BBC Two puts food on the menu this year!

BBC Two puts food on the menu this year in a special season of programmes which look at what the nation eats in more detail than ever before.

Presented by a range of BBC Two talent, including Raymond Blanc, Kate Humble, Giles Coren, Alice Roberts, Lorraine Pascale, Tom Kerridge and the Hairy Bikers, the programmes will look back over 50 years of food history as well as look ahead to what we could all be eating in the future.

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Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, says: "BBC Two has always been the home of great food and this season follows in that rich tradition, with an intelligent, lively range of programmes. Food tells us so much about ourselves, and these shows, packed with content, reveal how the food we put on our plates shapes who we are."

Alison Kirkham, BBC Head of Commissioning for Factual Features and Formats, says: "This is an exciting and rich season of programmes. From how the post war evolution in food has shaped family life; to which extreme diets to adopt if you want to live longer - we show how the food we choose to eat constantly influences the sort of society we live in."

In Back In Time For Dinner, Giles Coren documents the experiences of one family which is fast-forwarded through a 50-year revolution in the way we eat. In Kew On A Plate, two-Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, joined by Kate Humble, will transform an area of the world famous botanical gardens into an historic fruit and vegetable garden. In The Secrets Of Britain’s Favourite Foods, Alice Roberts will reveal the truth behind what food Britain really buys and how these choices affect our bodies and health. The Nation’s Favourite Food, presented by the Hairy Bikers and Lorraine Pascale, will find out Britain’s favourite meals before the chefs give them their own fresh twists. And finally, in Eat To Live Longer with Giles Coren, the food critic takes up three extreme diet regimes in a bid to prolong his life.

Notes to Editors

  • Back In Time For Dinner is a 6x60-minute series made by Wall To Wall. The Executive Producers are Alison Kirkham for the BBC and Leanne Klein for Wall To Wall. Presented by Giles Coren and Polly Russell.
  • Kew On A Plate is a 4x60-minute series for BBC Two made by Lion Televison. The Executive Producers are Alison Kirkham for the BBC and Donna Clark and Richard Bradley for Lion Television. Presented by Raymond Blanc and Kate Humble.
  • Eat to Live Longer with Giles Coren, 1x60, is produced by the BBC and the Executive producer is Lisa Ausden. Presented by Giles Coren.
  • Britain’s Favourite Foods: Are They Good For You?, 1x60’, is made by the BBC and the Executive Producer is Helen Thomas. Presented by Professor Alice Roberts.
  • Britain’s Favourite Meals and How To Cook Them, 1x60’, is made by Ricochet. The Executive Producers are Tom Edwards for the BBC and Simon Knight for Ricochet. Presented by Lorraine Pascale and the Hairy Bikers.
  • Food and Drink produced by BBC Executive Producer Robi Dutta. Presented by Tom Kerridge


Kew On A Plate

For Kew On A Plate, a hugely ambitious 4x60-minute series for BBC Two, the BBC has been granted special permission for two Michelin Starred chef Raymond Blanc to transform an area of Kew into a sumptuous fruit and vegetable garden, which will be created on the site of what was once Queen Victoria’s royal kitchen garden. Raymond will be joined by Kate Humble, and together they will explore the fascinating history and provenance of the heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables that Raymond plans to grow, across all four seasons. Raymond will then go on to cook delicious recipes using the seasonal produce he creates.

The series will unlock the fascinating history of Britain’s fruit and vegetables. Every species of fruit and every type of vegetable that ends up on our plate has its own story – of exploration, obsessive collection, invention, scientific ingenuity, exotic fashion, propaganda and changing tastes. It will also examine the cutting edge science at Kew involving many of these plants and discover what surprising secrets lie beneath their skins.

As Raymond delights over the first new potato harvest of the season, heralding the arrival of spring, Kate explores the roller-coaster history of this most ubiquitous of vegetable; from exotic 16th century marvel, to unloved food for swine, to our most cherished staple.

We’ll learn of the pineapple mania that gripped Britain as people competed to be the first to grow the fruit, sparing no expense in their endeavours; discover how tomatoes were once considered to be highly poisonous; and how a French spy’s discovery in South America lead to the development of our garden strawberry.

We’ll find out how the commercial cultivation of mushrooms began on manure piles in the caverns and mines under Paris, and learn of the obsession that led to the creation of the Gooseberry Clubs of Georgian England.

The series will uncover how the humble turnip helped spark an agricultural revolution, how unscrupulous manufacturers dyed their canned peas a brilliant green using toxic copper sulphate, and how the ingenuity of a twelve year old slave allowed the manufacture of the world’s favourite flavour of ice cream – vanilla.

After the filming, the vegetable garden will be open to the public to come and enjoy a unique opportunity to experience this exciting project first hand.

Kew On A Plate is a 4x60-minute series for BBC Two made by Lion Television. The Executive Producers are Alison Kirkham for the BBC and Donna Clark and Richard Bradley for Lion Television. The series March 16th BBC Two 9.00pm.


Food And Drink

Food And Drink will feature two special episodes as part of the season – Comeback Cuisine and Try Something New.

In the Comeback Cuisine episode, Tom Kerridge is joined by fellow Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc to cook two dishes using ingredients that are disappearing into our culinary past. Raymond recreates a favourite soufflé from his childhood using semolina and heritage apples to rival Tom’s old-fashioned mutton chops with cabbage and turnip gratin: all ingredients that have fallen out of fashion. Oliver Peyton gets the inside track on a distilling revival that’s happening right under our noses, and Andy Bates has another look at rabbit - a meat once popular across the UK.

And in Try Something New, double-Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge and fellow chef Glynn Purnell are challenging each other - and the public - to create brand-new recipes from scratch. Each chef has a set of rules to work by and, whether you’re a recipe slave or someone who makes it up as you go along, by the end of this show you’ll know the secrets to cooking spectacular food from scratch. Drinks expert Joe Wadsack persuades Tom and Glynn to be open-minded and try some red wine from a surprising source - Germany. Meanwhile, Arabella Weir meets a cocktail mixologist who puts chefs to shame when it comes to experimenting with flavour.

Food And Drink is produced by BBC. The Executive Producer is Robi Dutta.