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The Menu

Our guide to the world of food, drink and entertaining, The Menu serves up interviews with the world’s most creative chefs, introduces the makers behind the scenes and the ingredients that will soon be landing on your restaurant table.

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Food Neighbourhoods #373: George Town, Malaysia:

George Town is the vibrant capital of the Malaysian Island of Penang. The bustling city was once an important trading hub within the Straits of Malacca and over the years has been influenced by a variety of cultures, which have transformed George Town’s food scene into the eclectic culinary destination it is today. Here, Monocle’s Lilian Fawcett takes us on a gastronomic tour of the Unesco world heritage site. Take a listen.

Latest episodes

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27 Feb 2024
6 min

Food Neighbourhoods #373: George Town, Malaysia 

George Town is the vibrant capital of the Malaysian Island of Penang. The bustling city was once an important trading hub within the Straits of Malacca and over the years has been influenced by a variety of cultures, which have transformed George Town’s food scene into the eclectic culinary destination it is today. Here, Monocle’s Lilian Fawcett takes us on a gastronomic tour of the Unesco world heritage site. Take a listen.

DownloadPlay
61423 Feb 2024
34 min

The sweet stuff 

This week’s episode is dedicated to all things sugary. Monocle’s Paige Reynolds meets with maverick baker Lily Vanilli, whose creations have appeared everywhere from fashion-week events to Elton John’s birthday party. Also in the programme: Michael Booth visits one of Provence’s best-known nougatiers and Fernando Augusto Pacheco joins us in the studio for a biscuit-themed edition of ‘The Global Countdown’.

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20 Feb 2024
5 min

Food Neighbourhoods #372: Aksaray 

Monocle’s Hannah Lucinda Smith heads to Istanbul’s vibrant Aksaray district to discover the city’s lesser-known international food scene. Here, we wander Aksaray’s sprawling backstreets to taste everything from Uzbek to Senegalese cuisine.

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61316 Feb 2024
32 min

The Finnish love of rye, Valle Isarco wines and chef Jean-Philippe Blondet 

We sit down with Jean-Philippe Blondet, the executive chef at London’s Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, to ask what it takes to cook at the highest possible level. Plus: Petri Burtsoff explains why rye holds such cultural significance in Finland and Ivan Carvalho heads to the Valle Isarco in the foothills of the Italian Alps to find out why the region is becoming increasingly popular for wine.

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13 Feb 2024
9 min

Food Neighbourhoods #371: Avignon 

The southern French city of Avignon is internationally known for its annual summer cultural festival. For more than half of the 14th century, it was also home to the Roman Catholic papacy. Its culinary reputation, however, is often overshadowed by two neighbouring cities: Lyon and Marseille. In this episode, Monocle’s Michael Booth visits the Provençal city to unearth some of its specialties, which range from unique pastries and archeological cheeses to a delicious lamb recipe.

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6129 Feb 2024
32 min

‘A Book about Bread’, Clyde’s Fine Diner and Domaine de Mourchon 

We sit down with Dutch baker Issa Niemeijer-Brown, who tells us about his new book, ‘A Book about Bread’. Also in the programme: Monocle’s Tomos Lewis visits Clyde’s Fine Diner in Des Moines, Iowa, and finds out more about the city’s growing culinary scene. Plus: Michael Booth heads to the Rhône valley to meet UK winemaker Kate McKinlay.

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6 Feb 2024
5 min

Food Neighbourhoods #370: Tainan 

Taiwan might be a small island but its culinary staples, such as beef noodle soup and bao buns, are soaring in popularity worldwide. And there’s a rich diversity of regional cuisines that have yet to travel beyond its shores. Monocle’s Naomi Xu Elegant takes a trip to the southern city of Tainan to explore its unique food and drink scene.

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6112 Feb 2024
33 min

Glenfiddich and Club des Chefs des Chefs 

We sit down with Struan Grant Ralph of Glenfiddich to savour the past and future of the heritage whiskey brand. Plus: Monocle’s Christopher Cermak joins us in the studio to discuss the world’s most exclusive gastronomic circle: the Club des Chefs des Chefs.

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30 Jan 2024
7 min

Food Neighbourhoods #369: Weserstrasse, Berlin 

While the cool folk of Berlin can be found in all corners of the German capital, there’s one particular boulevard where they are known to congregate. Weserstrasse, in the heart of the Neukölln district, is a street where the food and drink offerings have stepped up to the city’s demands. Monocle’s Paige Reynolds takes us on a tour.

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61026 Jan 2024
35 min

Chef Daniel Humm, Lộ Quậy Singapore and St Moritz’s culinary scene 

We sit down with acclaimed chef Daniel Humm, of Eleven Madison Park in New York, to hear more about his new food-and-art book, ‘Eat More Plants’, released with publishing icon Gerhard Steidl. Plus: we sample new Vietnamese opening Lộ Quậy Singapore and hit the slopes of St Moritz to find out how the hallowed resort tempts discerning palates in winter.

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23 Jan 2024
7 min

Food Neighbourhoods #368: Sankthanshaugen, Oslo 

From sweet and spongy cinnamon buns with strong cups of coffee to fresh local seafood, there is no shortage of culinary delights in Oslo. Here, Nora Hoel wanders the popular neighbourhood of Sankthanshaugen to show us the best her hometown has to offer. Take a listen.

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60919 Jan 2024
32 min

A postcard from Shoreditch 

We are staying close to our studios in London this week for a tour of a neighbourhood that keeps evolving in culinary matters. Shoreditch in east London has long been a great place to eat. Its refined restaurants often set the pace for the rest of the city – and beyond.

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16 Jan 2024
6 min

Food Neighbourhoods #367: Burgundy 

We head to the Côte d’Or in Central France, which is known as the epicentre of the nation’s fine wine production. Its offerings, however, extend well beyond just wine. From triple-cream cheeses and truffles to honey and ham, there is no shortage of culinary delights to be enjoyed in the region. Monocle’s Liv Kessler takes us on a winding roadtrip from the Côte de Nuits to the Côte de Beaune. 

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60812 Jan 2024
33 min

‘The Cheese Life’, Austria’s soybean revival and Sentia 

We sit down with Mathew Carver and Patrick McGuigan, authors of ‘The Cheese Life’, to discuss the obsession with the ingredient and try some delicious British cheeses. Plus: Monocle Radio’s Mariella Bevan speaks to scientist David Nutt, co-founder of Sentia spirits, an alcohol-free alternative designed to capture the relaxation that comes with drinking without the alcohol, and Alexei Korolyov looks back at the surprising history of soybeans in Austria. 

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9 Jan 2024
7 min

Food Neighbourhoods #366: Rebellious Wine Club, London 

This week we head to Rebellious Wine Club in London, an ongoing series of wine tastings hosted by some of the most exciting women working in the UK wine industry. Its aim? To debunk some of the more common wine myths and rules, while keeping things relaxed – and maybe even a little bit mischievous. Monocle’s Mae-Li Evans went along to Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings in Clerkenwell to find out more.

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