Lots of drawings of desserts including a large jelly and trifle.


Feeding Our Children

The way we think and feel about food as children can dramatically influence our lifelong relationship with it. Early exposure to different tastes and textures makes a huge difference. Consider the politics and practicalities of feeding children with award winning food writer, broadcaster and chair of TastEd Bee Wilson, chef Gita Mistry, headteacher Jason O’Rourke and nutritionist Anna S Ólafsdóttir. Chaired by Sheila Dillon.

Gita Mistry, the founder of Gita Mistry Food, started her entrepreneurial career at the tender age of 13 when she invited the public to ‘Enjoy a Gita Mistry Curry in the luxury of your home'. This was before the days of home-delivery food in Bradford. She is the first Asian competitor in the UK to win a major TV cooking competition (BBC’s Britain’s Best Home Cook). The Times’s food correspondent described Gita’s food as ‘better than sex’.

Jason O’Rourke is the headteacher of Washingborough Academy, Lincolnshire. During the 10 years that he has been there, the school has gained national and international recognition for the curriculum it has developed, which puts healthy living and food education at the forefront of children’s learning. One of Jason’s first transformations when he arrived at the school was to create a children’s kitchen. It sits in the heart of the school and everything is at a child’s height. It is used to teach children cookery so that by the time they leave primary school they are able to create 10 meals.

Anna S Ólafsdóttir is Professor of Nutrition Sciences at the School of Education, University of Iceland. She has a PhD in Nutrition Science from University of Iceland and a master’s degree in the same subject from University of Vienna, Austria. Her research includes dietary behaviour in relation to weight management, body composition and lifestyle. She has researched the value of school meals and family-focused treatments for obesity.

Sheila Dillon has been a food journalist for more than three decades. She has worked on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, first as a reporter, then producer and now presenter. In her early days on the programme she produced groundbreaking editions on BSE – mad cow disease and its connections to our desire for cheap food, the rise of GM foods, the growth of the organic movement from muck and magic to multi-million pound business, and the birth of the World Trade Organization. Recent programmes on childhood poverty, a look at the world in 2030 when Carolyn Steel, author of Sitopia, is Prime Minister, the glory of British pies, diet and cancer, and the inadequacies of medical training when doctors are faced every day with diet-induced diseases, carry on the tradition.


On Restaurants


Join leading chefs and restaurateurs as they discuss the politics, challenges, inequalities, changes and motivators facing dining culture and the extra pressures caused by the global pandemic. With Dr Asma Khan, whose all-women team at her acclaimed restaurant Darjeeling Express have challenged a traditionally male arena. Alongside her are Tim Anderson of Brixton’s Nanban, and Jimi Famurewa, restaurant critic for ES Magazine. Chaired by Tim Hayward.


Borough Market presents Trading Places: Will COVID-19 change our relationship with food forever?

Lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic have put the challenges and pressure-points of where, and how, we get our food into sharp focus. This event in partnership with Borough Market considers how consumers have access to ‘good’, ‘healthy’ or ‘cheap’ food in our mid/post COVID-19 world, and explores the role of supermarkets, local markets, community shops, delivery services, small producers and more.

With managing director at Borough Market Darren Henaghan; founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust Patrick Holden; food writer Jenny Linford and Bite Back 2030 youth activist Tasha Mhakayakora. Chaired by Food Season guest director Angela Clutton.

Darren Henaghan is Managing Director of Borough Market. Borough Market is rich with history, but it remains as relevant now as it has ever been. As London’s oldest food market, it has been serving the people of Southwark for 1,000 years, and that extraordinary heritage is an important part of its appeal.

Patrick Holden is founder and chief executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, an organisation working internationally to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable food systems.

Jenny Linford is a food writer and author of over 15 books including The Missing Ingredient - the Curious Role of Time in Food and Flavour, an innovative exploration of time, the 'invisible' ingredient, and The Chef's Library, featuring the favourite cookbook choices of over seventy acclaimed international chefs.

Tasha Mhakayakora is co-chair of the Bite Back 2030 Youth Board. Tasha is 18, from Lewisham and is an asylum seeker from Zimbabwe. She is passionate about changing the way we talk about obesity and creating equal opportunities for everyone to have access to healthier food options. In 2015 Tasha encouraged her school to sign up to the Sugar Smart Pledge and is keen to join Bite Back and finish what she started. Bite Back 2030 is a youth led movement who want healthy, nutritious food to be an option for every child and young person, because it matters to their health.


Jewish Food: Claudia Roden and Simon Schama in Conversation

Accompanying the British Library's onsite Hebrew Manuscripts exhibition, food writer Claudia Roden and historian Simon Schama draw from their research and personal experience to discuss the history, evolution and culture of Jewish food.

Chaired by Lucy Silver. Claudia Roden is a cookbook writer and anthropologist based in the UK. She grew up in Cairo and studied in both Paris and London. She has published multiple bestsellers including the international award-winning The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkandand Vilna to the Present Day.

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University; the author of 19 books including Landscape and Memory, and writer/ presenter of over 50 TV films for the BBC. His latest series, The Romantics and Us, will air on BBC2 in mid September.

Lucy Silver (Chair) was born in Glasgow and studied literature, philosophy, art history and psychology at London University. She trained and worked as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and was attached to the counselling service at UCL for ten years. She has been Co Chair of Jewish Book Week since 2011 and directed the festival from 2014 to 2018.


Mood Food: Jack Monroe and Kimberley Wilson

Jack Monroe has transformed debates about food, poverty, mental health and more in the UK since her breakthrough Cooking on a Bootstrap blog. Now she is one of our most popular food writers, but still offering a very personal take on modern life. Monroe talks to Kimberley Wilson, a chartered psychologist whose work looks at the role food and lifestyle plays in our mental health, including disordered eating, the gut-brain axis and our emotional relationship with food. Guardian writer Zoe Williams chairs this frank and informative event about food, diet and mental health.


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: You, Food and the Planet

In a special event to launch the British Library Food Season, chef, writer and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall talks about sustainability, food provenance and wellbeing with award-winning food writer Bee Wilson, filmed from the iconic River Cottage. As the new decade brings new levels of anxiety about our health – and the planet’s – Hugh wants to discuss, among other things, the importance of a good meal, a good walk and a good story. Chaired by Food Season founder and curator Polly Russell.


Voice in Cookery Writing: Nigella Lawson, Ella Risbridger and Bee Wilson

A recipe is so much more than a set of instructions; it is a story, an experience waiting to happen. We explore the role of voice, narrative and storytelling in cookery books with three fantastic food writers. With Nigella Lawson, Ella Risbridger and Bee Wilson.