Cooking the Books Podcast hosted by Robbie Bell
Robbie Bell hosts the Cooking the Books, one of Australia’s top hospitality podcasts. He chats with people who work in all aspects of food and hospitality, from restaurateurs to butchers, chefs to sommeliers, cheesemongers to brewers, and everything in between. It is a casual conversation between peers, with topics ranging from the serious to the not-so-serious.
Robbie explores his guest’s culinary journey, why they do it, including highlights and pitfalls, and where they're headed for the future. This coming season he will shine a spotlight on some of Australia's most passionate chefs who are bringing a unique product to market.
Meanwhile, check out these must-listen episodes, which delve deep into the heart of what makes the wheels of the Australian food industry turn.
Robbie speaks to one of the most talked-about chefs in town, Adam D’Sylva. As Chef-Owner of Coda and Tonka in Melbourne, D’Sylva has also branched out with many other business ventures including a crockery range and cutlery range, as well as brand ambassador roles for Luv-a-Duck, Racing Victoria and Lavazza among several others.
Instagram: @adamdsylvachef @tonkarestaurant @codamelbourne
Robbie sits down with Peter Gunn from Ides Restaurant in an eye-opening chat. Robbie and Pete first met when they both ran pop-up restaurants in Melbourne. Since then, Ides restaurant has gone from strength to strength and March cocktail and wine bar has been birthed into being. Pete talks about his modern approach to running his restaurant, as well as providing some enlightening thoughts on the state of the industry.
Instagram: @petergunn501 @idesmelbourne @marchmelbourne
In this wide-ranging chat, Robbie sits down with one of this generation's great chefs, Ben Shewry. Attica may well be recognised as one of Australia’s best restaurants, but just as impressive as the accolades are Ben’s views on social issues and his unwavering dedication to sustainability throughout his restaurant. From fish to chocolate, staff to suppliers, he is playing the long game. A true crusader.
Instagram: @benshewry @atticamelbourne
Robbie speaks with Alice Zaslavsky about 'Phenomenom', her program designed for teachers to introduce vegetables to kids in the classroom through a series of fun, short videos. Being a former schoolteacher, Zaslavsky believes that introducing kids to vegetables at an early age will help them consume more as they grow up. They also discuss her book, Alice's Food A-Z, her segment on ABC News Breakfast, and her time as a contestant on Masterchef Australia.
Chef Matt Wilkinson really breaks it down and goes through the ups and downs of his career in food and shares some great advice he has picked up along the way. These days you’ll find him at Montalto Winery on the Mornington Peninsula as Culinary Director, playing with spices for Street BBQ developing seasonings & rubs, as well as writing about food, public speaking at events, and appearing on Gardening Australia and The Great Australian Cookbook.
Robbie catches up with an old friend, Hugh Allen. They first met when Hugh was 15 and doing his apprenticeship at Rockpool Bar & Grill. Hugh went on to work at Vue de Monde and Rene Redzepi’s Noma (original Noma, 2016 Sydney and 2018 Mexico pop-up). It's a real insight into what it's like to work in one of the world's most forward-thinking, elite restaurants. Hugh is now Executive Chef at Vue de Monde.
Instagram: @hughsallen @vuedemonde
At 54 episodes and counting, don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what some of our listeners have to say about Cooking the Books.
“10/10 - Awesome podcasts series and always hyped up when I see the next episode available. Great for anyone interested/working in hospitality and all things food and beverage. Super educational as well. Hopefully plenty more to come.”
“Great insight into the hospitality industry! As a restauranteur for the last twelve years, I listen to very familiar stories and not so familiar stories. Stories by people I look up to and respect and stories by people I haven’t heard of before but have very interesting stories to tell. I believe this is a podcast for anyone that dines out frequently, occasionally or just loves food! Understanding the ups and downs of an industry that has so much passion. Well done, Robbie. Can’t wait to hear more!”