The past couple of weeks during my commute to and from work I have listened to all three series of Jessie Ware’s “Table Manners” podcast. I am a big fan of Jessie Ware’s music and have been to see her perform several times, so I can’t believe it took me this long to discover she had a podcast, especially one all about food! Jessie describes the content of her podcast as “food, family and the art of having a chat”. In each episode, Jessie and her lovely Mum, Lennie, provide their special guest with a delicious home-cooked meal whilst they chat over the dinner table. Their guests range from pop stars and actors to top chefs and politicians. There have been a couple of guests featured that I’ve not heard of before and could have easily skipped through, but I’m glad I haven’t as each person has been so different and had something really interesting to say. I’d never heard of rapper Loyle Carner and I found his episode fascinating. He has ADHD and uses cooking as a form of meditation and calmness, in London he has opened a special cookery school just for children with ADHD, which I thought was great!
Not everyone on the programme would describe themselves as a foodie, but most people on the podcast appreciate a good meal and have fond memories of different foods whilst growing up. It made me laugh hearing about Sam Smith’s late night peanut butter and jam bagels that his Gran would wake him up for. How the gorgeous Michelle Keegan, although a keen foodie, has a filthy habit of chicken chow mien topped with mayonnaise – god knows where she puts it! Ed Sheeran admits to being called 3 puddings Ed and uses my favourite quote of the series “why have abs when you can have kebabs!”
Now for the food, this is largely cooked by Jessie’s Mum, but Jessie often contributes as does her brother Alex who never actually appears on the show but his desserts sound unreal! All the food on the show sounds divine, with the exception of Jessie’s over marinated ribs which resulted in them having to order in! Jessie really raves about her Mum’s chicken soup, which she makes from boiling a hen and then reserves the juices. In the episode with Chef Yotam Ottolenghi they have pan-fried turbot, which Yotam ends up cooking himself but Jessie serves it up with a gorgeous side of asparagus, pistachio, mint, lemon and olive oil. Food Critic Jay Rayner is served up Jessie’s brothers delectable lemon tart and he is thoroughly impressed! There has been talk of a Table Manners cookbook and I really do hope it materialises as there’s plenty of dishes I’d love to get the recipe for. I had a stab at cooking the Ottolenghi inspired potatoes Jessie makes for Michelle Keegan and they were a lovely addition to our weekend BBQ.
Each show is wrapped up by Jessie asking what the guest’s death row meal would be, or as Lennie would rather put it “the last meal you have before being swept off to a desert island.” Proper chippy fish and chips seem to be a popular choice. Then referring to the title of the podcast, Jessie asks the guest what they think the worst table manner a person can possess is, with many people going with phones at the table and being rude to restaurant staff.
If you don’t mind a bit (or I should probably correct this to “a lot”) of swearing, Table Manners podcast by Jessie Ware is definitely worth checking out, it makes my commute to work much more exciting and a million times more hungry!