Jay Rayner on Chewing the Fat
Jay Rayner is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster with a fine collection of shirts. He has written on everything from crime and politics, through cinema and theatre to the visual arts, but is best known as the restaurant critic for the Observer. For a while he was a sex columnist for Cosmopolitan; he also once got himself completely waxed in the name of journalism. He only mentions this because it hurt. Jay is a former Young Journalist of the Year, Critic of the Year and Restaurant Critic of the Year, though not all in the same year. In 2018 he was named Restaurant Writer of The Year in the Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink Awards. Somehow, he has also found time to write four novels and five works of non-fiction. He performs live all over the country, both with his one man shows and as a pianist with his jazz ensemble, The Jay Rayner Quartet. He is a regular on British television, where he is familiar as a judge on MasterChef and, since 2012 has been the chair of BBC Radio 4’s food panelshow The Kitchen Cabinet. He likes pig.
Dr Annie Gray is one of Britain’s leading food historians. She works as a broadcaster, author and consultant. You may have heard her on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, or seen her cooking up Victorian pies or Tudor stuffed boars’ heads on the BBC. Her books include The Greedy Queen: eating with Victoria, Victory in the Kitchen: the life of Churchill’s Cook, and the forthcoming At Christmas We Feast: Festive Food through the Ages. Annie is also a consultant for the award-winning English Heritage YouTube series, The Victorian Way, as well as working widely across the heritage industry. She's a research associate at the University of York and a Fellow of the Royal History Society.