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Image: Time Out

18 podcasts you should be listening to, according to top chefs

In and out of the kitchen, the world's best chefs turn to podcasts for inspiration and entertainment.

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Written by
Morgan Olsen
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There's something wonderfully utilitarian about podcasts. Unlike books or TV shows, these digital audio files allow you to plug in on the go—no couch or reading glasses necessary. Heck, you can even walk the dog or bake banana bread while you're listening. That's probably the reason why so many of the world's best (and busiest!) chefs love tuning into podcasts in and out of the kitchen. So, which series do they make time for? Some prefer food-themed podcasts like Table Manners with Jessie Ware and Andrew Talks to Chefs, while others hit play on motivational chats and poetry readings. Locate your earbuds and have your phone handy—you're going to want to plug into these chef-recommended podcasts.

And if these leave you hungry for more, check out our definitive list of the best podcasts to listen to right now. Plus, we’ve got our very own podcast – ‘your city or mine?’ – in which Time Out Group CEO Julio Bruno talks to thought-leaders and pioneers about the innovations and ideas shaping our cities.

Craving more insider insight from the world's best chefs? You're in the right place. Talk to the Chef! is a new weekly food series that will tap into the minds of culinary leaders around the globe. The conversation changes just as often and covers everything from condiments and kitchen equipment to dining predictions.

Chefs' go-to podcasts

“The podcast I listen to the most is Andrew Talks to Chefs by Andrew Friedman. I love Andrew’s disarming approach to interviewing. Many chefs will give you the who, where, when and how, but Andrew has a way of drawing out the why and what. Why chefs do what they do. What landed them in a particular place that informs the why. I find that he takes an honest approach to interviewing without having to pry. I find his style fascinating.” —Erick Williams, chef-owner of Virtue in Chicago

“Rice to Meet You by Evelyn Mok and Nigel Ng. It’s a podcast about Asian culture, and as both Evelyn and Nigel are stand-up comedians, there’s such good humour that just keeps me laughing. I love to listen to how other people relate to Asian culture, and they both have such great personalities. They’ve kept me entertained most of last year.” —Elizabeth Haigh, chef-owner of Mei Mei in London

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“We love hearing the journey of how these very successful companies came to be: the very real and relatable struggles, successes, and failures that come with starting your own business and the creativity and perseverance it [takes] for them to succeed. We are also avid followers of How Did This Get Made, a podcast that simultaneously celebrates and makes fun of bad movies, [like] Con Air, The Room or Fast & Furious. … We find it a nice reprieve or escape to consume media that has nothing to do with what we do for so many hours of our lives.” —Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer, chefs and co-owners of Boia De in Miami

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“I’m relatively new to podcasts, but my wife is all over it. We listen to Table Manners with Jessie Ware a fair bit. Food is the focus, which I obviously like, and they have great, high-profile guests—a lot of whom are involved in the food world, such as Grace Dent and Jay Rayner. It’s so natural and informal and makes for a lovely, chilled-out listen. Highly recommended.” —Ben Tish, chef-owner of Norma, London

“I like to listen to Copper & Heat. The discussions with industry insiders are centred on modern challenges in professional kitchens, offering not just a different angle from the more traditional food podcasts but also showcasing many different perspectives. It is really interesting to listen to and it also makes me think about how we as chefs can help to make a better industry altogether.” —Agustin Ferrando Balbi, chef-founder of Andō in Hong Kong

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“I’m a huge fan of our military service members, and listening to former Navy Seal Jocko Willink and his podcast has been great entertainment these past months. On my normal overnight shifts or the most intense days of the pandemic for LaFrieda Meats, having Jocko and his guests’ insights on service and leadership at hand has been solid motivation to keep working as hard as possible at keeping food on America’s tables.” —Pat LaFrieda, CEO of Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors in New York City

“My current favourite podcast is the one by The Paris Review. I am a poetry and literature fiend, and when I am not being chaotic in the kitchen, I can be found tucked up in bed with a good book, so I was thrilled to discover this podcast during the first lockdown. The thing I love about it the most is that it has introduced me to so many new writers and works of poetry and fiction and also that it is so immersive. I also love their incredible archive of interviews with some of the greats like Toni Morrison and Dorothy Parker.” —Ravinder Bhogal, founder of Jikoni in London

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“This American Life is one of my favorites. My husband and I love how Ira Glass uses his craft to storytell. There's humor, angst, creativity and a palatable take on the human spirit. We love being transported to walk a couple of steps in another's shoes and are always amazed at what we can learn by listening to another human being.” —Paola Velez, co-founder of Bakers Against Racism and pastry chef at Maydan in Washinton, D.C.

10. Welcoming Australia

“I'm going to admit I don't listen to a heap of podcasts, but I recently recorded one for Welcoming Australia hosted by Sista Zai with a bunch of great women of colour running really interesting businesses that I recommend giving a listen." —Nornie Bero, owner of Mabu Mabu in Melbourne

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“The podcast that I listen to most is Impact Theory by Tom Bilyeu. His podcasts are a one-stop shop on living a better life. Of course, during these difficult times one needs to listen to something that keeps you motivated but also something that inspires you to live better in [the] context of your mental and physical health. Tom interviews different people in his podcasts who are masters in the fields of motivation, public speaking and health. It surely uplifts and inspires but also gears you up with a lot of good ammunition to live a better life.” —Manav Tuli, chef de cuisine at CHAAT in Hong Kong

“I really enjoy listening to The Line on Heritage Radio hosted by Eli Sussman. Each episode, the host interviews a different chef and dives into their background and journey to becoming the chef they are today. I found out about the show because I was featured, but I also love listening to other chefs talk about their journeys and struggles as well.” Emily Yuen, executive chef of Bessou and Bessou at Time Out Market in New York City

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“The Doctor’s Kitchen does fascinating interviews with neuroscientists, farmers, cooks and nutritionists, and it is wonderful to see how everyone is essentially leading to the same conclusions—that healthy guts (people and planet) are determined so much by healthy soils and how food is grown in the first place.” —Thomasina Miers, founder of Wahaca in London

“Co-host brothers Darin and Greg [Bresnitz] care about the hospitality industry and always offer a good mix of food and music on their podcast. Music plays a big role in our shops, so I always find myself relating to their vibe. It’s cool to hear from people in the industry I respect or hear from new entrepreneurs doing their thing while discovering good music.” Jacob Hadjigeorgis, chef-owner of Jacob's Pickles and Jacob's Pickles at Time Out Market in New York City

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“Chef’s Story on Heritage Radio is a podcast that I binged on until it ended in 2017. Unlike the hectic, overly immediate production that can make newer podcasts unlistenable, the late Dorothy Cann Hamilton took her time with the live interviews that were the focus of these tapings. Her passion for the chefs and their stories was real, almost uncomfortably so at times. She had a gentle way of guiding the conversation in a way that felt natural not scripted. I’m sure there are more current podcasts that touch on more relevant topics, but when you're in the mood to hear simple stories from some of the chefs who shaped an era of dining that we may look back at as the golden age, this is a refreshing listen.” —Chris Willis, chef-owner of Pammy's in Boston

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“There’s something very uplifting and easy about Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s ethos and ways of doing things—and this extends to lifestyle as well as food. They have an extraordinary list of guests, some I admire greatly [while others] I didn’t know of and become interested in after listening to the show. I usually don’t like watching food-related programs on TV, but with the Food Talks, it’s almost like I can forget that I work in the industry and listen to their show and enjoy it objectively.” —Shuko Oda, head chef and co-founder of Koya in London

“The podcast I listen to the most is The Joe Rogan Experience. I only knew of him from Fear Factor and then, years later, from his involvement with the UFC. But when I found out about his podcast, I started to listen to it often because he has had so many amazing guests on—people I've admired for years. It's great to hear these intellectuals and amazing human beings that do great things for our society and planet. It makes me want to keep pushing to one day be admired for what I do.” —Thai Dang, chef-owner of HaiSous and Thai Dang at Time Out Market in Chicago

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