The Kitchen Cabinet in Neath

Jay Rayner - The Kitchen Cabinet, BBC Radio 4

Jay Rayner hosts The Kitchen Cabinet

BBC Radio 4’s culinary panel programme, The Kitchen Cabinet, opened its’ doors in Neath recently, revealing a panel of food and drink experts assembled to answer questions from the audience on anything and everything to do with food and drink. The Welsh Menu went along to enjoy the evening of good-humoured conversation on cooking and eating.

Hosted by Jay Rayner, the panel on the night included: Peter Barham, the food scientist who is a consultant for Heston Blumenthal and Noma in Copenhagen; Rachel McCormack,the Glaswegian cook who is also an expert on Catalan cooking; Sophie Wright, who at twenty was the UK’s youngest head-chef, is now also a food-writer and runs her own catering company; Tim Hayward, acclaimed food critic, writer, and broadcaster. With Welsh chef, food writer and consultant Angela Gray on hand to offer a local flavour to the discussions, the stage was set for a show that promised to be witty, fast-moving, and irreverent, but packed full of information.

The focus for the evening was very much on local foods and traditions, and Jay Rayner challenged us all to equal, if not improve on, the standard of questions posed at the first show of the series held in Whitstable. Neath responded well, challenging the panel to recommend a new way to eat leeks, offer interesting alternative uses for beetroot and consider the safety in consuming pink pork and delicacies foraged from our shores.

The live audience was also treated to the spectacle of the panelists unwrapping and sampling a take away delivery of traditional faggots and peas and having their first taste of laverbread. Unfortunately listeners will not enjoy the visual spectacle of the poking, prodding and quizzical looks that followed, however a little imagination goes a long away!

The show drew to a close with the panel offering advice to a local family, divided over the burning question of the importance in selecting the right pan for the job. No doubt new…..or old cookware will be on their Christmas list.

We had a thoroughly entertaining evening in Neath and would heartily recommend tuning in to the show to enjoy the banter and learn some really useful tips. The final show of this series is from Cambridgeshire and will be broadcast at 3pm on Tuesday 8th January on BBC Radio 4 .

If you missed the programme from Neath you can now listen on BBC iPlayer –The Kitchen Cabinet Neath
Plus you can catch up with the first series on the BBC iPlayer – The Kitchen Cabin Series 1