TV and Radio

Podcast Review: Pass the veal and lemon, I'm heading to the River Cafe with Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi really does enjoy chocolate ice cream for breakfast - and who can blame her?

River Cafe Table 4 podcast - Nancy Pelosi

AFTER chancing upon a newspaper feature about Ruth Rogers – the woman who co-founded the River Cafe with her friend Rose Gray and whose "restaurant children" include chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – I turned to her podcast.

It's where Ruth – Ruthie to her friends - interviews famous people about food; their food memories, their favourite foods, the comfort foods that take them back home.

Yes, when she interviewed Nancy Pelosi – former speaker of the US House of Representatives - she may have been itching to talk about Donald Trump but there are rules and when you are at Table 4, you stick to the rules... it's strictly food.

There are plenty of tasty nuggets for the taking.

Pelosi confirms it's no urban myth that she sometimes has chocolate ice cream for breakfast.

Easy, convenient and delicious... what's not to like?

Pelosi grew up in Baltimore as the only daughter and the youngest in a family of seven children.

Once, when her older brother wanted to borrow the car, he was told he could as long as he brought Nancy ice cream.

He came back with vanilla. She put it under the bed and never ate it – who wants vanilla when you can have chocolate?

The Italian influence on cooking is everywhere.

There was an endearing story about an exchange student from Tuscany who was asked what he wanted for lunch.

The others were taking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

"I think I'll have a little veal with lemon," he said.

Pelosi said there always has to be linen on her table – a tablecloth or napkins for those eating together.

Pelosi's mother-in-law, Dada, who grew up in Trieste, was a big food influence.

I've read that on her deathbed, she said to her daughter-in-law, "Promise me two things... you'll put more cream on your face and fewer herbs on your fish."

There were endearing stories about going to a Catholic girls' college where, in the middle of the night, someone would distract the security guard by telling him they had ordered a pizza delivery, whilst the others broke into the freezer to get at the ice cream.

Gentle, warming, funny – there is plenty to take from these podcasts – like how David Beckham learned how to really cook when he was playing for Milan.

I have one small beef – the interruptions of ads for other podcasts – but it's a small beef. Pass the veal and lemon.

TV and Radio