and her sister to the sushi restaurant Nobu once. Bear in mind they come from a background of Italians running fish and chip shops, and he took them to a raw fish restaurant. They just couldn’t: the only thing they ate was the chocolate pudding. He’s convinced they left in a taxi and went for fish and chips.
What makes Christmas feel like Christmas to you?
We always make the Italian dish agnolini at Christmas. It’s these little pasta parcels, with a meat filling. You serve it in a broth. And we always have a Christmas pudding-off. We’ll buy a few brands, my friend might make one, then my mum is the taste tester – she’s got a great palate.
What would you like to see change in the world of food and drink?
Customers not turning up or letting you down 24 hours ahead is a bugbear. It’s tough these days. At Murano we had a guest recently ring to cancel late and we said, “We have to charge you,” because we’re only 14 tables. They said “Oh, we’ll come.” They ordered two glasses of wine, water and left. We’re not doing it for vanity. You’re running a business and have salaries to pay. Anyone who’s brave enough to run their own business needs all the support.
"We always have a Christmas pudding-off... My mum is the taster tester"
Who would be your dream podcast guest?
I would love to have actor Brian Cox on the podcast. And Sarah Snook, who plays his daughter in Succession. I would love Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso. Madonna would be great…
What’s your party drink?
My drink is a gin and tonic or negroni, then wine. We might do bubbles – I like sparkling rosé. My friend Valentine Warner, who’s on the podcast this season, makes an amazing martini, but I’m too lazy; bubbles, as is – just pour a glass.
How did launching podcast Dish with Angela come about?
Angela and I were put together like the pop groups Liberty X or Girls Aloud and we got on. My radio work had been youth-focused and I was at a time in my life where I thought, “Do I really want to interview 16-year- old TikTok-ers?” The podcast is fun dinner party food chat – the stuff that my friends and I talk about. We send pictures to each other of recipes or chairs.
What are your earliest memories of food?
My memories of food at home are that we always had to sit at the table together. When I went to uni and everyone ate watching telly, I couldn’t do it! We had roast dinners on a Sunday and Mum still makes a great roast. She used to do girls’ nights, and when I was little I’d always want to be at the dinner party with all the women in their 40s and 50s.
What would we find in your fridge?
Butter, milk and eye masks. Anchovies, cheese, sparkling water, wine. I love sparkling water. My dad used to work in the food industry and bring home faulty bottles of Perrier. As a kid I thought it was really chic, because Max and Susannah had it on the soap opera Brookside. Remember them?
What makes Christmas feel like Christmas to you?
I love Christmas, mainly for the food. Cheese, condiments, pâté, crackers – not the exploding kind! I love a pork pie with mustard, Christmas pud, mince pies. My Christmas non-negotiable is cheese and wine, on a Tuesday at 1pm, for no reason.
What’s your drink of choice?
I love a Guinness or a lager. If I’m celebrating, I’d probably have sparkling wine or a dirty martini – but I have to be in the right frame of mind.
"My Christmas non-negotiable is cheese and wine – on a Tuesday at 1pm"
What do you cook when you have guests?
This sounds depressing, but I love a good salad. One with loads of stuff in it – a proper substantial salad. I made one the other night: tomato, capers, grated garlic, red onion. I put bits of bread in it, like a panzanella, and roasted a chicken.
And from your years of broadcasting experience… Is there anything you really shouldn’t eat on air?
Do you know what’s bad to eat on the radio? Chocolate. It really dries your mouth out. I think we need a button we can press when we’re making Dish that plays [sings elevator-style music] while we eat. You’ve got to eat when the guest is talking: ask them a big question, like “Tell me about your childhood…”
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